Walker gatehouse ca. 1920. Photo courtesy Long Lake Archives
If you drive far enough on Kickerville Road, you will notice a charming little stone house. From the stone archway attached to it, you will guess that it was once a gatehouse, although the road now goes around it. Gate to what? Not so long ago, Kickerville Road was named “Walker Road” because through this gate you could drive to the estate of Thomas Walker on Rock Pond.
In his “Essay on American Scenery,” Thomas Cole wrote that whether an American “beholds the Hudson mingling water with the Atlantic – explores the central wilds of this vast continent, or stands on the margins of distant Oregon, he is still in the midst of American scenery – it is his own land; its beauty, its magnificence, its sublimity – all are his; and how undeserving of such a birthright, if he can turn towards it an undeserving eye, an unaffected heart!”
Those who read the Adirondack Almanack regularly know it is not revolutionary to write that tourism in the Adirondacks became a model for tourism in the American consciousness. What has made such an impression on me, scanning over 1,200 postcards as a part of a digitization project in the Adirondack Research Library at the Kelly Adirondack Center of Union College, is how inextricably linked Adirondack tourists’ experiences are with American identity.
Speculator, NY – The Village of Speculator will soon erect the newly-reconstructed Makomis firetower near the entrance to the Sacandaga Pathway. It is anticipated to be in place by July 4.
According to Village of Speculator Mayor Jeanette Barrett, this project was solidified after a great deal of planning and hard work.
“The idea of having a firetower in Speculator has been a long time coming for many people in the area,” said Mayor Barrett.
Preserving the structure and recording its history presents an opportunity to educate people about the history of Adirondack firetowers. Once the firetower is in place, a kiosk located nearby will highlight the firetower’s role in the region so that visitors can learn about this important piece of Adirondack history. Mayor Barrett also hopes the firetower will draw tourists to the area.
The Makomis firetower was originally a wooden structure, built near the town of North Hudson in 1911. In 1916, the wooden tower was replaced by a steel structure, making it one of the first 11 steel firetowers built in New York State. The firetower was eventually closed by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation in 1970. It was dismantled and removed from the mountain top in 1978 by Bruce Vowles and stored for over 30 years at the home of George Barber, a retired surveyor.
The Old Forge Library and the Town of Webb Historical Association are hosting a Local History and Stories Series on Thursdays throughout the summer at 5 p.m. The series will feature a different speaker each week who will give a presentation and lead a discussion on a variety of interesting local subjects (primarily of historical significance.)
The public is invited to come and enjoy the stories, and add to them too. The series will kick off on Thursday, July 7 with Charles Herr and his presentation on The Forge House, one of the area’s most storied landmarks.
Since the early 1980s, when Herr and his wife purchased a camp in Inlet, he has been interested in the Fulton Chain region of the Adirondacks. Herr has worked at the Goodsell Museum in Old Forge and the Adirondack Museum at Blue Mountain Lake, and helped to establish the Inlet Historical Society.
Somehow, over the years, the 1838-1841 business ledger of Johnsburg blacksmith Christian Whitaker found its way to Seattle, Washington. This past spring the local historical society was notified that it was being auctioned off in New York City. After a successful bid by Deana Hitchcock Wood, Johnsburg Town Historian, it has returned “home” to Johnsburg.
ELIZABETHTOWN: Artist Randi Renate will be speaking about her current sculpture, “blue is the atmospheric refraction I see you through,” which is now on view outside the Adirondack History Museum. The sculpture is a large participatory installation open to the public since August 2021.
“Blue is the atmospheric refraction I see you through” is a sculptural encounter in which two viewers have similar yet distinct experiences of climbing twin spiraling staircases recessed into a larger dome. Its twin staircases require mirrored movement, activating mirror neurons. Shared movements trigger these neurons, which enhance human empathy. The passage culminates in an exposed meeting point that maintains a distanced perspective—from one another as well as from the surrounding landscape.
The event will begin with an outdoor artist talk moderated by the museum’s director Aurora McCaffrey starting at 5 pm on Sunday, July 3.
Running between North Hudson and Moriah Center is a quiet, thirteen-mile section of County Route 4 known as Ensign Pond Road. Drive seven miles down this road from North Hudson and you will reach its namesake, Ensign Pond. This roughly ten-acre pond is a tranquil sheet of water which is guarded over by Harris Hill to the north, and feeds Mill Brook to the east. As you drive toward Port Henry on this county road, it will change names a few times, becoming Dugway Road, then Plank Road, and, finally, Broad Street. From Ensign Pond, County Route 4 follows Mill Brook as it flows towards its final destination: Lake Champlain at Port Henry.
Scholars are finally beginning to recognize the significance of Lake George as the site of a prolonged environmental struggle, inspired by John Muir and the Sierra Club, in 1913, when they tried to block the construction of a dam in Yosemite National Park. In New York State, a young engineer at GE, John Apperson, was paying close attention to the national debates over Hetch Hetchy. He believed that the International Paper Company, with its dam at Ticonderoga, was damaging the beautiful islands in the Narrows of Lake George. Within weeks of the disappointing vote over Hetch Hetchy, Apperson took action, and began representing the Schenectady Conservation Council, in Albany, and taking part in the legislative debates concerning New York’s forests and wild places.
