Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Gouverneur, The U.S. Constitution And The Adirondacks

13We all know that Thomas Jefferson gets credit for writing the Declaration Of Independence. As important as that historical document is however, it’s the Constitution that dictates how democracy works in the United States. But who was its author?

James Madison of Virginia has been called the “Father of the U.S. Constitution”.  Some historians say no other delegate was better prepared for the Constitutional Convention, and no one contributed more to shaping the final document. It was Gouverneur Morris, the New York City native and Pennsylvania delegate (at 36, the youngest), who the Rutledge Committee asked to pull together the disparate ideas and thoughts of the convention and mold them into a single document.  Morris immediately went to work – in four days he had a full draft ready. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Bissell’s Store Owner Leaves Big Gift For Newcomb

MarvinBissellA frugal business owner who loved his community has left a bequest to support it in perpetuity.

Marvin Bissell, who owned and operated Bissell’s Store in Newcomb until July 2013, passed away that November. Before his death, he established the Bissell Fund for Grave Markers at Adirondack Foundation, which will provide support for cemeteries and historic preservation in the Essex County town of Newcomb. The fund recently awarded its first grant to the town: $25,000 for the Newcomb Cemetery project and other revitalization efforts. » Continue Reading.


Monday, September 14, 2015

How Well Do You Know The Battle of Plattsburgh?

BattleofpburgWikiIn the spirit of the September 10–13 Battle of Plattsburgh commemoration (check out what you missed, and make plans to attend next year), here’s a little Q & A fun from the battle itself, the War of 1812, and Lake Champlain history.

The answers immediately follow each question, so if you enjoy testing yourself and/or others, don’t peek. And if you’re not familiar with the Battle of Plattsburgh, it’s a fantastic story of Americans triumphing against great odds in both a land and water battle. As much as anything else, the victory at Plattsburgh helped end the war. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, September 10, 2015

History Hike Planned Near Penfield Museum

Morris Glenn Leading tour convertChamplain Area Trails (CATS) will present “On the Trail to the Monitor,” a short hike led by local historian Morris Glenn on Saturday, September 12 from 10 am to 1 pm.

The hike will begin at the Penfield Museum, 703 Creek Rd., in Crown Point. Participants will follow a short and easy half-mile route along the Old Ironville Road and Penfield Pond Trails as Glenn presents information on the history of the area and the USS Monitor. The Monitor was the first ironclad warship commissioned by the Union Navy during the American Civil War. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Battle of Plattsburgh Weekend, Sept 10-13

IMG_1318In the past the Battle of Plattsburgh Commemoration had grown into a two-week celebration. Now, for the first year, the City of Plattsburgh has condensed the commemoration into a tightly packed four-day celebration this weekend, September 10-13.

According to Sandra Geddes, Promotions and Special Events Coordinator for the City of Plattsburgh, the goal for shortening the event was to bring the focus back to the historical aspect of the battle, keep all the elements that brought a variety of people to the area and present it all in a more concise format. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Lyon Mountain Iron Miners Personified Labor Day

LyMtMinesRaiseLabor Day honors the labor movement and the contributions of America’s workers, concepts that have been driven home for me many times through interviews with old-timers who helped build this country. Typical among them was Floyd Bracey, a proud Lyon Mountain iron miner who passed away in 1993. Referring to my factory job back then as “work” seemed unfair after learning about Mr. Bracey’s daily routine of more than three decades.

What follows are excerpts from our conversation in 1980 at the Bracey home in Lyon Mountain, about ten minutes west of Dannemora. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Newcomb’s TR Weekend September 11-13

TR Weekend logoThe Town of Newcomb will celebrate author, statesman, naturalist and historian Theodore Roosevelt at the annual TR Weekend, September 11-13, 2015.

The event includes re-enactors portraying TR (Joe Wiegand) and his mother, wife, two daughters, and niece (portrayed by five Newcomb Central School seniors). Also scheduled are free guided tours by horse-drawn wagon of Great Camp Santanoni, a bike tour of the Essex Chain Lakes, tours of the Upper Works mining area, a woodsmens’ demonstration, fishing tournament and other events for children, an ice cream social, and fireworks. “Meet The Roosevelt Women” will take place on Saturday at 6:30 pm at the Newcomb High Peaks Overlook on Route 28N.  » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Present at the Creation: The APA’s Job Left Undone

Adirondack life story present at the creationThis piece first appeared in Adirondack Life in 1989 at the time of the appointment of Governor Mario Cuomo’s ill-fated Commission on the Adirondacks in the 21st Century (the Berle Commission).

The six-million acre area for which the Adirondack Park Agency was charged in 1971 to design and enforce a land-use master plan was filled with a poten­tial for conflict in direct proportion to its vast size. To some, the APA was Big Brother, set up by downstate in­terests to turn their homeland into a wilderness for the pleasure of the rich. To others it was a bold stroke of vision, a stab at preserving the character of the Adirondacks before it was over­run by development that would for­ever subdivide Forever Wild. » Continue Reading.


