Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Gouverneur’s Rhoda Fox Graves, NYS Political Trailblazer (Conclusion)

The Ogdensburg Journal-Republican, forced to eat crow after rejecting Rhoda Graves’ claims of Warren Thayer’s corruption, applied twisted logic to justify their stance and the senator’s behavior. They opened with: “Senator Thayer has retired…. It was found that he was on the payroll of a utility corporation and, we feel, working against the interests of the average resident of this district who has been forced to pay unjust rates.” The words “we feel” simply did not apply. There was no question he had been putting the financial screws to his voters while protecting a power company and lining his own pockets.

And then came the kicker, a painful contortion of words—possibly the weakest excuse they could have drummed up—to justify years of unethical, anti-constituent acts by the man they supported. “Senator Thayer was at least consistent. During his entire political life, he has been a close ally of the power groups, a fact that he has never denied. Head of a power company, he was elected to the Assembly and then the Senate, and could not have been expected to change his views.” In any day and age, no matter what your politics are, that’s a sign of having drunk the Kool-Aid. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, April 6, 2019

Rhoda Fox Graves, NYS Political Trailblazer (Part 4)

During Rhoda Fox’s efforts on behalf of the Republican Party from 1918 through 1923, there was plenty of praise for her in the media and no criticism, but she was a non-office holder. When she decided in 1924 to run for an Assembly seat, anti-woman resistance was evident, gently discouraging the idea by praising her activism but insisting the job was best done by a man. When she surprised most people and won, the anti-woman factions maintained their stance but were forced to grudgingly accepted her.

Now, with the announcement of a run for the Senate, the kid gloves were off. The party split, evidenced by the strong support she received from the Watertown Daily Times and the virulent attacks emanating from Ogdensburg, especially in the Republican-Journal, when Rhoda’s opening salvo went right to the heart of the matter. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, April 2, 2019

John Brown Lives! Awarded Grant by Parks & Trails

john brown livesJohn Brown Lives! (JBL!) has been awarded a $31,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Fund’s (EPF) Park and Trail Partnership Program to enhance interpretation at the John Brown Farm and to develop outreach strategies that raise awareness of and support of the site.

JBL! became the official Friends Group of the John Brown Farm State Historic Site in Lake Placid in 2016. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, March 30, 2019

Gouverneur’s Rhoda Fox Graves, NYS Political Trailblazer (Part 3)

After a year in office, Rhoda Graves won reelection to the New York State Assembly, while five other female GOP candidates elsewhere in the state lost. In January 1926, she sought the chairmanship of the social welfare committee, a position already held by a senior member (from Niagara) who was unwilling to surrender it. She was instead given charge of public institutions — not her preference, for sure — but chairing any committee was another historic first for New York women.

Rhoda’s second year in office was an active one. She pushed a bill restricting the slaughter of tubercular cows to their home county rather than performing the job at a central location; was in a serious train derailment that killed the engineer, but she and Perle emerged relatively unscathed; argued for higher tariffs on incoming farm goods to protect locals; was reelected vice-chairman of the County Republican Committee; and won reelection to the Assembly. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, March 28, 2019

Lecture: William Murray’s Impact on Adirondack Tourism

The final Cabin Fever Sunday Series program of the season at Adirondack Experience, The Museum on Blue Mountain Lake (ADKX) will be Fools Rushed In: W.H.H. Murray’s Adventures in the Wilderness, 150 Years Later with Ivy Gocker, is set for April 7th, at 1:30 pm. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, March 24, 2019

Inez Milholland Subject of Ti Historical’s ‘Big Read’

The Ticonderoga Historical Society has invited readers across the region to a “big read” style project focusing on the life of famed suffragist and Adirondack resident Inez Milholland. The program is part of its ongoing programming related to the anniversary of women’s suffrage.

The book of focus will be Inez: The Life and Times of Inez Milholland, a 2016 biography by Linda J. Lumsden. The book provides insight into the life – and untimely death of Milholland. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, March 23, 2019

Naj Wikoff: The Healing Powers of Nature

woman skiingIs being out in Nature healing? An increasing body of evidence says yes according to Florence Williams, the author of The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes US Happier, Healthier, and More Creative.

