Today we would label them a “paramilitary organization.” In the years immediately following the American Civil War, life in the Adirondacks was briefly interrupted by the Fenians, also known as the Fenian Brotherhood.
The Fenian Brotherhood was an Irish Republican organization founded in New York in 1858 by John O’Mahoney. Their name is derived from legends about ancient Irish warriors called the Fianna.
From green beer to corned beef and cabbage, some of the most popular St. Patrick’s Day traditions in America have little connection to Ireland. Not to downplay the importance of dressing in green, parades and brined meat, but one fun tradition that has been practiced in Ireland for hundreds of years in the counties of Cork and Armagh, is the sport of Irish Road Bowling. Indian Lake has been making this part of its St. Patrick’s Day tradition since 2006.
A few years ago my family decides to claim our Irish traditions, via family in Cork and being dabblers in green beer, with an afternoon of bowling in Indian Lake. We register as a family team and are handed a “bullet,” the official 28 ounce iron ball. Though it feels less like bowling and more like bocce, the energy is infectious. » Continue Reading.
This year (2016) marks the 100th Anniversary of the Easter Rising (Éirí Amach na Cásca) the armed revolt which lead to the establishment of the Irish Free State and the freedom from British rule in 26 of Ireland’s 32 counties.
Here are ten songs everyone with Irish aspirations should know, in no particular order. Learn these and you’ll never spend St. Patrick’s Day alone.
Whiskey in the Jar – This classic tune is believed to have originated in the late 1600s or early 1700s. Since then it’s by been covered by The Dubliners, Thin Lizzy, Peter, Paul & Mary, Jerry Garcia and David Grisman, and Metallica. My favorite line: “I first produced my pistol, and then produced my rapier.” » Continue Reading.
The City of Plattsburgh has been trying out new events every other month as well as growing its ongoing activities, according to City of Plattsburgh Events and Promotional Coordinator Sandra Geddes. Organizing an event around St. Patrick’s Day came naturally, she said.
“We hold an event every other month and we wanted to plan this activity near St Patrick’s Day” says Geddes. “We want people to come, wear lots of green and enjoy all the games, food an music and kids and adults.” » Continue Reading.
The Ticonderoga Historical Society has released a line-up of exhibits and programs for 2016. Principal exhibits will include a look at pivotal world events through Adirondack eyes.
Opening March 18, A Terrible Beauty addresses how Irish-Americans in Ticonderoga, the Adirondack region and New York State provided support for Irish independence and the subsequent creation of the Irish Free State. The opening will feature a program by Diane O’Connor.
In addition to the exhibit of nearly 100 loaned items relating to Irish freedom, the Historical Society will four Irish-themed movie and discussion evenings on April 15, May 20, June 3 and July 8. Movies will include “The Quiet Man,” “Michael Collins,” “The Wind that Shakes the Barley,” and “The Secret of Roan Inish.”» Continue Reading.
The Tri Lakes Business Alliance will present its fourth annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Chestertown on Saturday, March 12, 2016, with a step-off at 1 pm.
The parade will start at Foster Flats Road at the south end of Main Street and end on the north end at Church Street. The Galway Gaelic Pipe & Drums of Glens Falls, will be featured as well as the North Warren High School Band. The parade Master of Ceremonies will be Paul Carstenson and the Grand Marshalls will be Fred Monroe, former long-time Supervisor of the Town of Chester and his wife Carol. » Continue Reading.
One mystery remains which my research into the early cabins on Raquette Lake’s Indian Point has never fully solved. Why did the last two generations of our family have no knowledge of the original Thacher cabin on Indian Point from 1878-1886? Why are there no photos or drawings? Why was it abandoned?
Today, my family is proud of its Irish heritage thanks to the courage of my grandfather Kenelm R. Thacher in marrying Catherine Callahan. Family lore has it that after the marriage Kenelm Thacher was labeled the black sheep of the family, the result of the bigotry toward Catholics by members of my Protestant family. My aunt spoke of certain Thacher family members who crossed the street in downtown Albany, rather than converse with her parents. It turns out however, that my grandfather was not the first Thacher to marry a Catholic, to the chagrin of some of his family. » Continue Reading.
