The Plattsburgh Sentinel was published between 1866 and 1931. It's archives can be searched online at the Northern New York Library Network.
Plattsburgh Sentinel, April 12, 1866.
BURGLARY.—At Saranac Lake, on the 3d inst., the store of Col. M. Baker was broken into by one Burr Brown, known as Burr Adgate, and valuable goods taken away to the amount of about $200. Burr was arrested one day last week, had an examination, and for want of bail now occupies rooms in the Essex County jail.
Plattsburgh Sentinel, June 20, 1867
A Woman Drowned.
BLOOMINGDALE, June 15, 1867. EDS. SENTINEL— Mrs. Cortes Moody was drowned in the Upper Saranac Lake on the 13th inst. She had been across the lake to visit a family living there. After tea she took her boat and started for home. The wind commenced blowing quite hard about the time she started, but she was so much accustomed to handling a boat that she considered herself equal to the task. Her friends watched her until she passed a point on the lake about half way to her home.
Her husband had been gone a few days, and did not return until the 14 th , and then to find his home desolate. He immediately went across the lake to the friends mentioned above, and after learning the fact of her visit the day before, he immediately made search along the shore of the lake, and found her dead, with her hands clutched to the bushes at the edge of the water.— The boat was turned over probably by the force of the gale; and it is supposed she hung to it and worked it ashore, and then left it and seized the bushes, but was too far exhausted to get out of the water, and thus perished.
Plattsburgh Sentinel, November 22, 1867
—Col. Baker, of Saranac Lake, has commenced his shipment of venison to the southern market. A few evenings since he left 38 saddles at the Keeseville Express office. Hundreds more will follow, says the Republican.
Plattsburgh Sentinel, January 31, 1868
—Since the 5th of October last, Milote Baker, of Saranac Lake, has taken at his store, and forwarded to one market in New York, 345 deer, the saddles weighing 23,000 Ibs., besides sending to other parties 50 more.
—A. Washburn, of Loon Lake, recently killed a fine bear.
Plattsburgh Sentinel, February 26, 1869
—Loisa E. Morgan has been appointed Post Master at Saranac Lake.
Plattsburgh Sentinel, April 23, 1869
NEW ROUTE TO THE ADIRONDACKS.—The Whitehall & Plattsburgh Rail Road is completed, and being operated from Plattsburgh to Ausable River Station, (near Ausable Forks) a distance of twenty miles, which will enable sportsmen and health and pleasure seekers to reach Saranac Lake, St. Regis Lake, Tupper's Lake, Long Lake, Racket River, Whiteface Mountain, and other noted hunting, fishing and pleasure resorts of the Adirondack Woods, at much less cost, and with much greater facility, speed and comfort than heretofore.
Trains will connect at Plattsburgh with Steamers from all directions on Lake Champlain, and with the Montreal & Plattsburgh Railway for Montreal and Ogdensburg; and at Ausable River Station will be met by Stages for Baker's, Bartlett's, Paul Smith's, Hough's, Martin's, and other forest resorts.
Plattsburgh Sentinel, April 30, 1869
MAIL CONTRACTS.—The following is a list of the successful bidders for the contracts on the mail routes, in Clinton and Essex Counties, for four years from July 1, 1869:
Route 1150. Elizabethtown to Saranac Lake, Calvin D. Pratt.
Route 1155. Ausable Forks to Saranac Lake, Wm. Harper.
Plattsburgh Sentinel, June 18, 1869
—Howard, the artist, Drs. G. F. Bixby and G. B. Balch, of Plattsburgh, and Dr. E.W. Blake, of Waterbury, Conn., accompanied by Mr. Thomas O'Neil, of Plattsburgh, as a guide, and a cook, whose name we have not, started on Tuesday morning for a grand excursion through the very heart of the Northern Wilderness. They go directly to Martin's, at the foot of the Lower Saranac lake, where they have purchased two boats for the trip. They will follow the Saranac lakes and chain of lakes and ponds to the St. Regis lake, a few miles south of Paul Smith's. Here they will take another chain of lakes and ponds in a westerly direction to Bay Pond, which lies at the head of the west branch of the St. Regis river. They will descend this river to a point near Parishville, and from there make their way home by the way of Potsdam, or some other convenient point on the railroad. Their route lies not only over the most picturesque, but the wildest section of the Great Wilderness, unless it be certain portions of the Black river country. The west Branch of the St. Regis has seldom been visited by excursionists, and presents several day's ride through an unbroken wilderness, in all its primeval grandeur. The party will be gone from home about ten days.
—A New York gentleman having offered Henry Martin, of Saranac Lake, a purse of $500 and his expenses if he would ride across the East River from New York to Brooklyn on a fifteen inch log, and $100 and expenses if he make the attempt and fails Mr. Martin left for New York on Wednesday morning for the purpose of making the trial. A wager of $2000 is laid between the two New Yorkers.
Plattsburgh Sentinel, January 28, 1870
—Saranac Lake is to be put in communication with the outside world by means of a telegraph line from Black Brook. The poles are already distributed from Martin's to Bloomingdale, and the line will be completed in early spring
Plattsburgh Sentinel, April 1, 1870
Trip to Saranac Lake.
AUSABLE FORKS, March 28, 1870.
Having this evening returned from a trip to Saranac Lake, it may be well to give yon bird's-eye view of incidents and matters pertaining to the "excursion." I will say at the outset that the day, March 22d, was anything but what was desirable, a high wind prevailing from morning till night, accompanied with the constant falling of wet, heavy snow, blowing most unpleasantly into the eyes and finding its way into the neck, and finally pretty thoroughly wetting overcoats and blankets.
