Adirondack Heritage

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  • Adirondack Heritage

    A collection of stories by

    Lee Manchester

    Travels through Time in New Yorks North Country

  • Adirondack Heritage

  • Adirondack Heritage Stories about historic

    Essex County, New York, the Adirondack High Peaks

    region, and vicinity

    By Lee Manchester

  • OTHER BOOKS BY LEE MANCHESTER

    Edited by Lee Manchester Island in the Valley:

    Stories About the History of Lemoore (Ca.)

    The Lake Placid Club: 1890 to 2002

    Main Street, Lake Placid: An Architectural and Historic Survey

    The Secret Poems of Mary C. Landon

    The Plains of Abraham, A History of North Elba and Lake Placid: Collected Writings of Mary MacKenzie

    Tales from the Deserted Village: First-Hand Accounts of Early Explorations into the Heart of the Adirondacks

    Written by Lee Manchester

    Adventures in the New Wilderness

  • Table of contents

    THE HISTORIC OLYMPIC REGION

    North Elba & Lake Placid 1. Lake Placids first hotels ................................................................ 1 2. Placids Main Street ....................................................................... 5 3. Touring historic Newman ............................................................ 12 4. Historic schoolhouses of North Elba............................................ 19 5. Lake Placid-North Elba History Museum.................................... 24 6. The North Elba Cemetery ............................................................ 28 7. Palace Theater marks 75th anniversary........................................ 34 8. Plans afoot to restore historic 1932 bob run................................. 38 9. Fine art adorns Placid post office................................................. 43 10. Olympic art at 25........................................................................ 47 11. LPN-100: Editors & publishers.................................................. 52 12. A century of the News................................................................ 57

    Wilmington 13. Wilmington, plain and simple .................................................... 64 14. Whiteface Veterans Memorial Highway.................................... 68 15. Whiteface Mountain & the 10th Mountain Division................... 74 16. Wilmingtons original town hall ................................................ 79 17. Mountain trails pass remains of Wilmington iron mines ........... 81 18. Santas historians ....................................................................... 84 19. Wilmington Camp Meeting marks century of worship.............. 91

    HISTORIC ESSEX COUNTY & BEYOND

    Tooling around the county 20. Taking a trip up old Route 9 ..................................................... 99 21. Schroon Lake .......................................................................... 102 22. Port Henry............................................................................... 108 23. Westport.................................................................................. 114 24. Essex ....................................................................................... 120 25. New Russia ............................................................................. 125 26. Minerva................................................................................... 130 27. Newcomb................................................................................ 135

    Historic spotlight: Town of Jay 28. The ghost towns among us...................................................... 139 29. The Jay bridge story................................................................ 142 30. The resurrection of Wellscroft ................................................ 150 31. The theater that had nine lives ................................................ 158

  • 32. Hollywood Theater set to re-open ...........................................161 33. The Graves Mansion................................................................163 34. Adirondack mill town looks at historic preservation...............166

    Schoolhouses 35. Historic Adirondack schoolhouses ..........................................173 36. The one-room schoolhouses of Lewis .....................................180

    Historic & cultural sites 37. Fort Ticonderoga readies for season (2003) ............................185 38. Fort Ticonderoga opens for 2005 season.................................191 39. The Crown Point ruins.............................................................195 40. Awesome Au Sable Chasm .....................................................200 41. Adirondack History Center Museum.......................................205 42. The Penfield Homestead Museum...........................................211 43. Adirondack music camps ........................................................215 44. The Iron Center Museum.........................................................220 45. The Alice T. Miner Museum ...................................................225 46. Six Nations Indian Museum ....................................................230 47. The Akwesasne Museum.........................................................235 48. The Chapman Museum............................................................239 49. Two stops in Malone ...............................................................243

    ADIRONDAC

    50. Adirondac ghost town awaits its future ...................................249 51. The road to Adirondac.............................................................255 52. Seeing the furnace for the trees ...............................................260 53. Bidding adieu to the deserted village, Part 1........................268 54. Bidding adieu to the deserted village, Part 2........................276 55. Life at the Upper Works ..........................................................283

    HISTORIC PRESERVATION, ADIRONDACK-STYLE

    56. Adirondack Architectural Heritage .........................................291 57. Santanoni .................................................................................298 58. Preserving Santanoni ...............................................................303 59. The AARCH Top Five, Part 1 .................................................309 60. The AARCH Top Five, Part 2 .................................................314 61. The bridges of the Au Sable Valley.........................................319 62. Save our bridges ......................................................................324 63. The Rockwell Kent tour ..........................................................328 64. Trudeauville.............................................................................333 65. Willsboro Point........................................................................339

  • 66. Historic Keeseville.................................................................. 348 67. Historic Adirondack inns ........................................................ 354 68. Valcour Island......................................................................... 362 69. Two camps on Osgood Pond, Part 1 ....................................... 367 70. Two camps on Osgood Pond, Part 2 ....................................... 373

    JOHN BROWNS FARM & THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD

    71. Tour retraces trail taken by John Browns body ..................... 381 72. Adirondack Underground Railroad ties .................................. 389 73. John Brown: Revisited & revised ........................................... 397 74. Remembering John Brown ..................................................... 403 75. John Browns body: A new guidebook................................... 409

  • The Historic Olympic Region

  • 1

    Lake Placids first hotels FIRST PUBLISHED APRIL 23, 2004

    Today Lake Placid is known the world over as a double-Olympic village, a comfortable base for treks into the Adirondack High Peaks, and a prime four-season resort. But in 1871, Lake Placid consisted of just two farmhouses: One belonged to Joseph Nash; the other, to Benjamin Brewster. Brewsters land ran up Signal Hill, between Placid and Mirror lakes, and all the way around the Morningside of Mirror Lake. Nash owned most of Mirror Lakes west side. Nash had bought his tract in 1850, when he was 23. Brewster, Nashs brother-in-law, followed a year later. He was 22. Joe Nash boarded a small but steady stream of travelers in his home, expanding his Red House in 1855 to accommodate the growing traffic. It was Ben Brewster, however, who built the first real hotel in Lake Placid that is, the first building specifically meant as a hostelry. In 1871 he erected a big frame structure between the lakes, with a big front porch. He called it the Lake Placid House, though most folks knew it simply as Brewsters. In his book, History of the Adirondacks, Alfred Donaldson described Brewsters as ugly, jerry-built and primitive in the extreme - unpainted, two-storied, with only 10 rooms, nails for coat hooks, barrels for tables, doors leading nowhere, and a leaky roof, recounted Mary MacKenzie, the Lake Placid historian. Unpainted it may have been for a time, but otherwise a different story is told by Seneca Ray Stoddards 1873 photo of the Lake Placid House, MacKenzie wrote. It was, in fact, a commodious, three-story, sturdy and honest structure, and quite attractive in a backcountry fashion. The Lake Placid Houses could accommodate 60 guests. Though the railroad wouldnt arrive until 1894, an ever-growing flood of tourists came by horse, foot and carriage to Lake Placid. In 1876, just 5 years after his brother-in-law opened the Lake Placid House, Joe Nash built th