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.


Sunday, September 10, 2017

240th Anniversary of the Battles of Saratoga Event Planned

Saratoga National Historical Park in Stillwater, N.Y. on Saturday, Sept. 20, 2008. The Saratoga National Historical Park’s ca. 1775 Neilson House will host a reenactment of the lives of Continental Army and Militia personnel who inhabited the same ground in September and October 1777 during the Battles of Saratoga on Saturday and Sunday, September 16-17.

At this 240th anniversary of the battle, visitors can experience some of the sights, sounds, and smells of military camp life in the American Revolution as re-enactors portray American Continental and Militia soldiers and women followers during the 1777 Battles of Saratoga. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, September 7, 2017

2017 Battle of Plattsburgh Commemoration Quiz

The Battle of Plattsburgh celebration is upon us again, so there’s no better time than now for a little Q&A to test your knowledge (and you’ll learn stuff, too!) about a truly remarkable victory.

The focus here is on Commodore Thomas Macdonough, who was lauded nationally as a hero for his actions on Lake Champlain. On Plattsburgh’s museum campus (located on the former air base property), you’ll find the Battle of Plattsburgh Association’s War of 1812 Museum, and check out the schedule of events for the 2017 Battle of Plattsburgh commemoration running from September 7–10. There’s something for everyone, with plenty of great family venues. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Raquette River Dams Research Talk Thursday

The view upriver from Carry Dam during construction, c. 1950sTAUNY, Traditional Arts in Upstate New York has invited the community to a Raquette River dams exhibit research talk with Camilla Ammirati and Mary Jane Watson on Thursday, September 7 from noon to 1 pm at the TAUNY Center in Canton.

The presentation will focus on the oral history project that inspired TAUNY’s current exhibit, “‘Look Down, You’ll See Our Tracks’: Raquette River Dam Stories.” Attendees will have the chance to see the images, hear the stories, and learn about how this part of our regional heritage came into focus over three years of research and exhibit development.

Project partner Mary Jane Watson of South Colton will discuss the concentration of dams and powerhouses Niagara Mohawk built around the Colton area in the 1950s and how they transformed the local environment and community life. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Emma Johnson: One Tough Pioneer Mom

Heat and hard physical work can be a debilitating combination. Two of my experiences with them from the long-ago past were a challenge and a heck of a workout — under a blazing sun, doing the haying, and, my personal favorite, picking rocks. But the most exhausting of all was harder than both — digging graves with a shovel and pick during the hottest days of summer. I quickly understood why the veteran diggers joked that people who died during the summer were so inconsiderate.

Decades ago, while researching my first book, the details of another very hot and difficult job were revealed to me by a kind and accommodating woman named Emma Johnson, who was 85 years old at the time. The subject was a remarkable place in northern Clinton County known locally as the Altona Flat Rock. New York State’s Natural Heritage Program, established in 1985, defined the Altona Flat Rock as “sandstone pavement barrens,” a natural rarity. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Amy Godine’s ‘Tales from the Black Woods’ Lecture

Black Farmers in North ElbaThe Adirondack History Museum will conclude its summer lecture series with “Tales from the Black Woods” with Amy Godine on Thursday, September 7.

Godine’s lecture explores Essex County stories that underscore the deep appeal of land ownership and farming for black families before the Civil War, and celebrates the richness of the 19th-century black Adirondack experience.

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, August 27, 2017

Jay O’Hern’s Newest Book: Adirondack Camp Stories

adirondack camp stories bookWilliam J. O’Hern’s new book Adirondack Camp Stories: A Treasury of True Tales, Lore, History, Recreation, and Colorful Characters of the Mountains (North Country Books, 2017) is a storybook with archival photos that connect readers with early Adirondack camps — from the simplest backwoods shelters, to boarding houses and hotels that offered more comfortable amenities. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, August 24, 2017

Blue Mountain Lake Flotilla Recreating 1882 Event

On August 27, the Blue Lake community will come together to celebrate a time when guests arrived by steamer, stage coach, and train to spend summers in their idyllic Adirondack town. In 1882, the original flotilla glided from the shores of Prospect Point House to the sounds of a cannon salute and orchestra while Chinese lanterns showed the way. Now, 135 years later, Prospect Point Cottages is welcoming all antique and non-motorized boats to participate in a similar flotilla for a glimpse back to the Adirondack’s Gilded Age.