When within a short distance of ["Franklin Falls, we asked James Johnson, a fellow passenger, how far it was to that locality. He said we went down a hill about one mile and a half until we reached the summit, and then it was but a short distance! We knew what summit meant on the other side of the mountain, but were not properly posted on the matter on the Saranac. We don't know really whether Jim's head was "level" or not. By the way, Johnson runs the mail stage between Keeseville and the Forks, and at Clintonville extra teams can always be procured.
We soon reached the Falls, where we renewed our failing powers with an inviting dinner at Fletcher's. Good meals are always provided there. Some how or another it is a way he has got into. For aught we know it is a part of his education. And then such hot stoves for six very cold and almost drowned passengers. It was delightful. At six o'clock we reached Baker's, just about in the last stage of earthly existence. But listen. In a voice barely audible we called for tea. Every thing started from the word "go." Soon we were invited to the dining room, and we took our place at the table. There was something on our mind. The thing was up for discussion before we left home, and we inwardly wondered how it would come out. The servant entered with a large plate, and for the moment we looked the other way, such were our fears and apprehensions. We looked again. Gracious goodness! There it was before us, two large trout, smoking hot. "Trout, of course you'll have trout at Baker's," said our wife in her comforting sort of way. Well, now, you ought to have seen the wreck! Colonel Stone, in his palmiest days, never made a prettier ruin than we did of one of those fishes. We were exultant, rejuvenated, and wholly and altogether on our feet again ready for work.
In the evening we went a short distance to pay our respects to our old friend, Parker Morgan, and his daughter, the accomplished Post Mistress of Saranac Lake. We had not seen Mr. Morgan for sixteen years. In 1848, he was the only Cass man in Wilmington. In the heat of the canvass, we held a a "Free Soil" meeting at the school house on Lawrence Hill, when N. P. Hayes, now a lawyer at North Lawrence, made a speech at Mr. Morgan, accompanied with violent and threatening gesticulations. H. G. Kilbourn, then one of the "b-hoys" of the town, and now a lawyer at Fort Covington, enjoyed it hugely, as he always did anything at all ludicrous, sensational, or "super-diabolical."
We returned. During our absence, Mrs. Baker, thoughtful woman that she is, had ordered the "chill taken off" in our sleeping room. And such dreams! Nothing but trout, trout, all night long. The Saranac was full of them from its source to Plattsburgh. The Hotels all along were supplied with them, and, the women were carrying them home in their aprons, and SL Hull and Jock Haynes were catching them in coa1 baskets under the dams at Cadyville. And the air was full of trout! And behold, the next morning; at the breakfast table, on came another large trout, with an accompaniment of ham and eggs. . But the severer part of the fight was with the trout, and we went in our biggest, the right in front! A pile of bones told the story, but we could not survive two days on trout got up in that style. How Mrs. Baker does it is yet to be learned by a great many people.
There has not been in ten years a winter so favorable for lumbering. Just as the heaviest snows came on the "jobs" were all done. Not less than 90,000 standards are on the banks of the Upper Saranac.— From the furthermost point above it is 67 miles to Plattsburgh by land. The entire length of the "drive" as the river runs is not less than 100 miles. And when the spring floods come, and the "river-drivers' take to their native element, then commences the fun, the incidents, the "perilous rides,' and hair-breadth escapes.
The morning of the 28d was cold and dreary. We had for a fellow passenger Miss Addie Flagg, of Jay, who had been teaching school for the winter at Loughneigh, on the Raquette, in the summer thirty miles from Martin's, by water, with only a "carry" of three and a half miles. There were six families only in the district, and she was paid $4 a week and "found." During an isolation of twenty weeks there had been no public meeting or entertainment of any kind whatever. Consequently the season was not brilliant for one accustomed to those advantages of civilized society. We speak of this, as we have an especial weakness for "school-ma'rms."
Cold, cold, was the ride to Franklin Falls. But another dinner at Fletcher's set us up all right again. In the mean time the mercury was falling. Having passed Johnson's "summit," and "riz" the hill, the gale became perfectly furious. The wind roared on the mountains on either hand, and howled wildly through the forests. It was such a storm as we do not care to be out in again. Nothing else was astir except Rogers' inevitable coal teams. But we worried the thing through, and at last brought up again at Sherburn's at Ausable Forks, and with warm rooms and other inviting accompaniments such as head cheese, nicely warmed up potatoes, doughnuts, and floating island, we were soon in a condition to "receive" company, and inquire the news about Congress and our Democratic Legislature.
But our "internal revenue" proceedings and experiences of those two days will not be readily forgotten.
As distances are constantly being asked for, we make the record that it is 4 miles from Ausable Forks to Black Brook, 14 miles from the Brook to Franklin Falls, 8 from the Falls to Bloomingdale, and 8 from Bloomingdale to Baker's—distance enough in a cold and driving storm to try the heart and endurance of the most valiant and venturesome.
Plattsburgh Sentinel, February 3, 1871
—There will be an Anniversary Ball on the 22d of February at Martin's Hotel, at Saranac Lake. Music by Mayo's Band of five pieces.
Plattsburgh Sentinel, June 28, 1872
Plattsburgh Sentinel, Feb 21, 1873
Marriages — In Jay, Dec. 25, 1873. at the residence of James Doty, Esq., by G. G. Tobey, Justice, Mr. JAMES JOHNSON, of Saranac Lake, and Miss ALMA PECK, daughter of Adonerem Peck, of Jay.
