Posts Tagged ‘Horses’

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Horace Brown: Master Horseman of Northern NY

One of my favorite people to visit when I was a child was my maternal grandfather, who owned a 100-acre farm in remote northwestern Clinton County. Ninety acres of the property were wooded (I loved exploring nature); he had cows, horses, and a dog (I loved animals); and he was an avid fisherman (I lived on the riverbank in Champlain and loved fishing). From my perspective, everything about my Grandpa Jim (Lagree) was cool (this was back in the ’60s, so “cool” is appropriate).

On the wall near his usual sitting area in the living room was a framed photo of a horse and sulky with the caption, “Dan Patch.” Since it was my grandfather’s picture, I knew it had to be something cool, and I was right. As he explained to me, Dan Patch was the greatest trotter ever. Trotting, as I learned, was once the most popular sport across Northern New York.

Within a general loop from Albany north to Glens Falls and Plattsburgh; west to Malone, Ogdensburg, Potsdam, and Watertown; south to Boonville; southeast back to Albany; and many stops in between, dozens of communities in the Adirondacks and foothills had trotting tracks of varying quality. Participants ranged from farmers to professional horsemen, all of them eager to put their horses’ abilities up against others for bragging rights, money prizes, and, of course, side bets. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, April 16, 2017

Big Plans For Adirondack Gateway In North Hudson

frontier townSince its closure in 1998, Frontier Town could be more accurately described as a ghost town, but parts of the moldering theme park would be granted new life in a $32 million plan by the state to establish a Gateway to the Adirondacks at Exit 29 on the Northway.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the plan in his State of the State Message in January and filled in some of the details later in the month. It will include an information center, day-use area, equestrian trails, and a campground along the Schroon River. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, July 2, 2016

Life With Horses, And Hunting Parties

Ranger Bowback Cover - Adirondack FarmThe Ranger’s brother Charlie did most of the horseshoeing and set many a shoe. Uncle Charlie was a little harsh. He expected obedience and may not have believed in ”horse lib,” but he could make and train a horse.

Nellie and Topsy were young horses Papa bought from his brother Wilber, who had a mare name Mabel and had raised these colts, a beautiful pair. Prince was a lovely horse Papa liked very much. We were a large family, and many times cash was not plentiful. Papa would get his supplies on credit at the Frank Thissell store in the village of Bakers Mills. Papa wanted to get the bill paid and made some arrangement for paying them $100 and the horse Prince. » Continue Reading.


Saturday, June 25, 2016

Ranger Bowback: Stone Boats, Snowdrifts, and Church on Sundays

Ranger Bowback Cover - Adirondack FarmUncle Charlie Dalaba was one of the helpers many times for sugaring. He was a bachelor for years. Then he married a lady preacher, pastor of the Bakers Mills Pentecostal Holiness Church. Esther Thomas was a city girl from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, and before her conversion and ministry she had played in theaters. One name she mentioned was Helen Hayes, who was a child. When the opportunity for a part in a movie came, she listened. The child must have curly hair, which she did not have. Her mother thought her daughter would make a good actress and carefully curled her hair. Esther got the part and a movie career.

In the country, Aunt Esther Thomas Dalaba decided to learn what she could about her new way of life. One of those experiences led her to go watch the making of maple syrup. Aunt Esther was so large that walking was impossible. The men helped her onto the lumber wagon box and gave her a joyride to the back roads. Over the bumpy roads and swaying on the seat as the wagon wheel hit a stone, she laughed with pleasure and some alarm. What a good sport. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, June 19, 2016

Ranger Bowback: His Horses and Labors

Ranger Bowback Cover - Adirondack FarmHillmount Farms on Edwards Hill Road was made of many rolling hills. The Ranger’s team of horses was his companion for many days of labor. The team drew the plow over the hilly terrain. There were several kinds of plows used by the farmers, such as the side hill plow, flat land plow, and sulky plow. The Ranger used the side hill plow most, for plowing deep furrows, turning the sod to the right as he went up and around and down a field. The next furrow overlapped, falling into the path of the one just plowed.

Long wooden curved handles were fastened to the plow for the farmer to hold onto. It was difficult for the teamer to hold the lines, so he tied them together and threw them over his shoulder. They dropped to his waist, leaving him in control of the plowing. The horses were well trained with “gee” to turn to the right and “haw” to turn to the left. The horses understood these words. » Continue Reading.


Sunday, August 30, 2015

Cascade Lake in the Pigeon Lake Wilderness Near Old Forge

Carol_mist-600x436When I suggested to my girlfriend Carol that we jog around Cascade Lake in the Pigeon Lake Wilderness, she endorsed the idea without hesitation. Not only is Carol a trail runner, but she also is an avid swimmer. You might say she is a little obsessed. When I mentioned that Cascade Lake has a sandy bottom, I could barely hold her back.

I had my own reasons for wanting to visit Cascade Lake. I was just finishing a guidebook (published in June by the Adirondack Explorer) called 12 Short Hikes Near Old Forge and wanted to take a few photos for the Cascade Lake chapter. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Fish Tales: First Stocking of the Fulton Chain (1876)

1874 buell map - Copy (2)I recently discovered an article written by Alexander Byron Lamberton, one of Old Forge’s earliest historical figures, that was published in Forest and Stream in March of 1876.

The article describes the first large-scale stocking of fish on Fulton Chain waters. Lamberton had only recently taken over as owner of the Forge House, and his story reads like an adventure tale: » Continue Reading.


Thursday, April 23, 2015

What’s New On The Otter Creek Horse Trails?

Alpacas on the Otter Creek Horse Trails this winterThe snows are gone and mud season has begun on the Otter Creek Horse Trails. Those hearty folks that stay North for the winter have been enjoying snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and even trekking with Alpacas, and now look forward to another season on the trails.

