Posts Tagged ‘Herkimer County’

Saturday, October 1, 2011

25th Annual Quilts Unlimited Exhibition

The 25th Annual Quilts Unlimited Exhibition will open at View, the former Old Forge Arts Center, on Saturday, October 8 and run until November 30. Quilts from across the country will be hung gallery style in the new arts center for this competitive exhibition which features both traditional and eclectic quilts and wall hangings.

The opening day Saturday, October 8 will feature a Quilting Lecture and Luncheon “My Quilting Journey” led by Molly Waddell at 10am. Lecture pre-registration is required and is $15/$10 members which includes exhibition admission. The opening reception will follow with quilt and quilted garment appraisals; demonstrations; an awards ceremony at 2pm; a fat quarter drawing where you can enter a 18″x22″ piece of fabric ‘fat quarter’ for a chance to win them all; and a reception at 3pm.

Molly Waddell is the Juror of Awards for this year’s exhibition, and a National Quilting Association Certified Judge. She has won numerous awards for her quilts on a local and national level. Some of her work has been published in The Quilting Quarterly, The 2007 Quilt Art Calendar and Quilters Newsletter. Molly was the co-chair for the 2002 and 2004 biennial quilt shows sponsored by the Quilters Consortium of New York State, Inc. Her goals as a quilt judge are to recognize the creativity and expertise of each quilt maker, to objectively and fairly evaluate quilts and wearable arts and to give constructive comments to quilters so that they may improve their workmanship and artistry, and to encourage them to stretch their creativity. She is a member of The National Quilting Association, The American Quilters Society, Thread Bears Quilt Guild and Mohawk Valley Quilt Club.

Exhibition admission is $8/$4 members & groups of 6+, children under 12 are free. To learn more about the exhibition, visit www.ViewArts.org or call View at 315-369-6411.

Photo: “Remembering Pinewood” by Linda O’Connor.


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Herkimer County During the Civil War: Upton’s Regulars

In 1861, New Yorkers responded to President Lincoln’s call to service by volunteering in droves to defend an imperiled Union. Drawn from the farms and towns of Otsego and Herkimer counties, the 121st New York State Volunteer Infantry Regiment served with the Sixth Corps in the Army of the Potomac throughout the Civil War. In the first comprehensive history of the regiment in nearly ninety years, Salvatore Cilella chronicles their epic story.

Led for much of the war by Emory Upton, the 121st deployed nearly 1,900 men into battle, from over 1,000 at call-up to the 330 who were finally mustered out of its war-depleted unit. Its soldiers participated in 25 major engagements, from Antietam to Sailor’s Creek, won six Medals of Honor, took several battle flags, led the charge at Spotsylvania, and captured Custis Lee at Sailor’s Creek. Cilella now tells their story, viewing the war through upstate New Yorkers’ eyes not only to depict three grueling years of fighting but also to reveal their distinctive attitudes regarding slavery, war goals, politics, and the families they left behind.

Cilella mines the letters, diaries, memoirs, and speeches of more than 120 soldiers and officers to weave a compelling narrative that traces the 121st from enlistment through the horrors of battle and back to civilian life. Their words recount the experience of combat, but also rail against Washington bureaucrats and commanding generals.

Cilella also features portraits of the regiment’s three commanders: original recruiter Richard Franchot; West Pointer Upton, by whose name the 121st came to be known; and Otsego County native Egbert Olcott. Readers will especially gain new insights into the charismatic Upton, who took command at the age of 23 and became one of the army’s most admired regimental leaders.

Note: Books noticed on this site have been provided by the publishers. Purchases made through this Amazon link help support this site.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

High Peaks Happy Hour: Tony Harper’s Too, Old Forge

The Old Forge (and vicinity) Pub Crawl Part II was reaching its conclusion. For those of you who are just joining us, that Saturday in July was a productive one. The first part started at the Big Moose Inn, then on to the Way Back Inn and the Red Dog Tavern.

We took a break for a lunch meeting then drove out to Daiker’s, then continued back toward Old Forge, stopping at Slicker’s. We dropped the car off and continued on foot to the Tow Bar. Our next stop: Tony Harper’s Too, a.k.a. Pizza Clams for the visually impaired. The “Tony Harper’s Too” portion of the sign is barely visible, but the owner’s husband Don, whom we had met at Slicker’s, had already advised us of its location.



