Almanack Contributor Dan Forbush

Driven by a passion for storytelling empowered by by technology, the First Wilderness Story Collaboration supports heritage tourism in Western Warren County. Dan's writing comes courtesy of this project.

Sunday, April 21, 2024

On Earth Day, Remembering the Films of Paul Schaefer

Men sit in chairs in a cabin

By the time America marked its inaugural Earth Day on April 22, 1970, Paul Schaefer had already dedicated four decades to safeguarding the Adirondack wilderness. His formidable alliances with conservationists like John Apperson and Howard Zahniser, which we detail in Exploring Cabin Country, were instrumental in these efforts. Schaefer’s notable victories included the storied Black River Wars in the 40s and 50s and his campaign in the 60s against dams on the Upper Hudson that would have submerged the Hudson Gorge in a 35-mile-long reservoir.

Also by this time, Schaefer had played a major role in the routing of the Northway, having served as chair of a citizens’ advisory committee named to advise the Department of Transportation and Conservation Department on the matter. The big decision was whether to go up to the west of Lake George or the east. Schaefer favored and pressed for the “mountain route” we enjoy today.

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Wednesday, January 31, 2024

A Dam We’re Glad Never Happened

An artist’s rendering of the dam proposed at Tumblehead Falls.

This is an artist’s rendering of the dam proposed at Tumblehead Falls. For our simulation of its impact, click here.

Many of us know the story of the Great Sacandaga Reservoir, created in 1930 by the construction of the Conklingville Dam at what is now the reservoir’s north end. Approximately 28,000 acres of land were submerged and 3,000 people were displaced to prevent disasters like the great flood of 1913 that inundated Troy.

To make the way for the reservoir, hundreds of homes had to be submerged and entire cemeteries had to be moved.

Twenty-five years earlier, Glens Falls industrialists Eugene Ashley and Elmer J. West had proposed to similarly dam the Schroon River, not only to manage flooding but to catch and retain spring meltwater so that the stored water could be released during the late summer and fall when it was needed downriver to power water wheels and turbines. Their vision called for a 70-foot-tall containment dam that would have raised the level of Schroon Lake by 30 feet and combined it with Brant Lake, and Paradox Lake, creating a reservoir larger than Lake George.

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Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Hooper Mine as Winter Wanes

hooper mine

Story and photos by Dan Forbush

If you’re looking for a short, scenic hike you can do with the kids, you can’t beat the Hooper Garnet Mine. Even better if you have a keen interest in Adirondack history, given the substantial role that the mining of garnet has played in it.

To get there, drive first to Garnet Hill Lodge in North River, and check in with the receptionist, who will even give you a map if you ask for one. You’ll be advised to drive a half-mile or so back down the road and take the first significant left. You’ll ultimately come to a lodge-like building and tennis courts to your right. The trail to Hooper Mine begins to the left of the courts as you walk toward them. It’s well-marked. You can’t miss it so long as you get to those courts.

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