Tag Archives: Hamilton County

Annual Fulton Chain of Lakes House Tour by Boat

Whether a historic site or a spectacular new design, individuals with noteworthy homes will host tours during the Annual Fulton Chain of Lakes House Tour by Boat to benefit View, the former Old Forge Arts Center.

Beginning in Old Forge, participants will ride party barges from house to house as they explore local waterways and get the rare chance to view inside the beautiful homes along them. The House Tour will be held on Saturday August 18. Departure will be from the Old Forge Town Docks, at Lake View Ave, in Old Forge, NY promptly at 10am and will return in the middle of the afternoon. To ensure a smooth departure, guests should arrive early, beginning at 9am.
This year’s House Tour By Boat will feature six great camps and homes including Berkeley Lodge, which was once President Benjamin Harrison’s Adirondack Residence. What appears to be just a boathouse from the lake is actually just the beginning of Berkeley Lodge. Former President Benjamin Harrison (of Indianapolis) purchased the 20 acre peninsula between First and Second Lakes in 1895 from Dr. William Sweard Webb.

Berkeley Lodge was designed by a Herkimer architect, Charles E. Cronk, and built in time for Harrison’s return in the summer of 1896 after his 2nd marriage to Mrs. Mary Lord Dimmick. The Lodge living room is flanked by twin octagonal towers at either end. The exterior of Berkeley was sheathed with spruce logs at the bottom and shingles below the eaves. Attached to Berkeley was a cottage containing a kitchen, dining room, and office. The camp also had a house for guides and a boathouse.

In 1910 the property was sold to a New Yorker and then later in 1915, it was purchased by Horace S. deCamp. Horace owned the Harrison property until his death in 1954 and the property was sold at auction and purchased by the Cohen family. The Cohen family sub-divided the property into several parcels before selling Berkeley Lodge. The Lodge, and several other buildings survive to this day. The great camp is owned by Bob and Diane Wallingford, who have renovated a portion of the lodge that was added on in the 1950&#8242-s by the Cohens, made the icehouse/carriage house into a bunkhouse, added a garage and renovated the boathouse keeping all of the same flooring and beams.

Tickets must be purchased in advance. Tickets are $65/$50 for View members. This is a rain or shine event which typically sells out, so call View to reserve your ticket at 315-369-6411. For further questions email Info@ViewArts.org, or visit www.ViewArts.org.



Photos: Above, Berkely Lodge today, and below, at the time Harrison owned it.

Adirondack Museum Acquires William Trost Richards Painting

The Adirondack Museum announces a significant addition to the permanent collection. The painting, Adirondack Landscape [Elizabethtown], 1864, by William Trost Richards (1833-1905), is a gift of the estate of Waldo Hutchins III. The painting is on exhibit in the Lynn H. Boillot Art Galleries for the 2012 season. Continue reading

Adirondack Museum Dog Days Features Marley and Me Author

New York Times Bestselling Author John Grogan will headline the Adirondack Museum’s annual Dog Days of Summer event with a public program called &#8220Marley &amp-Me: What Man’s Best Friend Can Teach Us About Being Human.&#8221 The program will begin at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, August 4 the museum’s center campus. Dogs are welcome. In addition to the public program, there will be a question and answer session, and a book signing. Copies of Grogan’s bestselling books will be available at the Museum Store. Continue reading

The Civil War And The Adirondacks: 1861-1865

One hundred fifty years ago this country was torn apart by a great civil war. The Adirondack Museum will host a weekend dedicated to remembering the Civil War in the Adirondacks, the men who fought it and their loved ones at home, this Saturday, July 21 and Sunday, July 22.