Monday, August 31, 2015

Chet Ross: One Of Warren County’s Finest Pitchers

Chet Ross PitcherThe rector of his Bolton Landing parish, as well as his own father, concluded early that Chet Ross had nothing on his mind but baseball. “I was like a hound dog,” said Ross. “I only went home when I was hungry.”

That dedication allowed Ross to avoid trouble – he never once appeared before his uncle, Bolton Town Justice Jim Ross – and, more important, it enabled him to become one of Warren County’s finest pitchers ever.

The local press dubbed him “Bolton’s husky hurler.” » Continue Reading.


Monday, August 31, 2015

In Whitehall A Twisted Take On Civil War History

The 123rd New York Volunteer Infantry represented Washington County, New York, in the Civil War. Final casualty totals were about 166 dead (69 on the battlefield) and 158 wounded. Among those were 16 killed and 16 wounded from the town of Whitehall. The dead represent 16 grieving families and great loss for the community, a theme replayed again and again across the country.

Among the key words defining America is union, as in the opening words of the Constitution: “We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union…,” and as in pledging “allegiance to the flag of the United States of America.” Yes, it’s even in our name—not America, but the United States of America. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, August 29, 2015

Pete Nelson: Make Newcomb A Hub Of Ecotourism

Newcomb ViewThere has been a long-held belief  about Newcomb among many Adirondackers visitors and residents alike – there’s nothing there.  I’ve heard this about Newcomb on and off for thirty years. It’s Nonsense!

Sure, I don’t deny that the Newcomb area could benefit from more places to dine and stay the night. But I can’t think of any place better equipped to appeal to one class of tourist the Adirondack region has so far mostly ignored: ecotourism. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Unique ‘Five Formidable Forts’ Tour Planned

Crown Point - Photo by John WarrenThe public is invited to take a once-ever packaged tour, on Saturday, September 12, 2015, of Champlain lake shore sites where five military forts were built between 238 and 325 years ago.

Historians will lead guests on a tour of the archaeological sites of two early forts (1660, 1731) at Chimney Point in Addison, Vermont; the ruins of two forts (1734, 1759) in Crown Point, New York; and a Revolution War fort site (1776) in Orwell, Vermont. » Continue Reading.


Monday, August 24, 2015

Lake Champlain Bridge History Tour Planned

Crown Point Bridge Lake Champlain by John WarrenOn Sunday, August 30, 2015, at 1 pm, history and views from the Lake Champlain Bridge will be the highlights of a guided bridge walk offered by the Chimney Point State Historic Site in Addison, Vermont, and Crown Point State Historic Site in Crown Point, New York.  Site manager Elsa Gilbertson (VT) and historian Tom Hughes (NY) will lead the tour.

Participants should meet at the Chimney Point State Historic Site museum on the Vermont end of the bridge to start.  Allow two hours to walk back and forth across the bridge during the tour that explores the 9,000 years of human habitation at this important location on Lake Champlain.  » Continue Reading.


Saturday, August 22, 2015

Raquette Lake Mystery: An Albany Mayor’s Secret Irish Family

George Thacher SrOne mystery remains which my research into the early cabins on Raquette Lake’s Indian Point has never fully solved. Why did the last two generations of our family have no knowledge of the original Thacher cabin on Indian Point from 1878-1886? Why are there no photos or drawings? Why was it abandoned?

Today, my family is proud of its Irish heritage thanks to the courage of my grandfather Kenelm R. Thacher in marrying Catherine Callahan.  Family lore has it that after the marriage Kenelm Thacher was labeled the black sheep of the family, the result of the bigotry toward Catholics by members of my Protestant family.  My aunt spoke of certain Thacher family members who crossed the street in downtown Albany, rather than converse with her parents.  It turns out however, that my grandfather was not the first Thacher to marry a Catholic, to the chagrin of some of his family. » Continue Reading.


Friday, August 21, 2015

Ticonderoga’s Largest Revolutionary War Event of The Year

IMG_0227 - CopyFort Ticonderoga and more than 700 re-enactors will play host to a two-day battle re-enactment highlighting Brown’s Raid of 1777, an attack led by patriot Colonel John Brown to take the British troops garrisoned at the fort by surprise 238 years ago.

The event takes place on Saturday and Sunday, September 12-13, from 9:30 am until 5 pm.  Historic interpreters and re-enactors from across the northeast will bring to life the little-known 1777 action with special programs in the British held Fort and the American camps throughout the weekend. The Brown’s Raid battle re-enactment will take place each day at 1 pm when the raiders will attack the British held lines overlooking Fort Ticonderoga. » Continue Reading.


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