Saturday, May 25, 2019

1970s Plattsburgh Elks Resisted Local Integration

Context is everything. So, without cherry-picking, here’s the exact, complete quotation from a longtime member and former leader defining a prominent group in Plattsburgh back in 1976. “The Elks are a fraternal organization based on the principles of charity, justice, brotherly love, and fidelity. Membership is open to men 21 years of age or older who are citizens of the United States, believe in God, and have not been convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor involving moral issues. There is no discrimination against race, religion, politics, economic status, or any other circumstances.” » Continue Reading.


Friday, May 24, 2019

‘Women Will Vote’ Exhibit Opening in Ticonderoga

womens right to voteThe Ticonderoga Historical Society is set to unveil a traveling exhibit addressing Women’s Suffrage and present a free public program entitled “Women Will Vote” on Friday, May 31 at 7 pm at the Hancock House, 6 Moses Circle, Ticonderoga.

The program will look at often-overlooked consequences of Women’s Suffrage, including internal disagreements that threatened to sideline the movement, the institution of Prohibition, and changes in women’s roles within the workforce. » Continue Reading.


Monday, May 20, 2019

Wild Times at the Adirondack History Museum

Troopers and Liquor The Adirondack History Museum’s 2019 Season focuses on Wild Times in the Adirondacks. 2019 marks the centennial of the 18th Amendment’s ratification which not only began Prohibition but also ushered in a period of lawlessness across the country.

An exhibit at the museum in Elizabethtown, Bootleggers and the Law in the Adirondacks, explores how the region was part of major bootlegging routes between Canada and New York City. The popular Adirondack Suffragists exhibit has been expanded to examine the Temperance Movement, which opposed the consumption of alcoholic beverages. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, May 18, 2019

William C. Geer Invented Plane-Wing Deicing Device

Based on his remarkable career as an inventor and the immeasurable but tremendous value of three creations of his to businesses and millions of individuals — a better golf ball, gas masks, and the industrial adhesive Vulcalock — it seems there should be a historical marker at William Geer’s birthplace and perhaps a museum wing up north, or at least an exhibit featuring his story. And that’s without even considering his greatest invention of all: the airplane-wing deicer.

That’s right, a North Country man, born and raised, did that. Unlike many inventions that are completely replaced by better alternatives in the future, Geer’s device originating nearly 90 years ago remains a standard, as noted in modern B. F. Goodrich Technical Bulletin 101: “Then, as today, the ice removal process is much the same…. the basic operating principle of the pneumatic de-icing boot hasn’t changed.” » Continue Reading.


Friday, May 17, 2019

Athol’s “A Woman’s Place” (1974-1982) Presentation

Near the last day of A Woman’s Place in 1982During the summer of 1974 women gathered for weekend retreats in Paradox, NY at the site of The Highland Community School. Seven bonded, pooled their resources, and bought an abandoned rustic resort on 23 acres of land in Athol, just northwest of Lake George in Warren County. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Nominations Sought for Adirondack Preservation Awards

2018 AARCH Preservation Award WinnersAdirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH), the historic preservation organization for the Adirondack Park region, has opened nominations for its 2019 Preservation Awards.

For over 23 years, this annual awards program has recognized the sensitive restoration, rehabilitation, and adaptive reuse of historic structures throughout the region, and highlighted individuals who have promoted historic preservation revitalization efforts in their communities. The awards honor the preservation work of organizations, municipalities, and individuals who make the Adirondack region a better place to live, work, and visit. » Continue Reading.


Monday, May 13, 2019

Historical Pilgrimages to the John Brown’s Farm

Barber in November 1912Memorial Day weekend is approaching, and along with the “unofficial start of summer,” the Adirondacks will experience its annual influx of vacationers. But in years past, visitors arrived in May for another purpose: a pilgrimage to the John Brown farm in North Elba, New York. At the farm, a wreath would be laid upon the abolitionist’s grave, and the song “John Brown’s Body” was sung. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, May 12, 2019

Elizabethtown Civil War POW Benjamin Hall Talk in Ti

depiction of Andersonville Prison by John L Ransom

In 1861 Benjamin Hall of Elizabethtown in Essex County was one among many young men who enlisted to fight against the South in the Union Army.