Plattsburgh Sentinel, July 4, 1873
—Rev. Mr. Murray, of Boston, and his party, consisting of twenty or more, were at Fouquet's [the Fouquet House, a hotel in Plattsburgh] Monday night, en route for the lakes. Among the number was Dr. Eben Tourjee, who lectured at the M. E. Church in the evening. The company divested themselves of all superfluous baggage and trunks at this point. At Martin's, Lower Saranac Lake, they bade adieu to hotel life, to pitch their tents at Little Tupper's Lake, where for a month they will commune with nature, catch trout and musquitoes, and enjoy themselves generally.
Plattsburgh Sentinel, July 17, 1874.
Plattsburgh Sentinel, Oct. 15, 1875
Plattsburgh Sentinel, October 19, 1877
Mr. Lyman Putnam, of this place, is quite extensively engaged as a gardener; he has raised a large amount of garden sauce this summer, such as onions, cabbage, turnips, cucumbers, beets and tomatoes. He finds a market at Bloomingdale and Saranac Lakes, where he disposes of his vegetables at quick sale and a good price.
Plattsburgh Sentinel, April 12, 1878
SETTLEMENT OF SARANAC LAKE.
In a conversation with "ye oldest inhabitant," we learned a few things concerning the settlement of this place. Harvey Moody came here in June, 1810, hence has lived here nearly fifty-nine years. In 1819, there were only five or six families for twenty miles eastward, and in the direction of Malone, only four families for over forty miles. Panthers, wolves, and bears were very free with Mr. Moody's sheep, and he in turn was free to use them, catching forty bears in five years, and one year he caught twelve. Supplies were hauled over the rough road from Lake Champlain. Bloomingdale was not discovered then, but finally a forge was built, and "bog" ore dug in the marsh above the present village of Bloomingdale, and boated to the forge. Mr. Moody, though now old, is healthy and strong, and does not feel too old to "guide" parties as far off as Racket Lake.
Plattsburgh Sentinel, April 18, 1879
Plattsburgh Sentinel, August 1, 1879
DRIVES AMONG THE MOUNTAINS AND LAKES.
Our Great Summer Resorts
As the hot season approaches, the tide of travel from our large cities sets toward the great summer resorts of Northern New York. Our hasty letter of last week was sent from the center, or "hub" as we termed it, of a great system of these resorts known as the Saranac and St. Regis regions. By looking at the Stoddard map, which is the standard authority, imperfect as it may be, it will be seen that Bloomingdale occupies a very important position. A person wishing to go to almost any point in this region will be perfectly safe to aim directly for Bloomingdale. As the fellow said of Port Kent, you can start from there and go to any part of the world! Only 10 miles to Paul Smith's, of the St. Regis, 7 miles to Rainbow Pond 13 miles to Derby's (the Prospect House), on the Upper Saranac Lake, 8 miles to Martin's at the foot of the Lower Saranac Lake, and an equally short distance to other important resorts. Representatives of either Clinton, Essex or Franklin counties, pushing for the wilderness, will meet at Bloomingdale, and stage lines cross from all directions. Bloomingdale has nearly doubled in size within the past six years, and numbers among its new buildings two stores, a handsome church, a first class school house and a, large hotel, the St. Armand House, kept by Capt. J. H. Pierce, beside several handsome residences.
As this is a drive among the lakes and mountains, it will not be expected that we will take our readers beyond the termination of the wagon roads. We first turn our horse to the west, in the direction of Paul Smith's. Five miles on our route and we come to a road leading to the right two miles, to
a resort kept by one of nature's noblemen, Mr. James M. Wardner. Mr. Wardner is a noble specimen of a backwoodsman. Possessed of a fine intellect, fair education, high moral character, backed up by a fine physical structure, and weighing about two hundred pounds, we think we are amply justified in speaking of him in these eulogistic terms. With his brother Seth, he settled here more than thirty years ago, when it was an unbroken wilderness. He has followed trapping, hunting and school teaching the better part of his life. He has killed fourteen bears and probably a thousand deer, and as the country became settled, "taught the young ideas how to shoot!" Mr. Wardner talks some of starting a sort of summer school of natural history for boys, and we urged him to go ahead and try the experiment at least. It strikes us there are many gentlemen in Plattsburgh as well as elsewhere, who would be delighted to avail themselves of an opportunity of sending their sons off into the woods to spend their vacations under so gentlemanly and honorable a tutor and guide, who would make their visit a constant series of object lessons, while he introduced them into the mysteries of fishing, hunting, the camp, and the life of the backwoodsman! It is good fishing at Rainbow Lake, a handsome body of water, and this has always been a great hunting center. Mr. W. has a large pack of hounds anxiously awaiting the 15th of August. His house is new and commodious.
There were two special reasons for our making a visit to Wardner's. First, to see their collection of stuffed
NATIVE WILD ANIMALS.
Mrs. Wardner, whom many will remember as Miss Addie S. Macomber, of Clintonville, daughter of Albert Macomber, is the taxidermist of this region. Sportsmen from all directions come here to have animals and birds staffed which they would like to preserve as souvenirs of the wilderness. One year she staffed fourteen deer heads for parties from the cities. Purchases are constantly being made from her own collection of animals and birds, but her display is still very interesting, ornamenting all the sides of one large room, and including a large bear recently killed by Mr. Wardner, a fine lynx, deer heads, fine specimens of sable, mink, loons, owls, and smaller animals and birds. At the time their house was burned several years ago they lost a valuable collection, The second attraction was their
RELICS OF ANTIQUITY.
