The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has released the final unit management plans (UMPs) for the Hurricane Mountain Fire Tower Historic Area and the Saint Regis Mountain Fire Tower Historic Area.
DEC will allow volunteer organizations to restore the two fire towers and reopen them to the public. » Continue Reading.
The Lake George Kayak Company has been awarded a Preservation Award by Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH) for its restoration of an 1880s boathouse on Green Island.
The boathouse now serves as the Lake George Kayak Company’s retail store, selling kayaks, canoes, paddleboards and boating-related gear. The restoration was completed in 2013.
According to Kate Ritter, AARCH’s program director, the awards are presented annually to those who have “undertaken sensitive restorations or rehabilitations and demonstrated long-term stewardship.” » Continue Reading.
The State Departments of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Transportation (DOT) have announced that they are seeking public input through December 15 on an amendment to the Unit Management Plan (UMP) for the Remsen-Lake Placid Travel Corridor (the Corridor). The UMP governs the use of the 119-mile rail corridor, which has been the subject of much recent debate over the future of the historic rail line. Four public comment sessions are scheduled to discuss the possible amendment.
According to the notice issued to the press: “DEC and DOT will develop a draft UMP amendment to evaluate the use of the Tupper Lake to Lake Placid segment for a recreational trail. The agencies say they are also examining opportunities to maintain and realize the full economic potential of rail service from Utica to Tupper Lake, and reviewing options to create and expand alternative snowmobile corridors, and other trails, to connect communities from Old Forge to Tupper Lake on existing state lands and conservation easements.” » Continue Reading.
On September 29, Historic Saranac Lake was presented an Adirondack Architectural Heritage Award at a luncheon at the Woods Inn in Inlet. The award was granted for the restoration of the Saranac Lake Laboratory as a museum, community space, and organization offices.
“It is a real honor,” Executive Director Amy Catania said in a statement to the press. “Many community members have put in a lot of hard work on the restoration of this special building. Thanks to everyone’s hard work, we are now open as Saranac Lake’s downtown history center, serving thousands of visitors every year from near and far.” » Continue Reading.
What follows is a guest essay by Sheila Myers, who is working on a historical novel based on the life of William West Durant.
In science there is an expression that theories can never be proved, only disproved. I teach science, and that may be why a comment I read while researching William West Durant for my novel about his life provoked me to find out where this famous builder of Great Camps in the Adirondacks drew his inspiration. This then led me to uncover some fallacies in his biography.
It started with the dissertation by Mary Ellen Domblewski (Cornell University, 1974). In it she conjectures that Durant, having no formal training in architecture, may have visited the Bernese Oberland during his time abroad. It would be there, she believed, he would have observed the Swiss cottage style that he emulated at great camps Pine Knot and Sagamore.
Several nonprofits from across the Adirondack region have partnered to raise funds to rebuild the historic and iconic Wanakena Footbridge in the Clifton-Fine community. The suspension bridge was destroyed in January, 2014 when an ice jam on the Oswegatchie River broke and slammed into its side.
Built in 1902 by the Rich Lumber Company, the footbridge provided pedestrian access to residential and commercial areas of Wanakena. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999. Estimates put the full cost of construction at $250,000.
The Wanakena Historical Association has already raised nearly $38,000, but to extend the campaign’s, reach the Adirondack North Country Association (ANCA) has partnered with other local nonprofits to establish an online Adirondack Gives crowdfunding effort. The Wanakena Footbridge campaign can be found on the Adirondack Gives website. » Continue Reading.
My family has spent the last month showing off the Adirondacks to a young friend visiting from Holland. In a week he’ll be off to study architecture in Prague. We’ve hiked, canoed and camped as well visited Olympic sites, outdoor concerts and museums.
He has been fascinated by the amount of green space we have, off-grid living and sustainable landscapes. The last segment of his whirlwind Adirondack tour will be White Pine Camp in Paul Smiths and Great Camp Sagamore in Raquette Lake. » Continue Reading.
On Sunday, September 14th, Historic Saranac Lake will host “Welcome to the Summer White House!” The afternoon features a tour and reception at White Pine Camp, an Adirondack Great Camp built in 1907, where President Calvin Coolidge spent ten consecutive weeks during the summer of 1926.
Guests will take guided tours of the buildings and grounds from 2:00-3:30 pm followed by a wine reception featuring favorite foods of various U.S. Presidents. The reception will be held in an idyllic setting at the water’s edge in one of the Camp’s boathouses on Osgood Pond. Highlights of the tour will include the “Great Room,” Japanese tea house, rock garden, bowling alley, tennis house, guest cabins, and service buildings, as well as a display of historic memorabilia and video of President Coolidge’s visit. » Continue Reading.
