Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Whiteface Ski History Slideshow in Placid Thursday

The Wilmington Historical Society will present “Whiteface Ski History” at the Lake Placid Olympic Museum, located in the Olympic Center, on Thursday, Feb. 8, at 7 pm.

The free presentation will include an overview of Wilmington’s Whiteface Mountain ski area history from the 1940s to the 1980 Olympics. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, February 4, 2018

Soldiers of Color at Fort Ticonderoga Feb 11th

fort ticonderoga reenactmentFort Ticonderoga’s “Fort Fever Series” continues on Sunday, February 11, at 2 pm with a program on “Soldiers of Color at Ticonderoga” presented by Stuart Lilie, Vice President of Public History and Operations.

This program will focus on the diversity of soldiers who fought at Ticonderoga and examine how attitudes about soldiers of color varied dramatically within the numerous armies and empires that held Ticonderoga. The program is part of the National Black History Month celebration.

The great campaigns of the French & Indian War and Revolutionary War have frequently been envisioned with long battle lines of soldiers as equally white as they were uniform. However, small, but significant numbers of African or African-American soldiers appear in nearly every army that came to Ticonderoga. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, February 3, 2018

Pop Bullock: Notable Beaver River Guide

pop bullockMonroe H. “Pop” Bullock was born in December 1846 high on the Tug Hill Plateau in Lewis County. He was the son of Hiram and Almeda Bullock who owned a farm just to the west of the village of Worth. Hiram was the son of Leonard Bullock, earliest settler of Worth, who moved to the area in 1802.

Hiram’s brother, Leonard Bullock, Jr. owned the farm next door. The crossroad between the two Bullock farms was known as Bullock’s Corners. By 1850 the family had moved into the village of Rodman where Hiram and Almeda operated a boardinghouse. This enterprise apparently did not work out well, for by 1860 the family had moved west and resumed farming, this time in Grundy County in northeastern Illinois. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Lost in the Boreas Country: Herbert Short, 1930 (Conclusion)

Word of the manhunt for Herbert Short had reached both Auburn and Dannemora prisons, and soon after, searchers were joined by a team of 20 corrections officers from Dannemora. For them the effort was deeply personal: they were, after all, desperately hoping to find their good friend alive and well.

But he had gone missing on November 5, and an estimated 100 searchers had found nothing after several days. On November 9, Tremaine Hughes, a pilot among the state troopers’ ranks, took to the air in what was described as the first aerial effort by the police on a missing-person mission. Heavy bags of clothes and food were sent aloft, to be dropped if Short were sighted. But the effort proved fruitless. Searchers on the ground said they could hear the plane at times, but the woods were so thick that, even without leaves on the trees, they couldn’t see Hughes circling above them. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Lost in Boreas Country: Herbert Short, 1930

In early November 1930, a hunting party in the Boreas River area split up to do what Adirondack hunters so often do: execute a deer drive. Among those taking part were Lew Buck, Leo Adams, Edward White, Murray Short, and Murray’s brother Herbert. Herb was a corrections officer who had recently been promoted and transferred to Auburn Prison from Clinton Prison in Dannemora. It was Dannemora that provided the link between him and the other men: Buck was the village’s former postmaster, White was a retired Clinton keeper, and his close friend Adams still worked there as a guard.

Concern mounted at day’s end when the men reassembled and Herbert was a no-show. But he was a very experienced woodsman, and the entire party was aware that a storm was moving into the area, so in that sense he was prepared for anything. His companions surmised he may have been turned around while trying to get back to camp before the snow fell. At that point, the explanations they considered carried reassurances that everything was OK, or soon would be. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, January 20, 2018

Stoddard As Art Photographer

stoddard photography“Water and Light,” a selection of images from Seneca Ray Stoddard’s Lake George portfolio exhibited at the Chapman Historical Museum last summer, has been reimagined as a new, ground-breaking book on Stoddard’s photography.

The 160-page volume, featuring 150 images selected and reproduced by Chapman director Tim Weidner, includes interpretive and biographical essays by Joseph Cutshall-King, the historian who led the Chapman when the Museum acquired its Stoddard collection from Maitland De Sormo in 1977. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, January 13, 2018

SUNY Adirondack Offering Online NYS History Course

New York History MapSUNY Adirondack has announced they are offering an online course on New York State History for the 2018 Spring semester.

The semester begins on January 22nd and ends on May 10th. The course is a 200-level undergraduate course, but students may work at the graduate level after consultation with the instructor. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Sam Coplon: A Santa Claus Worth Remembering (Conclusion)

In June 1932, Sam Coplon recognized a second opportunity to cheer Adirondack children. Adding something new to his repertoire, he visited the offices of the North Creek Enterprise, which had advertised his upcoming appearance to distribute cap guns to any and all boys ages 8 to 12, and gifts for girls as well. The noisy guns, which allowed children to join Fourth of July celebrations, were made by the firm he had long represented as a salesman, Riemann, Seabrey Company (the name by then changed from a hyphen to a comma). » Continue Reading.


