Sunday, July 8, 2018

Ensuring Even Greater Success at Camp Santanoni

Santanoni Main Lodge from Air by Jed ThoneWe appreciate Dave Gibson taking an interest in the future of Camp Santanoni (“Bill Would Wrest Away Santanoni Success”) and there’s much about his piece we agree with.

There are also a few significant errors that should be addressed and, most importantly, we’d like to try to answer the question posed by the recent, proposed Santanoni legislation – why might OPRHP be a better state steward than DEC? » Continue Reading.


Friday, July 6, 2018

Mount Arab Fire Tower Centennial Event

mount arab fire towerFriends of Mount Arab are set to celebrate the 100th birthday of the Mount Arab fire tower on Saturday, August 11th from 9 am to 2 pm.

Friends of Mount Arab board members will be at the trailhead. Steward and board member Tom Cullen will be at the summit observer’s cabin. It is a short jaunt to the summit, 1 mile each way, and the ascent is very family-friendly. The Adirondack Mountain Club recently organized a Trail Steward Workshop on Mount Arab, and all the waterbars are greatly improved. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, July 5, 2018

John Casilear: Life As An Emerging Artist

Notable American engraver John Casilear took on various projects, including vignettes for book illustrations. In 1839, he worked on the designs for The Token and Atlantic Souvenir, an annual gift book whose contributors at the time included Nathaniel Hawthorne. But in 1840 he embarked on a new adventure, assuming the life of a painter, which began with a trip to Europe to sketch scenery and study the work of the Old Masters.

His companions on the journey were portrait artist Thomas Rossiter and Casilear’s two best friends, John Kensett and Asher Durand. All would one day be identified as artists of the Hudson River School.

They traveled on the world’s largest steamship, the British Queen, and spent much of their time in the countryside on sketching trips, plus viewing the works of European artists at every opportunity. Among the cities they visited were London, Rome, and Paris. Experts later noted the influence of France’s Claude Lorrain as evident in many of Casilear’s landscapes. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Luzerne: Holocaust Survivor Murray Jaros’s Story

luzerne illustrationHolocaust survivor Murray Jaros is set to give a talk at the Hadley-Luzerne Public Library, 19 Main Street, Lake Luzerne, on Thursday, July 12th at 7 pm.

The talk – “My Story from Nazi Germany to the Solace of Lake Luzerne” – looks at Jaros’s days as a young boy in Nazi Germany, his family’s trials and tribulations, escaping the Nazis, his survival during months of hiding and his eventual journey to Lake Luzerne. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, July 1, 2018

Azure Mountain’s Fire Tower Centennial

azure mountain The first time I went up Azure Mountain, it was because I’d read about it in a trail guide – it was only a mile hike so I thought it would be pretty easy. The trail started out very gradually, passing a small clearing with an old stone fire place and a picnic table. (I would later learn that’s where the fire observer’s cabin was located.) But after that, the trail became steep. Only a few switchbacks, then practically straight up the mountain – a 900+ foot elevation gain in a pretty short distance. On one stretch there were even a couple of bare poles, leaning at rakish angles, with insulators on the top. (They once held the telephone wire that went up to the fire tower). » Continue Reading.


Saturday, June 30, 2018

John Casilear’s Love Affair with Lake George

Artistry — in terms of painting, drawing, sketching, etc. — escapes me. While I admire and enjoy it, the combination of vision, creativity, and especially ability seems foreign, even though I lived with it while growing up. Through learning to read and constantly employing skills in that area, I gradually developed a certain comfort in the world of words, but none of it came to me magically, which is how I viewed the artistic capabilities of two of my siblings: without any lessons or instructions, they could just do it. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, June 27, 2018

At Eagle’s Nest: Ned Buntline In The Adirondacks

ned buntline

Stocky red-bearded Ned Buntline, the unruly dime novelist, and Buffalo Bill’s promoter was born Edward Zane Carroll Judson in 1823. He left home at thirteen and took to the high seas, and at fifteen he had already worked as a cabin boy on a freighter bound for the Caribbean, become a midshipman, and published his first story. He chose the pen name Buntline as a reminder of his sailing days (a buntline was a rope at the bottom of a square sail).

When his maritime career ended, he spent the next two years, by his own embellished accounts, killing buffaloes and grizzlies and roaming the western plains for the Northwest Fur Company. In 1844 while writing for a New York “flash” newspaper, the Knickerbocker, he started his own magazine, Ned Buntline’s Own. It was mixture of adventure stories and scandalous gossip in the flash press style. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Chazy Summer Fair to Mark World War One Centennial

alice t miner museumAlice T. Miner Museum and the William H. Miner Agricultural Research Institute will hold a Centennial Summer Fair, Saturday, July 14th at Miner Institute in Chazy, from 1 to 4 pm.

