Sunday, June 21, 2020

HISTORICAL PROFILE: Treadway Mountain of the Pharaoh Lake Wilderness

Treadway Mountain is a 2,244-foot peak located in the Town of Ticonderoga in Essex County, about two miles west of Putnam Pond. Although not as popular a hiking destination as its big brother to the southwest, Pharaoh Mountain, I consider it a gem of the Adirondack wilderness which offers a big bang for the effort to reach the summit.

A portion of the 2019 U.S.G.S. Graphite, N.Y. quadrangle map showing Treadway Mountain and Putnam Pond.

Although there are three routes up to the peak, I have always started from the Putnam Pond Campground on the trail which heads towards Clear Pond. The hike along the open sections rock and moss, marked with cairns, is an enjoyable one, especially in the fall and winter. You will climb over stretches of beautiful rose quartz as you approach the summit. From the well-open summit, you can venture around and check out a panorama which exhibits the High Peaks, Pharaoh Lake, and the Green Mountains of Vermont.

This historical profile presents the first in-depth discussion of the history surrounding Treadway Mountain, primarily the origin of its name. I also discuss the gentlemen from Ticonderoga for whom it was named and their involvement in the affairs of the town.

Location in the Ancient Land Tracts & State Land

Regarding the ancient land tracts, Treadway Mountain is in Lot 16 of the Hague Tract. The Schroon-Ticonderoga town boundary runs over the western shoulder of Treadway Mountain.  For reference, I include a map of land tracts, townships and lots which denotes the lots in two tracts, Ellice Patent and Hague Tract, which were involved in land deeds by the Treadway men and others. I also denote the boundary between the towns of Schroon and Ticonderoga which existed prior to December 10, 1861 (see Chapter 492 of “Laws of the State of New York,” entitled “An act to annex a part of the town of Schroon to the town of Ticonderoga, both in the county of Essex, State of New York”). It is important to understand what the town and county boundaries were like at the time, should they differ from today, for historical records will refer to the names of the towns and counties as they existed at the time. In the case of my search of deed records in Essex County, the lots were said to either be in the Town of Schroon or the Town of Ticonderoga, depending on the date of the deed.

At left: Treadway Mountain shown on the NYS DEC’s “Adirondack Map” (1985). The map denotes the lots in two tracts, known as the Ellice Patent and Hague Tract, which were involved in land deeds by brothers Hosea and Thomas J. and others. I also denote the boundary between the towns of Schroon and Ticonderoga which existed prior to December 10, 1861. This map is an essential reference for this historical profile.
(Source: NYS Department of Environmental Conservation)

Sleuthing for the Origin of the Name

The earliest mention of Treadway Mountain I found is in the October 15, 1891 edition of the “Ticonderoga Sentinel,” in an article entitled “Hague Mineral.” According to the article, Samuel Ackerman of Hague obtained specimens of graphite ore from an ore bed which ran by the head of Pharaoh Lake “to the Treadway mountain.” Another piece was found on the “old Treadway tract belonging to [Henry] G. Burleigh,” within a mile of Putnam Pond.  Coupled with the mention of “Treadway mountain” in the vicinity of Putnam Pond, I was confident the peak was named for the Treadway who owned a tract of land nearby, if not the land Treadway Mountain is on. This article also indicated that Henry G. Burleigh was the current owner of the Treadway. 

In Winslow C. Watson’s 1852 paper “A General View and Agricultural Survey of the County of Essex,” Watson appears to refer to Treadway Mountain or its neighbor, Big Clear Pond Mountain, when he wrote, “In Elizabethtown, on the brow of an eminence, many feet above the valley, a perforation in the solid rock, smooth and rounded, may be seen, not unlike in size and general form to a common caldron kettle. […] I also inspected another formation of this kind on the lands of Messrs. Treadway, in Schroon.” “Messrs. Treadway” indicates at least two members of the Treadway family owned the tract.

