The Adirondack History Museum in Elizabethtown celebrates the place of art in Adirondack life with its 2016 Season, “Art: Then & Now.”
Staff and volunteers spent the off season preparing to open the Rosenberg Gallery on the second floor of the museum, named in honor of James N. Rosenberg.
The project was the brain child of museum board member Steve Shepstone who together with his wife Melissa, and fellow board member Sharp Swan, designed the gallery and performed much of the labor. The museum plans to have at least two shows a year, highlighting a wide variety of art. » Continue Reading.
The Champlain Area Trail Society (CATS) and Pok-o-MacCready Camps have joined together to present two Survival Skills courses on Saturday, December 12, 2015. The courses will be taught by a Pok-o-MacCready instructor on the Blueberry Hill Trail System in Elizabethtown.
“We want people to feel comfortable when they hike and explore new places,” CATS executive director Chris Maron said in a statement announcing the courses. “Our trails are pretty well-marked and with the new hiking opportunities in the Champlain Valley, being prepared will lead more people to visit the new trails.” » Continue Reading.
As colorful nicknames go, Bloody Bill is tough to beat. It belongs to a number of bad guys, and one very good guy – Bloody Bill Higby, born in Willsboro 202 years ago.
After attending local schools and working on the family farm, he found employment in the iron and lumber business. Higby then enrolled in the Essex County Academy at Westport and went on to graduate from the University of Vermont. After studying law, he began practicing in Elizabethtown in 1847. Three years later, nearing the age of 40, he felt the call of the West amid dreams of striking it rich in California’s gold mines. » Continue Reading.
Regional traditions, from Authors’ Night in Long Lake to small-town fairs and church dinners, are part of what makes rural life fun. There’s a financial component for sure, but such social gatherings capture a feeling of community that’s elusive in more populated areas. Eighty years ago, Elizabethtown in Essex County hosted the launch of a unique event that fit the mold perfectly: Dicker Days.
Town leaders actually turned down the idea, so it was hosted in Elizabethtown, but was the brainchild of Margaret Adams, whose persistence and resources made it a success. » Continue Reading.
Car enthusiasts will be on hand displaying muscle cars, vintage roadsters, hot rods and more at the Adirondack History Museum’s 4th Annual Antique and Classic Car Show on Saturday, June 13th from 10 am to 3 pm. These vintage cars will be exhibited on the museum grounds behind the pavilion off Hand Avenue in Elizabethtown. Admission is free. » Continue Reading.
It may seem hard to believe, but politics were once truly local. A Congressional candidate was nominated by his party only after he had already served his community, usually in local and state offices, where his character and his abilities had been given a chance to reveal themselves.
The erosion of locally-rooted politics has been attributed to the nationalization of congressional races by Newt Gingrich’s Republicans in 1994, to the proliferation of politicized and polarizing radio shows and television networks and to the tides of money from lobbyists and corporations flowing into local races.
Once, even national elections were local, as Harry McDougal, the Republican leader of Essex County for decades, recalled in an interview in the 1960s. » Continue Reading.
Late spring of 1845 found Gerrit Smith, a leader of the Liberty Party, touring the North Country in search of disaffected “Whigs and Democrats, whose intelligence and Christian integrity will not permit them to remain longer in their pro-slavery connections.”
Smith, from Peterboro, in Madison County, traveled from Saratoga Springs, through Glens Falls and then into Essex and Clinton counties on his quest to build a credible third party, a devoted anti-slavery party. His report, printed in the Albany Patriot in late June, details the villages his visited, the people he met, and the difficulties he faced. » Continue Reading.
From humble North Country beginnings in a pioneer settlement, a local man rose to play an important government role on a national level. Work performed at the height of his career still affects every facet of our government today. It is also highly valued by researchers, genealogists, and historians as a great repository of valuable historical records.
William Rush Merriam was born in 1849 in the small community of Wadham’s Mills in Essex County, just a few miles northwest of Westport. Many members of the Merriam families in that vicinity played important roles in regional history.
At the time of William’s birth, his father, John L. Merriam, was involved in iron making. While a number of Merriams remained in the Westport–Elizabethtown area, John pulled up stakes when William was 12 and moved the family to Minnesota, eventually settling in St. Paul.
With a partner, John became successful in the field of transportation prior to the arrival of the railroad. At that time, St. Paul was known informally as Pig’s Eye, and was the commerce center of the Minnesota Territory. The name St. Paul was formalized as the capital city when Minnesota became the 32nd state in 1858. » Continue Reading.
