Almanack Contributor Roy Crego

Roy Crego

Roy Crego is a descendant of Adirondack guide Richard C. Crego (1853-1925) and a member of the Town of Webb Historical Association.


Sunday, October 13, 2019

The Club Camp on Big Moose Lake: A Short History

The Old Club Camp courtesy Roger and Nancy PrattThe Club Camp is often mentioned as the first permanent structure built on Big Moose Lake. The word permanent is rather ironic because this hunting and fishing establishment had a relatively short history of just 28 years. Today the camp’s origins, visitors, and sad end seem largely forgotten.

According to Joseph F. Grady’s The Adirondacks: Fulton Chain-Big Moose Region (1933), the Club Camp was constructed in 1878 at the request of several sportsmen from New York City who had been spending summers on the lake in previous years.

At the time, Big Moose, near Old Forge, NY, was difficult to reach — the railroad would not arrive in the area until 1892. Before 1878, only lean-tos or shanties were available on Big Moose, notably that of businessman William “Billy” Dutton, which was built in 1876, and that of guide Jack Sheppard which was set up around the same time. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Father Fitz: Missionary to the Adirondacks

Rev John FitzgeraldThe Rev. John G. Fitzgerald, or “Father Fitz,” as he was known to contemporaries, was the first resident Roman Catholic priest in Old Forge. He is fondly remembered as a missionary to the widely scattered working people of the region and as a prolific builder of churches. His obituary in 1925 and local histories rightly focus on his time in Old Forge, but Father Fitzgerald had a significant career prior to that. His early assignments reveal a resourceful and energetic clergyman who made an impact across the Adirondacks and North Country. He served the people of northern New York State for a total of 49 years providing faith, culture, and kindness.

John Gerald Fitzgerald was probably born November 19, 1850 in Deptford, Kent, England (now part of Greater London). His parents, Patrick Fitzgerald and Joanna O’Connor, were both born in Ireland. John was educated in Catholic schools in England, namely: Blackheath; Sedgley Park in Wolverhampton; and St. Edmund’s in Ware, Hertfordshire. Records from St. Edmund’s show that a John Fitzgerald attended the school from 1868 until 1871. Soon after, John emigrated to the United States where he attended St. Joseph’s Provincial Seminary in Troy, NY. He was sponsored by the recently established Diocese of Ogdensburg. At seminary, John served as choirmaster and developed what would become a lifelong interest in music. He was ordained at Troy by Bishop Bernard J. McQuaid of Rochester on June 10, 1876. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, February 4, 2017

The Crego Family: Three Generations of Adirondack Guides

Crego Farmhouse,In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, three generations of the Crego family worked as wilderness guides in the Western Adirondacks. Along the way, they raised families, worked for prominent employers, adapted to new forms of transportation, and helped lay the groundwork for the conservation movement in New York State. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, April 2, 2016

F. C. Moore’s Big Moose Lake Retreat

big moose campIn the late 19th century, the Adirondacks became a prime summer destination for sportsmen and their families who enjoyed the region’s hunting, fishing, and fresh air. By the 1880s, wealthy businessmen were building permanent camps on even the remotest lakes, including Big Moose, near Old Forge. Sometime after 1880, local guides Jack Sheppard and Richard C. Crego built a summer camp on South Bay of Big Moose Lake for F. C. Moore of New York City.

Francis Cruger Moore was born in Houston, TX in 1842. After the Civil War, he headed north to New York City, where through hard work, he became president (1889-1903) of the Continental Insurance Company.

Moore, his step-son Henry Evans, and their wives summered at Big Moose regularly. To reach the camp, Moore and his guests had to travel north to Boonville, NY, and then survive a tortuous 43-mile journey on primitive roads, a rickety wooden-railed railroad (The Peg Leg Railroad), a riverboat, and finally a guide boat across several lakes. Moore invested heavily in the main camp which stood near the present Manse of the Big Moose Community Chapel. By 1889, a second camp was built nearby for the Evanses. » Continue Reading.