Many famous ships can be linked in one way or another to Plattsburgh on Lake Champlain in northern Clinton County. There was the Philadelphia under Benedict Arnold’s command in the Battle of Valcour, and the Saratoga under Thomas Macdonough, hero of the Battle of Plattsburgh. There were steamers, like the Vermont, the Chateaugay, and the Ticonderoga. And as noted here in the past, Plattsburgh also owns an unusual link to the largest seagoing vessel of its time, the Titanic.
But there is yet another tied not only to Plattsburgh, but to the entire Champlain Valley, and from Whitehall to Albany as well. And like the Titanic, its name became synonymous with disaster. » Continue Reading.
Just when we thought we had seen the best the Adirondacks has to offer, heeeere’s Johnny’s! If it were as simple as walking in with a ten-item checklist, Johnny’s Smokehouse and Sports Bar in Willsboro would be an easy ten. It isn’t, but they do have it all, inside and out.
In its infancy, Johnny’s was established by Trisha Sheehan in July, 2011 and seems well on its way to maturity. The combination of exciting and creative menu options, a wide selection of beverages, and an appealing atmosphere contribute to an overall enjoyable experience. » Continue Reading.
Have you ever wondered what lies beneath Fort Ticonderoga’s stone walls? Fort Ticonderoga’s curator, Christopher Fox, will lead explorations of Fort Ticonderoga’s hidden past to see remarkably preserved evidence of the Fort’s original structures and catch a glimpse at some of the systems that keeps the Fort running today.
This special behind-the-scenes tour will take visitors into five areas of the Fort not accessible to the general public. In these areas visitors will see original French stone foundations of barracks buildings and cavernous spaces beneath the parapet walls preserving clues to how the Fort was built over 250 years ago and then preserved over the last century.
This hour and a half tour is scheduled at 1:00 pm each Thursday in July and August. Space is limited, advanced reservations are recommended or tickets, as available, can be purchased on the day of the tour at the Guest Services Desk in the Log House Welcome Center. Price is $35 per person with regular general admission. » Continue Reading.
Inspiration for this review called for Jimmy Buffett and a bold Hawaiian shirt. Unseasonably hot pre-summer 90-degree temperatures set the tone for the outdoor bar at the Old Dock House Restaurant and Marina, lakeside in Essex. As we picked our way along the walkway from the parking lot, the sight of a small boat, built into the structure, had us humming the theme from Gilligan’s Island as we approached the cheerful barn red building. » Continue Reading.
News comes this week that the Saratoga & North Creek Railroad (Iowa Pacific Holdings) has gotten federal go-ahead to extend commercial rail uses to and from the former mine at Tahawus, Newcomb. I extend the company and the towns through which the spur line passes a thumbs-up and good luck, not just for its rail rehabilitation and future commercial success, but for its educational success.
That said, the State of New York, by failing to hold public hearings to share information and hear opinion about the complicated issues behind re-extending the line from North Creek to Newcomb, failed its responsibilities for the Forest Preserve. » Continue Reading.
John Brown Farm State Historic Site will once again commemorate Juneteenth with a family-friendly celebration of freedom. The free event will take place onsite in Lake Placid Saturday, June 16th from 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Brendan Mills, Site Manager and Curator at John Brown Farm Historic Site, says,“ The first Juneteenth took place on June 19, 1865 when Union soldiers told slaves in Galveston, Texas that they were free. It was a moment of triumph. The day and celebration eventually became known as Juneteenth. I wanted to have something to celebrate here.”
Mills organized the annual celebration that will include The Lake Champlain Mass Chorus, Sombabeats African Dance Tribe, Reason2Smile African Market Place, BBQ and ice cream. All the activities are free, though the food and ice cream are available for a $2 donation. » Continue Reading.
Fort Ticonderoga has unveiled its newest exhibit, Bullets & Blades: The Weapons of America’s Colonial Wars and Revolution. The exhibit highlights over 150 of the museum’s most important weapons and is a comprehensive and expanded reinterpretation of its world renowned historic arms collection.
Divided into seven sections and including a wide variety of muskets, pistols, swords and powder horns (some of which are one of only two or three of their types known), the exhibit explores the weapons used in America from the early 1600s through the end of the American Revolution. The exhibit is included in Fort Ticonderoga’s general admission price and will be on display throughout the 2012 season. » Continue Reading.