This event will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I and will also serve as a fundraiser for the United Way of the Adirondack Region.

The Fair will give visitors the opportunity to learn about the significance of World War I and enjoy period-themed entertainment and refreshments. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, June 24, 2018

Blue Mountain Lake: Chauncey Hathorn and Bennett Brothers

arctic houseOn a cool autumn evening in 1874, 19-year-old Edward Bennett stood in line holding his two-dollar ticket and waited to board the night boat to Albany. If all went as scheduled, he would arrive by morning just in time to catch the train to Saratoga. There the newly opened Adirondack railroad would take him to the last stop on the line, North Creek, one of the gateways to the Adirondacks. Those who would come to know him as a robust mature adult would not have recognized this skinny, pale Irish farmhand.

And anyone inquiring as to his destination must have smiled when he told them that he was headed for a remote lake in Hamilton County, one of the least populated sections of the woods. The entire county had less than 3,000 souls living on 1,721 square miles, that’s well over a million acres of forest land. The winters were as brutal as they were long; four months, and temperatures as low as -40. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, June 21, 2018

Santa’s Workshop Doc Premiering In Placid June 23rd

north pole nyA new documentary film, North Pole, NY is set to premier at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts (LPCA), 17 Algonquin Drive, on Saturday, June 23 at 7 pm. A Q & A with Director Ali Cotterill and Producer Christa Orth will follow.

North Pole, NY is a revealing look at the battle for survival of one of the first theme parks in the U.S., Santa’s Workshop, in Wilmington. The film examines the park’s legacy, the dedicated staff and loyal residents, and its struggles to survive in the larger context of the decline of the American roadside attraction.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Something BIG Was Once Afoot in the Adirondacks

This appears to be the easiest North Country riddle ever, but humor me and give it a try anyway. What is very tall, very hairy, probably didn’t smell very good, and set tongues wagging when it was seen in the northern Adirondacks several times in early 1933? Just to be safe, take a moment and think about it. Hey, you never know — it could be a trick question. But if you’re still stumped or not certain of your answer, here’s another clue that might prove the clincher: it was known for having very large (OK … BIG) feet.

If you answered anything other than Gil Reichert, you’ve been successfully misled. No apologies here, though, for the description above fits both Reichert and your likely choice (Bigfoot) to a T. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, June 10, 2018

Adirondack Coast Museum Days 2018 Set

Babbie Rural & Farm Learning MuseumThe Adirondack Coast Cultural Alliance’s Annual Museum Days will take place Saturday and Sunday, June 16-17, 2018.

Sixteen museums and historic sites will offer free admission from 10 am to 4 pm.

Residents and visitors are encouraged to explore Clinton County’s artistic, agricultural, military, and industrial heritage through exhibits, demonstrations, and hands-on activities. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, June 7, 2018

Tour Underground RR, Antislavery Sites in Keeseville, Peru

north star underground railroad musuemThe North Star Underground Railroad Museum has announced the return of its popular mini-bus tours of antislavery and underground railroad sites in Keeseville and Peru.

New this year, photo albums will help passengers follow the narrative, new information has been added on the Episcopal and Wesleyan Churches, and passengers can hear the recently discovered story of a man who escaped from Baltimore, Maryland, and reached Canada via Albany, Saratoga, Warren, Essex and Clinton Counties. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, June 6, 2018

The End of Ben Harder’s Very Hard Life

In October 1884, St. Lawrence County newspapers reported that a notorious miscreant, who had been arrested many times on various charges, had turned over a new leaf. “Ben Harder, of Black Lake, has reformed and is waging an uncompromising warfare against the fish pirates of the lake.” He had removed one illegal hoop net and a half-mile of illegal gill nets from Black Lake (in Morristown) and turned them over to the local game protector, who burned them.

However, rather than proof of reform, Harder’s removal of the nets was undertaken for a less than savory reason: to thwart his rivals. Charges of burglary and illegal fishing were brought against him, and a court appearance was scheduled for mid-December. When he failed to show, an arrest warrant was issued and successfully executed, but Harder, too drunk to stand before the judge, was locked up overnight. The next morning he argued to delay the case, but when that proved unsuccessful, he pleaded guilty to taking fish illegally and was sentenced to a month in jail. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, May 31, 2018

The Very Hard Life of Ben Harder

Ben Harder’s life story intrigued me after I encountered his name while researching a violent crime of more than a hundred years ago.

He was described as an elderly, disabled war veteran, a “helpless cripple, and he drags himself about from place to place on his hands and knees.” I wondered, could that have been true? Could he have made his way through life in that manner for more than forty years? The need to know was irresistible, so the digging began.

What resulted was in a way compelling, but hardly expected. » Continue Reading.