Visitors will be able to meet the members of the 118th Volunteer Infantry (the &#8220Adirondack&#8221 Regiment&#8221) and President Lincoln at a Civil War Encampment and learn the fate of Adirondack Civil War soldiers of the 118th themselves at a specially produced  presentation by author Glenn Pearsall on Saturday (7:00 p.m.) entitled &#8220The Adirondacks Go To War: 1861 &#8211 1865.&#8221

In the Adirondacks many young men, boys really, left their hard scrabble farms and small towns for the first time in their lives to enlist. Learn what their thoughts were as they marched off to war and how they reacted to the horrors of war. Hear what it was like for the wives, children, mothers and father that they left behind, as well as the lasting impact of the war on the small towns in the Adirondacks following the war.

Pearsall spent two years researching the Civil War veterans from Johnsburg in the southeastern Adirondacks before preparing this special program based on letters and journals (which will be read by a Civil War re-enactors in uniform). The presentation will also include over 100 historic photographs of soldiers and battlefield scenes. &#8220Each member of the audience will be given a name of a soldier from the Adirondacks who fought in the war and will ultimately find out if they survived the war,&#8221  he told the New York History.

Pearsall’s presentation will focus on men serving with the 22nd New York (one of the first to respond to President Lincoln’s call to arms and recruited in Warren and Saratoga Counties), the 93rd (recruited from Essex, Fulton, Hamilton and Warren Counties who suffered horrific losses in the contest between U.S. Grant and Robert E. Lee), the 96th or &#8220Plattsburgh Regiment&#8221 (recruited primarily from Clinton County), the 115th (recruited from Hamilton and Fulton Counties) and the 118th or &#8220Adirondack Regiment&#8221 (recruited from Clinton, Essex and Warren Counties, the first regiment to enter the Confederate capital in Richmond on its fall). Pearsall will also explain a special Adirondack link to the capture of John Wilkes Booth, assassin of President Abraham Lincoln.

The &#8220Adirondack Regiment&#8221 will also be the focus of the weekend-long encampment at the Museum.  Mustered into service in August 1862, over one thousand North Country men served in the unit. Re-enactors will camp at the museum and share stories of camp life, and what it was like to be a soldier in the Civil War. Visitors will learn about the 118th assignments and movements, the battles they fought in, and the historic moment when General Robert E. Lee surrendered at the Appomattox Court House.

President Lincoln will be portrayed by John R. Baylis, who has appeared as the 16th President of the United States at Gettysburg, Antietam, Cedar Creek, Ottawa, and as far south as Key West.

Pearsall’s presentation will be held in the Auditorium at 7:00 p.m. The program will be offered at no charge to museum members- the fee for non-members is $5.00. For additional information, please visit www.adirondackmuseum.org or call (518) 352-7311.


Photo: A volunteer infantry soldier of the  118th &#8220Adirondack Regiment&#8221 (circa 1863, courtesy Adirondack Museum). 

Adirondack Museum Monday Evening Lecture Series Set

The Adirondack Museum has announced the presenters and lecture topics for the annual Monday Evening Lecture Series. Join the museum for the lecture series Monday nights at 7:30 p.m. in July and August.

The first evening, July 9, will be spent with Wildlife Conservation Society senior conservationist Bill Weber. Weber will present &#8220Out of Africa and Into the Adirondacks: A Conservation Journey&#8221 lecture.

Lectures continue on July 16 with Charles Yaple and &#8220Foxey Brown: The Story of an Adirondack Outlaw, Hermit, and Guide&#8221 lecture- July 23 with photographer Eric Dresser and &#8220Capturing Adirondack Wildlife in Pictures-&#8221 July 30 with Environmental Historian Phil Terrie and &#8220Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and A Land Ethic for our Time&#8221 a film, commentary and discussion.

August begins with author Harvey Kaiser and &#8220Great Camps of the Adirondacks: Second Edition&#8221 on August 6- August 13 with senior art historian Caroline M. Welsh and &#8220A.F. Tait: Artist of the Adirondacks-&#8221 and will end on August 20 with rustic furniture artisan and painter, Barney Bellinger’s &#8220Art, Furniture and Sculpture: Influenced by Nature&#8221 lecture.