Located on Main Street in Old Forge, across from the Tow Bar, the unique exterior is hard to miss. Stone and brick, outside and in, a semi-circular façade extends the confines of the interior, creating a sense of being outside while in, (or vice versa). The three-sided bar, built of corrugated metal topped with a polished hardwood top continues outdoors, creating a breezy open feel. This was not your typical pizza and clam shack. An acoustic duo played near the entrance as a few of the patrons danced informally outside. There was no seating left at the bar and the restaurant tables were full.

We crowded up to the bar to order a drink. Finding plenty of beer choices, both bottled & draft, Kim chose an Apricot Wheat from the Ithaca Beer Company. As busy as she was, the bartender took our order right away. While we awaited our drinks, a woman returned to her seat at the bar and looked annoyed that we had infringed on her space. Pam tapped Kim’s shoulder and gave her a look that said, “Get out of her way.” Kim moved aside, and they both smiled apologetically to her. Who can resist those sincere smiles?

Moments later we introduced ourselves to the woman and were in the thick of one of those shouting conversations that take place over live music. The bartender came from behind the bar and delivered our drinks. Eventually we politely escaped the conversation, the woman’s boyfriend or husband having tired of being ignored, and got back to the review we had come for.

Pam recognized a few men she had first seen at Daiker’s, then at Slicker’s and who were now here at Tony Harper’s Too. We said hello and decided to try being on the outside looking in. No seats were available out there either, but we were able to stand at a pub table. The music was just as good to hear outside and many young people stood around on the patio, talking, dancing and just enjoying themselves. We spotted Don, who tried to introduce us to his wife and owner, Lisa, but she just wouldn’t be distracted from her conversation with friends. Don’s construction company, D.E. Murphy Constructors, designed the bar and the building and we admired his workmanship from where we stood. Looking up into the turret-like structure, the ceiling was a spoke-work of pine, an enormous metal chandelier hanging from its center.

Tony Harper’s Too is open from 11 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. during the week; until midnight on weekends. The website includes entertainment schedules, the history of Tony Harper’s and full menus, so check there for more detailed information. Armed with the knowledge that this was a fun place to go, we excused ourselves and headed across the street to the Tow Bar, having promised earlier to return there for a couple of drinks – off the clock.

Kim and Pam Ladd’s book, Happy Hour in the High Peaks, is currently in the research stage. Together they visit pubs, bars and taverns with the goal of selecting the top 46 bars in the Adirondack Park. They regularly report their findings here at the Almanack and at their own blog, or follow them on Facebook, and ADK46barfly on Twitter.


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Adirondack Family Activities’ Diane Chase: McCauley Mountain Chairlift

By Diane Chase, Adirondack Family Activities

There are only 60 chairs on the double chairlift at McCauley Mountain in Old Forge, down about 20 from its winter route. All the unused chairs are lined up, freshly painted and repaired waiting for the start of the winter season.

It is a smooth and steady 2,200’ ride to the top. It does seem odd to be riding a chairlift in summer. The children are lined up waiting their turn, pretending they are going to hit the moguls on the way down. We even encounter the prerequisite lost lift item request from a couple already lift bound. We retrieve the shoe and are thankful it’s just a kicked off flip-flop and not a ski buried in the snow.

It is a leisurely ride to the top so we are able to glance around at the view of the Fulton Chain of Lakes, Old Forge and Grey Lake. Our exit is uneventful without the cumbersome addition of ski gear. Cinderella is patiently waiting at top for her lost shoe. Picnic tables and Adirondack chairs are scattered about. The children run about finding playmates to explore the backside of the summit.

Though some people decide to hike the short trek down the mountain, we decide to take the lift back down this time seeing the beauty of the lakes and mountains around us. The leaves have not started to turn but there are occasional indicators that fall will be here soon.

The Fulton Chain of Lakes is a portion of a river system that extends to Lake Ontario and was first dammed in the late 1700s. According to the Fulton Chain of Lakes Association the present dam at Old Forge holds back 6.8 billion gallons of water. Lower Fulton Chain starts at Old Forge Pond and travels to First Lake, Second, Third, Fourth Lakes to the Towns of Eagle Bay and Inlet and ending sequentially with Eighth Lake.

If you still have time or energy after riding the lift, there are still 20 km of XC ski trails that can be accessed right at the base of the main lodge. There is also a large playground and plenty of benches. McCauley Mountain is located in Old Forge. The Scenic Chairlift is open daily (except Tuesdays) through Labor Day from 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. with shortened hours during autumn. Adults are $6, juniors (6-16) and seniors (+65) $5 and children 5 – under are free.