The Carillon has returned to Fort Ticonderoga, with boat tours taking place Tuesday through Sunday from May 27 to mid-October. The 75-minute narrated boat cruises cover some of the most archaeologically rich waters in North America while surrounded by breathtaking lake views, commanding mountains, and the majestic fort.
From shipwrecks to a massive bridge that the Americans built in 1776, Lake Champlain holds defining stories of America’s past. Fort Ticonderoga’s layers of history carry right from the land onto the water. Carillon boat tours help ignite visitors’ imaginations as they explore this internationally strategic lake.
The 60-foot boat is available for daily tours, field trips, sunset cruises, and private charters. A selection of regional beer and cider, wine, soft drinks, water, and snacks are available for purchase on board. Tickets for the boat cruise are available HERE or can be purchased on-site during a visit on a first-come basis.
Boat tours are available rain or shine. Fort Ticonderoga members that are interested in taking a boat cruise, please call 518-585-2821 Monday through Friday, or 518-585-2650 Saturday and Sunday for assistance.
Fort Ticonderoga is located at 102 Fort Ti Road in Ticonderoga, NY.
Photo at top: The Carillon, Archaeological Tour of Lake Champlain 2017. Photo provided by Fort Ticonderoga, Almanack archive photo.
Westport, NY – John Brown Lives! (JBL!) is observing Juneteenth this weekend with a documentary film screening, live music, a dramatic performance, and the “Colors of Freedom” driving tour to significant sites of Underground Railroad and abolitionist activity in Essex and Clinton Counties.
Juneteenth is a national holiday that commemorates the effective end of slavery in the United States when, on June 19, 1865, federal troops finally arrived in Galveston, Texas to take control of the state and ensure the freeing of all enslaved people. Their freedom came two and a half years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.
ESF Adirondack Interpretive Center (AIC) staff are pleased to announce Woods Walks every Saturday during the summer season from June 18 through August 13.
The series of nature walks will kick off this Saturday, June 18 with the first walk dedicated to the memory of ESF Adirondack Interpretive Center friend Elaine Schwartz.
This walk and talk will be focused on award-winning poet Mary Oliver. Oliver’s poetry, inspired by nature, was rooted in her frequent walks in the woods. The Elaine Schwartz Memorial WoodsWalk will begin at 10 a.m. Click here to register via email
The Summer Solstice, also known as “the longest day of the year,” the day in 2022’s calendar with the most hours of daylight is Tuesday, June 21. Solstice celebrations are celebrated throughout the world and have been celebrated by our ancestors since Neolithic times.
The Old Forge Library, and its community partners and friends at Weaving Home,LivingADK, and the Old Forge Farmers Market invite the public to celebrate the solstice with them at festivities held on the library lawn at 220 Crosby Blvd. in Old Forge. Renowned Abenaki artists, writers and storytellers will make the occasion memorable.
The Adirondack Coast Cultural Alliance (ACCA) will host the 13th Annual Museum Days Weekend throughout Clinton County June 18-19, 2022, inviting visitors and residents to explore the area’s wealth of museums, galleries, and cultural organizations. For two days (with a couple of exceptions, as noted) from 10 am to 4 pm, participating locations will offer free admission, including demonstrations, tours, exhibits, hands-on activities, and more.
This year’s event coincides with the first of two New York State “Path Through History” Weekends in 2022. The full Museum Days Weekend schedule will be published in the Plattsburgh Press-Republican and on the Adirondack Coast Cultural Alliance website and Facebook page.
ESSEX, NY — The Essex Community Fund (ECF) at AdirondackFoundation today announces that Dr. H. Nicholas Muller III will receive the 2022 Francisca Irwin Award for Community Service. The name of the award honors Francisca “Frisky” Paine Irwin, who served as the fund’s first chair and recognizes the precedent she established for extended selfless service to benefit Essex.
Muller, the fourth recipient of the Irwin Community Service Award since it was established in 2019, is recognized for decades of service to his community. As part of the award, he will direct a $1,000 grant from the Essex Community Fund to High Peaks Hospice and Palliative Care. His name will be also added to a plaque that hangs in the Essex Town Office listing previous recipients Donna Sonnett, Sally Johnson and Ron Jackson.
“Dr. Muller, who we all know better as Nick, has been instrumental in the founding and success of ECF over many years,” said Norma Goff, current chair of Essex Community Fund. “He is now retired, and it is a pleasure to see him recognized for all his efforts, and have his name added to the special plaque.”
Between 1931 and 1996, Paul Schaefer substantively influenced the Adirondack attitudes and actions of nine New York Governors, all their conservation commissioners, and many state legislative leaders. Governors Nelson Rockefeller (1966) and Mario Cuomo (1994) personally attended ceremonies to recognize Paul’s many Adirondack achievements.
The Adirondack Almanack is a public forum dedicated to promoting and discussing current events, history, arts, nature and outdoor recreation and other topics of interest to the Adirondacks and its communities
We publish commentary and opinion pieces from voluntary contributors, as well as news updates and event notices from area organizations. Contributors include veteran local writers, historians, naturalists, and outdoor enthusiasts from around the Adirondack region. The information, views and opinions expressed by these various authors are not necessarily those of the Adirondack Almanack or its publisher, the Adirondack Explorer.
General inquiries about the Adirondack Almanack should be directed to editor Melissa Hart.
To advertise on the Adirondack Almanack, or to receive information on rates and design, please click here.
Recent Almanack Comments