Storytelling — stories about Native American history as told by the people who lived it and not the abridged school textbook version — is part of Dave Kanietakeron Fadden’s makeup, his DNA. He is Mohawk.
Though he’d never in his life addressed a group, Fadden went ahead and listed “storyteller” on his resume when applying for a position as an educator for the Iroquois Indian Museum in Howes Cave, NY, in 1993. He got the job, and his first talk was to a busload of sixty third-graders. » Continue Reading.
Early Northern New York history goes far beyond the bounds of stories of pioneer families and colorful guides. As archaeologists like to say, the Western Hemisphere was invaded, not discovered. Many different societies, civilizations, or cultures existed here long before Europeans crossed the ocean and discovered “new” lands.
The history of humans in the Americas is extensive. In general (and brief) terms, the Lithic stage ended about 8,000 BCE (10,000 years ago), followed by the Archaic stage, (ending around 1,000 BCE or 3,000 years ago), and then the Woodland Period, which extended to around the year 1500. I mention this because certain North Country artifacts written about by scholars more than 100 years ago, were created during the Late Archaic or Early Woodland period, about three thousand years ago. » Continue Reading.
Lands above Northwest Bay acquired by Stephen and Mary Loines between 1898 and 1908 – in part to protect them from the same destructive forces that threatened the Adirondacks – and which were sold to private landowners over the ensuing decades, are now largely protected again, this time permanently, thanks to land conservancies and New York State.
That’s something Tim Barnett recognized last spring, when the Lake George Land Conservancy announced that it had purchased a 159 acre parcel that includes Wing Pond “This would appear to complete a four decade- long project to protect the Loines holdings,” remarked Barnett, the first director of the Adirondack Nature Conservancy and a founder of the Lake George Land Conservancy. » Continue Reading.
Julian Reiss’s plane crash on the evening of Halloween 1958 remains one of the more unusual in the Adirondacks. While most Adirondack plane crashes involve Forest Rangers, State Police, and many civilian volunteers, this one was different. This search was over almost before it got started when the ‘victims’ walked out of the woods the next day. Shortly thereafter, the Lake Placid village police, the NY State Police and its investigation division, the BCI, became involved.
Earlier that day Reiss had picked up his plane in Norwood, MA, where it had gotten a new engine and a thorough checkout. He then flew to Immaculata College in Malvern, PA, where he landed on the front lawn to pick up his daughter Patti before heading home to Lake Placid. He stopped for fuel in Warren County and continued homeward. Around 6 pm he flew into a violent cold front with squally winds, rain, sleet and snow flurries. » Continue Reading.
As of November 6, 1917, the State of New York became the first state east of the Mississippi to grant full voting rights to women. The tremendous support from New York City overcame the lack of support from most upstate counties. Essex County was one exception, approving woman suffrage by a margin of 15 votes: 2838 to 2823. “Newcomb is the Banner Suffrage Town” announced the Adirondack Record. The town “did her bit” for the ladies, casting 73 votes for suffrage and only 6 against. “Newcomb is certainly most chivalrous.”
Minerva, North Elba, St. Armand, Ticonderoga and Westport also approved the suffrage measure, but regardless of whether your town voted for or against suffrage, it is time to celebrate. The centennial of NY women winning the vote is being commemorated in Albany, Seneca Falls, Johnstown, Ticonderoga, Plattsburgh and other towns across the state. From flotillas to parades, rallies, conferences, and tea parties, the events celebrating the suffrage centennial have been informative and energizing. » Continue Reading.
At the end of 1915, a year and a half after their mother was removed from the home, conditions had hardly improved for the Bennett brothers of Hope in Hamilton County. Their father, badly troubled by rheumatism, had hired a man to operate the farm, and the boys were learning to do for themselves whatever their father couldn’t. Dr. Edwin Hagedorn, after examining the three boys, said each suffered from “fatty degeneration of the heart,” and that their muscles had atrophied to such an extent that even walking might well be outside the realm of possibility.
On the plus side, they were all still alive, and had begun accepting visitors more often, a result of their notoriety among Adirondack residents and tourists who wished to meet them in person. One of their favorite subjects to discuss with visitors was the conflict (World War I) raging in Europe. » Continue Reading.
Settlement came slowly to the upper Beaver River valley in the west central Adirondacks. John Brown Francis, governor of Rhode Island and grandson of John Brown, the original titleholder, built the first road from Lowville to Number Four in 1822 with the hope of starting a village there. To spur settlement he gave 100 acres each to the first ten families willing to clear the land and establish farms. A number of pioneers moved in, the first of which was a man named Orrin Fenton who arrived in 1826. By 1835 there were about 75 residents. Gradually all attempts at farming failed. By 1864 the settlement of Number Four was nearly deserted. » Continue Reading.