Photo and content © Diane Chase, Adirondack Family Activities ™. Diane is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities Guidebook Series including the recent released Adirondack Family Time: Tri-Lakes and High Peaks Your Guide to Over 300 Activities for Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake, Keene, Jay and Wilmington areas (with GPS coordinates) This is the first book of a four-book series of Adirondack Family Activities. The next three editions will cover Plattsburgh to Ticonderoga, Long Lake to Old Forge and Newcomb to Lake George. 


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

High Peaks Happy Hour: Daiker’s, Old Forge

Daiker’s, located on Fourth Lake in Old Forge, has something for everyone and ample space to accommodate many. Whether entering from the large parking area or from a boat on the lake, it will take some time to take it all in, including the lake view from the expansive porch and deck.

This was our fifth bar review on that Saturday in July. We had taken a break for an early dinner, planning Old Forge Pub Crawl Part II. We decided to resume at Daiker’s and make our way back to the hamlet of Old Forge for later foot travel. Janet, our host at Village Cottages, armed us with a referral and description of owner, Tal Daiker.



“Oh, #?!*%,” Pam thought, entering the bar, “This is going to take awhile! So much to absorb.” Daiker’s is an amusement park for adults. Taking a seat at the bar, two bartenders at the ready, we began the arduous task of the visual review, but not without first reviewing the bar selections and ordering our drinks. With a well-stocked bar, six drafts, and plenty of bottled beers, there’s something for everyone.

The place is huge, with a long, long bar and another one outside on the deck. A partition separates the bar area from the dining area. Bar stools along the partition provide additional seating. Daiker’s interior is a unique interpretation of Adirondack style with both subtle and overt accents. Pine walls display wildlife art and antler chandeliers hang from a high ceiling supported by sturdy log beams. A massive stone fireplace, dormant for the summer, commands the center of the room.

In an adjoining room, musicians haul amps and equipment for the night’s entertainment. A dance floor lay empty. A pool table sits in an area near the bar; interior walls lined with a photo booth, a vending machine for snacks and another for lottery tickets.

In another section, partially partitioned, is a gaming arcade. Beer advertisements and sports memorabilia covering the most popular events adorn the walls, with televisions and Quick Draw monitors strategically placed throughout the building. An Adirondack scene in diorama is displayed high above in an alcove in the ceiling. Tucked in the wall and protected by glass is a miniature of the original Daiker’s bar. Though we didn’t get the story behind the display of bras behind the bar, we trust it’s an interesting one. Daiker’s gear is on display and available for purchase there or online.

Tal Daiker was a friendly host and happily answered our many questions about the bar and its history and gave us some insight on his family’s commitment to Daiker’s. Originally called the Fulton House, Daiker’s was once a casino and a stop for the steamboat that ran along the lake. Tal’s dad bought it in 1956 and it has been Daiker family operated since then.

In 1988 Tal took over operations, instituting changes, expansions and improvements over the years with his wife Debbie. Their sons Devin and Dane also help with the business. The restaurant and bar are open 7 days a week, serving food from noon to 9 p.m. The bar is open from noon to 2 a.m. Live entertainment, from acoustic soloists to rock bands, is provided on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday in the summer. Both summer and winter are busy times at Daiker’s, with a substantial snowmobile following in winter. Tal maintains a Twitter account, Tal’s Trail Report, with regular updates on local snow conditions. They do close briefly off season, spring and fall, so be sure to check their website, before visiting off season.

On a mission with a minimum of three more bars to visit, we didn’t socialize with the patrons, but did observe the local camaraderie and diversity. Those observations led to our recognizing several of Daiker’s patrons in the next bar we visited, and the next, and much later yet, another. They, too, were on an Old Forge pub crawl?

Kim and Pam Ladd’s book, Happy Hour in the High Peaks, is currently in the research stage. Together they visit pubs, bars and taverns with the goal of selecting the top 46 bars in the Adirondack Park. They regularly report their findings here at the Almanack and at their own blog, or follow them on Facebook, and ADK46barfly on Twitter.


Saturday, August 6, 2011

Old Forge and The Fulton Chain of Lakes

Linda Cohen and Peg Masters, both descendants of 19th-century pioneer settlers of the Old Forge region, have written Old Forge and The Fulton Chain of Lakes (Arcadia Publishing, $21.99) the latest Adirondack edition in the Images of America series. Together they compiled over 200 images from around the area, many seldom seen.

