Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Get Into Winter On Snowshoes

Snowshoeing at 4H Camp Overlook in Mountain ViewWinter’s here. It’s the season of snowmen, snowballs, snow forts, snow sculptures, sledding, tobogganing, tubing, ice skating, ice fishing, ice climbing, downhill skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing, dog sledding, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing.

I’ve heard it said, “If you can walk, you can snowshoe.” It’s fun, easy to learn, inexpensive when compared to most other winter sports, and poses little risk of injury. It’s a great group-activity, too; one that can open up a whole new world of winter recreation for your entire family. » Continue Reading.


Monday, December 30, 2019

A Mystery Writer’s Tramp to Twitchell’s Lake

Topographical Map of Lewis County On July 8, 1874, The Lowville Journal and Republican ran an article about a party of six men who trekked to Twitchell Lake in Big Moose, NY, for a nine-day stay. They came by horse and buggy up the Number Four Road through Watson Township from some town to the west.

After a brief stay at the Fenton House in the hamlet of Number Four and an overnight at Wardwell’s on Beaver River’s Stillwater, they crossed Twitchell Creek and tramped a mile south off the Carthage to Lake Champlain Road to Wood’s Lake: » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Dangerous Ideas from Christmas Past

amateur santa clause headlineAlmost 30 years ago, Dana Carvey’s character, “Grumpy Old Man,” was a popular recurring feature of Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update.

He’d offer an assessment of current times compared to the so-called “good old days,” highlighting some barbaric practices of the past (exaggerated to great comedic effect) with the closing line, “And we liked it!”

I was reminded of that concept while perusing some shocking guidelines suggested in the early 1900s regarding the enjoyment of a safe Christmas season. Regional newspapers carried a list of suggestions for an enhanced experience … and I liked it! » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Holidays to Remember: Christmas, 1945

Among the finest Christmas seasons in America’s long history is the year 1945. We’re constantly bombarded with how special the holidays are, so it’s tough for any one year to stand out as extra special, but 1945 makes the list. Events across the Adirondacks that year epitomized the nation’s attitude. Surprisingly, it wasn’t all about celebrating, even though the most destructive war in history had just ended a few months earlier. We often mumble mindlessly that we’re proud to be Americans. But the first post-World War II Christmas was the real deal, worthy of the word “pride.”

To set the scene, consider the events that had transpired at that time. After being mired for a decade in the worst financial collapse in our history (the Great Depression), Americans had begun preparing for what seemed inevitable: joining the war in Europe. And then, between the Pearl Harbor attack and the war’s end four years later, hundreds of North Country boys and men were killed in action. Thousands more were injured or missing. » Continue Reading.


Monday, December 23, 2019

David Henderson: The Prince of Adirondac

Henderson MonumentIt was June and I was ensconced in the Adirondack Museum library, fortuitously avoiding an unusually muggy early summer afternoon.  I had gone there to do a little research for a work of historical fiction that I thought I might write.  By then my interest in Adirondack history was in full thrall, which made holding the document I had been presented by librarian Jerry Pepper something close to a religious experience.

It was an original letter, written in 1826, well preserved though the paper was a bit brittle and slightly darkened with age.  The script was beautiful; fluid and robust but not embellished or overly fussy.  The writing was sincere, filled with a youthful wonder and spirit of adventure but at the same time composed with a powerful energy and purpose.  Its tone was mellifluous, phrased but unforced, the work of a superb natural writer.  All in all it was – and is – a remarkable document, a singular account of a journey from the early written history of the Adirondacks. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, December 21, 2019

Vintage Adirondacks: Oval Wood Dish Products

adirondack wooden platesThe Oval Wood Dish Company was founded in 1883 in Delta, Ohio. Four years later, the company relocated to Mancelona, Michigan. There they manufactured wooden dishes, made of a single piece of wood, scooped out to form a bowl a sixteenth of an inch thick.

The bowls were disposable containers used by butchers as temporary containers for the ground beef and other meats purchased by customers. Eventually, the company replaced the wasteful method of scooping out the bowls with a wood veneer, cut and stapled to form a bowl. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, December 18, 2019

ADKX Announces 2020 Cabin Fever Sundays Series

tahawus mines provided by ADKXAdirondack Experience, The Museum on Blue Mountain Lake (ADKX), has announced its 2020 Cabin Fever Sunday Series, set to begin on Sunday, January 12 at 1:30 pm. Programs are free for museum members and $5 for the general public.

