Saturday, September 23, 2017

Fulton Fryar’s Closet At Seagle Music Colony

Fulton's room exteriorBack in 1957 John Seagle invited a young singer to his training program, the Seagle Music Colony. The young singer’s name was Fulton Fryar and this is significant because Fulton was the first African-American to come to the Colony. This was several years before the Civil Rights Movement would win its hard-earned victories in Congress and at this time much of America was still segregated, but John thought him talented and wanted him to come study at Seagle Music Colony.

John’s solution to accommodate Fulton for his stay in Schroon Lake was to have a small bedroom built on the side of the laundry building. Fulton sang in all the shows that summer, sang in the vesper and town concerts, and other than sleeping separately, lived a regular colony life. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Adirondack History: A Strange Case of Mistaken Identity

While it’s not gallows humor by definition, finding laughter in stories related to death can be a difficult proposition. In this case, rest assured: there’s actually not much death involved, and if your funny bone is intact, what follows should tickle it at least a bit.

In mid-August 1904, a number of regional newspapers reported a drowning near Underwood at the west end of Raquette Pond in Tupper Lake. Witnesses who saw a man jump into the water near the bridge there narrowed the possibilities to two: that he jumped in to retrieve his hat when it was blown off by the wind, or he committed suicide. The one thing everyone agreed on was that the man had deliberately entered the water where the current was strong and the depth may have been twenty feet or more. His body was recovered after a brief search and delivered to the undertaker, where locals came to help identify the victim. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Raquette River Rainbow Falls Powerhouse Tour Planned

The dam at Rainbow Falls, 2014Traditional Arts in Upstate New York (TAUNY), will host an opportunity to tour the Rainbow Falls Powerhouse in Parishville, NY on Friday, September 22 from 2 to 3:30 pm.

TAUNY will partner with Brookfield Renewable, the current hydrodam operators, to give an inside look at the Rainbow Falls powerhouse. The powerhouses at Rainbow Falls and elsewhere, which were part of the 1950s dam-building boom around Colton, figure into many stories from the TAUNY oral history project on the Raquette River – from goat-kidnapping capers to a worker’s near-death experience. This tour will give visitors a chance to experience another side of these stories by seeing firsthand how these facilities work to transform the natural power of the river into the kind of energy our society depends on every day. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, September 17, 2017

Guided Lake Champlain Bridge History Walk Planned

chimney point state historic siteAs part of Vermont’s Archaeology Month, the Chimney Point State Historic Site in Addison, VT, and the Crown Point State Historic Site in Crown Point, NY will host a guided walk of the Lake Champlain Bridge on Sunday, September 24th.

The walk will take place from 1 to 3 pm, and will be led by Chimney Point site administrator Elsa Gilbertson and Crown Point site manager Michael Roets. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, September 14, 2017

Teddy Roosevelt Weekend Taking Over Newcomb

The Adirondack Park plays an important part in the history of the United States, from the Great Camp culture to its land preservation. It has been a summer White House and two-time Olympic host. The Adirondacks are also known for Teddy Roosevelt’s historic ride from Mount Marcy to the North Creek Depot.

Teddy Roosevelt Weekend, September 14-16, is hosting a variety of activities showcasing Roosevelt’s Adirondack ties. Free lectures, wagon rides, Color Run, guided hikes, log rolling competition, tours, and blacksmithing demos are just a few of the planned events.

According to Judy DePasquale, co-chair for Newcomb’s Teddy Roosevelt Weekend, the celebration commemorating Roosevelt’s “wild ride” has been taking place for over 20 years and is as pertinent as ever. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Where Do We Want The Park To Be In Future Years?

A friend and fellow founder of Adirondack Wild first urged me to read Wallace Stegner’s Beyond the Hundredth Meridian (Houghton Mifflin, 1954). Perhaps my friend sensed connections between the “second opening of the west” and the Adirondacks. Regardless, it remains a fascinating work, to be read and re-read. Although never part of my schooling, it should be on anyone’s lifetime reading list.

Stegner chronicles the explorer of the Colorado River, John Wesley Powell, who spent his middle life and health attempting to teach our late 19th century politicians (and those moving west) that only scientifically-based land use planning and restrictions would save us from the disaster of letting Americans willy-nilly settle, break sod, and farm the arid west under the 1862 Homestead Act.

As head of brand new scientific agencies in Washington DC, the Geological and Irrigation Surveys, Powell acted for the “common interest” through his dry-eyed assessment that 160-acres, a mule and a plow on either side of the 100th meridian were irrational and pitiable against prairie and desert wind, snow, sun, drought and loneliness. Rain, it turned out, did not follow the plow in the 1880s and 90s, or during the 1930s Dust Bowl. Powell fought tenaciously against scientific misconceptions, false prophets, personal gain, corrupt practice, and speculative acquisitiveness – whereby a handful of individuals could and did gobble up millions of acres of the public’s dry lands and whatever little water existed there, for their own use. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Fort Ticonderoga Announces Annual Economic Impact Report

fort ticonderoga

The results of a 2016 study by Magellan Strategy Group, commissioned by the Fort Ticonderoga Association, analyzing Fort Ticonderoga’s impact upon the surrounding region have been released.