Old Forge is nestled at the foot of the Middle Branch of the Moose River, more commonly known as the Fulton Chain of Lakes. Year-round accommodations at the Forge House in 1871 and dependable rail service in 1892 led to permanent settlement of the hamlet. Within a decade, Old Forge emerged as the residential and commercial hub of the Central Adirondacks and a popular destination and gathering place for guides, sportsmen, and wilderness tourists.

For the sightseer who strolls around Old Forge today or enjoys a cruise up the eight lakes in the Fulton Chain, the landscape is dotted with scores of century-old dwellings, Victorian cottages, rustic camps, and even a few grand old hotels.

Linda Cohen has been an active member of the local historical association and a board member since 2004. Peg Masters has served as the town historian for the past 10 years and conducts historic walking tours every summer.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

High Peaks Happy Hour: Tow Bar Inn, Old Forge

We’re not sure how many other bartenders might also work at the Tow Bar, but if you enter and find Jack, a.k.a. Jackson, a.k.a. Famous Jack, a.k.a. Action Jackson behind the bar, sit down, relax and expect to enjoy yourself immensely.

Whether it was Jack, our new-found friends (the “Tow Bar buddies”) or the fact that it was our 6th and 8th bar (perhaps making us vulnerable) the Tow Bar is at the top of our list in Old Forge. It didn’t take us long to realize we wanted the Tow Bar to be our last stop of the night so we stayed long enough to get some fact checking done, left for another bar, then returned afterward. Our work finished for the night, we were ready to just have a couple of drinks or shoot some pool without “working”.

Jack, head mixologist, has worked at the Tow Bar for 21 years! Apparently, he came with the deed when the current owners purchased the bar five years ago. His proud supporters, our Tow Bar buddies, strongly professed him to be the best bartender. Having witnessed him in action, his patience was outstanding, but what stood out above all other qualities was his genuine friendliness. Imagine working in a bar for 21 years and having any patience at all!

TOW in Tow Bar stands for Town of Webb. Having driven around Old Forge several times on Saturday, we had already formed the opinion that Old Forge was a village within the Town of Webb, but learning the origins of “Tow” confirmed our deduction. The Tow Bar is open seven days a week and only closes for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Open from noon to 2 a.m., the Tow Bar caters to locals but enjoys entertaining (verb as well as adjective) visitors. In line with catering to locals, they offer live entertainment on Sunday night, when local workers tend to get some time off to fraternize with their friends.

The Tow Bar’s 20 or so bottled beer choices are unpretentious and mostly domestic. Drafts include LaBatt Blue, Blue Light and Budweiser, all at pretty low prices. The bar is well-stocked and Jack will happily improvise if he doesn’t have what you’re looking for.

The works of Doug Green, Tow Bar’s “house” cartoonist, are displayed throughout the bar. One they are especially proud of is the cartoon of John Ratzenberger, Cliff Clavin of Cheers fame, who stopped in and played pool with some of the regulars. They list Sandra Bullock among other famous visitors to the Tow Bar. Yankee, Dodger and Giants fans will feel comfortable taking in the bobbleheads, old photos, and autographed memorabilia displayed throughout the bar. Several TV’s are strategically placed and NASCAR stats are in evidence so you can probably catch the race there on Sundays, if you’re so inclined.

The Tow Bar seems to have something for almost everyone – sports, pool, darts, friendly patrons and a terrific bartender. If you go, be sure to mention Happy Hour in the High Peaks. I think they’d like to know we weren’t just making this stuff up.

Kim and Pam Ladd’s book, Happy Hour in the High Peaks, is currently in the research stage. Together they visit pubs, bars and taverns with the goal of selecting the top 46 bars in the Adirondack Park. They regularly report their findings here at the Almanack and at their own blog, or follow them on Facebook, and ADK46barfly on Twitter.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

High Peaks Happy Hour: Big Moose Inn, Eagle Bay

The Big Moose Inn and Restaurant, located directly on Big Moose Lake in Eagle Bay was the first stop on our Old Forge Summer Tour, more aptly defined as the Old Forge Pub Crawl. Ours was one of just a few cars in the parking lot, but it was early afternoon and we had a long day ahead of us.