Admission is on a first-come, first-served basis. Programs are held in the ADKX Auditorium and are subject to change due to weather. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Full Moon Hike Planned for Viall’s Crossing Trail

full moon provided by champlain area trailsChamplain Area Trails (CATS) and John Brown Lives! (JBL!) are set to co-host a Full Moon Hike at the Viall’s Crossing Trail in Westport on Friday, January 10th, 2020.

Viall’s Crossing Farm has a unique connection to John Brown.  Asa Viall, the son of the farm’s first owner, was a friend of the abolitionist, who led an unsuccessful raid on a Virginia armory in 1859.

When Brown was executed for leading a rebellion to end slavery, Asa Viall provided and drove the wagon that took Brown’s body to its final resting place at his farm in North Elba, near Lake Placid. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Historic Whitcomb’s Garage Project Moving Forward

Whitcombs Garage in Whallonsburg

Cloudsplitter Foundation has awarded Whallonsburg Grange Hall in Essex a $10,000 grant for the next phase of the project to renovate and re-purpose Whitcomb’s Garage, the historic building and riverfront lot that sits directly across the road.

The Grange bought the property in December 2018 with the goal of developing it as commercial space for small businesses, artisans’ workshops, community space, retail store and parkland on the Boquet River. Cloudsplitter Director Chenelle Palyswiat delivered the check while touring the site. » Continue Reading.


Monday, December 16, 2019

Lake Placid Olympic Museum Opens New Exhibit

meteorologists from 1980The Lake Placid Olympic Museum is set to open a new exhibit, Foretelling the Future – The National Weather Service at the 1980 Olympic Winter Games, on December 18th for the winter season.

In 1980, there was a small team of meteorologists working to give accurate and timely weather warnings and forecasts to ensure a safe and successful Olympic Winter Games for Lake Placid. The new exhibit will take a look at how the National Weather Service Olympic Support Unit’s weather forecasts and warnings impacted the 1980 Olympic Winter Games. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, December 14, 2019

Origins and History of Christmas Trees

by Viggo Johansen 1891As far as I’m concerned, Christmas just isn’t Christmas without a beautifully decorated, real Christmas tree. Real trees have a stately presence and rich, fragrant aroma that awakens the senses, bringing the forest into the home and warmly welcoming everyone that enters.

The Christmas tree tradition can be traced back to the Roman celebration of the winter solstice; the festival of Saturnalia, the pagan feast of Saturn, god of the harvest; when evergreens were used to decorate homes and temples. Saturnalia was also a time for decorating trees, exchanging presents and going door to door singing (caroling) in exchange for food, drink, and gifts. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, December 7, 2019

Tisquantum And Plymouth Colony’s Survival

Depiction of the Thanksgiving storyPawtuxet Wampanoag Tisquantum‘s story begins during the summer of 1605, when British sailors, under the command of Captain George Weymouth, commissioned by a colonial entrepreneur Sir Ferdinando Gorges, kidnapped him, along with four other Native American boys, and brought them to England.

In his diary, Capt. Weymouth wrote, “we used little delay, but suddenly laid hands upon them … For they were strong and so naked as our best hold was by their long hair on their heads.” » Continue Reading.


Saturday, December 7, 2019

Poetry: Tisquantum

Tisquantum

This country
Was born on a welcoming,
An outstretched hand,
A feeding and a fellowship.
It is a noble heritage
That transcends color and belief.
I come in peace. I rescue you.
I am your brother.
The daunting land and forest creatures
Watched and listened
And all feasted together.
This country
Was born on a welcoming.

Read More Poems From The Adirondack Almanack HERE.


Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Lake Champlain ‘Pavilion’ Gets Restoration, Reuse Funds

Pavilion Restoration ProjectThe Pavilion is a National Historic Landmark house located near Lake Champlain on the grounds of Fort Ticonderoga.

It was built in the late 1820s for William Ferris Pell and later used as a hotel, which hosted the likes of Robert Todd Lincoln, William Howard Taft and suffragist Alice Paul.  Fort Ticonderoga Museum founders Sarah and Stephen Pell restored the Pavilion in 1909. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Tisquantum: The Native Man Who Rescued the Pilgrims

Embarkation of the Pilgrims by Robert Walter Weir“We would worry less if we praised more. Thanksgiving is the enemy of discontent and dissatisfaction.” These are the words of H.A. (Henry Allen) Ironside; a Canadian-American Bible teacher, preacher, theologian, pastor, member of the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church, and one of the most inspired Christian writers of the 20th Century.

For most Americans, Thanksgiving is exactly that; a time of giving thanks. But it’s also a time when we commemorate the success of the Pilgrims; the Separatists who came here from England to establish the Plymouth colony. And, next year, Americans will commemorate the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the Mayflower, and the Pilgrims, to the shores of Massachusetts. » Continue Reading.