Ulysses S. Grant drank here. Maybe. Originally built in 1838 as an army barracks for enlisted men, known as Old Stone Barracks, the grand building on Ohio Avenue in Plattsburgh is now home to Valcour Brewing Company.
Though Grant is reported to have stayed in the officers’ barracks that once stood adjacent in the mid 1800s, it’s possible he may have sat on the porch of the Old Stone Barracks swilling beer and swapping stories with the enlisted men.
Even if Grant didn’t drink here, Valcour Brewing Company can openly boast that Kim and Pam Ladd drank here – twice in one day. » Continue Reading.
It is certainly unfortunate that the debate concerning the Adirondack Railroad has continued for as long as it has. One would surely think that adults, objective in their analyses and wishing for the greatest good as an outcome, could have solved this long ago but, no. There is even a renewed attack from the trail advocates.
We had hoped that after the resounding success in the courts and the unambiguous decision of State Supreme Court Justice Robert G. Main, that we could begin talks to successfully implement the 1996 Unit Management Plan and not continue the bickering. So let’s take another look. Several economic studies have been undertaken over the past years using data from Essex County and NYS publications. Assessed by outside, independent consultancies, the conclusions are clear. » Continue Reading.
Adirondack history is naturally rife with river-related stories—wildly successful fishing trips, damaging floods, wilderness exploration, and dam construction. Rivers were the lifeblood of development: settlements sprang up along waterways, where partial diversion of streams provided the wheel-turning power necessary to many industries. But freshets were so common and destructive that dams were introduced as flood-control measures, and then for hydropower as the electrification of society unfolded.
Recognizing the great financial potential of providing electricity to industries and the masses, power companies sought to develop dozens of potential reservoir sites. Among the arguments they used to justify building dam after dam was public safety. Ironically, the construction of a hydro dam was marred by one of the worst tragedies in Adirondack history. » Continue Reading.
A little more than a century ago, a horrendous description of an Adirondack village appeared in newspapers, including the Mail and Express published in New York City. At issue was the placement of a yet-to-be-built tubercular sanitarium. Feelings ran so high at the time, you’d swear they were selecting the next Supreme Court justice. But taking sides is nothing new, as proved by use of the written word back then to describe one of the candidate locations. As you’ll see, it’s hard to believe they were talking about the same place. » Continue Reading.
The season is coming to a close for the Adirondack Experience, the museum on Blue Mountain Lake, but isn’t not the end of the activities. Each fall the museum gets ready for winter and provides opportunities for people to bring home a special Adirondack gift from their unique shop.
According to ADKX Director of Marketing Ausra Angermann, the museum has two planned weekends set for people to do their holiday shopping and visit beautiful Blue Mountain Lake. On November 23-24 and December 14-16 from 10 am to 4 pm, the museum provides a special shopping experience to all visitors. » Continue Reading.
The Rev. John G. Fitzgerald, or “Father Fitz,” as he was known to contemporaries, was the first resident Roman Catholic priest in Old Forge. He is fondly remembered as a missionary to the widely scattered working people of the region and as a prolific builder of churches. His obituary in 1925 and local histories rightly focus on his time in Old Forge, but Father Fitzgerald had a significant career prior to that. His early assignments reveal a resourceful and energetic clergyman who made an impact across the Adirondacks and North Country. He served the people of northern New York State for a total of 49 years providing faith, culture, and kindness.
John Gerald Fitzgerald was probably born November 19, 1850 in Deptford, Kent, England (now part of Greater London). His parents, Patrick Fitzgerald and Joanna O’Connor, were both born in Ireland. John was educated in Catholic schools in England, namely: Blackheath; Sedgley Park in Wolverhampton; and St. Edmund’s in Ware, Hertfordshire. Records from St. Edmund’s show that a John Fitzgerald attended the school from 1868 until 1871. Soon after, John emigrated to the United States where he attended St. Joseph’s Provincial Seminary in Troy, NY. He was sponsored by the recently established Diocese of Ogdensburg. At seminary, John served as choirmaster and developed what would become a lifelong interest in music. He was ordained at Troy by Bishop Bernard J. McQuaid of Rochester on June 10, 1876. » Continue Reading.
