Posts Tagged ‘history’

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Piracy in the Ausable?

As the great glacier that once covered most of the surface of New York State retreated towards the end of the Pleistoncene Epoch, Lake Champlain’s outlet to the north remained blocked. Champlain Valley remained mostly underwater until present day drainways emerged, and the land returned to their current elevations.

Water levels dropped in the valley and the Ausable River was building a delta at Wickham Marsh… until something caused the Ausable to abandon its delta for another at Ausable Point. What caused the Ausable River to divert its Wickham Marsh delta?

Stream Piracy (or stream capture) is a common event, where a river or a stream is diverted into the channel of a nearby river.  They are kept under control by feats of engineering. In the case of the Mississippi River, the Old River Control structure. “a mammoth floodgate system costing hundreds of millions of dollars for construction, operation, and maintenance that keeps the Mississippi on its course to New Orleans.”

Read the full story, written by Gary Henry, a Stream Restoration Associate of the Ausable River Association, by following this link to Ausableriver.org


Thursday, June 10, 2021

Historic Saranac Lake launches new mobile museum project

cure porch on wheelsHistoric Saranac Lake (HSL) is launching a new project, titled: “Pandemic Past and Present.” This project will take place on their Cure Porch on Wheels, and is funded by the 2021 Corridor of Commerce Interpretive Theme Grant from the Champlain Valley National Hertiage Partnership.

HSL will be hosting programs from its mobile museum (the Cure Porch on Wheels) in order to explore local history in public health with new and larger audiences. Visitors to the mobile museum will be able to watch videos and take part in activities centered around Saranac Lake’s health resort history.

Mahala Nyberg, HSL’s new Public Programs Coordinator and leader of the project had the following to say: “As the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, Saranac Lake’s sanatorium history is newly relevant. Our history as a community built on the treatment and research of a highly infectious disease helps to shed light on issues in public health today. The experience of the COVID-19 pandemic inspires us to explore untold stories in our local history and make new connections to broader themes.”

The mobile museum will be operating within 640 square miles of the Saranac Lake School District, and the Lake Champlain Basin Program grant will support the creation of short videos exploring the history of Saranac Lake’s TB history. This project is a natural outgrowth of a new exhibit soon to be unveiled at the Saranac Laboratory Museum titled, “Pandemic Perspectives.” Following its closure through the winter due to the pandemic, the museum reopened May 25, 2021.


Monday, March 29, 2021

APA at 50: A daylong symposium

APA In June 1971, New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller signed legislation creating the Adirondack Park Agency, and the modern era of Adirondack history began. All private land in the Park was zoned according to how densely it could be developed, and the state-owned Forest Preserve was divided into various categories, with Wilderness Areas designated as the most tightly regulated. No one was happy with the new agency. Local government and business interests predicted economic catastrophe, while conservationists felt the new regime didn’t adequately protect the Park.

The Adirondack Experience: The Museum on Blue Mountain Lake (ADKX) will host a daylong symposium, free and open to the public, on June 22, 2021. This will be a virtual symposium: all presentations will be online.

For more details and to register, go here.

Photo: Gov Rockefeller signs the APA Private Land Use Plan legislation. Richard W. Lawrence, first APA Chair, looks on at left. Photo by Paul Schaefer/Almanack archive

Editor’s note: Starting today, the Explorer is running a series about the formation of the APA. Click here for the first one.


Monday, March 22, 2021

Remembering an Adirondack archaeologist

David Starbuck reached into the center console of his car and pulled out a polished stone. He dropped it in my hands. After I admired it for a moment he happily told me it was dinosaur poop.

He had pulled that prank on so many students. Some of them would drop the “polished turd” and yell “ew,” the archaeologist told me. In case I was about to do the same, he assured me that there was no harm in holding it now. He slipped it back into a labeled sandwich baggy.

A few months later, he would put the most beautiful blue, 18th century glass cufflinks in my hands, freshly dug from the site of an officer’s hut. It was one of his most exciting finds before he died at the end of last year.

Whenever you met Starbuck, something amazing was always going to happen.

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, February 14, 2021

Feeling the Adirondack love

love in a pandemicIn recognition of Valentine’s Day, here are some stories that speak to love in the Adirondacks, from the Almanack archive:

(Pictured here: Mary Welday and Duke Huntington, finding love and companionship in Saranac Lake. during the time of tuberculosis. Courtesy of Priscilla Goss/Historic Saranac Lake)

» Continue Reading.


Monday, December 14, 2020

NYS Historic Preservation Board nominates 2 North Country assets

The New York State Board for Historic Preservation has recommended 16 varied properties across NYS to the State and National Registers of Historic Places, two of which are located within the North Country Region.

Previous additions to the registry have included things like African American burial grounds, industrialist Andrew Carnegie’s legacy of New York Libraries, a Hudson Valley gold club established to counter anti-Semitism, and more historically significant locations.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, October 22, 2020

Fort Ticonderoga Receives Prestigious NEH Grant

Fort Ticonderoga was one out of 18 institutions to be awarded a grant of $88,227 by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The grant supports a two-week NEH Summer Institute for teachers come July 2021, titled: “For the Common Defense: Subjects, Citizens, and America’s Military Origins, 1609-1815.”