I found a notice in the October 29, 1868 edition of “The Elizabethtown Post” which connected Hosea Treadway to the land in both the Hague Tract and the Ellice Patent, much of which are in the land tract map I have provided as a reference. It stated that in pursuance of an order by the Supreme Court of the State of New York, the receiver of debts for Hosea Treadway will sell at a public auction on November 21, 1868 all lands owned by Hosea, including those in the Ellice Patent and Lots 11-25 of the Hague Tract.  Further digging into the Essex County deed records showed such land passing into various hands during the nineteenth century, including Burleigh’s.  Two deed records from 1835 showed that Hosea and his brother, Thomas J., owned much of the land in the Ellice Patent, which I denoted.  It is the land in both tracts that was called the “Treadway tract,” where Treadway Mountain resides

Thus, Treadway Mountain was, with great certainty, named for the brothers Hosea and Thomas J. Treadway who were connected with the Treadway tract.

John Homer French’s 1858 “Map of Essex Co., New York,” showing the boundary between the towns of Schroon and Ticonderoga before they were changed on December 10, 1861.
(Source: French, J. H. Map of Essex Co., New York. Philadelphia: W.O. Shearer & E.A. Balch, 1858. Map. https://www.loc.gov/item/2009583836/)

The Legacy of the Treadway’s in Ticonderoga: An Overview

The Treadway brothers and several of their close relations had their hands in the political and business affairs of Ticonderoga.  The information I provide herein is taken from “History of Essex County” by Henry P. Smith (1885), “History of the Tredway Family” by William T. Tredway (1830), “Treadway & Buffington families” by Nora Hawkins (undated), “The Treadway Web” genealogy website (https://thetreadwayweb.com/), two applications for membership to the Empire Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (made by Myron J. Wilcox and Edward C. Wiley, both on March 4, 1927), and noted obituaries.

Hosea and Thomas J. were among nine children of Jonathan Treadway (1755 – 1843) and Hannah Rood (1757 – 1822), both of whom were born in Lebanon, Windham County, Ct. Jonathan enlisted in the Continental Army in 1775 and was in Lexington, Ma. at the outbreak of the American Revolution. It is said that he was a drummer in the Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775 as well as the Battle of White Plains in 1776. He also crossed the Delaware River with George Washington, as part of Washington’s planned surprise attack on the Hessian forces stationed in Trenton, N.J. Nathaniel achieved the rank of sergeant by time he was discharged in 1778. It is unclear when he and his wife relocated to Ticonderoga, although it was in or prior to 1822, given that both are interred at the Streetroad Cemetery in Ticonderoga

Gravestone of Thomas J. Treadway (1803 – 1868) at the Mount Hope Cemetery in Ticonderoga.
(Source: Find A Grave)

Hosea (1801-1871) and Thomas Jefferson Treadway (1803 – 1868) were born in Shoreham, Addison County, Vt. Hosea married Olive Briggs (1802 – 1879) and had three children: Alexander J., Hosea Alanson, and Melissa Ellen. Thomas J. married Aurelia Allen (1808 – 1877) and had eight children: John Quincy Adams (J.Q.A.), Adeline, Harma, Harriet, William Denton, Thomas J. (Jr.), Ellen, and Evelyn “Eva.” (The obituary of J.Q.A. Treadway in the March 31, 1898 edition of the “Ticonderoga Sentinel” states his father had eleven children, four of whom died in infancy). 

In 1826, Hosea and Thomas J. moved to Ticonderoga, where they acquired a factory on the south side of the lower falls of the village and established the firm of H. & T.J. Treadway.  From 1826 to 1840, the brothers ran a large business engaged in the carding and dressing of wool. Their firm was also extensively involved in the lumber industry and other “factory interests.” In 1836, they built a store on Exchange Street (today’s Montcalm Street), from which they conducted business until it closed in 1845. After 1840, the firm began manufacturing cloth and engaged in a “large trade” with lumbermen and drew in more than $50,000 annually. Thomas’s son, J.Q.A. Treadway, would eventually take over the cloth-manufacturing business, which he ran until his death on February 1, 1888. 