The presentations will be offered at no charge to museum members- the fee for non-members is $5.00. For full descriptions of the lectures, visit www.adirondackmuseum.org.

The Adirondack Museum is open 7 days a week, from 10:00 a.m. &#8211 5:00 p.m., through October 14. The museum will close at 3 p.m. on August 10 and September 7 for special event preparations.

Adirondack Museum Reopens Friday:New Audio Tour Features Locals, Free Residents Days

The Adirondack Museum will launch a new audio tour when museum reopens for its 55th season on Friday, May 25, 2012. Year-round residents of the Adirondack Park are invited to visit free of charge every Sunday, and on all open days in May and October. Proof of residency such as a driver’s license, passport, or voter registration card is required.

This year, visitors will be invited to take a fresh look at the Adirondack Museum using the new audio tour. The voices of real people who live in the Adirondacks today will guide visitors to a deeper understanding of the museum’s exhibitions, it dramatic setting, and what makes the Adirondacks unique.

Adirondackers’ personal stories will be related by many including: Kevin Bacon, actor- John Collins, Blue Mountain Lake Resident- Martha Foley, News Director, NCPR- Allison Warner, boat builder- Dan Moore, logger- Steven Tucker, farmer- John Fadden, Six Nations Indian Museum- Marty Podskoch, author- Phillip Terrie, author and Environmental Historian, and many more. You can preview the tour online.

The audio tour will be offered free of charge to visitors with museum admission. The tour will be available via Acoustiguide Audio portable devices and as a downloadable app for smartphones.

The Adirondack Museum is open 7 days a week, from 10:00 a.m. &#8211 5:00 p.m., through October 14. The museum will close at 3 p.m. on August 10 and September 7 for special event preparations. The museum, accredited by the American Association of Museums, offers 65,000 square feet of exciting exhibitions housed in twenty-two modern and historic buildings.

Visitors can explore how people have lived, worked, traveled, and played in the Adirondacks from the 19th century up to today. The museum is supported in part by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency. For additional information, visit www.adirondackmuseum.org or call (518) 352-7311.

Lawrence Gooley Presenting Robert Garrow Lecture

The next lecture in the Adirondack Museum’s 2012 Cabin Fever Sunday, &#8220Tracking Robert Garrow&#8221 with author and New York History contributor Lawrence Gooley, will be held on Sunday, April 15, 2012.

In the summer of 1973, serial killer Robert F. Garrow went on a murderous rampage that changed the Adirondack region forever. However, there was much more to Garrow’s story than the murders. From his unfortunate childhood to escapes from the law, the longest manhunt in Adirondack history, and his manipulation of legal, medical and corrections professionals, hear the full story of Garrow’s life from author Lawrence Gooley. Due to graphic content, this program is suitable for adult audiences.

Lawrence P. Gooley is a proponent of the North Country, a lover of books, and a history enthusiast. He operates Bloated Toe Enterprises, an internet-based business that currently includes Bloated Toe Publishing and The North Country Store. Gooley has also organized a North Country Authors group to help raise the profile of area authors and their works. Gooley’s writings have appeared in various magazines and newspapers. He has contributed to other works, including a recent piece in an annual book series, the Franklin County Review, and has provided editing services for several other titles. He has also authored nine books including Terror in the Adirondacks: The True Story of Serial Killer Robert F. Garrow.

This program will be held at the Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts at Blue Mountain Lake, and will begin at 1:30 p.m. Cabin Fever Sundays are offered at no charge to museum members or children of elementary school age and younger. The fee for non-members is $5.00. For additional information, please call (518) 352-7311, ext. 128 or visit www.adirondackmuseum.org.

John, Margot Ernst Receiving Adk Museum Award

The Board of Trustees of the Adirondack Museum has announced the selection of John and Margot Ernst as the recipients of the 2012 Harold K. Hochschild Award. The Adirondack Museum will formally present the Ernsts with the award at the annual Gala Benefit on July 28, 2012.