Nearly a century ago, a North Country man played a role in one the most remarkable murder cases in New York State history. Attorney James J. Barry was a Keeseville native, born there in late 1876 and a graduated of Keeseville’s McAuley Academy in 1898. In 1901 he moved to Schenectady where he worked for General Electric. He later attended Albany Law School, graduating in 1908 and setting up shop in Schenectady, his adopted home.
The Adirondacks were his real home however, and he maintained strong ties here. To share with others the joys of spending time in the mountains, he helped form the Northmen’s Club, of which he was president in 1907. Many times in the ensuing decades, he took club members, friends, and public officials on visits up north. Jim Barry was never away for very long. » Continue Reading.
Participants in the 2013 Adirondack Donegal Beard Contest are shaving their facial hair in preparation for growing their Donegal Beards for this year’s contest to grow the best Irish beard. New beardsman are welcome to take part in the event, which will be held in North Creek on St. Patrick’s Day and is free and open to the public.
The Donegal Beard (also called a Chin-curtain or Lincoln) is a beard that grows along the jaw line and covers the chin – no soul patch, no mustache. Contestants must be clean shaven on or after January 1st. There is no registration necessary. In 2012, more than 20 men participated in the annual beard contest, now in its fifth year. » Continue Reading.
The brick building, trim and neat, stands just feet from the sidewalk on Main Street in downtown Tupper Lake. P-2’s Irish Pub, illuminated in red and green neon, replaces its former moniker, Al’s Lounge. Inside, a suit of armor standing guard at the pool table silently observes our entrance.
Dimly lighted with amber pendants and recessed spotlights, the interior’s Irish pub characteristics gradually come to light. The curved bar a rich, dark wood with red padded front, shows signs of its age and character. Old cigarette burns mar the top, scars of forgotten conversations and decades of good times. Arrow back bar stools match the studded green faux leather walls, padded for comfort. Tin ceiling, oak woodwork, worn wood floor and round, solid oak pub tables surrounded by sturdy backless stools all lend warmth, character and charm in this intimate space. » Continue Reading.
Participants in the 4th Annual Adirondack Donegal Beard Contest are preparing to shave their facial hair New Year’s Day in anticipation of growing their Donegal Beard for this year’s contest. New beardsman are welcome to take part in the event, which is free and open to the public.
The Donegal Beard (also called a Chin-curtain or Lincoln) is an Irish-style beard that grows along the jaw line and covers the chin – no soul patch, no mustache. Contestants must be clean shaven January 1st and grow a Donegal Beard by St. Patrick’s Day (March 17th). The contest will be held from 4 to 7 pm, Saturday (St. Patrick’s Day), March 17, 2012 at Basil and Wicks (formerly Casey’s North), on Route 28 in North Creek, NY. Judging will be begin at 6 pm, prizes will be awarded. There will be live entertainment.
Judging is based on criteria that includes: Manliness, Fullness, Length, and Style and Sophistication.
Photo: Above, contestants in the Third Donegal Beard Contest in 2011. This year’s Donegal Contest will be held at Basil and Wicks (formerly Casey’s North), on Route 28 in North Creek, NY, March 17, 20011. Contestants should be clean shaven on New Years Day; Below, 2011 Donegal Beard Champion Dan Meehan.
This year’s Adirondack Donegal Beard Contest will take place 4 to 7 pm St. Patrick’s Day, Thursday, March 17th, at Basil & Wicks (formerly Casey’s North), Route 28, in North Creek, NY. The contest is open to beardsmen who were clean shaven on January 1, 2011 and have since grown a Donegal beard. A Donegal beard is a traditional Irish beard that grows along the jaw line and covers the chin — no soul patch, no mustache. This year marks the contest’s third year. New beardsmen are welcome to take part in the event, which is free and open to the public. Judging begins at 6 pm; contestants are judged on length, fullness, style, and effort. There will be beer specials, music by Mike Leddick, corned beef and cabbage and complimentary taxi rides home from 7 pm to 11 pm.