Sunday, January 7, 2018

Save America’s Treasures Program Seeks Grant Applicants

save americas treasuresThe National Park Service, in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities, is accepting applications for $5 million in matching grants to support the preservation of nationally significant historic properties and collections through the Save America’s Treasures program. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, January 3, 2018

The Last, Lost Colvin Survey Report of 1898

Along the banks of the Hudson at North River, and further south on highway pull-offs from Route 28, are some of the Adirondack Park’s best interpretive stops.

Sturdy, visually appealing and informative exhibits coupled with well-designed DOT parking along the Hudson River have attracted visitors and residents for years to turn off the engine, breathe deeply, eat lunch, listen to the river and learn from the exhibits. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Fort Ticonderoga Living History Event Jan 13th

Preparing for the Coming Campaign Living History EventFort Ticonderoga has planned its next living history event “Preparing for the Coming Campaign,” for Saturday, January 13, 2018.

A full day of programs include guided tours, weapons demonstrations, and even a tasting of colonial chocolate along with a program on the importance that this food item played in the lives of American soldiers and camp followers at Ticonderoga. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Santa Claus Sam’s Adirondack Gift Giving

In 1930, Sam Coplon, the Santa Claus of the Adirondacks, was doing well financially but was by no means wealthy. The house he owned in Brooklyn was worth the equivalent of $230k in 2017, and served as home to his wife Rebecca, son Bertram (13), and daughter Judith (8), along with Rebecca’s mother and sister.

As he did each year, Samuel gathered a huge collection of Christmas gifts that winter and personally bore the cost of shipping them to North Creek. In previous seasons, this constituted upwards of 30 large crates or containers, a number that would soon increase. His employer and several of their clients donated toys and games at Sam’s behest, adding to the joy of children in the Adirondacks. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, December 28, 2017

Santa Claus Sam’s North Creek Operations

Things appeared to be going well for Sam Coplon, the Santa Claus of the Adirondacks, but major change was in the works. Samuel had begun working as an Albany city clerk, limiting his ability to oversee the two business locations in Warren County. After spending several weeks at Johnsburgh in early 1910, he announced a going-out-of-business sale, offering all the hardware and furniture in his stores along with his horse, rig, and everything else related to operations there. By year’s end, most of the stock was gone. At Christmas time, he loaded a sleigh with toys and other gift items for delivery to homes across the area in what would become an annual tradition.

Years later, he recalled fondly the warm feelings generated by giving openly to beloved friends and neighbors, recognizing that many families, some of them quite large, struggled financially, and that even small luxuries were rarities in their lives. His remedy was to provide toys and games as Christmas gifts to show that someone cared.

In January 1911, he offered special closeout deals to folks in the Johnsburgh area before shuttering both business locations. For the remainder of the year, he made visits of several days each to the homes of friends in Johnsburgh, Bakers Mills, and Garnet, tended to his summer home, and made the gift-giving rounds again at Christmas. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, December 21, 2017

Lake Champlain Naval History Program At Fort Ti

redoubts and batteries at Ticonderoga on Lake ChamplainFort Ticonderoga’s “Fort Fever Series” begins on Sunday, January 7, at 2 pm with “Vigilance and Discipline to be Observed through all the Vessels” presented by Nicholas Spadone, Director of Interpretation.

Fort Ticonderoga’s military history in the American Revolution extends well beyond just the land. Strategy and tactics were developed to command Lake Champlain and Lake George. British Royal Navy vessels on Lake Champlain demonstrate the strength and extent needed to attack American-held Ticonderoga as well as supply and defend Ticonderoga during British occupation. This presentation will include the design, construction, and legacy of the British Royal Navy vessels on Lake Champlain between 1775 and 1781. » Continue Reading.


Monday, December 18, 2017

Sam Coplon: Santa Claus of the Adirondacks

The collection of letters to Santa that appeared in this space last week epitomized life in the rural regions of northern New York a century ago. At Christmastime, children from families living a common, low-income existence asked Santa for the simplest of items: a pencil and notepad, candy and nuts, or clothing to keep them warm in the winter. Toys and playthings were often secondary requests if they appeared at all.

But the simple desires from long ago reflected something other than just poverty. A good number of rural folks were self-sufficient, and all family members, even young children, took part in the daily chores of life: working the fields and garden, milking cows, collecting eggs, adding logs to the fire, and so on. An early understanding of the effort behind daily sustenance was evident in children’s annual humble Christmas yearnings for pencils, books, and treats for the tummy, suggesting an appreciation for things in general, and gifts in particular.

Among those who came to the Adirondacks and developed a deep admiration for this rustic lifestyle was Samuel Coplon, who embraced the people, reciprocated their generosity, and in time became a nationally known hero of North Country Christmases, earning him the title Santa Claus of the Adirondacks. » Continue Reading.