The Harold K. Hochschild Award is dedicated to the memory of the museum’s founder, whose passion for the Adirondacks, its people, and environment inspired the creation of the Adirondack Museum. Since 1990 the museum has presented the award to a wide range of intellectual and community leaders throughout the Adirondack Park, highlighting their contributions to the region’s culture and quality of life.

&#8220On behalf of the Adirondack Museum, I would like to congratulate John and Margot Ernst on receiving this prestigious honor for their commitment and service to the Adirondack region,&#8221 said David M. Kahn, Executive Director of the Adirondack Museum.

John and Margot Ernst split their time between New York City and Elk Lake Lodge, a family owned resort near North Hudson, N.Y., located in the 12,000 acre Elk Lake-Clear Pond private preserve, which National Geographic called &#8220the jewel of the Adirondacks.&#8221 John and Margot are involved in public service through their work with non-profit organizations in New York State and the North Country.

Margot was co-chair of the committee to establish an endowment for the newly created News Bureau at North Country Public Radio. She is on the Board of Directors of the New York State Audubon Society and Secretary of the Board of Directors of the National Audubon Society. She is a member of the Rachel Carson Awards Council, which selects awardees and promotes education and information on the environment. Margot is co-chairman, with John, of the Board of Directors of the George Gustav Heye Center of the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution. She has served on the Board of Trustees of the Adirondack Museum and is a retired curator and Associate Director of the Japan Society Gallery.

In addition, John and Margot have been active for some time in the future of the Adirondacks. In the early 1960s John’s grandfather donated the first conservation easement in New York State on the land surrounding their property on Elk Lake, preserving public access on trails to the Dixes and Panther Gorge and on to Mount Marcy.

John was Treasurer of the New York League of Conservation Voters, is past President of the Adirondack Landowners Association and Treasurer of the Board Directors of the Adirondack Community Trust. John is a former chair and current Director of the Adirondack Council. He is on the Executive Council of North Country Radio, is a board member of the Adirondack Center for Writing, of the Open Space Institute and Adirondack Lakes Survey Corporation, a not-for-profit corporation formed to monitor and document the effects of pollution in the Adirondack waterways. John is also a board member of the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution.

The Open Space Institute awarded its 2009 Land Conservation Award to John and Margot Ernst for their &#8220outstanding contributions in the fields of land conservation and environmental protection. &#8221 John Ernst received a 2011 Advocate Award from Environmental Advocates of New York.

For tickets to the Adirondack Museum’s Gala Benefit, call (518) 352-7311 ext. 119.

Dannemora: Love So Strong, It’s Criminal

Ah, Valentine’s Day. Love is in the air. Chocolates, flowers, and special cards are a must. Maybe a family meal, or perhaps a romantic dinner for two. Jewelry? Diamonds? The sky’s the limit when it comes to making your sweetheart happy and showing true dedication. But it’s all pretty amateurish compared to real commitment. Which brings us to Fred Roderick and Agnes Austin. Their love is one for the history books.

Here’s the story as described in 1883 in a couple of newspapers. Without hard facts, I can’t account for all the details, but you have to admire the sense of purpose, focus, and ingenuity this couple used to achieve togetherness.

At Sageville (now Lake Pleasant, a few miles southeast of Speculator), Fred Roderick, about 25 years old, had been jailed for stealing a pair of horses, which had since been returned. In those days, a convicted horse thief could expect to do time in prison. Next to murder, it was one of the most serious crimes—horses were a key component to survival in the North Country.

In rural Hamilton County, it was no simple task to organize a trial, so for several months the county jail served as Roderick’s home. It was lonely at times, but he wasn’t entirely without company. Every Sunday, the local Methodist pastor brought a dozen or so members of his congregation to the jail, where they sang songs and held a prayer meeting.

For a couple of years, young Agnes Austin was among the church goers who participated. Shortly after Roderick’s incarceration, parish members noticed that, instead of lending her voice to the choir at all times, she seemed to have taken a personal interest in Fred’s salvation.

