Saturday, June 22, 2019

Keene Living History Website Goes Online

Adirondack Community courtesy Bethany GarretsonOn Saturday, June 15, the Keene Valley Library welcomed 35 members of the public to celebrate the launch of myadirondackstory.org, a website for the multi-year history project Adirondack Community: Capturing, Retaining, and Communicating the Stories of Who We Are.

Anyone with an internet connection can access the project’s collection of audio stories and related photographs. To date, the website hosts 34 accounts told by Keene residents about the rich social and cultural history of their community in New York State’s Adirondack Mountains. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Horse and Carriage Blocks Had Many Uses (Conclusion)

Because of their intended function, horse blocks were accessible to anyone and there was no reason to guard them — except for one night of the year. Pranksters annually targeted them in several ways on Halloween: flipping them if they were too heavy to carry off, piling several on the property of an unsuspecting owner, or placing them in unusual locations, like in the middle of road intersections.

A drastic change in transportation technology — the automobile — marked the beginning of the end for horse travel and several related items that were present just about everywhere: horse blocks, hitching posts, and watering troughs. Progress required the removal of many horse blocks, which had become obstructions to pedestrians and were frequently struck by cars, sometimes causing fatalities. (Driving skills were seriously lacking early on, and there were few regulations, so accidents were common.) » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Sunday on Valcour Island, Lighthouse Tours

The Clinton County Historical Association will host “Sunday on Valcour Island” on Sunday, July 14th, 2019.

The day include tours of the historic Bluff Point Lighthouse on Valcour Island. The trip requires the physical ability to disembark and board from the island’s natural landing, walking on uneven surfaces over rough terrain and climbing stairs. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Guided Lake Champlain Bridge Walk, June 22

Chimney Point State Historic Site in Addison, Vermont, and Crown Point State Historic Site in Crown Point, New York are set to host a guided walk on Saturday, June 22 from 11 am to 1 pm. Site administrator Elsa Gilbertson (VT) and Lisa Polay, Crown Point site manager, will lead this “Points of Interest” guided bridge walk. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Historic 1930s Girl Scout Camp Reopens to Campers

eagle island camp 2016

After a decade of disuse, the 116-year-old National Historic Landmark on Eagle Island will again be a children’s summer camp. Eagle Island Camp is starting small and with two one-week sessions of day camp for 4th, 5th, or 6th graders.

Eagle Island Camp is a Great Camp designed by architect William Coulter that contains some of his most notable rustic work. The 30-acre island is located below Upper Saranac Lake’s narrows east of Gilpin Bay. The camp was built in 1903 for Levi P. Morton, U.S. Vice President under Benjamin Harrison and later Governor of New York. » Continue Reading.


Monday, June 17, 2019

NYS Tree Nursery Honors Forest Preserve Advocate

Tree Planting on Streets and Roads by William FoxThe New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced they have renamed the State Tree Nursery in Saratoga Springs the “Colonel William F. Fox Memorial Saratoga Tree Nursery.”

Born William Freeman Fox on January 11, 1840, in Ballston Spa, just miles from the tree nursery on Route 50, he studied engineering at Union College for three years. In 1862, at 22, Fox joined the Army of the Potomac as a Captain commanding Company C of the 107th New York Volunteer Infantry. Shortly afterward, he saw his first combat in at the Battle of Antietam, considered among the bloodiest days in U.S. history. Fox was wounded in this battle, as well as at the Battle of Chancellorsville, where he served as a Major, and the Battle of Resaca, where he served as a Lieutenant Colonel. He was discharged from the U.S. Army on July 8, 1864.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Once Common Horse Blocks Weren’t Just for Horses and Carriages

The most popular genre by far on nighttime television through the 1960s? Westerns. While children were allowed to watch some of them, several shows specifically geared towards the younger set were shown on Saturday morning. Watching heroes — Roy Rogers, the Lone Ranger, and Zorro, three of the best — escape tense situations and catch bad guys was unforgettable.

Among the skills of any cowboy star (or stuntman stand-in) worth his salt were the hurried mounting and high-speed dismounting of horses (usually their own faithful steed, of course). It’s an impressive feat when you consider that horses are pretty high off the ground — which brings us to our main subject: how to get down off a horse. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Great Camp Sagamore Community Day Sunday

Great Camp Sagamore main lodgeGreat Camp Sagamore in Raquette Lake is hosting Community Day brunch this Sunday, June 16, from 10:30 am to 1:30 pm. The trails will be open to the public for hiking, with tours of the property and the historic buildings available from 10 am to 4 pm. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, June 11, 2019

New Historic Saranac Lake Exhibit Celebrates the Arts

art of the cureHistoric Saranac Lake has announced an opening reception for “The Art of the Cure,” a new exhibit in the John Black Room of the Saranac Laboratory Museum, located 89 Church Street.