Frequent reference has been made to interesting discoveries of ancient pottery made in this neighborhood by Mr. Wardner, which, owing to the increased interest in this subject, awakened by the recent discoveries by Dr. Kellogg, of Plattsburgh, can hardly fail to interest our readers. Mr. Wardner's most interesting discovery was about twenty years ago, near Jones Pond, and consisting of an earthen vessel holding about three gallons and nearly perfect. This is now on exhibition, at the Hall of Military Record, in Albany. The manner of its discovery was singular. He was following a deer over a fallow, from which, the fire had burned nearly all of the vegetable mould or peat, the collection of many years and, perhaps centuries, as not infrequently occurs. Curiosity led him to stop and examine a hole made by one of the deer's feet, which revealed this earthen vessel, half burled in the sand, and into which the deer had stepped. Subsequently, Mr. Wardner found two other similar vessels, which were destroyed at the time his former house was burned. He has now a quantity of fragments of pottery found on an island in Rainbow Lake, which bear a strong resemblance to the specimens discovered by Dr. Kellogg. Mr. Wardner believes this pottery to be the work of a pre-historic race.
THE PROPOSED NEW ROUTE.
Reference has been made to a possible new route from the Dannemora and Chateaugay Railroad to Paul Smith's. An Important link of this new route lies between Wardner's at Rainbow Lake and Hunter's Home, nine miles north. From Hunter's Home there is already a good road in the direction of Plattsburgh, past Goldsmith's and Clayburgh. It is also proposed to shorten the distance more than half between Wardner's and Smith's. The route of nine miles between Wardner's and Hunter's Home lies over an old abandoned road, made some twenty-five or more years ago by Commissioner Ahaz Hayes, over which to draw lumber from Keese's mills to Plattsburgh. This great business project was in the interest of Keese & Tomlinson, of Keeseville, and large quantities of lumber were hauled over the route but the cost of transportation ate up the profits, and both project and road were abandoned. To re-open the road would, not therefore incur a great expense.
ln an open field, in sight of Mr. Wardner's, is a single cloth tent, occupied by a Miss Russell and her attendant. This lady came to the woods several years ago an invalid in search of health, as thousands of others have done. We did not learn whether she considers her health entirely restored, but were told she can travel on foot through the woods twenty miles a day for twenty successive days, and that there is but one guide who has accompanied her on her expeditions that she has not succeeded in tiring out! She seems to be well known among the guides at Paul Smiths and her exploits are well understood!
Having gone to the end of the road at Wardner's, we retraced our route to the main road and proceeded in the direction of the great fashionable resort, four and one-half miles further on. While there are other equally desirable resorts, no tourist in the Saranac and St. Regis region has "seen the elephant" 1who has not visited Paul Smith's. It presents the strange contrast of style and fashion set down in the heart of a wilderness, and as Stoddard has it, a combination of "cowhide boots and Brussels carpets!" For a mile before reaching the house, you drive down into a broad and apparently boundless expanse of forest, and are almost impressed with a sense of gloominess as you enter its precincts. Half a mile farther on and you come unexpectedly upon a beautiful little Episcopal Church standing solitarily among the big trees, on a little eminence a few rods from the road. This is a rustic edifice, built of logs, but the logs are peeled and varnished, the roof slated, and the windows are of stained glass, the whole, we are told, costing about three thousand dollars, and the money furnished by city patrons. As you drive on, the woods again close up, and all traces of civilization except the road disappear. Suddenly the big hotel comes in view, and in a moment more you are in the midst of city life and surroundings, with its gayety, bustle and activity, in fact all the concomitants of a large and well patronized city hotel. A few rods to the front and right of the hotel is the long boat-house, with its scores of newly painted boats of various hues, and its lines of guides, dressed in their suits of blue, and as ready to convey passengers by water in every direction, near or remote, as the Saratoga hackmen are to convey them by land! A popular short ride is one of about three hours, through St. Regis Pond, Spitfire Lake and St. Regis Lake, and return. Charges, from one dollar to one dollar and a half. Persons desiring a longer trip with more of novelty and adventure, can engage a guide to take them to the popular fashionable center, the Prospect House, at the head of the Upper Saranac Lake, by either of two routes, through the waters we have mentioned, then by a carry of one and a half miles to Big Clear Pond, across the pond, and thence five miles by carriage; or westward from Spitfire through a series of small ponds, by the route known as the nine carries. Either can be made in half a day, the former in three or four hours. Distance probably from ten to twelve miles. Our mode of conveyance (as all are probably aware by this time!) being by land carriage, and having again reached the end of the wagon road we were compelled to make a retreat in the direction of Bloomingdale and a circuit of about twenty miles to reach the Prospect House,
AT THE UPPER SARANAC.
The road is the best we ever saw in the wilderness country—better than the average road in the vicinity of Plattsburgh. As you approach the Prospect House you realize that you are constantly getting onto higher ground. Soon passing Big Clear Pond, and five miles from the Prospect you enter the primeval forests, and as you proceed mile after mile, you are forcibly impressed with the fact that you are in a new country. The road has been opened up but a few years, and the Prospect House, at the head of the lake, is comparatively new resort. But it is immensely popular, being the first house filled to overflowing this season. As we emerged from the woods, just at dusk, drove up to the piazza and commenced to unload with the usual assurance of one stopping at a hotel, we noticed demonstrations and winks among numerous guests as though they knew something that we did not! But our minds were soon enlightened, as the big, fat, good natured, jovial proprietor, Mr. E. R. Derby, came around, with the rather unusual salutation for a hotel keeper, "Well, where on earth do you suppose we are going to put you? We have sent twenty applicants off to Paul Smith's and other points to-day for want of room! Every bed in the house is full! Don't know but we could make a place for you to sleep on the parlor floor!" As rain and the; shades of night were falling fast, we assured him that we considered a bed on the parlor floor first class accommodations! After considerable figuring and some changing around he succeeded in finding one small room for the family, in which we passed the night comfortably. It is not Mr. Derby's purpose to take more guests than he can accommodate comfortably, and had we arrived earlier in the day, our fate would probably have been like those who preceded us.
