Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Horace Brown, Master Horseman (Part 2)

Due to his obvious talent and strong work ethic, Horace was beset with offers from many prominent owners. Before year’s end, he became the trainer and driver for Highland Stock Farm in Lee, Massachusetts, a prolific operation that raced successfully across New England. Wallace’s Monthly, a magazine that covered horse racing, freely praised the hiring in a piece reprinted from Horse and Stable magazine. “It is a fact that the trainer of a farm is secondary in importance only to its stallions and brood-mares…. Horace Brown deserves the credit of whatever renown has been brought to Hamlin Farm…. I found that good horses improved faster under his care than that of any man of whom I had knowledge…. Horace reduced the record of Belle Hamlin to 2:18¼ and won more money with her in a single season than the Village Farm had won in its existence up to that time…. The greatest feat of Horace’s life was, in my belief, the defeat at Cleveland, on July 28 and 29, 1886, of Manzanita, Spofford, Kitefoot, Longfellow Whip, Orange Boy, and Lowland Girl, in a five-heat race that occupied two days. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Memorial Day Weekend at Fort Ticonderoga

fort ti memorial dayOn Memorial Day weekend, May 27-29, Fort Ticonderoga will remember the service of the armed forces of the United States on the very grounds where so many American soldiers fought and sacrificed. Attendees learn about the story of the American Army in 1776, rebuilding itself and digging in at Ticonderoga to defend liberty during living history programs throughout the weekend.

A full line-up of activities and programs offered throughout the weekend include daily tours in the fort, King’s Garden, and museum exhibition spaces; historic trades programs; ongoing soldiers’ life programs; weapons demonstrations; the Mount Defiance experience; and the Battlefield hiking trail. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, May 20, 2017

Charlie Herr’s New History of the Fulton Chain Published

A new history covering the Fulton Chain of Lakes region from Moose River Settlement to its boundary west of Raquette Lake is now available from North Country Books and selected regional bookstores.

Regular contributor to the Weekly Adirondack of Old Forge Charles E. Herr’s new book, The Fulton Chain: Early Settlement, Roads, Steamboats, Railroads and Hotels, documents the story of the stalwart folk whose lives shaped the Fulton Chain.

The book represents the first general history of the Fulton Chain region in almost seventy years. Herr says he hopes his work engenders new interest in the notable earlier works cited in his introduction to The Fulton Chain.
» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Ti Historical Opens Steamboats Exhibit May 19th

ticonderoga steamboat postcardSteamboat Captain and author William “Bill” Gates will present the opening talk as the Ticonderoga Historical Society opens the third of its major exhibits for 2017 on Friday, May 19th at 7 pm at the Hancock House, 6 Moses Circle, Ticonderoga.

“Steamboats A’Comin” helps mark the bicentennial of steamboats on the waterways of the Lake Champlain and Lake George Regions, an innovation that opened the area for commerce and tourism in the years that followed. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Horace Brown: Master Horseman of Northern NY

One of my favorite people to visit when I was a child was my maternal grandfather, who owned a 100-acre farm in remote northwestern Clinton County. Ninety acres of the property were wooded (I loved exploring nature); he had cows, horses, and a dog (I loved animals); and he was an avid fisherman (I lived on the riverbank in Champlain and loved fishing). From my perspective, everything about my Grandpa Jim (Lagree) was cool (this was back in the ’60s, so “cool” is appropriate).

On the wall near his usual sitting area in the living room was a framed photo of a horse and sulky with the caption, “Dan Patch.” Since it was my grandfather’s picture, I knew it had to be something cool, and I was right. As he explained to me, Dan Patch was the greatest trotter ever. Trotting, as I learned, was once the most popular sport across Northern New York.

Within a general loop from Albany north to Glens Falls and Plattsburgh; west to Malone, Ogdensburg, Potsdam, and Watertown; south to Boonville; southeast back to Albany; and many stops in between, dozens of communities in the Adirondacks and foothills had trotting tracks of varying quality. Participants ranged from farmers to professional horsemen, all of them eager to put their horses’ abilities up against others for bragging rights, money prizes, and, of course, side bets. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, May 14, 2017

1967 Stony Creek Search for 11-Year-Old Debbie Butler

Search for 11-Year-Old Debbie ButlerWhen historians look through archival photos, it can be difficult to analyze an image’s authenticity. The question is not whether the image is genuine, per say, but how frank or candid the photo really is. This can be especially challenging when looking through photographs taken by government agencies who, understandably, have an agenda and often preserved images that were created with a certain narrative in mind. This is why, while the historic photos of Forest Rangers that graced the glossy pages of the Conservationist Magazine have become iconic, I tend to prefer to obtain photos from the rangers personal collections. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, May 11, 2017

Ticonderoga Historical Society Launching Steamboat Education Project

The Ticonderoga Historical Society has been awarded a $5,000 Corridor of Commerce Grant from the Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership. The grant will fund the creation of a website and student writing competition to commemorate the 200th anniversary of steamboat operations in the Champlain Valley and surrounding area.

While the specific website content is under development, it’s expected to include archival materials that provide students and other viewers with a record of the travels and culture of steamboats as well as related vessels and operators that interacted with steamboats. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, May 6, 2017

The Captain Marvel of Port Henry

tom tyler as captain marvelOn August 9, 1903, Helen and Frank Markowski had a baby boy in Port Henry they named Vincent. Like many fathers and brothers in the area, Frank and Frank Junior, Vincent’s older brother worked in the mines for the Witherbee Sherman Company.

