Saturday, April 2, 2016

F. C. Moore’s Big Moose Lake Retreat

big moose campIn the late 19th century, the Adirondacks became a prime summer destination for sportsmen and their families who enjoyed the region’s hunting, fishing, and fresh air. By the 1880s, wealthy businessmen were building permanent camps on even the remotest lakes, including Big Moose, near Old Forge. Sometime after 1880, local guides Jack Sheppard and Richard C. Crego built a summer camp on South Bay of Big Moose Lake for F. C. Moore of New York City.

Francis Cruger Moore was born in Houston, TX in 1842. After the Civil War, he headed north to New York City, where through hard work, he became president (1889-1903) of the Continental Insurance Company.

Moore, his step-son Henry Evans, and their wives summered at Big Moose regularly. To reach the camp, Moore and his guests had to travel north to Boonville, NY, and then survive a tortuous 43-mile journey on primitive roads, a rickety wooden-railed railroad (The Peg Leg Railroad), a riverboat, and finally a guide boat across several lakes. Moore invested heavily in the main camp which stood near the present Manse of the Big Moose Community Chapel. By 1889, a second camp was built nearby for the Evanses. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Remarkable Women of Clinton County

remarkable women of clinton countyTo celebrate Women’s History Month, the Clinton County Historical Association will host Clinton County Historian Anastasia Pratt for a presentation on Women of Clinton County.

To complement the release of her 2015 book, Remarkable Women of Clinton County, Pratt will give an encore presentation, focusing specifically on the stories of Clinton County’s most influential women through the decades and how they are remembered today.

The presentation will take place on Monday, April 4th at 7 pm at the Clinton County Historical Museum. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, March 26, 2016

Mary Ann Day Brown, Widow of John Brown

john brownLast weekend, the Saratoga Historical Society in California celebrated the 200th birthday of Mary Ann Day Brown, wife of radical abolitionist John Brown. The milestone was observed a few weeks prior to her actual birthday (April 15) to coincide with the Blossom Festival…. but, wait. Doesn’t John Brown’s body lie a moldering in his grave in New York State? Yes, it does, in the Adirondacks near Lake Placid. The grave of his second wife Mary however, is at the other end of the country, in Saratoga, California’s Madronia Cemetery.

It is all rather ironic since the life of Mary Ann Day started 200 years ago on April 15, 1816, in Granville in Washington County. Mary was a quite ordinary woman of the 1800s: quiet, modest, godly, and usually poor. Scores of thousands such lives pass unnoticed; history tends to remember women of wealth, beauty or offbeat wackiness if it recalls their existence at all. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Dangerous Work Of Adirondack Forest Rangers

Forest Rangers DEC PhotoForest Rangers are often thought to have an idyllic profession and it is an exceptional job, but not without risks. The terrain is often difficult and assistance hours away.

For example, during the recent recovery of hiker Hua Davis on MacNaughton, a Forest Ranger was accidentally submerged up to his chest in a freezing mountain brook – a perilous situation when you are 13 miles by trail from the nearest road.

Although New York State Forest Rangers have an excellent safety record, there have been numerous fatalities in the line of duty and many injuries. What follows are just a few examples. » Continue Reading.


Monday, March 21, 2016

Pioneering Nurse Linda Richards (Conclusion)

LRichardsP3After a few months’ stay in France, Potsdam native Linda Richards arrived back in the United States in March 1891. With the best credentials in the world for training nurses, she developed new programs or redesigned existing ones at many facilities during the next two decades.

Among them were the Philadelphia Visiting Nurses’ Society; Kirkbride’s Hospital for the Insane (Philadelphia); the Methodist Episcopal Hospital (Philadelphia); the New England Hospital for Women and Children (Roxbury, Massachusetts); and the Brooklyn Homeopathic Hospital (New York City). In 1895, during her tenure at Brooklyn, she was elected president of the newly founded American Society of Superintendents of Training Schools for Nurses. Describing the changes she had seen since the early 1870s, Richards called it a “revolution of feeling toward training schools and trained nurses.”

While working with the society, she continued building and improving programs in facilities that included the Hartford Hospital (Connecticut); the University of Pennsylvania Hospital (Philadelphia); the Taunton Hospital for the Insane (Massachusetts); the Worcester Hospital for the Insane (Massachusetts); and the Kalamazoo Insane Asylum (Michigan). » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Pioneer Nurse Linda Richards Was Potsdam Native (Part 2)

LRichardsP2After completing the training program and becoming America’s first trained nurse, several options lay before Potsdam native Linda Richards: head nurse at either of two hospitals, operating a nurse’s training program at another, or night superintendent of the Bellevue Hospital Training School in New York City.

While the others appeared more inviting, she chose Bellevue, with clientele from the slums: the poor, sick, mentally ill, and addicted. In her estimation, it was where she could learn the most and at the same time do the most good. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, March 10, 2016

Bolton Landing Museum Reopening With New Wing

bolton museum renovationsWith the addition of its new, 1,800 square foot wing, the Bolton Historical Museum will, of course, be larger in size when it re-opens this spring. But it will also be broader in scope.

A partnership with National Geographic and Lakes to Locks, the nonprofit organization dedicated to heritage tourism, will help re-brand the museum as one of several regional Heritage Centers along a byway extending from the Capital District to the Canadian border.

