With the excitement of hopeful lottery players, folks in the past have swarmed the mountains and lowlands at word of supposed gold discoveries, or silver, or other metals, all of them precious in terms of financial value to the finder. But rushing to find radioactive materials — the stronger the better — in the Adirondacks? Really? [Read more…] about An Adirondack Uranium Rush
Questions about the authenticity and authorship of Solomon Northup’s Twelve Years a Slave have been raised in the past, and have resurfaced following the release of the recent film version of his book.
Though an expert on Solomon Northup, his book, the contemporary reactions to his book in the 1850s, and his later life (which included several years spent traveling to talk about his experiences), I am not a scholar of slave narratives. I have consulted some of them in connection with my work on Northup, as necessary. I leave it for others to draw detailed comparisons between Northup’s narrative and the others. [Read more…] about Authenticity and Authorship: Twelve Years a Slave
Among the finest Christmas seasons in America’s long history took place in 1945. We’re constantly bombarded with how special the holidays are, so it’s tough for any one year to stand out as extra special, but 1945 makes the list.
Events across the Adirondacks that year epitomized the nation’s attitude. Surprisingly, it wasn’t all about celebrating, even though the most destructive war in history had just ended a few months earlier. We often mumble mindlessly that we’re proud to be Americans. But the first post-World War II Christmas was the real deal, worthy of the word “pride.” [Read more…] about Remembering The Christmas of 1945 in Northern NY
The Whallonsburg Grange Hall in Essex, is set to welcome historian and author Amy Godine to the Lyceum lecture series on Tuesday, April 23 at 7:30 pm. Her lecture will focus on the history of minstrel shows and blackface performances in theaters, Grange halls, churches, schools and other venues in the North Country, and the impact of this and other racist imagery. [Read more…] about Amy Godine Presenting On Adirondack Blackface History
Essex County in upstate New York is Inez Milholland country.
Inez Milholland Boissevain (1886-1916) considered among America’s suffrage martyrs and 2016 is the centennial of her death. The centennial of the death of England’s most prominent martyr for suffrage, Emily Davison, who died for women’s right to vote in 1913, was observed nationally.
Inez Milholland, however, is little known, even in the region where she lived, and where there are today few women elected to office. As a result, there has been an outpouring of concern that has led to action on the national level. [Read more…] about America’s Suffrage Martyr Comes Out of the Shadows
The event includes re-enactors portraying TR (Joe Wiegand) and his mother, wife, two daughters, and niece (portrayed by five Newcomb Central School seniors). Also scheduled are free guided tours by horse-drawn wagon of Great Camp Santanoni, a bike tour of the Essex Chain Lakes, tours of the Upper Works mining area, a woodsmens’ demonstration, fishing tournament and other events for children, an ice cream social, and fireworks. “Meet The Roosevelt Women” will take place on Saturday at 6:30 pm at the Newcomb High Peaks Overlook on Route 28N. [Read more…] about Teddy Roosevelt Being Feted In Newcomb
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has issued a Draft Lake Champlain Islands Management Complex Unit Management Plan (Draft UMP) in compliance with the Adirondack State Land Master Plan. The plan includes a number of historic and recreational sites.
Public comments on the plan are being accepted through September 18, 2015. A Public Meeting on the Draft UMP will be held August 20th in Plattsburgh. [Read more…] about Comments Sought On Historic Lake Champlain Islands, Facilities
Beginning here is the story of an unknown but truly remarkable woman, an educator from Adirondack history. But first, some related information is helpful for perspective. For starters, here’s a sampling of complaints about our educational system: low graduation rates; undeserved diplomas; graduates lacking in real-world skills; students woefully unprepared for college; students without self-discipline, and more. Those are all issues today, but the very same items were also cited in 1970.
Since that time, our spending on education has risen by about 85 percent, but we’ve improved very little, still stymied by the same problems. In the meantime, we’ve fallen far behind many other countries, while still spouting that we’re the greatest country in the world. If we don’t find the answers soon, the hollow ring of that claim might well become deafening. [Read more…] about Ella Frances Lynch: Adirondack Maven of Early Education
The Cleveland Plain Dealer indeed dealt with it plainly: “It has been generally agreed that the conduct of the last census was a national scandal, and the president was determined that the present one should not be likewise if he could prevent it. The utter ignorance of many of the employees of the last census is even yet not properly appreciated by the country at large. Literally dozens of men and women carried on the rolls as high-grade clerks were not fit to sweep out an office—clerks who could neither spell, nor calculate, nor even write the English language with any degree of accuracy…. It was a shameful condition of affairs.”
Worse yet, a bureau of 70 clerks had been appointed to deal with the resulting mess, and their work was so incompetent that much of it had to be redone. President McKinley needed a director of the 1900 census who, said the Plain Dealer, “Would not have his work clogged by deadwood. He found just the man he wanted in [William] Merriam.” [Read more…] about Essex County’s William Rush Merriam (Part 3)
From humble North Country beginnings in a pioneer settlement, a local man rose to play an important government role on a national level. Work performed at the height of his career still affects every facet of our government today. It is also highly valued by researchers, genealogists, and historians as a great repository of important historical records.
William Rush Merriam was born in 1849 in the small community of Wadham’s Mills in Essex County, just a few miles northwest of Westport. Many members of the Merriam families in that vicinity played important roles in regional history. [Read more…] about Political History: Essex County’s William Rush Merriam