The Stillwater Fire Tower has received a new interpretive sign that recounts Stillwater’s the towers that preceded the present 1919 steel tower. The latest tower was reopened after restoration in 2016.
The sign is bolted to the tower near the empty drill hole in the bedrock that once held a Verplanck Colvin Adirondack Survey marker from 1882. » Continue Reading.
Jessie Elliott was a unique figure in the history of the Beaver River country in the west central Adirondacks. Visitors to the tiny settlement of Beaver River are still told she went to prison for her role in the bootlegging that was rampant in the lumberjack days of the early 1920s. She is listed among the “lawless ladies” in Niki Kourofsky’s recent book, Adirondack Outlaws. Pat Thompson’s memoir about life in Beaver River claims Jessie rode her steed through the settlement with her long hair flowing and a pistol in a holster on her belt. More fantastic stories about Jessie can be found in Bill Donnelly’s Short History of Beaver River where she is described, among other things, as a good-looking Calamity Jane, a bootlegger, and a prostitute. The truth underlying the legends reveals a much more complex and interesting wilderness woman. » Continue Reading.
Author Marty Podskoch will give a presentation on the new edition of his book, The Adirondack Fire Towers: Their History and Lore, The Southern Districts at the Stillwater Hotel on Wednesday August 9th at 7 pm. He will highlight the Stillwater Fire Tower restoration work and discuss the history of the fire towers in the Southern Adirondacks.
The new edition features a chapter devoted to the men and women who helped restore the Adirondack fire towers since Podskoch’s book was first published in 2003. The six restored towers in this volume include those at Stillwater, Spruce, Adams, Hurricane, St. Regis, and Lyon mountains.
The book also contains information on the 28 state and three private towers in Herkimer, Warren, Washington, Saratoga, Lewis, Fulton, and Hamilton, counties. » Continue Reading.
From its founding in 1893, and over the next 30 years, the Beaver River Club was the destination of many of the visitors to the Stillwater area.
It was the summer retreat of wealthy and influential families from Syracuse, Utica and to a lesser extent from throughout New York State. The decision to enlarge the Stillwater Dam and create today’s Stillwater Reservoir utterly destroyed this glittering outpost in the wild. Here is its story. » Continue Reading.
At an elevation of 2,264 feet, Stillwater Fire Tower in northern Herkimer County has never been a beacon for tourists. It’s not even modestly high compared to the 46 Adirondack peaks over 4,000 feet.
Since 1912, Fire Observers on Stillwater Mountain needed a high tolerance for isolation and resistance to boredom. Until the fire tower closed in 1988, the annual number visitors ranged from 145 to it’s record of 618. Before the mid-‘50s, when the Big Moose Road was completed, the only access to the tower trail was by boat from the Stillwater Reservoir. Even then, only hard-core hikers who would tolerate eight or twelve miles of dirt road from Number Four or Big Moose Station, enjoyed the tower’s views. » Continue Reading.
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