“This prestigious grant allows Fort Ticonderoga an unparalleled opportunity to play a vital part in educating and inspiring America’s youth through their teachers’ participation in this program,” said Beth L Hill, Fort Ticonderoga president and CEO. “Fort Ticonderoga is a national leader in teacher education and this program adds to our diverse offerings and increased reach.”

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, September 30, 2020

North Country Live: Fall Series to focus on Indigenous Voices

North Country Live, a series of live webinars created over the summer in order to offer insight into topics such as wellness, personal finance, and Adirondack history, will be returning this fall with a focus on Indigenous Voices of the Adirondacks. Through three online programs, the North Country Live Fall Series will bring to light the history and traditions of the Mohawk Tribe at Akwesasne, and the challenges they have faced amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The programs are free, but require participants to register in advance at this link to receive an invitation to the session.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, September 3, 2020

Commentary: The healing power of the forest

Denuding the Adirondack Woods.

There is in the previous sentence a title of a book. There are many reasons why we go into the Wilderness. I go to be away from people and visit my church, if you will excuse the expression.

The natural wonder of nature and of being in a wild place calms my nerves and feeds my soul more than anything else I can do in my day to day life. The Adirondacks feel timeless, and throwback to an early period in American history. Trees, water, rocks, sand, wildlife, all of this profoundly changed during the many periods of ice advancement from Canada almost down to Virginia. Advance and retreat, then repeat and repeat again.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, July 16, 2020

Hunting for Health

In recent months, as the coronavirus jumped from bats to people and spread around the globe, the world suddenly seems much smaller. The situation reminds us of our connectedness to the animal world and to each other. Such an awareness of nature is deeply rooted in the Adirondack traditions of hunting and fishing.

The practice of hunting in the Adirondacks stretches back thousands of years. For countless generations, Native American peoples lived in balance with the natural environment, taking only resources needed for survival, and making use of medicinal plants.

From the mid-1800s, growing numbers of tourists came to the Adirondacks to experience the wilderness. They relied on Adirondack guides’ deep knowledge of the woods and waters to explore the wilderness in comfort and safety.

 

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, July 2, 2020

In the Company of Graduates

This June, the graduates of the class of 2020 have walked through Saranac Lake High School one at a time, to receive their diplomas with no other classmates beside them. It might be comforting to know that this is not Saranac Lake’s first lonely graduation ceremony. At the high school’s first graduation in 1896, there was only one graduate, Francis H. Slater.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, May 14, 2020

Lessons in Public Health

Today, the planet is taking a crash course on the limitations of modern medicine and the complications of human disease. It is a good time to look back and see what Saranac Lake’s history might teach us about public health.

From our place in the world of modern medicine and science, it can be easy to see healthcare in the past as quackery. Many visitors to the museum skeptically ask, “Was there anything to it? Was there any benefit to the Saranac Lake treatment?”

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Fort Ticonderoga embarks on 2020 Digital Campaign

Due to their delayed 2020 summer opening, Fort Ticonderoga is launching a virtual campus.

The “2020 Digital Campaign” features a series of lectures, interactive programming, and a preview of what will be onsite come the Fort’s re-opening to the public later this year.

A schedule of the digital offerings is as follows:

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, April 5, 2020

Fort Ti aims to ‘fortify’ with digital programming

Center of Digital HistoryOn June 26, 1776, John Adams wrote to Abigail words appropriate for our present circumstances:

Our Misfortunes in Canada, are enough to melt a Heart of Stone. The Small Pox is ten times more terrible than Britons, Canadians and Indians together. This was the Cause of our precipitate Retreat from Quebec, this the Cause of our Disgraces at the Cedars.-I dont mean that this was all. There has been Want, approaching to Famine, as well as Pestilence. And these Discouragements seem to have so disheartened our Officers, that none of them seem to Act with Prudence and Firmness.
But these Reverses of Fortune dont discourage me. It was natural to expect them, and We ought to be prepared in our Minds for greater Changes, and more melancholly Scenes still. It is an animating Cause, and brave Spirits are not subdued with Difficulties.”

Beth L Hill,  President & CEO of Fort Ticonderoga, is taking inspiration from this letter.  The Fort is unveiling an online initiative to “Fortify Yourself” through digital educational programs, videos, and social media engagement. As well as access to an extensive virtual vault of rare museum collections. Visit their Center of Digital History to explore.


Saturday, March 28, 2020

From the archive: Searching for the Hudson’s source

Every weekend, we’ll dig into the Almanack archive and revisit some classic features.

lake tear of the cloudsFrom five years ago:
Pete Nelson ponders the true source of the Hudson River

“For generations of hikers Lake Tear has been a special destination, an upward trek to the ultimate source of one of America’s greatest rivers.  But is it?”

And Paul Hetzler gives tips for starting garden plants from seeds.

HOT TOPIC: This story by Phil Brown from three years ago (March 23, 2017) generated 145 comments:
Rail-Trail Advocates Join Adirondack Railroad Lawsuit

JUST FOR FUN: From 10 years ago (March 31, 2010), Alan Wechsler’s “Why I’ll Never Be A Winter 46-er”