Many of the lakes in John Brown’s Tract had guides who took their sporting parties to their own fishing or hunting camps north and south of the Beaver River. This is how lakes like Hitchcock, Beach, and Salmon got their names.
Bill Marleau, author of Big Moose Station (1986) described the guide Hiram Burke (1839-1903) this way: » Continue Reading.
On July 8, 1874, The Lowville JournalandRepublican ran an article about a party of six men who trekked to Twitchell Lake in Big Moose, NY, for a nine-day stay. They came by horse and buggy up the Number Four Road through Watson Township from some town to the west.
After a brief stay at the Fenton House in the hamlet of Number Four and an overnight at Wardwell’s on Beaver River’s Stillwater, they crossed Twitchell Creek and tramped a mile south off the Carthage to Lake Champlain Road to Wood’s Lake: » Continue Reading.
“Melancholy Occurrence” was a fairly common expression for a tragic event in the middle of the 19th century. A search of historic newspapers revealed the phrase was used some 250 times from 1820 to 1870. Several of these were murder cases, such as the son of the Spanish Consul being stabbed through the heart with a cane sword by an angry neighbor. But most were unexpected events such as a fatal strike by lightening, a young fire victim, or a drowning.
One occurred at Twitchell Lake. In a December 3, 1856 article titled “Melancholy Occurrence,” The Lewis County Banner reported that Briggs Wightman stepped onto ice while hunting, crashed through, and drowned. Adirondack Guide named Amos Spafford (1824-1897) came out on the north shore of Twitchell Lake and observed a hat and a gun lying next to a large hole in the ice. » Continue Reading.
Ever wonder how one of the hundreds of lakes and ponds in the Adirondack Mountains got its name? Around Brown’s Tract, there are lakes named from nature such as Loon, Beaver, Trout, Gull, Bear, and Moose. There are also a dozen or more lakes named for noted guides or people who lived in or frequented the area during the Sporting Era (1860 to 1890), including Mosier, Francis, Hitchcock, Beach, Tuttle, Thayer, Smith, Salmon, and Wood.
An Adirondack historian who knew some of the nineteenth century Beaver River and Fulton Chain guides, Joseph F. Grady, reported in his 1933 history of the Fulton Chain and Big Moose region that Twitchell Lake “derives its name from Charles Twitchell, an amateur sportsman of Lewis County, who frequented its shores in the mid-century period [the mid-1800s].”
The Twitchell Lake History Committee is working on documenting the story of Twitchell Lake in Big Moose, NY, and how it was named, with an account of the individual camps, hotels, and highlights down through the years. Twitchell Lake is 5 to 6 miles south of the old Champlain Road, now under the Stillwater Reservoir.
For over 12 years the Conables have hosted a social event at their camp on Twitchell Lake with a poetry competition, the winner receiving honors as “Poet Laureate of Twitchell Lake.” » Continue Reading.
The estate of author, conservationist, and former Adirondack Park Agency commissioner Anne LaBastille has donated her 32-acre “West of Wind” property on Twitchell Lake, north of Big Moose in the Western Adirondacks, according to the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).
LaBastille, the famed writer and conservationist who died on July 1, 2011, envisioned that her land be protected to “preserve the natural, ecological, and historical integrity of my 30 acres of North Country wilderness, where writers can find inspiration in the Adirondacks.”
Anne LaBastille inspired many through her writings and work to protect wildlife and wild lands. Her autobiographical Woodswoman (1978) chronicled her journey from urban New Jersey to cabin dweller on an Adirondack lake. She lived without electricity, running water, or even a road to her 12′ by 12′ “West of Wind” cabin she built with friends and neighbors in 1964. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Center for Writing will host their second Anne LaBastille Writer Residency program at Twitchell Lake October 10-24, 2015. This residency offers quiet space to work with other writers. Be inspired by the gorgeous setting and a community of talented writers. This year’s residencey will be for two weeks.
The residency was provided by the estate of Anne LaBastille, who was a widely published writer whose books like Woodswoman and Beyond Black Bear Lake, written from her cabin on Twitchell Lake, inspired a generation of women writing about the outdoors. She became a licensed guide in the 1970s, and served 17 years as an Adirondack Park Agency commissioner. Until shortly before her death in 2011, she lived part-time at her Twitchell Lake cabin. Residency participants will paddle out to visit her property at least once during their two-week stay. » Continue Reading.
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