A variety of causes contribute to the popularity of the Prospect House. First its location, though only thirteen miles from Bloomingdale, it occupies a central position in the great chain lakes and ponds lying between Martin's and Paul Smith's, and is in close proximity to The Raquette River and Tupper's Lake region, the great sporting resort for those who desire to cut themselves off from the ordinary modes and embark in camp life. At fine little steamer, the Mosquito, makes daily trips to Bartlett's, at the lower end of the lake, touching at the island House, Corey's, and at Pierce's carry and connecting with Martin's steamer on the lower lake. They have another steamer, still smaller, the "Nautilus," used as an accommodation, and capable of going almost anywhere where is moisture! First class guides always in attendance, ready for business and at reasonable rates. Among the number is a Mr. Derby, a brother of the proprietor, who is very obliging and gentlemanly, and is perfect master of his business. The view from the Prospect House is very fine and all the surroundings delightful.
MARTIN'S AND THE LOWER SARANAC
Having again reached the end of our road, we again retrace our steps in the direction of Bloomingdale, and make a circuit of thirteen miles to the oldest summer resort in the Saranac wilderness. More than thirty years ago Mr. Wm. F. Martin settled here, and Twenty-eight years ago built a hotel on the location now occupied by him at the foot of Lower Saranac Lake, It has always been a popular resort, and we were not surprised to find a hundred guests. Martin's is only eight miles from Bloomingdale, and is on the only thoroughfare from the Saranac and St. Regis region to the region of Lake Placid, Keene Flats and Adirondacks. It is also a popular route to take for Derby's and Paul Smith's. A little steamer the Lily, similar to the one on the upper lake, makes regular trips to the upper end of the lake, connecting as previously stated, with the boat on the Upper Saranac. Tourists can take their choice of conveyance. First class row boats and good guides always in readiness, and parties desiring a complete outfit for long or short tours or for camps on any of the remote lakes and ponds, will be sent off in number one order at Martin's. Among the experienced guides, we had the pleasure of meeting an old schoolmate, Lute Evans, who has been engaged in this business for twenty-five years. He is an honor to his profession. Though a man of "infinite jest," who will never allow time to drag heavily when he is in camp, he is also a man of excellent principles, and occupies an honorable position in the enterprising village of Saranac Lakes, a mile distance, where he has a pleasant residence.
On the morning we left Martin's, three parties pushed off in small boats, with their guides and supplies, for a summer tour, remarking as they moved away that they should not be back till cold weather drove them in!
There is no more homelike place among the lakes than Martin's, nor place where guests will receive more careful attention. Mr. Martin justly deserves the liberal patronage he receives. Being the pioneer in a. business which has developed into such great proportions and rendered the Saranac region a great center of attraction, he deserves especial credit for his enterprise and unflagging perseverance. We well remember when he built his hotel, on a smaller scale then, to be sure, but it was deemed an experiment and of doubtful practicability. He has lived to see its triumphant success, and the silent wilderness become a great pleasure ground. Do not fail to visit Martin's.
Among the guests at Martin's was a party of young gentlemen who on the afternoon of our arrival appeared to be intensely interested in target shooting. Some distance out in the lake were a number of bottles placed in a row, on a buoy, and a foot or more apart. To hit one of them was no easy shot. One of the young gentlemen became very much interested, and after firing a box of pistol ammunition called for his rifle, and banged away with that, until several of the bottles were demolished. The young gentleman named proved to be Verplanck Colvin, the famous surveyor of the Adirondacks, whose signals now grace every mountain top in the whole region, to say nothing of the numberless hills! Mr. Colvin was accompanied by a young man named Phelps, a son of the old guide Phelps, of Adirondack fame.
Having terminated our visit at Martin's, and again reached the end of the road, we drive on over the rough but picturesque route leading North Elba and
the most charming spot in the Northern Wilderness. For beauty of scenery it is the peer of Lake George. We do not believe there is a spot on or about that far famed lake that enables the beholder to take in at once so much of grandeur and beauty combined as may be seen from the observatory of the Grand View House near Lake Placid. No person who has not visited this section has any conception of its attractions. It is a sort of world by itself. Perhaps its former inaccessibility accounts for its being comparatively so little known. We are not aware that there is but one wagon road leading to Lake Placid. Leaving the main road through North Elba at a point near its junction with the road from Wilmington Notch, and within sight of John Brown's grave, you drive nearly north about two miles over a rough road and up considerable of an ascent. When you emerge from the woods in full view of the "promised land," your amazement will scarcely know its bounds. You will feel just like getting upon a rock and shouting "amen" with all your might, or dancing a jig, or pulling down a tree! Before you lies Mirror Lake. Entirely along Its west side and over to Lake Placid, rises a bluff to the height of probably one hundred feet. Not rough and cragged, but comparatively smooth and cultivated, covered with pasturage, meadows and fields of waving grain. Along its base, on the very shores of Mirror Lake, winds a wagon road to the old Brewster place, now the Allen place, a quaint looking structure of bygone days, while the hill winds roads to two sightly and handsome hotels, the Grand View and the Stevens House, standing on the very summit, about half a mile apart. These handsome buildings painted white, standing out as they do in such bold relief, contrast most beautifully with green surroundings of field and forests. One of our first inquiries was why are there no logs nor stumps, nor other evidences of a newly developed region along this bluff, which is surrounded on all sides by the primitive forests? The answer was that as much as twenty-five or thirty years ago two enterprising farmers, Messrs. Nash add Brewster, located here, in the heart of a wilderness, cleared off the forests, and through successive years have brought it to its present high state of cultivation. Nestling in a little depression in the hillside, is the old farm house in which Mr. Nash still resides, the road up the hill to the Stevens House "winding;" through his door yard! The broad hill side below the Grand View House being somewhat stony is devoted to pasture, where a flock of sheep graze and gambol, always in view, a most novel accompaniment! We will venture to say that there is but one other popular resort in the country that has a flock of sheep as one of its attractions, and that is Central Park, New York. Whether a flock of sheep in the midst of a great city, or in the midst of a wilderness is the greatest novelty, judge ye!