Thomas J. served as Ticonderoga Town Supervisor in 1844.   He died on March 19, 1868 and is interred at the Mount Hope Cemetery in Ticonderoga.  His brother, Hosea, died on August 8, 1871 and is interred at the Streetroad Cemetery in Ticonderoga. 

J.Q.A. Treadway (1828 – 1883) and his brothers, Thomas J. (1844 – 1898) and William D. (1833 – 1905), were involved in the construction and running of the historic Rogers Rock Hotel on Hearts Bay of Lake George. J.Q.A. and William D. built the hotel, which opened in July of 1876. William was the proprietor of the hotel, and Thomas served as manager until his death on March 23, 1898. In December of 1878, William bought Thomas’s interest in the hotel, but the management remained the same. The Rogers Rock Hotel operated by the Treadway family until 1906, when it was purchased by David Williams. The hotel was then sold to the Rogers Rock Club in 1924, and finally shut its doors in 1941. The hotel was razed in the spring of 1942. For an authoritative history of the hotel and club, see the Geoffrey Wilson’s book “Rogers Rock: The Hotel, The Club, The Cottage Colony” (2005).

Thomas J. also served as Ticonderoga Town Supervisor in 1885, and then served as a member of the New York State Assembly for two terms, 1889 and 1890. He is interred with his father and brother, J.Q.A., at the Mount Hope Cemetery.

Photograph of Rogers Rock Hotel, c. 1904.
(Source: Detroit Publishing Co., Copyright Claimant, and Publisher Detroit Publishing Co. Rogers Rock Hotel, Lake George, N.Y., https://www.loc.gov/item/2016804049/)

Encounters in New York State Surveys

Treadway Mountain was never used or mentioned in Verplanck Colvin’s Adirondack Survey. Furthermore, there is no mention of it as a signal or triangulation station by the U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, or other nineteenth or twentieth-century survey

The U.S.G.S. Paradox Lake, N.Y. quadrangle map from 1897 provides the earliest appearance I could find of the peak on a map.

Top image: A panoramic view from Treadway Mountain.  Photo by John Sasso.

 

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John Sasso

John Sasso is an avid hiker and bushwhacker of the Adirondacks and self-taught Adirondack historian. Outside of his day-job, John manages a Facebook group "History and Legends of the Adirondacks." John has also helped build and maintain trails with the ADK and Adirondack Forty-Sixers, participated in the Trailhead Steward Program, and maintained the fire tower and trail to Mount Adams.




3 Responses

  1. Don Boink says:

    Dear John, I’m glad to find a space to thank you for your contribution to Adirondack lore. Both the FB blog on ADK history and your articles in the Adirondack 46r magazine.
    I’m 46r #1125 and a long standing member of the Onondaga Chap. of ADK Mountain club.
    The article on Treadway was interesting because it was the last peak I climbed, with my daughter and her husband. That was a few years ago but now I’m 95 and it was foolish for me to try. Worst experience of my life.
    My most interesting experience was when the Onon..Chap. formed a Search and Rescue team and we worked with the DEC rangers and State Troopers. As a team we practiced many skills necessary for our work. One search we needed special instruction because the area involved was on Fort Drum and its artillery range.unexploded ordinance was to be avoided.
    Another search involved being taken to an area near Fish Creek by helicopter. A military pilot from Griffith AB was missing. The drop location was some RR tracks and the helicopter pilot was Leary of setting down. So we jumped the last few feet, with snowshoes,
    I’ll enjoy following your articles. Thanks again for writing.

  2. Ed Burke says:

    Great mountain to hike, if the trail markers go missing just follow the bear scat. Spent the the unseasonably warm night of Oct 25, 1986 on Treadway listening to Game 6 of the World Series. Fell asleep before Mookie Wilson, Bill Buckner and Bob Stanley became infamous or famous depending on your perspective.

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