Around 1924 at the age of 21, Vincent moved to California and changed his name to Tom Tyler. He found work in the film industry as a prop man and an extra. His appearances as an extra lead to his first starring role in “Let’s Go Gallagher” (1925). Tom became the King of B-Westerns during the silent era and into the talkies of the 1930’s. Over his entire career, he acted in more than 180 movies and TV shows from 1924 to 1953. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, May 4, 2017

A Short History of Wilbur’s Raquette Lake Hotel

The Forked Lake House built near the carry between Forked Lake and Raquette in about 1873.This is the story of how an unambitious, unsociable man who could barely support himself, much less his family, and had no experience whatsoever in running a hotel, came to build and run the first hotel on Raquette Lake. That such a person who, according to one of his relatives, “was neither suited to the country, nor the people” and “made enemies through the country” could be capable of this feat seems to defy all we know about other proprietors of pioneer hotels.

Wilber, the man who built the hotel, came into the Adirondacks from the West around 1855, a time when all the inhabitants of Raquette Lake could fit into a present-day family’s SUV. He named his establishment the Raquette Lake Hotel, but contemporaries called it Wilbur’s or Wilber’s. But very little was known about this pioneer hotel owner, why he came here, why he built the place. Even his proper name remained something of a mystery. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, May 4, 2017

Fort Ticonderoga Opens For Season May 6th

fort ticonderogaFort Ticonderoga will open for the 2017 season on Saturday, May 6. Fort Ticonderoga is a historic site, museum, and family destination which tells a new story each year through historical interpretation. This year is 1757, the year made famous by the novel Last of the Mohicans. Visitors will discover the real story of 1757 as they step into Fort Carillon (later named Ticonderoga) bustling with activity with French soldiers, native warriors, and cannon preparing to take the fight for New France all the way up Lake George to British-held territory. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

A New Stoddard Mini Exhibit at Chapman Museum

Travelers on the porch at the Halfway House, 1870. The Chapman Historical Museum has opened a new mini-exhibit of Seneca Ray Stoddard photographs. Featured are images of the stage coach trip that visitors in the 1870s experienced from the train station in Glens Falls to the Fort William Henry Hotel at the south end of Lake George. In addition to the Halfway House, highlights include the tollhouse in French Mountain, Bloody Pond, Col. Ephraim Williams’ monument, and the grounds of the hotel. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Steven Engelhart: Every Community Needs a Beating Heart

Old Forge Hardware CompanyThere is overwhelming evidence that the most successful communities — with thriving economies, healthy schools and social and cultural institutions — are those that embrace their own history and preserve their historic buildings. Good jobs, protection of natural resources, and good leadership are perhaps even more important. Historic preservation is a critical element in the revitalization of struggling communities and it is a visible expression of a community investing in itself and improving its own quality of life.

Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH) has always been a strong advocate for the connection between historic preservation and community vitality. We work to preserve individual buildings, yes, but we also advocate for preservation because historic places can become affordable housing, attractive spaces for businesses, innovative cultural centers, new farms, restaurants and other attractions. Preservation is about finding new uses for historic structures, not just saving buildings. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Suffrage Rally Reenactment to Commemorate Suffrage Centennial

gazebo in city parkThe Glens Falls Area Suffrage Centennial Committee will present a Suffrage Rally reenactment to commemorate the New York State Woman Suffrage Centennial to be performed in Glens Falls on Sunday, May 7 from 1 to 3 pm at the gazebo in City Park. This event is free and open to the public.

The Suffrage Rally will reenact the history of the campaign for women’s voting rights through historical speeches, letters and songs. Featured will be national figures such as Susan B. Anthony, Inez Milholland, and Carrie Chapman Catt, all of which had local ties. Visitors will also hear from lesser known suffragists, like Warren County leader of the New York State Woman Suffrage Party, Emily Nordstrom. Reenactors presenting the anti-suffragist view will also be on hand. Dr. Charles Dana, neurologist, and Lucy Price, a Vassar girl who spoke here while making a tour of the northeast in 1915, are on the roster. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, April 29, 2017

New Book: John Apperson’s Lake George

john appersons lake george A new book by Ellen Apperson Brown, John Apperson’s Lake George (Arcadia Publishing, 2017), offers a significant collection of many Apperson photos published for the first time.

Writing from Virginia where John Apperson spent much of his youth, Ellen Apperson Brown has compiled an interesting collection of captioned images, along with an introductory essay that reveals much of the public, and private, life of her great uncle, who had such a large impact on protecting Lake George and the Adirondacks.
» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Crown Point Cannon Trail Monument Being Dedicated

crown point barracksThe Friends of Crown Point State Historic Site will host an unveiling ceremony May 13th for a monument commemorating the Crown Point cannon that Henry Knox hauled from Lake Champlain to Boston at the beginning of the American Revolution.

Re-enactors portraying the patriot Green Mountain Boys, under the command of Captain Seth Warner, will arrive to commemorate the May 11, 1775 liberation of 111 cannon from the few British soldiers posted at the fort. An outdoor reception of light refreshments, will follow, rain or shine and is free to the public. » Continue Reading.