The dramatic view of the grand covered porch, dotted with rocking chairs and expanding outward to a vast open deck overlooking the lake, inspires a feeling reminiscent of summer vacations of years past. Several small docks on Big Moose Lake capture attention, drawing the eye along an expanse of lawn to the lake and small beach. Quiet and secluded, The Big Moose Inn has an air of sophistication and Adirondack lore, evoking a sentimental yearning for simpler times. Its timelessness captures the imagination. A novelist could come here to spend a week and leave with a finished manuscript.

Work to be done, we grudgingly entered the tavern, leaving an early summer afternoon behind. The tavern, cool and dark with walls of wood and brick, complemented the exterior charm. We half expected to see Ernest Hemingway entertaining friends in one of the booths, or John Irving alone at the bar, having strayed from his New England comfort zone.

Spot lights shone gently on the dark plank bar which seated about 14, with ample room for standing patrons too. Each of three booths on the opposite wall were illuminated overhead with Tiffany lamps; a cozy room with brick fireplace was tucked away beyond, and provided more private seating.

As Pam’s eyes adjusted to the darkness, Kim immediately pointed out the business cards adorning the ceiling. Skewered with straws, swizzle sticks and cocktail picks, the ceiling was almost completely obscured by thousands of business cards. Hard to describe because of their multitude, some of the cards were obviously yellowed with age. Though barely visible, the ceiling was tile. Mark, the most recent owner, later advised that they came with the inn; that some had been there for thirty years. He felt compelled to leave them for their nostalgic significance, despite criticism from state authorities. Can’t blame him, we would leave them too.

We took a seat at the bar and were immediately greeted by Melinda, the bartender. Upon inquiry regarding drinks unique to the establishment, Melinda offered Pam a Big Moose Manhattan, proudly laced with Adirondack maple syrup. The maple syrup sank to the bottom and Pam showed no shame occasionally enjoying it through the swizzle stick. Just good to see her sipping since this was only our first stop. A variety of flavored vodkas are available, indicating a better than average selection of drinks. Several wine, draft and bottled beer choices are also offered.

Big Moose Inn’s Big Moose Manhattan:
1 part Seagram’s VO
1 part sweet vermouth
Drizzle with real maple syrup and garnish with two cherries

Melinda was courteous, friendly and knowledgeable about the history of the Big Moose Inn, offering a book on the history of Big Moose Lake to help support our questions. She was busy tending to both the bar and the deck patrons, but still took time to alert the proprietor of our presence.

Owner Mark Mayer came out to introduce himself. Obviously quite proud of the Big Moose Inn, Mark spent several minutes sharing history, trivia, hauntings, and his family’s acquisition of the inn. Perhaps the most famous Adirondack ghost, stories of Grace Brown attracted TV’s Unsolved Mysteries several years ago.

Offering 16 rooms, the inn is open year round and entertains summer vacationers and winter snowmobilers. The Big Moose Tavern is open from noon to midnight and Happy Hour drink specials are available from 4 to 6 p.m. They do offer music on occasion, featuring solo artists. Summer and winter hours vary, but claim winter is the best time to visit. We had trouble with this proclamation, given the beautiful view of the lake, the sandy beach and massive porch and deck. The tavern is only open four days, including weekends, after the summer season.

Reluctantly, we left the Big Moose Inn in search of our next destination. One down. Seven to go. In an effort to catch up, we plan to review some of the Old Forge area bars first on the Adirondack Almanack and others on our blog. Lake Placid reviews of The Cottage, Lisa G’s and Dancing Bears have all been completed and posted.

Kim and Pam Ladd’s book, Happy Hour in the High Peaks, is currently in the research stage. Together they visit pubs, bars and taverns with the goal of selecting the top 46 bars in the Adirondack Park. They regularly report their findings here at the Almanack and at their own blog, or follow them on Facebook, and ADK46barfly on Twitter.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

John Sheehan: Snowmobile Trails Plan Goes Too Far

The Adirondack Council will file comments with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) this week objecting to serious flaws in the Unit Management Plan (UMP) for the Independence River Wild Forest.

The Independence River Wild Forest is an area of public land and waters west of Stillwater Reservoir in Herkimer and Lewis counties, extending to the park’s western border. It is bounded by the Ha-De-Ron-Dah Wilderness to the south, Pepperbox Wilderness to the north, and Pigeon Lake Wilderness to the east. Comments on the unit management plan are due to DEC by July 29.