“As a National Geographic-approved Heritage Center, the Bolton Historical Museum will become a destination for travelers interested in place-based, experiential tourism. When they travel, they look for what is distinctive and unique about the places they visit. The Heritage Center creates that connection between the travelers and the place they have come to visit,” said Janet Kennedy, the executive director of Lakes to Locks. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Potsdam Native Linda Richards Was A Pioneering Nurse

LRichardsP1We all affect the lives of others, but the sphere of influence for most folks is limited. Relatively few among us substantially impact multiple generations, but the innovative work of a pioneering North Country native has affected nearly every American and Japanese citizen, plus countless others, for the past 125 years.

Malinda Ann Judson Richards, self-described as Linda Richards, was born in 1841 near Potsdam in St. Lawrence County. Her father, a preacher, named her after one of America’s first female foreign missionaries, Ann Judson. The family left Potsdam and moved to Minnesota when Linda was four years old, but just six weeks after arriving there, Sanford Richards died of tuberculosis. His widow, Betsy, moved the family to Vermont to live with her father. Linda later recalled fond memories of the relationship she shared with her grandfather during this time. They lived with him until he remarried in 1850, at which time Betsy purchased a nearby farm. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Lecture: Uniforms of Artillerymen at Ticonderoga

fort ticonderoga soldiersFort Ticonderoga’s “Fort Fever Series” continues on Sunday, March 13, with “Gunners, Bombardiers, & Matrosses: Uniforms of Artillerymen at Ticonderoga” presented by Senior Director of Interpretation Stuart Lilie.

Lilie will explore the various Corps of Artillery that have manned the cannons at Fort Ticonderoga and follow the similarities between artillery uniforms and adaptations to the seasonal extremes of weather in the North Country. In a branch of service where technical information and skills were shared internationally, there were distinctions based on organizational and cultural differences. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, March 6, 2016

Adirondack RR Spur Was Built Overnight To Loon Lake House

dr william webb 1894William Seward Webb’s company began building the Adirondack & St. Lawrence Railroad in the spring of 1891. A year later, the line had not been completed when Webb made a promise to President Benjamin Harrison he was not sure he could fulfill. He promised the President and First Lady, Caroline Scott Harrison, they could ride his train to the Loon Lake House so she could spend the summer there to recover her health.

Near the end of Harrison’s term in 1892, Caroline’s tubercular condition worsened. The Harrisons and her physician considered a stay for her in the North Woods in a desperate move to improve her prospects. They contacted Ferd Chase of the Loon Lake House who offered a cottage for the summer.  Learning this, Webb offered his assistance since Caroline’s condition limited her ability to withstand stage travel.  He promised a ride by rail for most of the distance but Mrs. Harrison’s condition would determine the timing of the trip. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, March 5, 2016

Inez Milholland Centennial Being Marked

Inez Milholland, 1913Plans are afoot to honor suffragist Inez Milholland on the centennial of her death while campaigning for Votes for Women. Milholland was the daughter of Lewis, NY native John Milholland, and is buried in the family plot in Lewis.

This year is the centennial of Milholland’s death in Los Angeles of exhaustion and pernicious anemia.  The loss of the charismatic 30-year-old New York attorney intensified women’s efforts for the ballot and led to the picketing of the White House in January 1917, considered among the most important activist efforts in the campaign to secure the vote for women. » Continue Reading.


Friday, March 4, 2016

Historic Adirondack Railroad Named Preservation Priority

seven to saveThe Preservation League of New York State, the state’s most most prominent advocates for historic preservation, have named the Adirondack Scenic Railroad to its Seven to Save, an annual list of high-priority endangered sites that will receive active League attention in the coming year.

The Adirondack Park Agency voted 9-1 on February 11th to approve a controversial plan to remove 34 miles of track between Lake Placid and Tupper Lake and replace it with a rail-trail.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, March 3, 2016

Timbuctoo Exhibit Finds Permanent Home

timbuctooA landmark civil rights exhibit that has been seen by thousands of viewers across New York state is about to get a permanent home in Lake Placid.

The Dreaming of Timbuctoo exhibition will be installed this spring at the John Brown Farm State Historic Site, where visitors will have a chance to get an up-close look at a little-known period of Adirondack and African-American history when black and white abolitionists worked together to secure equal voting rights for black New Yorkers. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Women of WWI Laid the Groundwork for Rosie the Riveter

WomenWWI AIn observing National Women’s History Month 2016 (March), the National Women’s History Project (NWHP) has adopted the theme, “Working to Form a More Perfect Union: Honoring Women in Public Service and Government.” Among the women specifically cited is Judy Hart (1941–present), whose 27-year career with the National Park Service included a stint as the first superintendent of the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Park in Richmond, California, a facility she helped create.

As the NWHP notes, “over 9,000 Rosies have contributed their stories to the park, and more than 2,000 have donated their personal items and mementos.” It’s fortunate that the Rosies are so well represented, but unfortunate that their World War I counterparts, who laid the groundwork for the Rosie movement, are largely overlooked. » Continue Reading.


Monday, February 29, 2016

Bobcat Ranney: The Hermit Of Tombstone Swamp

Bobcat Picture from Adirondack MuseumIn this digital age, it’s hard for anyone to escape entirely from the eyes of the world, and that goes for Adirondack hermits, too. Even dead ones.

A case in point is Archie “Bobcat” Ranney, who lived in a cabin near Bakers Mills, sometimes surviving on porcupine meat.

I learned about Ranney from Dick MacKinnon, a native of Schenectady, who in turned learned about him from Jim Osterhout, a childhood friend who once met the hermit. Dick sent me a bunch of emails with articles about Ranney as well as a few photos. I then stumbled across more articles about him on my own. Everything was online.

» Continue Reading.