His wartime experiences took him to some of the major battlefields of the American Civil War, and finally to the notorious Confederate prisoner of war camp at Andersonville, Georgia. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, May 11, 2019

Vulcalock: Inventor William Geer’s Industrial Game-Changer

In the northeast corner of New York, just a few miles from where I grew up, is the village of Rouses Point. Lying directly south of Montreal, it has long provided access for rail shipments to U.S. markets. Where the main highway heading west exits the village is an underpass beneath the rails, so road traffic is not impeded by trains, but it’s a different story within the village, where the tracks cross three streets. I loved it as a young boy when my dad got stuck at one of those crossings, which forced us to sit and watch as sometimes more than a hundred rail cars crawled by — boring for adults, but for a young boy, it was a rare chance to see all sorts of rail cars up close.

Among them were many tanker cars, which — I didn’t know it at the time — resulted from an invention by a little-known North Country man whose work had repercussions around the world. His name was William C. Geer, who, as recently was shared here on Adirondack Almanack, created a golf ball that endured for decades as a professional standard, and a gas mask that helped protect millions of Americans who fought during World War I. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, May 4, 2019

A Local Inventor Helped Supply WW1 Gas Masks

Recently on Adirondack Almanack, two inventions of Ogdensburg native William Chauncey Geer (who lived in Potsdam for ten years of his youth) were addressed, one of them a writing implement to replace pens, pencils, and crayons (an idea that was ultimately relegated to oblivion). The other was a highly successful project resulting in a standard golf ball used by professionals for more than two decades.

Three of Geer’s other works deeply impacted America and the world. The subject here is the third most prominent among them — the gas mask. Its importance rose unexpectedly to critical levels during the First World War when the Germans began engaging in large-scale chemical warfare. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, April 28, 2019

In 1969, Citizens Saved the Upper Hudson from Destruction

Fifty springs ago, the Upper Hudson River was conserved as a wild, free flowing river. The Schenectady Gazette’s writer Pete Jacobs reported the news in the April 17, 1969 edition of that newspaper:

“Without opposition, the Assembly gave swift approval to legislation prohibiting the construction of the Gooley Dam on the Upper Hudson River, branded by conservationists as a threat to the wild river country.”

In addition to Gooley, the bill blocks construction of any reservoirs on the river from Luzerne to its source in the Adirondack Park. » Continue Reading.


Friday, April 26, 2019

North Country at Work Event, Exhibit In Plattsburgh

The Clinton County Historical Association has announced an opening reception for the new photo and audio exhibit “Clinton County at Work” will take place Thursday, May 2, from 6 to 8 pm, at the Clinton County Historical Museum, 98 Ohio Avenue, Old Base Museum Campus in Plattsburgh. » Continue Reading.


Monday, April 22, 2019

Pete Seeger’s Local Connections; Seeger Centennial Set for Grange Hall

Whallonsburg Grange Hall

The late folksinger Pete Seeger had a long connection to the North Country, beginning as a 20-year-old member of the Vagabond Puppeteers, according to Whallonsburg Grange board member Mary-Nell Bockman. In the summer of 1939, the group traveled to rural communities all over Upstate New York, including St. Lawrence, Franklin and Clinton counties, performing in support of dairy farmers on strike against the big milk monopolies.

Seeger was good friends with the artist Rockwell Kent and his wife, Sally, and visited Asgaard Farm several times. After meeting Adirondack folklorist Marjorie Lansing Porter at a folk festival in Schroon Lake, he worked with her to record an album of traditional regional tunes called Champlain Valley Songs in 1960. He performed at Plattsburgh State, Clarkson University, and other colleges in the region numerous times in the 1960s. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, April 21, 2019

John Brown Day 2019 Planned For May 4th

john brown dayJohn Brown Lives! has announced “John Brown Day: A Day of Reflection. A Day of Action.” is set for May 4th, 2019 from 2 to 4 pm, at the John Brown Farm State Historic Site.

John Brown Day is a commemoration honoring women and men whose work invokes the passion and conviction of the 19th-century abolitionist who dedicated his life to the cause of liberation. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, April 21, 2019

Ticonderoga’s Legacy Subject of New Exhibit at Fort Ti

ticonderoga a historyFort Ticonderoga has announced a new exhibit, “Ticonderoga, A Legacy,” which explores the tradition of Ticonderoga through popular and military culture over two centuries, including the U.S. Navy vessels that have borne its name. » Continue Reading.