The Otter Creek Horse Trail system is located just outside Lowville on the Independence River Wild Forest, and the Independence River and Otter Creek State Forests along the western border of the Adirondack Park in Lewis County.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, December 4, 2014

Fort Ticonderoga Announces Fort Fever Series

snowshoes13_main3Fort Ticonderoga’s “Fort Fever Series” returns this winter with monthly programs January through April 2015.

Programs take place on Sunday afternoons at 2 pm in the Mars Education Center. The cost for each program is $10 per person and will be collected at the door; free for Members of Fort Ticonderoga. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The End of Adirondack Horse Thief Alonzo Clark

B1LonClarkHdlineAfter release from prison, Alonzo Clark returned to New York and married a young girl in Brandon, south of Malone, where he worked as a farmhand. It wasn’t long before he returned to crime, stealing horses prior to engaging in a high-profile scam at Helena, a hamlet in northern St. Lawrence County. In early 1885, posing as a salesman and tinware repairman, Clark ingratiated himself to Adam Knapp, 69, and his wife, Susan, 50, claiming to be a cousin of Luella, their adopted 16-year-old daughter.

After several nights of reading from the Bible with the family and turning on the charm, Alonzo won them over, particularly Luella. He courted her for several days, using Adam Knapp’s own horse and cutter to woo her on country rides. Within about two weeks’ time, they married. » Continue Reading.


Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Otter Creek Horse Trails in Winter

Otter Creek Horse TRails in winterA few Sundays ago a few hardy souls snowshoed to the Independence River scenic overlook on the Elbow Trail of the Otter Creek Trail System (located on the Independence River Wild Forest and the Independence River and Otter Creek State Forests).

To reach the overlook, we parked along the road at the Bailey Road Snowplow Turn-around.  The trail continues down the road, which had been packed recently by some snow sleds. We turned north onto the Old #4 Trail for a short distance and then took the Elbow Trail.  We were breaking trail but did not find the task strenuous and the scenery was stellar.

This year the Independence River is frozen over where as last year at this time the river was open.  The trail follows the river for a short distance before veering away and wandering through some pines. Finally, the trail re-joins Bailey Road for the return to the snowplow turn-around.  The entire trek took a leisurely two hours. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Picasso Bucks: The Dark Horse Challenge

Michael, Tieke, Chelsea“Picasso bucks?” said Chris Irwin.

“Picasso bolts,” said his owner Emmy Pavelka. “Whenever anyone tries to get on to ride him, he bolts.”

First though, Chris Irwin, Canada’s and one of the world’s foremost horse whisperers, had to contend with the horse Concert Pianist, who had not been ridden in three years. The horses were in Lesley and John Trevor’s Snowslip Farms barn on River Road in Lake Placid in response to a “Dark Horse Challenge” proposed by the Trevors: nominate your most challenging horse so that Irwin can demonstrate how even such a difficult animal can be reached and, doing so, show us how they can help us become better leaders. » Continue Reading.


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

On Horseback: The Otter Creek Horse Trails in Fall

image001(4)The colors of the fallen foliage and the rustling the leaves under foot heighten the enjoyment of fall trail riding on horseback. Among the most popular riding areas is the Otter Creek Horse Trails located just outside Lowville on the Independence River Wild Forest, and the Independence River and Otter Creek State Forests along the western border of the Adirondack Park in Lewis County.

Mary Misek, a regular rider and volunteer, wrote the Almanack recently to remind riders of a few dates users of the Otter Creek area will want to be aware of. The water will be shut off at the Assembly Area, located in the Independence River State Forest, around the 15th of October. Additionally, early bow hunting begins September 27th, followed by the Youth Firearms Season (Oct. 12), and Muzzleloading season (Oct. 19), meaning beginning this week riders are likely to encounter hunters in the woods. » Continue Reading.


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

On Horseback: Otter Creek Horse Trails Ready For Season

Jack Horseback trail riders are gearing-up for another season exploring the Otter Creek Horse Trails located just outside Lowville (DEC Region 6) on both the Independence River Wild Forest Unit of the Adirondack Forest Preserve and on the Independence River and Otter Creek State Forests on the western border of the Adirondack Park in Lewis County.  A group of volunteers are working to distribute maps of the area, and the water will be turned on at the Assembly Area, located in the Independence River State Forest, on May 15th according to DEC. The water is shut off the day after Columbus Day.

Visitors to the area should plan ahead to acquire a map to the more than 65 miles of trails.  Two maps are currently available. A pdf version of the DEC’s map  can be downloaded and printed at the DEC website. A more comprehensive color map is also available from the Lewis County Chamber of Commerce (and at the local businesses listed below). That tri-fold map includes the trail colors and names, and also shows bridges, stream crossings, water accesses, picnic areas, and tie rails as well. For emergencies, the map has GPS locations and helicopter landing zones. » Continue Reading.


Monday, May 7, 2012

Early Animal Rights: The Hats for Horses Campaign

If you like horses (and who doesn’t?) and some funny grammatical errors, check out these two sentence segments from regional newspapers. From 1927: “Mounted on his favorite and favored horse wearing a white broad-brimmed hat … ; and from 1980: “Fans hurled confetti at third baseman George Brett, who was atop a horse wearing a grey cowboy hat.” Both excerpts contain misplaced modifiers: it’s a pretty safe bet that neither horse was wearing a hat.

But as silly as it sounds, it’s an idea that was actually once in vogue. About a century ago, many of northern New York’s horses were sporting the latest craze―hats for horses. » Continue Reading.



Wait, before you go,

sign up for news updates from the Adirondack Almanack!