To see pictures from previous contests, and to join the Facebook group, go here.
There’s more than 160-inches of snow at Whiteface, in Wilmington, N.Y., and you know what that means. More great skiing and riding for the entire family well into March at the Olympic mountain, not to mention the longer days, more sunshine and warmer weather.
Celebration activities have been planned to welcome spring at Whiteface Mountain. the events kick off with Mardi Gras, March 5-6 when visitors can ski, ride, collect beads and enjoy food and drink specials and live music from the funk, R &B and soul group Jocamo at the Cloudspin Lounge. Kids will have the chance to play in the snow with Curious George, March 4-6. The PBS character can be found at Kids Kampus each day and parents who enroll their children in a full day kids Kampus program with Curious George will receive a $20 discount off a one day lift ticket. More information about Curious George and the Whiteface Kids Kampus can be found online.
On March 12 and 13 Whiteface will celebrate St. Patty’s Day including Super Shamrock Sunday, March 13 when visitors can ski and ride all day for just $35 for adults, $30 for teens and $25 for juniors. Afterward there will be a party in the Cloudspin Lounge with live music by Trenchtown Oddities.
It’s Reggae Weekend, March 19-20, with music in the Cloudspin Lounge from the Big Take Over, Saturday, March 19, and the following weekend, March 26-27, it’s a Pirate Party at Whiteface, featuring music from Y Not Blue.
Every Wednesday it’s Coca-Cola Why Not Wednesday’s?, Present any empty Coca-Cola product and get a one-day adult lift ticket for only $38. Offer not valid with any other offers, programs, promotions, discounts, or frequent skier products. Limit one ticket per can.
There will be free mountain tours each Saturday and Sunday and on March 5, Lake Placid’s own Andrew Weibrecht, the 2010 Olympic Super G bronze medalist, will be at the mountain to sign autographs and pose for pictures.
It’s that time of year again, when men with whiskers shave-down in anticipation of growing their Donegal for this year’s Adirondack Donegal Beard Contest. New beardsmen are welcome to take part in the event, which is free and open to the public.
A Donegal Beard (also called a chin-curtain or Lincoln) is a particular style of Irish hirsute appendage (facial hair) that grows along the jaw line and covers the chin — no soul patch, no mustache. This year marks the contest’s third year. In order to take part in the contest (and all are welcome) contestants must be clean shaven January 1st and grow a Donegal Beard by St. Patrick’s Day. On the day of the contest, held at Basil and Wicks on Route 28 in North Creek, 4 to 7 pm — all beards must conform to the Donegal standard.
Contestants are judged on length, fullness, style and sophistication.
To see pictures from last year’s contest, and to join the Facebook group, go here.
Yet whenever I come across one of these heaps on a wild and windswept ridge—on Jay Mountain, for instance—I feel cheered. Aha! I am not alone. Someone else has been here before me, and no doubt someone will pass here after me.
A cairn exists to point us in the right direction, but it often evokes an appreciation that can’t be explained by its utilitarian purpose. You don’t react in the same way to a paint blaze. As an analogy, think of the difference between a word’s denotation and connotation. The word rose refers to a flower. That is its denotation. But a rose can symbolize love or passion, among other things. So whatever Gertrude Stein may have said, a rose is not just a rose. And a cairn is not just a heap of stones.
The word cairn derives from Gaelic and dates back at least to the fifteenth century, but the building of cairns is an ancient custom, not exclusive to the Celts. Its primitiveness is part of the cairn’s appeal. The cairn connects us to humanity across the ages and reminds us that we are all wayfarers. It is a symbol of our journey.
Cairns appeal to our creative spirit. On many mountains, they resemble sculptures. A fine example is the cairn in the photo above, from the summit of East Dix.
You can read more about cairns on the Adirondack Explorer website by clicking here.
And if you have a favorite cairn, please tell us about it.
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