So much for the view as we look up! Now for the view as we look down. Our readers can well imagine what it must be from such an eminence as either the Grand View or the Stevens House, Stoddard justly divides the honor between the two localities. Both stand a hundred feet above the lake, and nearly twenty-one hundred feet, above the level of the sea. Mirror Lake and Lake Placid lie at your feet. On your left stands old Whiteface, its summit, on which Colvin's signal is plainly visible, at an angle of about 35 degrees! On your right are the far famed Adirondacks, Mounts Marcy, Mclntyre, Wallface, Saddle Back, the Gothics, and other noted peaks standing forth with a bold and majestic front. To the front, Sentinel, Pitch Off and Long Pond Mountain rear themselves defiantly, while in our rear lies the Saranac and St. Regis region, over which we have traveled with so much pleasure. Down in the valley, three miles distant, rests the body of that philanthropic hero, John Brown! Such are the scenery and the associations of this most romantic spot. A little steamer plies upon Lake Placid, but before we embark and glide over its waters into the cool recesses under the very shadow of old Whiteface, let us note
A PLEASANT SURPRISE
As we were sitting by the brook at the foot of the hill, with the boys, washing some trout which we had caught, our ears were greeted with a familiar voice and the patriotic words, "Hall Columbia, Happy Land— go long there, Nell," and through the trees we saw a dark colored horse and a buck- board wagon, and the passengers we recognized as W. Lansing, editor of the Essex County Republican, and his wife! They made their headquarters at the Stevens House, and after tea, just as the shades of night began to fall, our united forces embarked on the little steamer Mattie, commanded by Captain Theodore White, and moved off over the smooth waters. Lake Placid is incomparable, in some respects. You command no extended view from any given point. It contains three large heavily wooded islands, one of about, 500 acres and another of about 1,000. These, with its numerous capes and bays, afford an endless change of scenery, and give one the impression that the lake is much smaller than it really is.
A NIGHT AT LEGGETT'S RUSTIC LODGE.
It was nearly dark when we arrived at Mr. and Mrs. Leggett's rustic home, smiling out at you from the primeval forest on the shore of the lake, and overshadowed by grand old Whiteface. Just here one is on the verge of lunacy, inclined to imaginative vagaries. Silvery Lake Placid is the foot bath for this god of mountains. All through the centuries, since the morning stars first sang together over the eternal summit, this water has laved its foot. We continue to grow enthusiastic. It is impossible to feel that you are living in the real world; for this trip and visit is a page of romance introduced into every day life. The unique house was evidently built by stalwart arms, but wood fairies must have whispered the plan to the ears of its proprietors. Its style is rustic in the extreme, and when finished, from attic to foundation, it will be harmonious in design and furnishing. It is a three story structure, high between joints, and when completed will have fifty good-sized sleeping rooms. The parlor will be twenty by thirty feet with a large old-fashioned fire-place and sliding doors opening into a spacious hall. The dining room is of the same dimensions, and is furnished with long pine tables. Mrs. Leggett has very appropriately furnished her tables with the flowing blue ware in vogue thirty or forty years ago, and as you sit down to a substantial meal, unconsciously you are wafted back to mother's or grandmother's kitchen of long ago. The partitions on the first floor will all be of logs in their native state. The rooms are airy and spicy with the breath of spruce, pine and tamarac. The rule of the house is comfort, not show, and we found the comfort, and also a relish for a wild life, prompting us to quote the lines, "O! for a lodge in some vast wilderness, some boundless contiguity of shade."
The bed-rooms are furnished with those small accessories of the toilet that so contribute to one's comfort and good nature; and we had the most undisturbed sleep since we entered the wilderness. Fairy work again! They waved their wands over weary eyelids and we did not open them till 7 A. M. Long ago we used to believe in these little people, and we are more than half inclined to go back to the belief We put back the curtains from, our window, and a fairy view lay outstretched before us. The lake in its placid loveliness, aflame with the rose tints of morning and reflecting bending tree and over shadowing mountain. Fairy land indeed! Earth can have no fairer picture. Our memories must hold it forever. No one visiting the "wilderness" should fail of seeing Lake Placid and its grandeur and loveliness of mountain scenery. We believe It to be unparalleled; and no one desiring to live one day of romance should fail to visit Mr. and Mrs. Leggett in their wonderful forest home.
THE GRAND VIEW HOUSE.