There are two main problems with the plan, both of which involve the DEC’s decisions to ignore current legal protections for the Forest Preserve. Both problems seem to be caused by the DEC’s rush to accommodate the wishes of snowmobile clubs and boosters who are applying local political pressure. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Exhibit Features 100 Years of Adirondack Mail Boats

The Town of Webb Historical Association and Goodsell Museum, located at 2993 State Route 28 in Old Forge, Herkimer County, is currently featuring the exhibit “Floating Letters-The Town of Webb’s Mail Boats-Over 100 Years of Postal Tradition and Summer Fun” through the end of October.

The exhibit presents the history of the delivery of mail by boat in the Town of Webb on the Fulton Chain of Lakes, Big Moose Lake, Twitchell Lake, Rondaxe Lake, Silver Lake, and other locations from the early 1880s until the present. The exhibit includes photographs, certificates, ledgers and maps -as well as a wide assortment of custom leather & canvas/cloth mail pouches donated or on loan for the exhibit.

Included in the exhibit is the story of the Railway Postal Office (RPO) – a unique contract issued to Dr. William Seward Webb & the Fulton Chain Navigation Co. in 1901 whereby an official postal clerk rode on the boats to cancel mail, sell stamps & money orders, and perform other postal duties.

Additional exhibits at the Goodsell Museum include those on Adirondack wildlife, the Goodsell Family (George Goodsell was the first ‘mayor’ of the Village of Old Forge in 1903) and the 90th Anniversary of the Thendara Golf Club. The next featured exhibition, on early medicine, will open December 1st. The Webb Historical Association maintains a regular exhibit on early local doctors which will help form the basis the of the new exhibit.

The Goodsell Museum is open year-round; there is no admission charge.

The museum is also participating in Old Forge’s “First Friday Art Walk” events by including special exhibits connecting art with historical themes. On July 1st from 5-8PM they will have one of Lottie Tuttle’s oil paintings on display. Lottie was one of the Adirondack’s first female guides, she and her husband invented the devil bug fishing lure that was manufactured in Old Forge and marketed across the United States in the early 1900’s.

On July 9th the Association will hold its 9th Annual Benefit Auction. Preview and registration starts at 1 pm, bidding at 2 pm with auctioneer June DeLair from Constableville Auction Hall. The auction is held under a tent on the Goodsell Museum grounds and will include antiques, collectibles, new and nearly new items donated from members and friends of the museum.

The Association also has other programs, workshops, and walking tours. More information can be found online or by contacting Gail Murray, Director, via e-mail at historicaldirector@frontiernet.net or by phone at

Photo: The Steamboat Hunter – Captain Jonathan Meeker delivered mail to hotels and camps as early as 1883.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Adirondack Family Activities’ Diane Chase: Family Day at VIEW

By Diane Chase
The Art Center/Old Forge has transformed itself once again. This weekend the newly named VIEW will host its gala reception to welcome the public to their LEEDS certified green building. The VIEW originated with just one event, the Central Adirondack Art Show, where artists were presented on chicken wire displays on founder Miriam Kashiwas’s front lawn. Now in it’s 60th year it is only appropriate that the Central Adirondack Art Show will be on display for the gala opening of the new building.

From Kashiwas’s front yard, the Arts Guild of Old Forge, Inc. was incorporated in 1967 and eight years later purchased its first building, named Arts Center/Old Forge, to support year-round programming.

Jody Pritchard, graphic Design/media coordinator for the VIEW, says, “Our new name is VIEW. VIEW is reflective of the Adirondack vistas around us, and expresses the personal relationship that people can have with and through the creation of art. People come to the Adirondacks to view, when they come to VIEW arts they can observe the view of others, as well as express a view of their own. We have national exhibitions, performances and workshops that bring in visitors from other communities as opposed to only serving Old Forge, which our old name implied.”

According to Pritchard the move from the old building to the new graced them with an additional 20,000 square feet which allows for expanded workshop and classroom space, a commercial catering kitchen, a dedicated performance space with retractable seating for 200+, and the ability to stagger exhibits so there is always something fresh to see. All located within a green facility with geo-thermal heating, solar panels, recycled tire/metal roof and other energy efficient amenities.

There will be a variety of events happening throughout July 7-10, 2011 with dancing, silent auction, music, BBQ and ribbon cutting. A few highlights: for stamp collectors or those just interested there will be a special commemorative postal cancellation on Friday, July 8 from 10:30 a.m. – noon at the VIEW. On Saturday there is a nature walk hosted by Gary Lee.

