Sunday, October 8, 2017

Two New Adirondack Historic Architecture Guides Published

A Guide to Architecture in the AdirondacksTwo books published this year have significantly expanded our understanding of Adirondack architecture. People familiar with the Adirondacks know that twig furniture and palatial robber baron wilderness compounds are the exception, not the rule, for the Adirondack built environment. Unfortunately, until this year there have been no real resources that document the diversity of what really exists along the roadsides and in the settlements of the region. Now, at last, two truly amazing new books have arrived to fill the void. Both books belong in the bookcase of anyone who wants to know more about the Adirondacks.

Destined to become the reference book most often used to jog the memory is A Guide to Architecture in the Adirondacks by Prof. Richard Longstreth ($34.95, 427 pages). Published by Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH) and produced by Adirondack Life this book covers the most significant buildings and structures throughout the region. Longstreth is a well-known architectural historian who teaches at George Washington University. He has deep first hand knowledge of the subject having been an inquiring seasonal resident of the Adirondacks since 1978. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, October 5, 2017

Jack Lagree: Dannemora’s Bobsled Guru

Long before the 2015 escape of Richard Matt and David Sweat, the word Dannemora instantly conjured images of the prison. While the high wall dominates the landscape, the village does have other historical connections, some of them in the world of sports, including one through the person of John “Jack” Lagree. Jack was a native of Churubusco, a tiny hamlet in northwestern Clinton County.

Blessed with engineering talent, mechanical skill, and a strong, traditional, North Country work ethic, he rose to national prominence in the world of bobsleigh competition (referred to hereafter by the more popular term, bobsled). » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Oral, Video History Workshop at Adirondack History Museum

Zahavi interviewing McDonaldThe Adirondack History Museum in Elizabethtown will present an Oral and Video History Workshop for its annual Historians Day on Friday, October 13 from 10 am to 4 pm.

Dr. Gerald Zahavi will offer participants basic and practical instruction for undertaking digital audio and video oral history projects. The main emphasis is on high quality, low-cost options for individuals and institutions.  » Continue Reading.


Sunday, October 1, 2017

Relevance of World War II Talk Oct 3rd

hiroshimaOn Tuesday, October 3 at 7:30 pm, the Whallonsburg Grange Hall will present “Why World War Two Still Matters,” with Andy Buchanan. This is the second lecture in the fall Lyceum series entitled “What’s the Big Idea?” featuring six lectures from authors, educators, journalists, and scientists.

This lecture will focus on the redivision of the world that emerged from the ashes of World War II, new “spheres of influence” reverberate in the present. How US domination was assembled, deliberately and consciously, during this period and its consequences. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, September 28, 2017

Judge Stops Adirondack Rail-Trail Plan

Adirondack Scenic RailroadA state Supreme Court judge has ruled in favor of the Adirondack Railway Preservation Society in its suit against the state to stop the removal of 34 miles of railroad tracks between Tupper Lake and Lake Placid for the construction of a multi-use recreational trail.

Judge Robert Main issued a decision on Tuesday, saying that the state’s 2016 Unit Management Plan for the Remsen-Lake Placid Travel Corridor violated the State Land Master Plan (SLMP), Adirondack Park Agency Act, and state historic laws. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, September 28, 2017

Immigrants Are Our History: So What Do We Do Now?

Spending so much time conducting research in old books and newspapers, I’m often left shaking my head when today’s news headlines call to mind a favorite saying: “Those who don’t know history are condemned to repeat it.” We use the concept all the time for personal decisions.

Before making a purchase — car, washing machine, cable package, cell phone — have you ever referred to a magazine like Consumer Reports, read online reviews, or asked a friend how their own choice worked out? If so, you checked with history to avoid making a poor choice. It’s a simple concept: learn a product’s history and you’re not doomed to repeat it. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

NiMo, Raquette River Power Film Screenings in Canton

Niagara Mohawk brochure cover, c. early 1950sTAUNY, Traditional Arts in Upstate New York, will present a screening of two Niagara Mohawk promotional videos, Floating Islands and Workhorse River, on Thursday, September 28 from 7 to 9 pm at The TAUNY Center in Canton.

These videos will give viewers the chance to witness the Raquette River power project – and one of the river’s most distinctive and challenging features, the “floating islands” of Higley Flow – through the eyes and ears of the Colton building boom era. » Continue Reading.


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.



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