A few words in regard to this house. We were surprised to find the proprietor and landlord to be Mr. M. C. Ferguson, so long known in this county in connection with the office of the Peru Iron Co., at Clintonville. Mr. Ferguson formerly kept the Stevens House, but last year erected this new and commodious building. The rooms are large, and, convenient and they set an excellent table. For pure mountain air, and variety of scenery, it cannot be excelled. Persons in search, of health will probably search In vain for a locality better than this. Mr. Ferguson's terms are reasonable, and we most earnestly commend his house to the pleasure and health seeking public.
A VISIT TO JOHH BROWN'S GRAVE.
We appropriated one afternoon to this. The old homestead is plainly in view from, the main road leading through North Elba, and is reached by a branch road of about one half a mile. It is a quiet and picturesque spot. None of the Browns now reside here, but thanks to the patriotic enterprise of Miss Kate Field the place has been put in the hands of safe guardians, by whom the old grave will be preserved and protected. Several years ago when Miss Field was visiting the woods she learned that a mortgage of $2000 was hanging over the property and that it was likely to be sold to the highest bidder. She conceived the idea of raising the amount by subscription, and went to Boston for the purpose, but succeeded In raising but one hundred dollars in that great abolition city. She then applied to the liberal handed capitalists of New York, and readily raised the amount. Among those taking one hundred dollar shares are the familiar names of H. B Claflln, Sinclair Tousey, LeGrand [?] Cannon, Henry Clews, and Jackson S. Schultz. An association was formed, of which Mr. Tousey is Secretary and Treasurer, and the property has passed into their hands. The property is rented to Mr. R. Lawrence, of Jay, for one hundred dollars a year, fifty dollars to be spent in improvements and fifty to be sent to the Treasurer. When the appeal came from Kansas a few mouths since for aid to the negro refugees fleeing from the South, it was voted to appropriate the funds which had accumulated for rent and which amounted to several hundred dollars, to their aid.
The grave at the foot of a large rock is but a few rods from the house, and as we drove up, a little boy, the son of Mr. Lawrence, without asking any questions, came up with a key, unlocked a padlock, and removed from the old stone slab, the wooden case which is kept over it, to protect it from demolition by visitors. This became an absolute necessity, as the corners and edges have already been largely broken off. The stone is over one hundred years old. It was originally placed at the grave of his grandfather in Massachusetts, and its first Inscription reads:
"In memory of Capt. John Brown, who died at New York, Sept. ye 3, 1776, in the 42 year of his age."
Just before making his raid on Harper's Ferry, John Brown had this stone brought to Westport, with instructions to have it erected where it now stands, with his name upon it, in case of his death. This request was complied with, and under the above inscription is now the following:
"John Brown, born May 9, 1800, was executed at Charleston, Va., Dec. 2,1859."
"Oliver Brown, born March 3, 1830, was killed at Harper's Ferry, Oct. 17, 1859."
On the reverse side of the stone are the following:
"In memory of Frederick Brown, son of John and Dianth Brown, born Dec. 21,1836, murdered at Osawatomie, Kansas, Aug. 30, 1856, for his adherence to the cause of freedom."
"Watson Brown, born Oct. 7, 1835, was wounded at Harper's Ferry, and died Oct. 19,1859."
The number of visitors to the grave of John Brown is increasing from year to year, and this season we should judge it unusually large. On the register, kept by Mrs. Lawrence, we counted the names of 73 during the month of July and previous to the 26th. It will no doubt continue to increase in interest from generation to generation.
Having already made our article very long, we must not stop to moralize, but conclude with hasty comments on our homeward trip. There are two routes home from Lake Placid beside the circuitous one over which we have passed. One is by taking the road to the south near the John Brown place and passing through Wilmington Notch, the other proceeding directly east by the Edmunds Ponds route to Keene, and then down the east branch of the Ausable. We took the latter, and a rougher wagon road and more imposing scenery we have never witnessed.
These ponds, very narrow, but nearly two miles long, lie in a narrow defile between Pitch Off and Long Pond Mountains, which rise on either side, almost perpendicularly to a height of many hundred feet. With much hard labor, evidently, a road has been made along the sooth edge of the ponds. Pitch Off Mountain rises so abruptly that it is with difficulty that teams are able to pass, and frequently there has to be considerable lifting and cramping to get by. We notice that passengers usually find it more agreeable to go on foot along this route. It is here that our neighbor Ramsay met with his misfortune, losing his horses, wagon, confectionery, &c. But notwithstanding all this, there was no part of our entire trip that we enjoyed more fully than this drive by Edmunds ponds. The grandeur of the view reaches its climax at the point where the ponds are separated by a few rods of soil, and where there is sufficient room for the erection of a hotel. A couple of years ago, a popular hotel proprietor, a Mr. Miller, from Keene, erected a large, handsome public house in this wild spot, and it has already a wide reputation as the place to get trout dinners. The trout are taken from the ponds in great abundance. This is where the stages halt with passengers to and fro between Keene and North Elba.
At Keene we see the route by which tourists "go in" when they make the circuit of the Adirondacks. Four miles south of Keene they reach the fashionable resort, Keene Flats, and four miles farther on is Beedee's, where horse and carriage are abandoned, and a four days' tramp is entered upon. Visiting Mount Marcy, the Deserted Village, and many other points of interest, they come out through Indian Pass, and reach the main road near Ames', in North Elba, not many miles east of Lake Placid. We had a fine view of Indian Pass, as we drove in the direction of Edmunds Ponds. The tour of the Adirondacks is a journey by itself, for which one needs to take a fresh start, and we therefore did not undertake it on this trip!