The Lake Placid Hall of Fame Committee is seeking nominations of full or part-time residents of the Olympic region (Essex, Clinton and Franklin Counties) for 2012. The Lake Placid Hall of Fame began in 1983 and has inducted over 100 individuals including members of the 1948 U.S. Olympic four-man bobsled team and the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team. Permanent plaques commemorating each member are on display in the Olympic Center’s Hall of Fame.
To be considered for membership, individuals should be past or current residents of the Olympic region or have some significant connection to the area. All nominees must have made significant sports, cultural, or civic contributions to the region, or have enhanced Olympic region heritage. » Continue Reading.
The June 17 Wilmington/Whiteface 100k (WW100) racing is set to be bigger and longer than last year’s inaugural event. Organizers have added an additional 12 miles to the race, which is the only Leadville Trail 100 (LT100) qualifier in the northeastern United States.
Last year’s WW100 was 57 miles long, while this year’s event is 69 miles in length. “A couple of other Leadville Races Series events are just under 100k, about 60 miles long,” said race organizer Jim Goff. “What the added distance really did was involve one more community into the race. Elizabethtown is now a part of this event and they’re very excited about it. Also by bringing in Elizabethtown we also added and additional 2,000 feet of climb.” » Continue Reading.
After many months of planning the Lake Champlain Bridge Community (LCBC) will host its two-day Grand Celebration which celebrates the re-opening of the Lake Champlain Bridge and the re-connected New York and Vermont communities that surround it. The bridge re-opened to traffic on November 7, 2011, but the celebration was postponed until now.
The Grand Celebration will take place on Saturday and Sunday, May 19 and 20. Saturday’s events begin at 9 a.m. with an opening ceremony and end at approximately 10 p.m. after a street dance. Sunday’s events begin at 6 a.m. with a sunrise ecumenical service and close with a fireworks show at dusk. All events will take place at or near the Chimney Point State Historic Site, Addison, Vermont and the Crown Point State Historic Site, Crown Point, New York. All of the weekend’s events are free and will take place rain or shine. » Continue Reading.
The town of Essex has a coastal New England charm, from the centuries old brick homes and diagonal street parking, to the waterfront buildings in colors to rival the Atlantic coast. The Essex Inn, grand in comparative scale to the federal and Greek revival style architecture that defines the hamlet, is the centerpiece of Essex. With a full-length front porch, imposing white columns and freshly painted yellow siding, the Essex Inn’s cheerful facade is warm and inviting.
Management of the 200-year-old Essex Inn was undertaken by Gladys and Josh Archer in 2010 after it was meticulously renovated and restored in a year-and-a-half-long process by Rick and Karen Dalton, who initially purchased it to house the College for Every Student (CFES) organization. » Continue Reading.
Mother’s Day is this Sunday, May 13th, and The Wild Center in Tupper Lake is giving everyone the chance to celebrate the women in their lives whether great-grandmother, grandmother or mother. This event is not just geared toward children, but to embrace the child within. Join in the festivities and enjoy a free opportunity to explore Mother Nature inside and outside the Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks (The Wild Center).
According to Director of Programs Jennifer Kretser, the annual spring event is an opportunity to showcase The Wild Center’s exhibits as a place for all ages to explore. » Continue Reading.
Conservation Partnership Program grants totaling $1.4 million were awarded to 53 nonprofit land trusts across the state according to a statement by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Land Trust Alliance. The grants, funded through New York State’s Environmental Protection Fund (EPF), will be matched by a total of $1.2 million in private and local funding.
The purpose of the grants is to increase the pace, improve the quality and ensure the permanence of voluntary conservation of private lands, which is expected to result in environmental and economic benefits for communities throughout New York. » Continue Reading.
In its 23rd year, this year’s World’s Biggest Disc Golf Weekend will be hosted in 15 countries and over 140 locations throughout the United States. This Saturday, May 5, the only Adirondack location registered for this annual event is Keeseville’s Ausable Chasm Campground.
Recreational Manager Chuck Fries says, “We are offering free admission and free disc rentals all Saturday from 11:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. We have a local league that will start earlier and later have a mixed doubles tournament. We hope people will come out and see what a fun sport this is.”