Sunday is family day with a visit from the Utica Zoomobile, face painting, clown and the opportunity to tie-dye a T-shirt or pillowcase (provided) for a small fee. Each day there are ongoing workshop demonstrations but on Sunday, artist Joseph Montroy will hold an introduction to iron casting and spectators can watch his students melt iron and pour the molten ore into molds to create sculptures.

The VIEW is open Monday through Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and Sunday noon to 4:00 p.m.

Photo and content © Diane Chase, Adirondack Family Activities ™. Diane is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities Guidebook Series including the recent released Adirondack Family Time: Tri-Lakes and High Peaks Your Guide to Over 300 Activities for Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake, Keene, Jay and Wilmington areas (with GPS coordinates) This is the first book of a four-book series of Adirondack Family Activities. The next three editions will cover Plattsburgh to Ticonderoga, Long Lake to Old Forge and Newcomb to Lake George. 


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Bushwhacking Cowboy Beaver Meadow

There are many places in the Adirondacks where one can get away from the crowds but few as remote as the Cowboy Beaver Meadow in the northwestern corner of the Pepperbox Wilderness.

The Cowboy Beaver Meadow is a series of beaver swales along the Alder Creek. Nearby one can find a lovely unnamed pond and several beaver created wetlands. But if you expect to find any crowds then think again; this is a rarely visited place. Other than the occasional bushwhacker or hunters during the fall this place probably rarely gets many visitors.

The Cowboy Beaver Meadow is an ideal place for those contemplating exploring the backcountry beyond the trails and trying their hand at bushwhacking. Bordered on the east and south by the Alder Creek, north by a dirt road south of Spring Pond and west by the Herkimer/Lewis county line this area allows for testing one’s navigation skills while providing enough natural/man-made landmarks to remain oriented on a map.

The origin of the name for these beaver meadows along the Alder Creek remains unknown. According to a posting on the Adkforum website, the beaver meadow was named after a mysterious cowboy who made his residence in the area around the time of the Civil War.

Gaining access to the Cowboy Beaver Meadow is a challenge. The easiest access is from the west out of Croghan via Prentice Road, a gravel road that eventually turns south and becomes the Main Haul Road. This is a fairly decent dirt road suitable for most cars but caution is required due to the occasional ATV traffic.

Although the Main Haul Road continues to the Soft Maple Reservoir, the Cowboy Beaver Meadow parking area lies at the end of Sand Pond Road located just south of the Sand Pond parking lot. Do not expect a sign or register here, although an old “Parking Area” sign nailed on a tree is present, it is now mostly obscured by new growth.

Historical topographic maps show the area once had a more significant human presence than it does today. An unimproved road once followed along the Alder Creek through the beaver meadow on its way from Long Pond to Crooked Lake. In addition, another road left the beaver meadow and headed up along Pepperbox Creek. A winding, low rock ridge resembling a beaver dam made of boulders that crosses the Alder Creek between beaver ponds is probably the remnants of this old road.

In addition to the rare human artifact there are numerous natural landmarks to investigate in this area, including the many beaver ponds along the Alder Creek, an unnamed pond and a hill with steep forested cliffs.

The unnamed pond provides an attractive place for camping while visiting the area. Several islands exist within the pond although they are merely muddy, slightly raised areas covered with semi-aquatic grasses, sedges and other vegetation. Beavers and hooded mergansers frequent this pond and its islands.

Many dead trees choke the shoreline of the pond. Along the west shore sits a large, stick nest located at the top of one of these snags near the shoreline. This nest may belong to either a great blue heron or possibly an osprey but remained unoccupied during the late summer.

An elevated area between the pond and the beaver swales along Alder Creek provides an opportunity to gain some perspective on the area. The forested cliffs provide a destination but do not expect much in the way of views. Although the hills to the east beyond the Alder Creek can be seen through the tree canopy these minimal views are merely a tease since a clear view of the Cowboy Beaver Meadow remains elusive. A better view may be available during the autumn months after most of the leaves have descended from the canopy.

The Cowboy Beaver Meadow is the main attraction of the area. This meadow is a series of beaver swales following along the Alder Creek as it meanders toward the Beaver River to the south.

The meadows range from wide and relatively dry open, shrubby areas to just a narrow corridor surrounding the creek. Most of the creek is slow moving with many pools along its length but at some points, the tannin-rich water flows swiftly over bare rock with frequent small waterfalls. Opportunities for crossing the stream and exploring to the east of the creek are plentiful in late summer.

