Strange hat isn’t it! One of the community-building activities on our lake in Big Moose, New York, is a Fourth of July “Poet’s Potluck,” an event hosted by the Conable family. [Read more…] about “Running the Rapids” by Twitchell Lake’s Poet Laureate
Autobiographies are by far the most popular genre in literature. My experience mentoring over 150 adults in completing and sharing a “Life Map” project in a supportive group reinforces this fact. For many of these adults, their Life Map turned out to be one of their best learning experiences. And that in spite of the fact that for about eight percent of adults this “experiment” in self-writing and exploration came up against a “darkside event” or difficult life-chapter that put up a real roadblock. [Read more…] about Teachable Moments Launch A New Book
After Hudson River logging sharply declined by 1905, the Adirondack railroad line known as the Mohawk & Malone kept NYS lumber companies in business for at least another twelve years. A big part of this was due to logging north of Big Moose, shown on this New York Central & Hudson River railroad map, with eight station stops northward toward Tupper Lake (shown at left), three of them as junctions for logging railroads — Wood’s Lake, Brandreth, and Nehasane.
Beaver River Station was shifting from logging to tourism. Little Rapids was a flag stop, Keepawa unlisted in an 1895 train schedule. This article will describe the logging history of Wood’s Lake and Beaver River stations, beginning with a new lumbering operation just north of Big Moose. [Read more…] about Adirondack Logging History: Wood’s Lake & Beaver River Stations
The first of three major logging operations on Big Moose Lake in Herkimer County in the Adirondacks was headed by a veteran lumber company executive named Theodore Page. Page built palatial “Camp Veery” on Echo Island in West Bay, purchased from William Seward Webb in 1900. He arrived at Big Moose Lake from Oswego, NY, with many years of leadership in the lumber industry, importing timber from Canada for the Minetto Shade Cloth Company – one of the largest U.S. manufacturers of shade cloth, window shades, shade-rollers, and curtain fixtures. [Read more…] about Lumbering Operations at Big Moose Lake (1900-1920)
The spark that got me writing about Adirondack history was the personal question of how my family came into possession of a log cabin on Twitchell Lake in Big Moose, NY. Unraveling this mystery took a year’s research — searching newly discovered diaries and networking with genealogy contacts.
It turns out my connection began with a love story, which I told in the New York Almanack. That account included the accompanying photo of my grandparents’ wedding in Buffalo, NY, in 1908. This article will explore how the hamlet of Big Moose supported the growth of thriving summer communities on Twitchell and Big Moose Lakes, setting the stage for major logging operations on Big Moose Lake. Early in this era, 60 percent of Twitchell’s lakeshore was slated for major logging before going up for sale as summer lots. [Read more…] about Big Moose As A Lumber & Tourist Hub (1900-1920)
Born in England, John Gerald Fitzgerald (1850-1925) attended seminary in Troy, NY, accepting his first assignment as a priest in the Diocese of Ogdensburg. Following pastorates in upstate New York, Father Fitz – as he was affectionately called – was given the daunting challenge of establishing a parish in Old Forge, in the Adirondacks.
In 1896, Northern Herkimer County was a heavily forested region dotted by tiny hamlets, scattered lumber camps, and remote railroad stations along the Mohawk & Malone Railroad. For the next twenty-nine years, he got off the Mohawk & Malone at stations like McKeever, Carter, Big Moose, Beaver River, Brandreth, Keepewa, Nehasane, and Horseshoe Lake, carrying his bible and sacraments from these stops to remote lumber camps on snowshoes, wearing his trademark coonskin cap and woolen mittens. His parish stretched over a 200 square-mile area. [Read more…] about Along The Mohawk & Malone: Forest Fires & Logging South of Big Moose (1900-1920)
In the late nineteenth century, Adirondack VIP tours were arranged to assess water damage from state-sponsored dams that kept lumber mills powered and barges floating up and down the Erie Canal. Judges like Truman Fuller exhorted the New York State Forest Commission to get an accurate upstate map completed, to head off all the lawsuits. [Read more…] about Adirondack History: New York State to the Rescue
An early 20th century Adirondack lawsuit pitted a small Big Moose Lake sportsman and landowner Aaron Lloyd against a team of powerful opponents, John Adams Dix and his Moose River Lumber Company with Dr. William Seward Webb and his Nehasane Park Association.
A second suit reversed the plaintiff and defendant, Webb vs. Lloyd, and appeared to be linked to the first complaint. Clearly this was a classic David versus Goliath clash. These cases would have been the fodder for conversations around the campfire in the Big Moose area for almost a decade.
On the surface, the complaints concerned the harvest of millions of board feet of virgin timber and flooding Big Moose Lake to get these logs to market, with Webb behind both actions. [Read more…] about Logging The Adirondacks: A Legal Logjam (1880-1900)
After achieving his railroad dream and completing his Nehasane wilderness refuge – reachable using his own luxury rail car – William Seward Webb found himself in a major conflict with the State of New York.
Inlet historian Charles Herr tells this part of the story expertly, in his history of the Fulton Chain. My map here highlights that land aquisition by the State in yellow, totaling 74,585 acres of Brown’s Tract and in the Totten & Crossfield Purchase. Webb retained ownership of lakes like Twitchell and Big Moose because he intended those for later cottage and hotel sales. [Read more…] about Central Adirondacks Lumbering Operations (1880-1900)
Hanging above a window in our Twitchell Lake cabin northeast of Big Moose, Herkimer County, in the Adirondacks is this five-foot-long saw with a handle at both ends, and a row of sharp knife-like teeth. I have never used it, but now know it is an antique crosscut saw for use by one or two persons. [Read more…] about William Seward Webb’s Railroad & Logging The Adirondacks