The American Revolution Round Table: Hudson-Mohawk Valleys is hosting a free event on Saturday, November 11, 2017 from 8 am to 4:15 pm. The Military Theaters of the American Revolution Symposium is based on the book of the same name, Theaters of the American Revolution.
Five experts on the American Revolution will discuss the Northern Theater, the Western Theater, the War at Sea, the Southern Theater, and the Middle Theater. » Continue Reading.
Local authorities, including the Humane Society, considered taking action to alleviate conditions in John and Sarah Bennett’s home at Hope in Hamilton County.
Some believed the Bennett’s three sons were being held captive by their mother, perhaps under a kind of spell. After checking in on the three Bennett brothers, Dr. George Peters of Gloversville rendered this assessment:
“I have examined George, Ward, and Frank Bennett of Hope, New York, and it is my opinion that if the three young men were taken from their home, or even if they were left at home and placed under the tutorship of a competent person — not necessarily a physician, but a person possessing the ability to develop the confidence which the average man possesses in himself — all three would in a few months time be able to perform labor which any man of ordinary intelligence daily performs.” » Continue Reading.
It’s obvious to anyone who spends time here that the vast majority of people who live in or visit the Adirondack Park are white. This could have consequences for the Forest Preserve, because the Preserve belongs to all New Yorkers and its future is in their hands.
The latest census data indicate that about 18 percent of the state’s population is African-American (another 19 percent is Hispanic or Latino).
Although few African-Americans live in the Adirondacks, our region is not without its own black history. Most people will think of John Brown’s farm in North Elba and Gerrit Smith’s effort to relocate black farmers. But there is much more to the story.
Sally E. Svenson tells the rest of the story in Blacks in the Adirondacks: A History, a new book published by Syracuse University Press. As it turns out, African-Americans lived and worked in the Park as miners, loggers, musicians, waiters, and baseball players, among other things.
The historian Philip Terrie gives a favorable review to Svenson’s book in the November/December issue of the Adirondack Explorer newsmagazine.
Historians, cultural and environmental groups, museums, and community members are invited to a roundtable discussion that highlights the Lake George region communities and their stories on Friday, November 3, 2017, from 10 am to 3 pm, at the Bolton Historical Museum at 4924 Lake Shore Drive, Bolton Landing. » Continue Reading.
With the opening of the entire Erie Canal in 1825, a call for more canals and other internal improvements arose from all over New York State. People in many legislative districts thought that if the state could build a canal that had already shown its great value, it could also provide infrastructure projects to help regional economies to connect with the artificial river that joined the interior Great Lakes and the global market through Albany and New York City. This was also the case coming from the legislative representatives from Montgomery County and although many lateral canals would be subsequently surveyed, planned and some would even be built, perhaps the most intriguing was one that never had a shovel turned.
As early as 1826, citizens from Montgomery County were calling for a plan to connect the Erie Canal – which already ran through the county on the south side of the Mohawk River – to the industrializing area around the county seat of Johnstown and further into the wilderness to the north for raw materials. Inhabitants of Montgomery and Hamilton Counties formally called upon the New York State Senate through the Canal Commission for a survey to be conducted and a planned canal from Caughnawaga (present day Fonda) up the Sacandaga River Valley (Journal of the NYS Senate 49 Sess 1826). The original intention was to have a canal of over 30 miles and elevation increase of 350 feet that would connect the Erie Canal to the waters of what is now known as the lower Adirondacks. That could therefore be connected to the head waters of the Hudson River and also through a series of lakes to the Raquette River and the St. Lawrence River. Senators knew that in order to populate that region of the state and exploit its natural resources, some forms of improvements would be necessary. However, their concerns grew over the expense and circuitous route the canal would need to travel. The senate forwarded the recommendation to the committee on canals were it apparently lay dormant. » Continue Reading.
The Ticonderoga Historical Society has invited the public to a free program focusing on the Postal Service in World War One, on Friday, November 3 at 7 pm. Featured speaker will be Glenn Estus, President of the Vermont Philatelic Society.
As part of the overall support for U.S. Entry into World War One, The United States Post Office Department participated in efforts to help raise funds. One method included cancelling mail with slogans that encouraged Americans to buy Liberty Loans. The United States was not alone in this effort, and this program will also show how allied nations such as Canada, Newfoundland, UK, New Zealand, and Australia undertook similar programs. » Continue Reading.
A companion catalog to the New York State Museum exhibition of the same name, Aaron Noble’s new book A Spirit of Sacrifice: New York State in the First World War (SUNY Press, 2017) documents the statewide story of New York in World War I through the collections of the New York State Museum, Library, and Archives.
Within the collections are the nearly 3,600 posters of the Benjamin W. Arnold World War I Poster Collection at the New York State Library. The book interweaves the story of New York in the Great War with some of these posters, and artifacts from museums, libraries, and historical societies from across New York State, to illuminate the involvement of New Yorkers in the War. » Continue Reading.
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