What makes us happy? For a long time, research has pointed to having good relationships, being engaged with one’s community, meeting one’s basic needs of food, housing, and income, getting exercise, and being involved in some cause more significant than one’s self; spending time helping others. But what about the environment we live in, does that matter, and if so, does it matter in some significant way? » Continue Reading.


Thursday, March 21, 2019

1921: Rhoda Fox Graves Runs For Assembly

Rhoda Graves was active in Republican politics in 1917 when New York passed women’s suffrage. When it became the law of the land in 1920, it made the possibility of holding elective office an attractive option for some women.

In 1921, Rhoda’s close friend, ten-year assemblyman Frank Seaker, retired from public office, and William Laidlaw, nominated to replace him, served for the next three years. It’s not clear what the machinations were behind Laidlaw’s decision not to run for another term, but there’s no doubt the big announcement that followed was the work of Rhoda, Perle (her husband), Frank Seaker, and supporters among party leaders. Seeking the GOP nomination for an Assembly position was none other than Rhoda Graves of Gouverneur — a woman! » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, March 20, 2019

A New History of Adirondack Native People

rural indigenousnessMelissa Otis’s book Rural Indigenousness: A History of Iroquoian and Algonquian Peoples of the Adirondacks (Syracuse University Press, 2018) takes a look at indigenous and settler interactions in the Adirondacks.

The Adirondacks have been a homeland for Indigenous people for millennia. The presence of Native people in the region was obvious, but not well documented by Europeans who did not venture into the interior between the seventeenth and early nineteenth centuries. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Lake George Rev War Remains: The 1st Pennsylvania At Fort George

archaeologists and assistants examine excavated soils at the siteThe remains dislodged from an 18th century military cemetery at a Lake George construction site will, in all likelihood, be reinterred on the grounds of Fort George Park, say Village officials.

The Village’s Board of Trustees has adopted a resolution calling upon New York State to permit the remains to be buried at the state-owned park, said Mayor Bob Blais.

Blais said New York State officials support the proposal, although the remains will be in the possession of state archaeologists for at least a year, undergoing examination and analyses. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, March 19, 2019

A Soldier’s Journey Through The Adirondack Park

The next Adirondack Experience 2019 Cabin Fever Sunday Series lecture will be “A Soldier’s Journey through the Heart of the Park” with John Taibi on March 24th. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, March 17, 2019

Comments Sought on Crown Point Management Plan

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) are preparing a Unit Management Plan (UMP) for both the Crown Point State Historic Site and the Crown Point Campground and Day Use Area.

Public comments are sought on the UMP, which will address the future management of both properties, including 440-acres along the shores of Lake Champlain. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, March 14, 2019

Gouverneur’s Rhoda Fox Graves, NYS Political Trailblazer

Bucking the odds is a common theme of Walter-Mitty-type fantasies — overcoming daunting obstacles to become a winner, or a hero at some level. Few of us actually live the dream, but sometimes it happens, and during Women’s History Month, an incredible North Country example comes to mind: Rhoda F. Graves of Gouverneur in St. Lawrence County.

The extreme unlikelihood of her becoming a historic figure in state politics makes her story all the more compelling. And the details are amazing. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, March 13, 2019

The Other Milhollands: John and Vida

Warren County Historical SocietyIn celebration of Women’s History Month, the Warren County Historical Society will host “The Other Milhollands: John and Vida” on Wednesday, March 27, at 7 pm in Glens Falls.

Managing Director of the Ticonderoga Historical Society Diane O’Connor will be the presenter. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, March 9, 2019

Remembering Jackie Archer: A North Country Inspiration (Conclusion)

At Plattsburgh’s Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Celebration in 1990, Chairperson Vivian Papson shared a personal recollection of Jackie Archer with the Press-Republican’s Anne Smith:

“The first time I made contact with Jackie was in 1987. My introduction to her was a firm yet musical voice on the phone saying, ‘I’m Jacqueline Archer. I live in Plattsburgh and I think that this community needs to have a way to celebrate Dr. King’s birthday. I would like to organize a commemorative gathering; would you be interested in working with me?’ Everyone is very proud of Jackie. She is confined to a wheelchair but has tremendous spirit and interest in the community. She is unbelievably active.” » Continue Reading.