Almanack Contributor Noel Sherry

Noel Sherry

Rev. Noel Sherry has pastored and taught in Massachusetts, is part owner of a log cabin on Twitchell Lake in Big Moose, NY, and is a life-long hiker, sailing enthusiast, and student of the Adirondack Mountains. He is a member of a History Committee working on documenting the story of Twitchell Lake. He has been married for 47 years to his wife Ingelise, with 3 young-adult children and 9 grand kids who all love the Adirondacks.


Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Hiram Burke, Noted Guide of Twitchell Lake

Hiram Burke Shanty at Twitchell LakeMany of the lakes in John Brown’s Tract had guides who took their sporting parties to their own fishing or hunting camps north and south of the Beaver River. This is how lakes like Hitchcock, Beach, and Salmon got their names.

Bill Marleau, author of Big Moose Station (1986) described the guide Hiram Burke (1839-1903) this way: » Continue Reading.


Monday, December 30, 2019

A Mystery Writer’s Tramp to Twitchell’s Lake

Topographical Map of Lewis County On July 8, 1874, The Lowville Journal and Republican ran an article about a party of six men who trekked to Twitchell Lake in Big Moose, NY, for a nine-day stay. They came by horse and buggy up the Number Four Road through Watson Township from some town to the west.

After a brief stay at the Fenton House in the hamlet of Number Four and an overnight at Wardwell’s on Beaver River’s Stillwater, they crossed Twitchell Creek and tramped a mile south off the Carthage to Lake Champlain Road to Wood’s Lake: » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Twitchell Lake History: ‘A Melancholy Occurrence’

Pencil Sketch of Guide Amos Spafford on Winter Photo of Twitchell Lake“Melancholy Occurrence” was a fairly common expression for a tragic event in the middle of the 19th century.  A search of historic newspapers revealed the phrase was used some 250 times from 1820 to 1870.  Several of these were murder cases, such as the son of the Spanish Consul being stabbed through the heart with a cane sword by an angry neighbor. But most were unexpected events such as a fatal strike by lightening, a young fire victim, or a drowning.

One occurred at Twitchell Lake. In a December 3, 1856 article titled “Melancholy Occurrence,” The Lewis County Banner reported that Briggs Wightman stepped onto ice while hunting, crashed through, and drowned. Adirondack Guide named Amos Spafford (1824-1897) came out on the north shore of Twitchell Lake and observed a hat and a gun lying next to a large hole in the ice. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Twitchell Lake Settlement and the Carthage to Crown Point Road

Map Showing Twitchell Creek in the 1870s provided by Adirondack AtlasEver wonder how one of the hundreds of lakes and ponds in the Adirondack Mountains got its name? Around Brown’s Tract, there are lakes named from nature such as Loon, Beaver, Trout, Gull, Bear, and Moose.  There are also a dozen or more lakes named for noted guides or people who lived in or frequented the area during the Sporting Era (1860 to 1890), including Mosier, Francis, Hitchcock, Beach, Tuttle, Thayer, Smith, Salmon, and Wood.

An Adirondack historian who knew some of the nineteenth century Beaver River and Fulton Chain guides, Joseph F. Grady, reported in his 1933 history of the Fulton Chain and Big Moose region that Twitchell Lake  “derives its name from Charles Twitchell, an amateur sportsman of Lewis County, who frequented its shores in the mid-century period [the mid-1800s].”

It turns out, that’s not true. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, August 3, 2019

How Twitchell Lake Was Named, And A Poem

Hiram Burkes Log Shanty on Twitchell LakeThe Twitchell Lake History Committee is working on documenting the story of Twitchell Lake in Big Moose, NY, and how it was named, with an account of the individual camps, hotels, and highlights down through the years. Twitchell Lake is 5 to 6 miles south of the old Champlain Road, now under the Stillwater Reservoir.

For over 12 years the Conables have hosted a social event at their camp on Twitchell Lake with a poetry competition, the winner receiving honors as “Poet Laureate of Twitchell Lake.” » Continue Reading.



Support the Adirondack Almanack and the Adirondack Explorer all year long with a monthly gift that fits your budget.

Support the Adirondack Almanack and the Adirondack Explorer all year long with a monthly gift that fits your budget.