This exhibit highlights Saranac Lake’s rich history of the arts. The Trudeau Sanatorium and the Study and Craft Guild offered groundbreaking occupational therapy programs to tuberculosis patients, many of whom went on to become accomplished artists, writers, and craftspeople. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Clinton County History Conference Planned

Clinton County, NY Map 1856A Clinton County History Conference has been set for Saturday, June 22, 2019 from 9 am to 3 pm, at the Beekmantown Town Hall, 571 Spellman Road, West Chazy.

The conference will is planned with historians and interested members of the public in mind.  Topics will include preserving historic buildings, erecting historic markers, encouraging heritage tourism, safely preserving grave stones, and local genealogy. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, June 9, 2019

12th Annual Adirondack Coast Museums Weekend

Adirondack Coast Cultural AllianceThe Adirondack Coast Cultural Alliance is set to host the 12th Annual Museum Days Weekend throughout Clinton County on June 15-16, 2019, inviting visitors and residents to explore the area’s wealth of museums, galleries and cultural organizations. From 10 am to 4 pm on Saturday and Sunday, participating locations will offer free admission, including demonstrations, tours, exhibits, hands-on activities, and more.

This year’s event coincides with the first of two New York State “Path Through History” Weekends in 2019. The full Museum Days Weekend schedule will be published is on the Adirondack Coast Cultural Alliance website. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, June 6, 2019

John Brown Farm Nature Programs Planned

john brown livesJohn Brown Farm has announced a number of nature programs set to run in June.

Conservation biologist and photographer Larry Master will lead a guided bird walk on Saturday, June 8, from 7 to 9 am, and a guided butterfly walk on Saturday, July 13, from 9:30 to 11:30 am. Rain dates are June 15 and July 14, respectively. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Golfer Babe Ruth Played at Plattsburgh’s Hotel Champlain

Babe Didrikson’s visit to the North Country in 1934 was historic, especially for Plattsburgh, where it was acknowledged as one of the greatest moments in the city’s history. She was an American hero (thanks to a startling performance in the 1932 Olympics), undeniably one of the world’s top athletes, and a phenomenon because of her high levels of talent in various sports. Plattsburgh’s remote location in New York’s northeast corner makes it difficult to get noticed, so Didrikson’s visit was regarded as a major coup.

Coincidentally, she wasn’t the only Babe from the stratosphere of sports fame to visit Plattsburgh in the 1930s. Even more unlikely is that both Babes were among the most famous athletes in America, and both were able competitors in sports other than the one that brought them the greatest fame. Didrikson, a track-and-field gold medalist, brought her basketball team to Plattsburgh, while Babe Ruth, a baseball giant, came north to play in an international golf tournament. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, June 2, 2019

Prohibition Stories from the Adirondacks

I’m sure each corner of the Adirondacks has its own stories of bootleggers, moonshine, and the 18th Amendment prohibiting the production, sale, and transportation of alcoholic beverages.

Adirondack Almanack founder John Warren has one in his family. Families in little Beaver River over in Herkimer County, and in Hague and Witherbee have stories, as does about every family that remains from that time.

Each year Chestertown remembers the Prohibition Era with its Rum Runners Weekend and the 3rd Annual Wilmington Historical Society Whiskey Run on June 15th features a speakeasy.

As the centennial of the start of Prohibition approaches, the Adirondack History Museum in Elizabethtown is also showcasing Adirondack stories from the era. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, June 1, 2019

A North Country Man Exposed Racism, Confronted It, and Helped Bring About Change

In the late 1970s, the New York State Human Rights Commissioner was about to find the Plattsburgh Elks Club guilty of violating state laws against racial discrimination. Rather than acquiesce, the club opted for a drastic, self-punishing move: refusing all public rentals of its facilities rather than allow local blacks to rent them. Surrendering their official “public accommodation function” (under state regulations, renting the building or grounds to anyone) was accomplished by adopting a new rule: “The use of the club’s facilities and accommodations shall be granted only to members of the Elks, to sodalities, auxiliaries, and other organizations associated or affiliated with the Elks, and to their guests.” » Continue Reading.



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