Fries confirms that the event is geared toward the novice in mind. From 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. league members and experienced players will be on site to show people how to play disc golf. Fries will even have league players and volunteers available to join novices on the course to demonstrate strategies. Though anyone can come, sign out a disc and play the Ausable Chasm course at any time throughout the day.
“This is a great family activity and lifelong sport,” says Fries. “It is low-impact. We can bring our young daughter and walk the courses while she enjoys nature. My wife and I used to mountain bike and have had to put that sport on hold for a bit. We can’t share that with our daughter quite yet. Disc golf is a great way to bring the whole family together and spend time outdoors. It is less frustration than regular golf to play right from the start.”
The late Ed Headrick is known as the father of the modern day Frisbee and of the game Disc Golf. Headrick, of California, also invented the first disc golf basket and designed and installed the first course. While working at Wham-O, Headrick was credited with the first patent for modern day Frisbee. He helped develop the sport in the 70’s even establishing the first disk golf tournament in 1979.
Similar to traditional golf, disc golf has various weighted Frisbee-like discs that serve as driver, midrange and putter. According to Fries, anyone that has played mini-golf can tackle disc golf. Instead of a ball and club, it is a disc into a metal basket. He recommends for beginners to start with one disc and not worry about the various sized discs. For those a bit more adventurous, he suggests sticking around for the evening festivities that will consist of glow-in-the dark discs and lighted baskets.
“Beginners have a hard time throwing the driver. If they start with the mid-range or putter, it throws more like a traditional Frisbee,” says Fries. “One of the great features of the Ausable Chasm course is that it is heavily wooded and not so easy to lose a disc.”
The World’s Biggest Disc Golf Weekend is May 5 from 11:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. Call 518-834-9990 for more information. There are grills and tables available for those wishing to bring a picnic.
Diane Chase is the author of Adirondack Family Time Your Four-Season Guide to over 300 activities in Lake Placid and the High Peaks. Her second guidebook for the Champlain Valley will be in stores this summer 2012.
Frederick Douglass’ great-great-great grandson Kenneth B. Morris, Jr., will give the keynote address at the annual John Brown Day celebration to be held on Saturday, May 5, at the John Brown Farm State Historic Site in Lake Placid, NY. Morris will talk about the friendship and enduring legacy of Douglass and fellow abolitionist John Brown.
The two men first met in Massachusetts in 1848, a decade after Douglass successfully escaped from slavery on a Maryland plantation and eleven years before Brown’s history-changing raid on the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia. By the time they met, Douglass had become one of the most eloquent and sought-after champions of freedom and equal suffrage for women and men, regardless of race.
Founder and President of the Frederick Douglass Family Foundation, Morris will also discuss the Foundation’s work today to create a modern Abolitionist Movement in schools all over the country through the vehicle of Service-Learning.
There are an estimated 27 million men, women and children held in some form of slavery in the world today, generating billions of dollars along the supply chain of labor and products that make much of our daily lives possible.
Joining Morris will be Renan Salgado, a Human Trafficking Specialist based in Rochester, who will shed light in his remarks about slavery and trafficking in New York State today. According to the U.S. State Department, there are approximately 17,500 people trafficked into the U.S. each year. Along with California, Texas, and Florida, New York ranks among the states with the greatest incidence of documented slavery in the country.
Young, award-winning orators from the Frederick Douglass Student Club in Rochester will recite from Douglass’ speeches and excerpts from Brown’s letters. The folk quartet The Wannabees and the hip-hop recording artist S.A.I. will also perform.
John Brown Day revives the tradition dating back to the 1930s of making a pilgrimage to remember and honor Brown by laying a wreath at his grave. Over the last 13 years, the grassroots freedom education project John Brown Lives! has worked to keep that tradition alive and relevant.
John Brown Day 2012 is free and open to the public and it is held outdoors. A brief reception will follow in the lower barn at the site. Donations will be appreciated.
For more information, contact Martha Swan, Executive Director of John Brown Lives! at 518-962-4758 or email@example.com.
Visit the John Brown Lives! Friends of Freedom on Facebook.
The Adirondack Almanack's contributors include veteran local writers, historians, naturalists, and outdoor enthusiasts from around the Adirondack region. The Almanack is the online news journal of Adirondack Explorer. Both are nonprofits supported by contributors, readers, and advertisers, and devoted to exploring, protecting, and unifying the Adirondack Park.
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.