For those wanting to experiment with bushwhacking in a seemingly remote area should consider the Cowboy Beaver Meadow area within the northwestern Pepperbox Wilderness. The area provides a beaver pond, a series of beaver swales along the Alder Creek and human artifacts from bygone days. So, saddle up and enjoy!

Photos: Beaver pond within Cowboy Beaver Meadow, unnamed pond and rocky portion of Alder Creek by Dan Crane.

Dan Crane blogs about his bushwhacking adventures at Bushwhacking Fool.


Thursday, June 16, 2011

14th Annual Central Adirondack Car Show Weekend

The 14th Annual Central Adirondack Father’s Day Weekend Car Show will be held in Old Forge, beginning tomorrow, Friday, June 17th at 7pm with a car parade down Main Street. The annual Car Show will be held Saturday from 9am – 3pm at the Hiltebrant Recreation Center on North Street. The show will feature classic antique vehicles and modified street rods.

Two cash prizes of $250 each, provided by Cooper Kia in Yorkville and Lee Buick GMC in Boonville, will be awarded to the Best of Show cars in two categories, one for antiques/classics and one for modified/street rods. Trophies will be awarded to 18 classes of vehicles, and dash plaques will be given to the first 100 registrants. Awards will also be presented for Spectators’ Choice, Oldest Vehicle, and Longest Distance Driven.

A spectator admission fee of $2 will be charged, and children under 12 will be admitted free. Anyone interested in registering his or her vehicle for this judged show can do so at the gate on Saturday morning for a fee of $12. Cars must be on the field by noon to be judged. Auto swap meet vendors are welcome to participate by completing a registration form and paying a $12 fee.

Food will be available from the Old Forge Fire Auxiliary, including chili, hamburgers, hot dogs, desserts, and drinks.

In case of rain, the event will be held inside the pavilion on a first-come, first-served basis.

More information about the weekend’s events can be obtained from the Old Forge Visitor Information Center at 315- 369-6983 or online.

Photo: 2010 Best of Show – Modified.


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Old Forge Arts Center Seeks Volunteers

The Arts Center/Old Forge (recently renamed View) will be holding a reception to welcome the return of their many volunteers and recruit new ones. The reception will be June 8th, from 11:30 to­ 1 pm and then again from 4:30 ­6 pm.

Visitors are welcome to celebrate the center’s volunteers in the new building with light refreshments and hors d’oeurves, and receive a guided tour of the new facility.

Those interested in volunteering show let event organizers know their availability, even if that is restricted to certain months, days, or times. Volunteers are sought in all areas, including the front desk and store, data entry, mailings, and cleaning, special events set up/take down, culinary preparation, and taking photos. Volunteers can also help performances and exhibits with set up/take down as well as openings, music, and lighting. There are also options to volunteer from home. Poster distribution, picking up supplies in Utica, and/or picking up visiting artists from the airport are also areas where volunteers are needed.

The Arts Center’s grand opening gala weekend will be July 7 ­ 10.

Those interested in volunteering should attend the reception or contact the Arts Center at (315) 369-6411 or email info@artscenteroldforge.org. For a printable volunteer form visit their website at www.ArtsCenterOldForge.org.

Photo: Curator Linda Weal, Jim Tracy, Stephen Wick, Deb Burrington Mills hanging the Northeast National Pastel Exhibition.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Adirondack Center For Writing Open Mics

The Adirondack Center for Writing’s will host a monthly open mic series starting in June, in collaboration with several venues around the Adirondack Park. The series pairs readings from a featured author or poet, as well as an open forum to share your own writing.

The Willows Bistro in Warrensburg, NY hosts Open Mic Night on the second Thursday of every month. ACW will co-sponsor those events at the Willows every June, September, December, and March. For our first collaboration, June 9th, the featured author will be Paul Pines, (author of “Last Call at the Tin Palace” and “My Brother’s Madness”), Bibi Wein (“The Way Home”) in September, and in December, Mary Sanders Shartle (“Winterberry Pine: Three Poets on Adirondack Winter”). More information is available online.

The Northwoods Inn at Lake Placid will hold readings on the second Thursday in July with reader Maggie Bartley, October with Charles Watt, and next January and April with readers TBA. The Old Forge Library will host on the second Wednesday in August with reader Paula Roy, and in November, February and May.

All events are free and open to the public. If you’re interested in sharing your work email info@adirondackcenterforwriting.org with the subject line “OPEN MIC” followed by the venue and date you’re interested in sharing.



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