Those in the Raquette Lake/Long Lake area are gearing up for a weekend jam-packed with an array of festivities for the annual Durant Days celebration slated for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, August 5, 6 and 7. The weekend serves as a celebration of the birth of Great Camps Architecture and William West Durant, the creator of this amazing style of architecture. History buffs of all ages are invited to travel back in time to the days when waterways were the highways and travel was by boat. Durant Days features boat tours of Raquette Lake aboard the W.W. Durant, tours of Great Camp Sagamore, a boat parade, live music, a fireworks display, and much more.
The year 2022 marks the centennial of three historic events that ignited public interest in exploring the Adirondack wilderness and climbing the “46” high peaks: formation of the Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK), publication of Robert Marshall’s High Peaks of the Adirondacks, and Grace Hudowalski’s first 46er ascent of Mount Marcy.
The Adirondack History Museum invites the public to celebrate these three seminal events on August 6, 2022. The day-long celebration will include lectures and presentations, a special screening of the film “The Mountains Will Wait for You,” and a retrospective on the history and future of the Adirondack Mountain Club.
A new exhibit featuring this significant year in Adirondack history and its effect on recreation, development, and stewardship in the High Peaks will be on display. Programs will be followed by musical selections by Peggy Lynn and Dan Duggan, as well as a reception recognizing ADK’s 100th anniversary.
All are invited to drop by the Long Lake Town Hall on Saturday, July 30, a day which will serve as a celebration of the robust history of Long Lake. Guests are encouraged to view a historical showcase and chat with a member of the Long Lake Historical Society from 10 a.m. through 2 p.m. before enjoying two short plays that evening beginning at 7 p.m. The two performances, A Walk on the Wild Side with Mary Ann Keller & Mystery of the Buttercup, are written and directed by Gail Huntley and based on the original settlers of Long Lake. These events are offered free of charge.
Hiking enthusiasts of all ages and abilities are encouraged to take advantage of a unique opportunity to embark on an educational guided hike where participants will venture into the great outdoors at Great Camp Sagamore and learn about the area’s rich history.
Great Camp Sagamore once had a farm, a 100,000-gallon covered reservoir, and a hydroelectric powerhouse, all hidden away in the surrounding forest. These historic structures were located conveniently close by for the workers who operated them, but hidden from view for the Vanderbilt’s distinguished guests.
The Ticonderoga Historical Society will present a free public program on Friday, August 5 at 7 p.m. at the Hancock House, 6 Moses Circle, Ticonderoga. “Mapping the Adirondacks” will be presented by Pete Nelson, who will discuss the life and work of Rochester physician William Watson Ely.
“Who produced the first detailed map of the Adirondack wilderness, showing most of the water courses, peaks and topography,” said Nelson. “The answer might surprise, for it was not one of the well-known professionals, but an amateur.” Ely’s Map of the New York Wilderness dominated the world of Adirondack maps from the 1860’s until nearly the turn of the century.
Nelson is a mathematics teacher and history lecturer at North Country Community College, a co-founder of the Adirondack Diversity Initiative and an avid writer, lecturer and Adirondack history buff whose articles appear regularly in numerous regional publications (such as the Almanack). He is currently writing a book on early Adirondack surveyors.
The program will be held outdoors, under a tent and attendees should bring their own lawn chairs. Reservations may be made by calling the Hancock House at 518-585-7868 or via e-mail to: email@example.com.
KEENE VALLEY, N.Y.— Town of Keene residents and guests will gather at the Keene Valley Library from 2 to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 23 to celebrate the over 250 stories available through “Adirondack Community: Capturing, Retaining, and Communicating the Stories of Who We Are,” an OurStoryBridge project. All are welcome.
Adirondack Community, sponsored by the Keene Valley Library, is a multi-year local history project that collects and organizes 3- to 5-minute audio stories and related photographs from town of Keene community members through an online platform to share the rich social and cultural history of this community located in New York State’s Adirondack Mountains. Stories are used in classrooms from elementary school through college. In a town of about 1,100 residents, six times that number of users have visited the website to listen to stories. Adirondack Community is the model used by the national story project charitable nonprofit, OurStoryBridge Inc.
So much is happening here at the museum, and we want you to be a part of it! As a member of Historic Saranac Lake, your involvement matters so much! We invite you to share your ideas as we plan for the expansion of the museum into the Trudeau Building. And please mark your calendar for our Membership Party on Monday, July 25.
Join today, and you will receive free admission to the museum, free admission to many events and tours, and a 10% discount in the museum store. Members at the $100 level and above also receive benefits at museums around the country through the North American Reciprocal Museum Association. Business Members receive special benefits! We will send you a membership card effective for twelve months from the date you join. Memberships are distinct from our end-of-year annual fund campaign or special fund drives. Member benefits are only available to those with active memberships!
SARANAC LAKE, NY — PlayADK has contracted with Phinney Design Group to begin phase one of its project to establish a children’s museum and family resource center in downtown Saranac Lake.
Phase one of the project will establish a scope of work and create a conceptual design and blueprints, which PlayADK hopes to reveal to the community in the fall of 2022. Phase one also includes acquiring permits and site assessments.
“We are thrilled to contract with Phinney Design Group,” said Deb Roddy, chair of PlayADK’s Board of Trustees. “This has been a long time coming, and it’s surreal to see them get to work on transforming our old warehouse into the Adirondack’s first children’s museum and family resource center.”
Lake Placid, NY – Starting July 2, ADK will resume its popular naturalist-led walks and programs in the Lake Placid area. This includes all-new, one-hour interpretive walks at the Cascade Welcome Center, which will be offered every Saturday at 1 pm until mid-August.
Walk participants will meet inside the Cascade Welcome Center. All walks and programs are free, open to the public, and do not require advanced registration.**
Additionally, ADK will resume its popular summer naturalist series at the Heart Lake Program Center.
Guests and visitors are welcome to explore the natural world of the Adirondacks through hands-on activities by attending one or all of the following programs:
Naturalist Guided Walks
Join an ADK Naturalist and learn about the natural history of the Adirondacks. Interpretive walks run at 10 am daily all summer long through mid-August. Meeting place is outside the Adirondak Loj.
LAKE PLACID, NY— On June 29, AARP announced that John Brown Lives! (JBL!) has been selected to receive a 2022 AARP Community Challenge grant for its new initiative, “Freedom Story Project.” JBL! is seeking storytellers whose first stories will be released on a new website on August 20 during the first Adirondack Family Book Festival at the John Brown Farm State Historic Site in Lake Placid, making these stories and all that follow easily accessible to all.
Freedom Story Project collects and broadcasts three- to five-minute audio stories and related photographs online, centering around themes of freedom and justice, human and civil rights, activism and engagement, at local, national and international levels. One of its goals is to inspire younger generations to tell their stories and connect to their communities and these issues, including through powerful personal narratives by elders who share their experiences.
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 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.