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)