Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Pilot Betty Pettitt: Pioneer in the Sky (Part 2)

In October 1947, pilot Betty Pettitt moved to Indianapolis and joined a staff (for automobile maker Kaiser-Frazer) that included an unusual co-worker: a skywriter who handled the company’s airborne advertising. Skywriting was once expected to prevail as the prime advertising method of the future, only to drop into a steep decline when a new technology, television, provided a reliable method of reaching mass numbers of consumers without having to rely on the whims of weather. But for a few decades, skywriting was a very popular method of advertising and provided excellent employment for skilled pilots.

As luck would have it, Betty’s skywriting co-worker soon opted for a salesman’s position, leaving her as his obvious replacement. Something as complex as creating huge letters high in the sky would surely require extensive training. It wasn’t, after all, the same concept as writing letters by hand, as Betty explained: “When you remember that you are writing so someone below can read it, you find it is just like writing backwards on a steamy window so someone outside can read it…. It’s all done backwards and upside down.” » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Mary Elizabeth Pettitt: High Flying Sky Pioneer

Of all the accomplished women among North Country natives, few if any have soared higher than Mary Elizabeth Pettitt. That is true both figuratively, in light of her many achievements, and literally, because she was an airplane pilot.

When she made the decision to become a pilot in the mid-1930s, it was unusual for the time, and daunting: 97 percent of all pilots were male. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Adirondack Scenic RR Names New Director

adk scenic railroadJack A. Roberson is the new Executive Director of the Adirondack Rail Preservation Society (ARPS).  He takes the position effective immediately.

In an announcement sent to the press.  President of the Board and Chief Executive Officer Bill Branson said: “Mr. Roberson joins the ARPS continuing a life-long career in the railroad industry. He brings expertise and experience in all aspects of operations, tourism marketing, and finance. His leadership will contribute greatly to implementing the long-term ARPS strategy to expand and improve rail passenger services into the Adirondack region.” » Continue Reading.


Monday, March 26, 2018

The Jessup Brothers in the American Revolution

Jessup Patent MapIn the mid-1760s, brothers Edward and Ebenezer Jessup moved from Dutchess County, NY, to Albany and engaged in land speculation in the Hudson River Valley and Lake George area.

The Jessups would become friendly with Sir William Johnson, who had built Fort William Henry in 1755.  Thanks to his close relationship with the Mohawk, Johnson became the Superintendent of Indian Affairs. The Jessups acquired much of their land from Johnson and the Mohawks. » Continue Reading.


Monday, March 26, 2018

Selma Film To Mark MLK 50 Event in Saranac Lake

selma filmIn commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a showing of the film Selma has been set for Thursday, April 19th, from 6:30 to 9 pm, in the Cantwell Room of the Saranac Lake Free Library. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, March 25, 2018

Adirondacks and the Making of the Wild West

buffalo bill's best shotAmong the exhibitions worth visiting in our area this summer is one I’m especially interested in seeing: the Shelburne Museum’s “Playing Cowboy: America’s Wild West Shows,” an exploration of the manifold ways in which William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody and other Wild West characters influenced American popular culture well into the 20th century.

And not because I’m particularly or even remotely interested in the American west, wild or otherwise.

Rather, it’s because of the story’s links to the Adirondacks. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, March 22, 2018

Glens Falls Water System Museum Talk Tuesday

Workers building forms for the Halfway Brook Reservoir dam, 1936. A talk on the Glens Falls Water System – Then & Now, has been set for Tuesday, March 27th at 7 pm at the Chapman Museum, 348 Glen Street, Glens Falls.

Chapman Museum Director, Tim Weidner will present the history of the development of Glens Falls’ water system from the 1860s, when a variety of ideas were floated to meet the growing community’s water needs, through 1936 when Halfway Brook Reservoir was constructed. To bring the story up to the present, City Engineer, Steve Gurzler will provide information about the current system, including the filtration plant in Cole’s Woods. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The Adirondack Uranium Rush (Conclusion)

The failure of Adirondack Uranium and Mineral Corporation in early 1957 dominated the news cycle, but there was still activity in a half-dozen Lewis County sites where prospectors were searching for uranium.