This Saturday, August 16th, twenty pontoon boats will depart from the Old Forge Lakefront at 10 am and take passengers on a tour of some of the most fabulous camps on the Fulton Chain. The annual House Tour by Boat provides an inside look into the camps that boaters can only observe from the water.
This year the tour will visit six camps on Fourth Lake that include Mountain Phoenix, Evergreen House, Tall Pines Lodge, Ladair Camp, Morris Point, and the Murphy Camp. Owners from each property will be on site to assist with tours and answer questions, pontoon boats are provided by gracious volunteers. The tour has a limited availability to allow for enough time at each property. » Continue Reading.
The Preservation League of New York State has named the Old Stone Barracks in Plattsburgh to its list of the Empire State’s most threatened historic resources, Seven to Save.
Constructed in 1838, this is the oldest building at the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971, it illustrates the longstanding military presence in New York’s North Country between 1812 and 1995. The building boasts massive stone walls, heavy timber framing, and a two-story columned porch running the full length of the north façade. With views of Valcour Island, Cumberland Head, Grand Isle and the Green Mountains of Vermont, the building conveys the central role that military activities played in the history of the Champlain Valley. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Museum has announced that the institution will receive into the museum’s collection the wilderness cabin Anne LaBastille, famous worldwide from her Woodswoman series of books, built and lived in, along with many of her personal effects.
An accompanying gift of $300,000 will support the costs of moving the cabin to the museum and incorporating it into a new exhibition, The Adirondack Experience, expected to open in 2017. The gifts were made by the Estate of LaBastille, an author, ecologist, environmental advocate, and former Adirondack Park Agency Commissioner, who passed away in 2011. » Continue Reading.
Noted cabaret vocalist Andrea Marcovicci will be visiting Great Camp Sagamore to perform a special program celebrating the noted American Songbook composers who stayed at Sagamore Lodge: Richard Rogers, Jerome Kern and Hoagy Carmichael.
Marcovicci’s performance will be part of the camp’s 2014 benefit for historic preservation. Proceeds from the benefit help with the ongoing restoration of the Sagamore’s 27 National Historic Landmark structures. The benefit will be on Saturday, August 2nd and will include cocktails and a silent auction at the camp’s play house, followed by Andrea Marcovvici’s performance and a catered sit down dinner and live auction. The evening will be capped with cigars, port, and a camp fire. » Continue Reading.
Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH) will host four tours of Great Camp Santanoni in Newcomb. Built for Robert and Anna Pruyn of Albany beginning in 1892, Santanoni eventually included 12,900 acres and nearly four-dozen buildings.
The first tour will be held this Saturday, June 28, 2014. There will be three additional tours on July 25, August 16, and September 5th.
The tours will be led by AARCH director Steven Engelhart. The day will include stops at the Gate Lodge, the 200-acre farm, and the Main Camp on Newcomb Lake where we will see ongoing restoration and learn about the conservation planning and restoration work. The Santanoni Preserve is owned by New York State, is on the National Register of Historic Places, and is a National Historic Landmark. AARCH has long been associated with the protection, interpretation and restoration of this regional treasure. » Continue Reading.
My cousin Stephen FitzPatrick’s curiosity was peeked by my writings. A piece of the puzzle had always been in his hands but he did not know it. Prompted by my last article, Stephen searched through boxes of his mother’s memorabilia and found the photo at left.
It’s dated 1910, the year of construction according to our family’s oral history. Could this be the first photo of the little red cabin? Our previous research had narrowed the window in time to between 1905 and 1918. This would appear to squeeze the date of construction to a mere five year period between 1905 and 1910. It was time to see what evidence I could find of the Thachers on Indian Point between the pages of books, newspaper articles and letters. » Continue Reading.
The Friends of Poke-O-Moonshine have been working since 1997 to restore the fire tower and trails on that mountain. The group is a coalition of Adirondack Architectural Heritage, the town of Chesterfield, Champlain Area Trails (CATS), the Mountaineer, local summer camps and businesses, several Adirondack Mountain Club chapters, and hundreds of individuals who know and love the mountain.
The fire tower was fully restored as an interpretive site in 2005. Educational displays showcase fire-tower and local history and the land uses within the viewshed of the mountain. Since 2002, the Friends have employed tower stewards for the summer hiking season.
We have redeveloped the Ranger Trail as an interpretive trail with eleven numbered stops keyed to a brochure on the human and natural history of “Poke-O.” We also worked with the Adirondack Nature Conservancy to guarantee access to a second trail, the Observers’ Trail, which was the original vehicle route to the fire observer’s cabin below the summit. » Continue Reading.
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