According to the study, the site generates a total of $12.1 million annually in economic impact. The total includes visitor spending from tourists; spending by the Fort Ticonderoga Association in its daily operations; the indirect and induced impacts created by labor income as it flows into the regional economy; and tax revenue generated by that spending.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, September 11, 2017

Test Your Battle of Plattsburgh Knowledge (Part 2)

September 11, 2017, marks the 203rd anniversary of the Battle of Plattsburgh. The official 2017 commemoration of the battle ended Sunday.  To mark the event, a quiz appeared here last week, mostly addressing Commodore Thomas Macdonough’s role in the victory on Lake Champlain.

There were two battles at Plattsburgh however, one on the bay and one on land. This week’s quiz covers the land battle and related subjects. See if you can answer a few, and learn a few fun facts in the bargain. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, September 10, 2017

240th Anniversary of the Battles of Saratoga Event Planned

Saratoga National Historical Park in Stillwater, N.Y. on Saturday, Sept. 20, 2008. The Saratoga National Historical Park’s ca. 1775 Neilson House will host a reenactment of the lives of Continental Army and Militia personnel who inhabited the same ground in September and October 1777 during the Battles of Saratoga on Saturday and Sunday, September 16-17.

At this 240th anniversary of the battle, visitors can experience some of the sights, sounds, and smells of military camp life in the American Revolution as re-enactors portray American Continental and Militia soldiers and women followers during the 1777 Battles of Saratoga. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, September 7, 2017

2017 Battle of Plattsburgh Commemoration Quiz

The Battle of Plattsburgh celebration is upon us again, so there’s no better time than now for a little Q&A to test your knowledge (and you’ll learn stuff, too!) about a truly remarkable victory.

The focus here is on Commodore Thomas Macdonough, who was lauded nationally as a hero for his actions on Lake Champlain. On Plattsburgh’s museum campus (located on the former air base property), you’ll find the Battle of Plattsburgh Association’s War of 1812 Museum, and check out the schedule of events for the 2017 Battle of Plattsburgh commemoration running from September 7–10. There’s something for everyone, with plenty of great family venues. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Raquette River Dams Research Talk Thursday

The view upriver from Carry Dam during construction, c. 1950sTAUNY, Traditional Arts in Upstate New York has invited the community to a Raquette River dams exhibit research talk with Camilla Ammirati and Mary Jane Watson on Thursday, September 7 from noon to 1 pm at the TAUNY Center in Canton.

The presentation will focus on the oral history project that inspired TAUNY’s current exhibit, “‘Look Down, You’ll See Our Tracks’: Raquette River Dam Stories.” Attendees will have the chance to see the images, hear the stories, and learn about how this part of our regional heritage came into focus over three years of research and exhibit development.

Project partner Mary Jane Watson of South Colton will discuss the concentration of dams and powerhouses Niagara Mohawk built around the Colton area in the 1950s and how they transformed the local environment and community life. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Emma Johnson: One Tough Pioneer Mom

Heat and hard physical work can be a debilitating combination. Two of my experiences with them from the long-ago past were a challenge and a heck of a workout — under a blazing sun, doing the haying, and, my personal favorite, picking rocks. But the most exhausting of all was harder than both — digging graves with a shovel and pick during the hottest days of summer. I quickly understood why the veteran diggers joked that people who died during the summer were so inconsiderate.

Decades ago, while researching my first book, the details of another very hot and difficult job were revealed to me by a kind and accommodating woman named Emma Johnson, who was 85 years old at the time. The subject was a remarkable place in northern Clinton County known locally as the Altona Flat Rock. New York State’s Natural Heritage Program, established in 1985, defined the Altona Flat Rock as “sandstone pavement barrens,” a natural rarity. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Amy Godine’s ‘Tales from the Black Woods’ Lecture

Black Farmers in North ElbaThe Adirondack History Museum will conclude its summer lecture series with “Tales from the Black Woods” with Amy Godine on Thursday, September 7.

Godine’s lecture explores Essex County stories that underscore the deep appeal of land ownership and farming for black families before the Civil War, and celebrates the richness of the 19th-century black Adirondack experience.

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, August 27, 2017

Jay O’Hern’s Newest Book: Adirondack Camp Stories

adirondack camp stories bookWilliam J. O’Hern’s new book Adirondack Camp Stories: A Treasury of True Tales, Lore, History, Recreation, and Colorful Characters of the Mountains (North Country Books, 2017) is a storybook with archival photos that connect readers with early Adirondack camps — from the simplest backwoods shelters, to boarding houses and hotels that offered more comfortable amenities. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, August 24, 2017

Blue Mountain Lake Flotilla Recreating 1882 Event

On August 27, the Blue Lake community will come together to celebrate a time when guests arrived by steamer, stage coach, and train to spend summers in their idyllic Adirondack town. In 1882, the original flotilla glided from the shores of Prospect Point House to the sounds of a cannon salute and orchestra while Chinese lanterns showed the way. Now, 135 years later, Prospect Point Cottages is welcoming all antique and non-motorized boats to participate in a similar flotilla for a glimpse back to the Adirondack’s Gilded Age.

According to Prospect Point Cottages owner and Blue Mountain Lake Flotilla organizer David Oestreicher credits the idea to recreate the Blue Mountain Lake Flotilla to his mother. Though she presented the idea over 25 years ago, the timing just didn’t seem to fit. Now, 135 years after the original event, the enthusiasm to recreate the flotilla is palpable. » Continue Reading.


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