Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The Underground Railroad’s Lake Champlain Route

The Lake Champlain Basin Program will host Don Papson, co-founder of the North Star Underground Railroad Museum, as he presents “The Champlain Line of the Underground Railroad” on Thursday, March 9, 2017 at the LCBP office in Grand Isle.

Papson, a historian and author from the Adirondack North Country, will discuss the history of the Underground Railroad along Lake Champlain’s western shore. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, March 5, 2017

The Architecture of French Ticonderoga 1755-1759

french vernacular architecture at fort tiFort Ticonderoga’s “Fort Fever Series” continues on Sunday, March 12th, at 2 pm with “Basse Ville: Vernacular Architecture of the Lower Town at Carillon,” presented by Assistant Director of Interpretation, Nicholas Spadone.

This Fort Fever presentation will examine the vernacular architecture of Ticonderoga’s temporary structures and shed light on how the peninsula appeared from 1755-1759. “Today, the impressive stone fort protrudes on the peninsula prominently,” said Nicholas Spadone, Assistant Director of Interpretation.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, March 2, 2017

Great New York Shipwrecks Exhibit in Plattsburgh

the wreck of champlain iiiThe City of Plattsburgh, Lake Champlain Sea Grant and New York Sea Grant are presenting the Great Shipwrecks of NY’s ‘Great’ Lakes Traveling Exhibit at City Hall in Plattsburgh, through April 28, 2017. Admission to the exhibit in the second-floor atrium, adjacent to the auditorium, is free Monday through Friday from 8 am to 4 pm.

The Great Shipwrecks exhibit features shipwrecks spanning more than 200 years across New York State, highlighting details about the historic underwater wrecks and landscapes in Lake Champlain, Lake George, Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, the Finger Lakes, and the St. Lawrence River. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, March 2, 2017

North Country History Day March 4th

A student from St. Mary’s School talks with judges about her project at last year’s North Country History DaySixty students from across the North Country will compete in the regional New York State History Day contest held in the Mars Education Center at Fort Ticonderoga on Saturday, March 4th. Students placing first and second in their categories will advance to the New York State History Day Contest in Cooperstown on April 24th. This year, the presenters are from Clinton, Essex, St. Lawrence, and Warren counties.

Participants research history topics of their choice related to an annual theme and create exhibits, documentaries, performances, research papers, and website designs to present to a panel of judges. This year’s theme is ‘Taking a Stand in History.’ » Continue Reading.


Friday, February 24, 2017

St Lawrence County World War One Centennial Exhibit

To mark the centennial of World War One the Historical Association in Canton is seeking to recognize St. Lawrence County contributions to the war effort as well as the war’s impact on local families.

In honor of the centennial of the United States’ entry into WWI in 1917, the Association has opened a new exhibition, “Come On!: Posters and Portraits of World War I.”

The exhibit shows posters for war bonds alongside photographic portraits of local soldiers. Most of the photos are unidentified, and the museum welcomes visitors who recognize a friend or family member to help identify them. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Crown Point’s Overlooked Role in Freeing Boston, 1776

A few weeks ago in this space appeared the story of Gershom Beach’s remarkable 24-hour recruiting hike in Vermont, rounding up Green Mountain Boys to join their leader, Ethan Allen, in capturing Fort Ticonderoga on the New York side of Lake Champlain. In the end, their combined efforts played a critical role in George Washington’s American troops driving the British from Boston, for the armaments he used came from Fort Ticonderoga and Crown Point. Men serving under Colonel Henry Knox completed the delivery, carrying them south to Albany and east to Boston.

Typically shortchanged in that famous story is the fort at Crown Point, which was captured two days after Ticonderoga fell. Seth Warner, a name very familiar to historians in connection with other military campaigns, commanded the troops that executed the takeover, which met with little resistance. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Louis Seymour: French Louie Talk In Utica Saturday

1900s postcardOn Saturday, February 25 at 1 pm, Regional historian Peter Hemmerich will offer an informative perspective on Louis “French Louie” Seymour at the Oneida County History Center.

Hemmerich will discuss Seymour’s life and travels, touching upon his journeys into Oneida County and the Mohawk Valley. » Continue Reading.


Monday, February 20, 2017

Presentation on Stoddard’s 2,000-Mile Canoe Trip Tuesday

Tuesday, February 21, at 1 pm at the Chapman Museum in Glens Falls, Chapman Curator Jillian Mulder will present an illustrated talk about Seneca Ray Stoddard’s multi-year trip up the Atlantic coast in a canoe entitled Stoddard’s Adventure on “The Atlantis.”