Soon Agnes gained special permission from the sheriff for weekday visits which, she assured him, would lead Roderick down the straight and narrow. But it seemed to work in the reverse. Agnes began showing up at the jail less often on Sundays and more frequently during the week. Imagine the whispers among her church brethren. Their pretty little friend was consorting with a criminal!

Or maybe her missionary efforts were sincere after all. Fred Roderick finally came forward and accepted religious salvation, owing it all, he said, to young Agnes. People being as they are, tongues wagged more frantically than ever about the supposed scandalous goings-on. Mr. Austin forbade (what was he thinking?) Agnes from making any more jail visits. Taking it one step further, he spoke to the sheriff, hoping to kill a tryst in the making.

It wasn’t long after that Agnes disappeared. With her supposed lover lingering hopelessly in jail, why would she run away? Well, as it turns out, she didn’t. Agnes and Fred had made plans. She was told to hide out at his father’s camp, where he would join her after his escape. (Country jails were often loosely kept, and escapes were common.)

After waiting more than a week for her sweetheart, Agnes took matters into her own hands, which led to a sight that shocked the residents of Sageville. A constable rode into town, and behind him trailed Aggie Austin. The charge? Horse theft. In broad daylight, she had taken not just any horse, but one of the very same horses Fred had stolen!

Because she was female, and because she made no effort to run when pursued, bail was set at $600—which Agnes immediately refused. To the puzzled bondsman and the sheriff, she explained: if Fred couldn’t be with her, then she would be with Fred. To that end, she had left the camp, stolen a horse, made sure she was caught, and now refused to be bailed out of jail.

It gets better. The next morning, Fred informed the sheriff that he wished to marry Miss Austin, and Agnes confirmed the same. Papa Austin most certainly would have objected, but Agnes was 19, of legal age to make her own choice. And that choice was Fred.

The judge was summoned, and the sheriff and his deputies stood witness to the joining. The district attorney weighed in as well, contributing what he could to the couple’s happiness.

Though separate trials were required, he promised to “bring both cases before the same term of court, and thus allow the pair to make their bridal journey together to their future mountain home at Clinton Prison.”

Now THAT’s commitment.

Photo: Clinton Prison at Dannemora, notorious North Country honeymoon site.

Lawrence Gooley has authored ten books and dozens of articles on the North Country’s past. He and his partner, Jill McKee, founded Bloated Toe Enterprises in 2004. Expanding their services in 2008, they have produced 19 titles to date, and are now offering web design. For information on book publishing, visit Bloated Toe Publishing.

Adks: Howling Wilderness to Vacation Destination

The Adirondack Museum third 2012 Cabin Fever Sunday series, &#8220Nature: From Howling Wilderness to Vacation Destination&#8221 will be held on Sunday, February 12, 2012. The event will be offered free of charge.

Drawing on landscape painting, photography, traveler’s accounts, and other sources, this presentation by Dr. Charles Mitchell will explore the evolution of American attitudes towards nature. Beginning with perceptions of the American landscape as a howling wilderness, a wasteland to be tamed and transformed, the lecture will trace the social, cultural and economic forces that led to the perception of wild nature as something of value to be experienced and preserved. Key topics and figures along the way include the sublime, romanticism, Henry David Thoreau, Thomas Cole and the Hudson River School, John Muir, Ansel Adams, and the Lorax.

Dr. Charles Mitchell is Associate Professor of American Studies at Elmira College. Mitchell has been on the faculty of Elmira College since 1993. Born in Brooklyn and raised in Lynbrook (on Long Island) he still occasionally refers to everything north of Yonkers as &#8220upstate.&#8221 He teaches a side variety of courses in American cultural history, with specific
interests in environmental history, the history of ideas about nature, and the representation of the landscape in literature and art.

This program will be held at the Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts at Blue Mountain Lake, and will begin at 1:30 p.m. For additional information, please call (518) 352-7311, ext. 128 or visit www.adirondackmuseum.org.