The recent battle for Speaker of the United States House of Representatives left many astounded that it took so many votes to reach a conclusion. However, Saratoga County once went through a situation that makes the House of Representatives battle look like very small potatoes. [Read more…] about 361 Votes: Saratoga County’s 1898 Leadership Battle
When The Yeggs Hit Upstate New York
It was late on Wednesday, January 19th, 1910, and Police Chief W. R. Bronner was making his evening rounds through the quiet village of Mohawk, in the town of German Flatts, Herkimer County, NY, making sure all was safe for both business and residents.
Somewhere near the intersection of Main and Washington streets, he encountered four men who engaged him in conversation as they all walked along. Before he could resist, he was relieved of his pistol, gagged, and brought into the Masonic Hall billiard room that the Yeggs had broken into earlier in the evening. Once inside, Bronner was bound with wire taken from pictures on the wall. [Read more…] about When The Yeggs Hit Upstate New York
Adirondack Logging History: Wood’s Lake & Beaver River Stations
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
History Corrected: Adirondack Guide Charles H Smith & King Edward VII
History often makes a muddle of people’s lives. One such example is Charles H. Smith (ca. 1832 – 1911) of Petries Corners in the town of Watson, Lewis County, NY. Charles was well known as an Adirondack guide in the Beaver River/Stillwater area of the Western Adirondacks.
He lived to a ripe old age as an elder statesman of the guiding fraternity. But confusing reports of his age, a story about guiding for royalty, and a common first and last name have obscured his actual accomplishments. [Read more…] about History Corrected: Adirondack Guide Charles H Smith & King Edward VII
Central Adirondacks Lumbering Operations (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)
Stillwater Fire Tower History Book Published
Stillwater Fire Tower, A Centennial History … and Earlier (2019, Self-Published) by James Fox, recounts how it came to life as a shiny steel tower in 1919 when fire observers and forest rangers helped protect our forests from the summit. The tower closed and was partially dismantled in 1988.
Rehab of the tower began in 2009. Friends of Stillwater Fire Tower completed an authentic restoration in 2016. The location offers views of the Adirondack High Peaks and the wind turbines on Tug Hill. [Read more…] about Stillwater Fire Tower History Book Published
The Nolan Sisters: A Famous Waterford Poisoning Case
The Nolan Family immigrated from Ireland and settled in Stillwater, Ballston, and after the Civil War, in Waterford, all in Saratoga County. The Nolan’s were a large family, a good many had served in the war, and most enlisted for the rewards of the bounty paid to the volunteers.
Michael Nolan, the father of the Nolan girls, had enlisted in the storied 77th Infantry Regiment based out of Saratoga. The 77th fought in many of the war’s epic battles. Michael had enlisted for three years and served out his full term. Prior to the war he resided in Stillwater and was employed as a farm laborer. [Read more…] about The Nolan Sisters: A Famous Waterford Poisoning Case
The Marquis de Chastellux’s Visit To Saratoga Battlefield
The 1777 battles of Saratoga drew visitors to the region even before the Revolutionary War ended.
It is well known that the American victory at Saratoga garnered the outright support of the French. Not only did the French decide to send part of their navy, but they also sent troops under Marshal Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau.
A member of Rochambeau’s staff, François Jean de Beauvoir, Marquis de Chastellux, was particularly interested in the Battles of Saratoga. Being the ninth child of an aristocratic family, Chastellux entered into a military career. Eventually his military career and his knowledge of English led him to join Rochambeau’s staff, which brought him to the United States. [Read more…] about The Marquis de Chastellux’s Visit To Saratoga Battlefield
1890 Hikers: Albany to Lake George and Back
The following letter was original published in the trade magazine American Stationer on May 1st, 1890.
To the Editor of The Stationer
As the heated term of the year draws near I presume that any number of stationer clerks [stationary store clerks] are asking themselves as to how, when and where they shall spend their vacations. I want to give them a bit of advice regarding a summer outing. [Read more…] about 1890 Hikers: Albany to Lake George and Back
Saratoga County’s First Supervisor’s Meeting
On June 2nd, 1791 the very first meeting of the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors took place at Mead’s Tavern in Stillwater. Earlier that year, the New York State Legislature passed a law creating Saratoga County by carving out an area from Albany County.
At that time, the new county was divided among four towns. Each elected a single supervisor to represent them on the county board. Beriah Palmer came from Ballstown (now Ballston), Benjamin Rosekrans from Halfmoon, John B. Schuyler represented Saratoga and Elias Palmer from the host town of Stillwater. All were prominent men of their communities. [Read more…] about Saratoga County’s First Supervisor’s Meeting