According to Prospect Point Cottages owner and Blue Mountain Lake Flotilla organizer David Oestreicher credits the idea to recreate the Blue Mountain Lake Flotilla to his mother. Though she presented the idea over 25 years ago, the timing just didn’t seem to fit. Now, 135 years after the original event, the enthusiasm to recreate the flotilla is palpable. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Peter S. Paine Jr. Awarded Marquis de Montcalm Award

Featured left to right: Beth L. Hill, President & CEO of Fort Ticonderoga; Sanford Morhouse, Fort Ticonderoga Association Board Chairman; Peter S. Paine, Jr., Fort Ticonderoga Trustee Emeritus and award recipient, and Anthony Pell, Fort Ticonderoga Trustee EmeritusFort Ticonderoga recently awarded Peter S. Paine, Jr. the Marquis de Montcalm Award. The award is Fort Ticonderoga’s highest honor and was given in recognition of Paine’s years of leadership and service to the museum.  The award was presented at Fort Ticonderoga’s Annual Summer Gala held at Fort Ticonderoga on August 12th. Paine was presented the award and given a reproduction of a Chevalier of the Order of Saint Louis, a prestigious French medal given to the Marquis de Montcalm in 1757. » Continue Reading.


Monday, August 21, 2017

Military Archaeology of Upper Hudson, Champlain Valleys

Map of Lake George and Lake ChamplainOn Thursday, August 24, 2017 at the Schuylerville Town Hall, 12 Spring Street, The American Revolution Round Table of the Hudson and Mohawk Valleys will host a talk with archaeologist David Starbuck on 18th Century Military archaeology in the Upper Hudson and Champlain Valleys. The presentation will begin at 7 pm.

The waterway that runs between Albany and Canada contains the richest cluster of 18th-century military sites in the US. Fort William Henry and Fort Ticonderoga experienced fierce conflict during the French and Indian War, and the Saratoga Battlefield is forever linked to the American Revolution. While military historians have told and retold stories of the area’s battles and generals, archaeologist David Starbuck turns to the daily lives of soldiers, officers, and camp followers by examining the many objects and artifacts they left behind. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, August 19, 2017

‘I Am Not Your Negro’ Screening, Discussion In Saranac Lake

I am not your negroJohn Brown Lives! in partnership with Lake Flower Landing will host a screening of the documentary I Am Not Your Negro on Thursday, August 24, 2017, in Saranac Lake.

A film for these times, Raoul Peck’s award-winning documentary on writer James Baldwin draws inspiration from Baldwin’s final but unfinished manuscript, Remember This House, and the narrative relies almost exclusively on his writings, read by Samuel L. Jackson. Documentary footage of police violence against Black people in the 1960s is juxtaposed against shots of similar violence today.

The screening will be followed by an open-ended conversation with novelist Russell Banks, Nell Painter, Edwards Professor of American History, Emerita, Princeton University, and David Goodman whose brother Andrew Goodman was one of three young Civil Rights activists murdered in Mississippi, during Freedom Summer in 1964, by members of the Ku Klux Klan. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, August 17, 2017

High Peaks Hiking History Lecture in Elizabethtown Aug 24th

hiking lectureThe Adirondack History Museum will continue its summer lecture series on Thursday, August 24 with “History of Hiking in the High Peaks” by presenter Sharp Swan. Swan is a local historian and board president of the Essex County Historical Society.

The High Peaks of the Adirondacks little resemble the mountains that settlers first gazed upon. Man has radically changed the landscape by logging all but 5 percent, starting fires destroying thousands of acres, and now loving the mountains to death. This lecture will explore these stories as well as the lives of guides, hurricanes and more about the High Peaks. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, August 17, 2017

Fascinating Fossils of the Champlain Valley Saturday

Crown point historic siteChamplain Valley fossils, ancient reefs, and old forts are the topics professor and paleontologist Nancy Budd will cover on August 19 at the Crown Point Historic Site, from 10 am to 12:30 pm. The program is sponsored by Champlain Area Trails (CATS).

After a 45-minute presentation in the Museum’s theater, program participants will find and identify fossils in the rock exposures at the historic site. Most fossils in the Champlain Valley are approximately 460 million years old and are remnants of what was once a shallow sea along the edge of the Adirondacks. The climate of the Champlain Valley was subtropical, and the fossils include a diverse group such as sponges, brachiopods, gastropod snails, bivalves, and trilobites and many others. » Continue Reading.



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