The new Frances Miller Adoption Center at the North Country SPCA will hold its grand opening celebration this Saturday, July 20 from noon to 6 p.m. The state-of-the-art 3,200-square-foot facility, which first opened its doors in March, is located at 7700 Route 9N in Elizabethtown.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony will mark the occasion at 2 p.m. The ceremony will be preceded and followed by a day of celebration featuring free adoptions and family-friendly activities. (To get pre-approved for adoption, visit here and submit an online application in advance of the event.) » Continue Reading.
The Board of Directors of the North Country Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NCSPCA), an Essex County no-kill shelter providing refuge to more than 400 dogs and cats each year, have announced the selection of Jessica Hartley as the organization’s new Executive Director.
Hartley took over full-time at the new Frances Miller Adoption Center in Elizabethtown on July 1. She is expected to focus on finding new ways to fully develop the potential of the facility and has plans to expand programming, outreach and collaborative efforts with other animal welfare organizations.
The public is invited to the Adoption Center and meet Hartley during regular open hours or during the NCSPCA’s Grand Opening celebration on July 20 from 12-6pm. » Continue Reading.
Camping in the Adirondacks, popular now for well beyond a century, has evolved with the changing times. Roughing it in open lean-tos and makeshift shelters was largely supplanted by tent camping. Then, with the advent of the automobile, the mountains would never be the same. Auto-camping became hugely popular in a very short time. As the price of cars dropped to where the average worker could afford one, thousands of families took to the road to get away from it all, strapping tents, blankets, fishing equipment, and other gear to their vehicles.
Adirondack hotels remained strong during that time because their clientele tended to be “hotel people,” while auto-campers sought solitude, self-sufficiency, and adventure. But in an interesting experiment at Elizabethtown, one innovative entrepreneur explored the middle ground. » Continue Reading.
The North Country SPCA has opened the new Frances Miller Adoption Center at 7700 Route 9N in Elizabethtown. More than 1,000 people contributed to building the new shelter, according to Margaret Reuther who co-chaired the capital campaign.
The Miller Center (named for the mother of a donor), is expected to care for more than 400 homeless, abandoned, and abused cats and dogs each year. The new facility replaces the overcrowded, Westport shelter, which was built in the 1960s. It is the only animal shelter in Essex County; a dedication ceremony and open house is planned for mid-June. » Continue Reading.
Arthur V. Savage of Elizabethtown, Keene, and points south died on December 26 and belongs in my pantheon of Adirondack conservation champions. Judging from the flow of email following his death, that also holds true for many others. He was a man of varied interests, commitments, and for all seasons. I am hoping this short post will stimulate others who knew Arthur better than I to share their thoughts.
Arthur’s obituary was in many regional papers as well as The New York Times. His importance as an early leader in environmental law circles can’t be overstated. I knew Arthur principally for his work on the boards of the not for profit Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks (AFPA) and NYS Adirondack Park Agency. When Arthur joined these boards, the former through the recruitment of AFPA’s long-time chairman Arthur Crocker in the 1960s, and the latter thanks to his nomination to the APA by Governor Hugh Carey in 1979, he gave a complete effort. » Continue Reading.
A newly constructed 2.5-mile trail to the western end of the Jay Mountain Ridge is complete and available for public use the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced. The trail bypasses the steep and eroded sections of an existing herd path that had been the primary access to mountain’s summit.
“The new Jay Mountain trail is safer and easier to hike and will allow more people to hike to the summit and enjoy the views. It should also serve to attract more visitors to the nearby communities of Jay, Elizabethtown, Keene and Keene Valley,” DEC Regional Director Robert Stegemann said in a statement issued to the press. » Continue Reading.
We certainly felt like we’d covered every main route in our travels through the Adirondacks, but if it weren’t for several referrals to Baxter Mountain Tavern in Keene, we might have missed this one. Its location on Route 9N, between Elizabethtown and Keene, eluded us. We’ve traveled to Elizabethtown, then back, and have been through Keene numerous times on our way to Lake Placid and beyond, but never connected the dots. One more reason to abandon the GPS and find your own way.
Recommended to us by numerous hikers, the Baxter Mountain Tavern was obviously well known to so many others – locals, seasonal residents and tourists. As afternoon turned to evening, the bar, restaurant and deck filled with expectant diners. With at least eight people at the bar, our foursome filled it to capacity. Sarah the bartender was kept busy between serving the bar customers and preparing drinks for the diners, but always kept up the smile and attentiveness to all. As Baxter’s got busier, she referred our questions to the owner, Dave Deyo. Equally busy greeting and seating guests, he graciously managed to share information with us. » Continue Reading.
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