Over the course of five years, from 1883-1887, Glens Falls photographer Seneca Ray Stoddard completed a five stage journey by canoe. Stoddard and a companion traveled down the Hudson River to New York City and northward up the Atlantic coast, finally ending at the Bay of Fundy, Canada. It was the first time a small craft of that size had ventured the nearly 2,000 miles following the New England coast to the Canadian Maritimes. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Ugly History of North Country Nationalism Offers Lessons For Today

Goodness has long been an admirable part of our identity as Americans. It is evident at the national level in our response when natural disasters strike here or abroad. Closer to home, we see it manifested daily in our own Adirondacks and foothills, where people donate, volunteer, and reach out to help others. Our foundation as small-town folk is one of welcoming, caring, sharing.

Along with that comes the knowledge that we’re also lucky to be Americans, lucky to not have been born in some other country where things are much different. Many of the lessons we learned in school were derived from the struggles of others in less fortunate circumstances.

We were taught to appreciate certain rights and freedoms, to speak out against perceived wrongs, to defend the less capable, and to question the directives of those in leadership positions. In some countries, those rights are viewed as privileges for the chosen few, or are not available at all. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Saranac Lake Book Launch On Susan B. Anthony’s Birthday Wednesday

On February 15, 2017 at 7 pm, celebrate Susan B. Anthony’s 196th Birthday with a book launch at Lake Flower Landing (421 Lake Flower Avenue) in Saranac Lake.

Sandra Weber’s new book, The Woman Suffrage Statue: A History of the Portrait Monument to Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony in the U.S. Capitol (McFarland & Company, 2016), recounts the jubilation, condemnation, and hullabaloo surrounding the Portrait Monument to Lucretia Mott, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony.

The neoclassical work of art seemed destined to provoke controversy; it was an unconventional form with a strange unfinished appearance, composed of portraits of real women and a mysterious fourth hump, and inscribed with a provocative message. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, February 9, 2017

The Revolutionary War ‘Ride’ of Gershom Beach

Here’s the opening stanza from “Paul Revere’s Ride”:

Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.

Less than a month later, at a different location but with the same cadence, Longfellow could have written: » Continue Reading.


Saturday, February 4, 2017

The Crego Family: Three Generations of Adirondack Guides

Crego Farmhouse,In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, three generations of the Crego family worked as wilderness guides in the Western Adirondacks. Along the way, they raised families, worked for prominent employers, adapted to new forms of transportation, and helped lay the groundwork for the conservation movement in New York State. » Continue Reading.


Friday, February 3, 2017

1980 Lake Placid Olympics Scoreboard Being Replaced

lake placid olympic center scoreboard

The scoreboard that chronicled historical moments and the United States’ improbable run to the 1980 Olympic Winter Games gold medal will be lit one more time on February 6th at 1 pm, before being taken down to make way for a new Daktronics video board.

The scoreboard has hung high from the center ice rafters of the Olympic 1980 Herb Brooks Arena in Lake Placid for the last 37 years.  In addition to its duties during the 1980 Olympics, the scoreboard has registered NHL, minor, junior, collegiate, high school and tournament scores. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, February 2, 2017

Billy Richards, ‘the Armless Wonder’: Playing the Hand You’re Dealt

While researching a pair of books on North Country iron mining, I unexpectedly became privy to tragedies that many families faced. Mining accidents were frequent and involved excessive violence, often resulting in death. Victims were sometimes pancaked — literally — by rock falls, and their remains were recovered with scraping tools. Others were blown to pieces by dynamite explosions, usually as the result of, in mining parlance, “hitting a missed hole.”

The “missed hole” nomenclature refers to unexploded dynamite charges accidentally detonated later by another miner when his drill made contact with the material or caused a spark. The resulting blast was often fatal, but not always. Those who survived were usually blinded, burned badly, or maimed in some fashion.

In 1878, in Crown Point’s iron mines at Hammondville, near Lake Champlain, a young laborer, Billy Richards, was tasked with holding a star drill (basically a hand-held chisel with a star point) against the ore face while his partner — his step-father, Richard George — struck it with a sledge hammer. Through this commonly used teamwork method, a cadence developed whereby the star drill was struck and the holder then turned it slightly before it was struck again. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Lawyers Argue In Court Over Adirondack Rail-Trail Proposal

Railroad crossing over Bog River. Photo by Phil BrownAfter months of delay, lawyers for the state and the Adirondack Railway Preservation Society squared off in court Monday over the future of a 34-mile stretch of tracks between Lake Placid and Tupper Lake.

At the end of the 45-minute hearing in Malone, acting State Supreme Court Justice Robert G. Main Jr. reserved decision on whether to block the state from tearing up the tracks and converting the corridor into a multi-use recreational trail.

The judge also asked the state to provide more information on the ownership of the railroad corridor.

» Continue Reading.