In May of that year, there was also related news on the eastern edge of the Adirondacks. After an aerial survey detected radioactivity along Route 22 between Ticonderoga and Whitehall, a mining company obtained options to explore the farms of John DeLorme and Earl Shattuck to verify the readings and determine if suitable quantities of ore were present. They weren’t. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, March 15, 2018

Adirondack Regiment Focus Of Ogdensburg Round Table

118th NY Volunteer InfantryPete Gilbert Jr. is set to lead a round table discussion on the 118th New York Volunteer Infantry, on Sunday, March 25th at 2 pm at the Ogdensburg Public Library.

The 118th New York Volunteer Infantry, or “Adirondack Regiment,” was formed with enlistees from Clinton, Essex, and Warren counties in 1862, and eventually took part in the Peninsula Campaign, the Bermuda Hundred Campaign, and the battles of Cold Harbor, Petersburg, the Crater, and Richmond. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, March 15, 2018

Queensbury Women’s History Event March 21st

Warren County Historical SocietyA local Women’s History event is set for Wednesday, March 21st at 7 pm, at the Warren County Historical Society, 50 Gurney Lane, in Queensbury.

This Women’s History Month event, which is free and open to the public, features talks by three local women on three notable women in local history Harriet Leonard Colburn, Jeanne Robert Foster, and Frances Garnar Kinnear. Light refreshments will be served following the presentation. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Profiles Of Old Time Adirondack Fulton Chain Guides

In the past year or so, the Inlet Historical Society received donations of artifacts and materials originating from the collections of Inlet residents.

One unique item is the following unidentified newspaper clipping about some notable Fulton Chain guides:

Within a few hundred miles of a complex civilization is found the last vestiges of a fast disappearing frontier. Now high-speed, hard-surfaced roadways carry motorists to within a few miles of the heart of what is still the Empire state wilderness, the Adirondacks. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Adirondack Uranium: A Lewis County Boondoggle

In late summer 1955, after two months of surveying and studying uranium deposits in Saratoga County, Robert Zullo and his partners, George McDonnell and Lewis Lavery, saw their claims publicly dismissed in print by a business rival, who told the Leader-Herald there were “no major deposits of uranium in the Sacandaga region.” Geologist John Bird of Schenectady had been hired by a Wyoming uranium-mining company to survey the area, and after thirty days, he had found uraninite only in “ridiculously small” quantities. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, March 8, 2018

St Lawrence Co Klan History Talk March 15th

A KKK cross-burningAuthor and historian Bryan Thompson will speak on a chapter of the Ku Klux Klan that was active in St. Lawrence County in the 1920s at the next Brown Bag Lunch Series at the St. Lawrence County Historical Association in Canton, NY, on Thursday, March 15th at noon.

Local KKK members held rallies and cross burnings in many towns and hamlets in St. Lawrence County, where they targeted communities of African-Americans, Jews, and Catholics. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, March 7, 2018

The Adirondack Uranium Rush (Part 3)

Under the newly formed Mohawk Mining Company (MMC), the trio of George McDonnell, Lewis Lavery, and Robert Zullo had high hopes of successfully developing uranium deposits they discovered near Batchellerville in Saratoga County. Plans were made for radiometric surveys of the sites, and they began pumping water from two feldspar quarries to examine the deeper rock for additional specimens. Tests were also planned on old piles of mine tailings that caused Geiger counters to react. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Adirondack Rush of ’49: Searching For Uranium

After the big news of a possible uranium ore bed near Plattsburgh failed to pan out in early 1949, the search for ore continued locally and nationally.

Many magazines, including Life (“The Uranium Rush”) and Popular Mechanics (“The ’49 Uranium Rush”) featured stories on the phenomenon that was sweeping the country. The coincidence of timing — the 100th anniversary of the 1849 California gold rush — made for enticing newspaper headlines as well. » Continue Reading.