First released in 1960, Adirondack Holiday showed Essex County as a four-season vacation paradise. Now, almost sixty years later, the half-hour short has been restored to all its original color splendor. Its premiere screening will take place during this year’s Lake Placid Film Festival, October 26th to 28th. » Continue Reading.
The next St. Lawrence County Historical Association’s Brown Bag Lunch Series has been set for Thursday, October 18th. This program begins at noon, will be led by Bryan Thompson and will focus on the 1918 Flu Epidemic. Attendees are encouraged to bring a lunch and enjoy a beverage and dessert provided by SLCHA.
Bryan Thompson, a seventh generation St. Lawrence County native, is the municipal historian for the town of DeKalb. While deputy and town historian, he received the Hackman Research Fellowship and the Dearstyne Award for Excellence from the state archives. » Continue Reading.
Fort Ticonderoga has announced a new museum exhibit, ‘Pieces of Eight: Curiosities from the Collection,’ featuring objects from the bodies of famous or interesting characters from early American history.
The exhibit was conceived following the overwhelmingly positive response to Fort Ticonderoga’s display of extremely rare locks of Benedict Arnold’s hair in May. Curatorial staff began extensive research and identified eight intimate artifacts that compromise the new exhibit. Many involve human hair, which was trimmed, saved, mailed, and even made into jewelry where it was carried across the world. » Continue Reading.
Endless commentary and opinions across various media reveal such modern political divisiveness that sometimes it makes you wonder: “Was it always like this?”
The answer is no: sometimes it was worse and sometimes it was better. Without going into detail, worse would be the Civil War, the Prohibition Era, two world wars, and the 1960s (daily televised scenes of police dogs and fire hoses used against civil rights and war protesters, daily gore and body counts from Vietnam, multiple assassinations). » Continue Reading.
To date, much of the rail vs. trail debate has touted the potential benefits of the possible uses of the Adirondack Rail Corridor. The supposed benefits of a trail include increased local recreational opportunities both summer and winter plus economic benefits from those who will travel to the area to use the trail with bicyclists and snowmobilers to be the greatest users.
Rail supporters question whether those benefits are greater than the benefits of a fully restored railroad that would supposedly bring greater economic benefits by transporting more visitors to the area.
Mostly left out of the debate is any discussion of just who and in what numbers would actually ride a restored railroad running 140 miles from Utica to Lake Placid. » Continue Reading.
A free program focusing on the French and Indian War Shipwrecks of Lake George has been set for Friday, October 12th, at 7 pm at the Hancock House at 6 Moses Circle in Ticonderoga.
Featured speaker Joseph Zarzynski, part of the original discovery team for many of these ships, will lead the discussion.
Included will be a discussion of The Land Tortoise, built as a floating gun battery by the British in 1758. This 52-foot-long gunboat is North America’s oldest intact warship. It was deliberately sunk in l00 feet of water by British forces on October 22, 1758 to prevent it from falling onto the hands of French raiders. » Continue Reading.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection recently made numerous arrests and seized large amounts of marijuana during a five day checkpoint in Essex County. The agency occasionally sets up this temporary check point near Exit 28 of the Adirondack Northway (I-87). A June operation here resulted in similar arrests and seizure of marijuana, as well as what the agency described as the disruption “of two separate alien smuggling rings.”
The agency put out a statement saying, “Checkpoint operations are a proven enforcement tool to deny criminal organizations the ability to smuggle people, narcotics or other contraband further away from the border and these arrests exemplify that.” » Continue Reading.
On September 23, the National Park Service announced the latest round of grant funding under its Save America’s Treasures program and Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH), the private nonprofit historic preservation organization for the Adirondack region, received an award of $370,000 for conservation and restoration work at Camp Santanoni in the Essex County town of Newcomb.
This was one of only nine historic building conservation grants awarded nationally in this round, according to an announcement made by AARCH. » Continue Reading.
An overflow crowd for the Ticonderoga Historical Society’s program “Victorian Spirit Photography” has resulted in an additional program being scheduled for Friday, October 5 at 7 pm.
“Victorian Spirit Photography” proved so popular that a number of those who wished to attend were unable to get into the program room last Friday evening. The additional presentation will allow attendees to make seat reservations by phone, e-mail or via Facebook.
As before, O’Connor promises a couple of “surprises” during the program and invites both the living and “otherworldly” to attend. » Continue Reading.
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