Our use of the term Adirondacks is not in the more general sense, and perhaps needs a few words of explanation. We refer to the great cluster of mountain peaks lying south of the road leading from North Elba to Keene, and to which originally the name was exclusively applied. It embraces a territory about 25 miles square, and includes all of the noted peaks except Whiteface, such as Marcy, Mclntyre, Skylight, Haystack, Giant, Gothic, &c. It is strictly a mountain region, of little value for agricultural purposes, which it is proposed to set apart as the great Adirondack Park.
From Keene home we have nothing special to report further than that at Upper Jay we met the late Presiding Elder Griffin and Rev. E. J. McKernan reposing under a large tree in the front yard of Rev. C. A. Bradford's home— the very picture of comfort! Elder Griffin is evidently taking a summer vacation. The first enquiry made by Mr. Bradford was, "Are you going over to camp on Cumberland Head next week?" For further particulars see short article on the "Capture of Cumberland Head."
Plattsburgh Sentinel, November 2, 1888
The Grand Republican Rally at Saranac Lake.
The largest, most enthusiastic, and finest gathering ever held in that section of the State was the joint mass meeting of the towns adjoining Saranac Lake, representing Essex, Clinton and Franklin counties, with a parade in the afternoon and a torch light procession in the evening. The village was alive and ablaze. From 1200 to 1500 were present from surrounding towns and from 300 to 400 took part in the procession, including 100 horsemen from Bloomingdale, under command of Captain Pierce.
The meeting was addressed by the popular laboring men's orator, Col. J. G. McNutt, of Troy, and by Messrs. Badger and Kilburn, of Malone, all of whom did grandly. The Saracac Lake Cornet Band furnished the music, which was excellent. The illumination in the evening was very fine, the torches showing finely in the pitchy darkness, as did the numberless illuminated windows. Conspicuous were the houses of Chas. Greenough and Walter Rice, each being situated on an eminence.
Plattsburgh Sentinel, June 6, 1890
JUNE 2.—Decoration day was every way worthy of the occasion, a clear beautiful day, all the more welcome from the few of them we have had this spring, A special train brought 165 excursionists, headed by the cornet band of Rogersfleld to help celebrate the day made sacred by the memories it brings. What a grand Idea it is to meet once a year, not only to decorate the graves of those soldiers whose warfare is over, but to honor those living, and to keep bright the fires of patriotism in the hearts of every American citizen. It is well that the clearest Intellects, the warmest hearts, and the most eloquent tongues, should recall to the old and impress on the young the lessons of the day. Delightful music, appropriate to the occasion was interspersed among the other exercise and enjoyments of the day, by the Rogersfield and Saranac Lake cornet bands. At the close of the customary observances at the cemetery the Saranac Lake choir sang "Cover them over with beautiful flowers." A basket picnic was first on the program, after the procession marched to a beautiful grove overlooking the village, and the happy groups seating themselves on the grass enjoyed the good things with which their baskets were provided even better than a more formal repast with spread tables. A provision tent supplied those who came without. After the repast was ended Mr. Anibal addressed the company on the topic of the day, showing the wonderful progress the United States had made since the war of the Rebellion. He spoke of the exalted privileges of an American citizen, of the blessings of liberty and all that we hold dear in our National life. After music by the bands Rev. Mr. Crane of Loon Lake took the stand and recalled in a masterly way the scenes and incidents of the war, the sacrifices made by those on the field of battle, and by those at home, how dearly our liberty cost, and how jealously we should guard it. Both speakers were listened to with much interest, and it must be that many carried away truer views of the duties of citizenship, broader and more exalted views of life in this great Republic. One thing deserves mention, the hotels closed their bars early in the day and the scene was unmarred by any unpleasant incident.
—There having been quite a demand for a select school Miss Kitty Brown has started one which thus far promises to be a decided success. Miss Brown has had considerable experience in teaching and the advantage of Normal school training and will devote her best energies to the new enterprise.
—L. Sherwood, son of Mrs. Daniel Ames, is attending the Troy Business College, and was recently awarded the first prize for penmanship. There was also a competition in making out bills for the chemical bank of New York. Only three were worthy of any notice, young Sherwood's the only one correct, it is evident he is putting his fine abilities to good use.
—Mrs. George Sweeney died after a brief illness, on May 31st. It is a terrible blow to her husband and three young children, and much sympathy is expressed for them.
—The carpenters are now engaged on a cottage for Charles Greenough, near his present residence.
—J. D. Alexander is engaged to go to Raquette Pond to run a hotel for John Schnell, at the terminus of the N. A. railroad.
—A new building to be used as a post office is in progress near the corner by the Berkeley. A stand is put up near it for the band. Their open air concerts are much enjoyed.
Plattsburgh Sentinel, May 22, 1891
—Arbor day was celebrated at the school house by a well selected program of music and literary exercises under the supervision of Prof Shumway. The exercises were well rendered and were much enjoyed by the large audience who gathered in the school yard where they were held. Arbor culture, however, did not receive much of an impetus.
—Ice formed to the thickness of window glass, or more, on Saturday night.
—Mr. Mills is to have his purchase of the Greenough land laid out in building lots.
—The meeting of the W. C. T. U. will be held at the parsonage, Saturday at 3 p. M.
Plattsburgh Sentinel, June 29, 1894
—Two moose passed through Malone in a box car on the A. & St. L. R. R. Sunday, probably destined for Dr. Webb's Adirondack park.
Plattsburgh Sentinel, February 28, 1922
Paul Quensel, of the Cliff side Ski Club of Ottawa, made the longest jump in the Adirondack Amateur International ski competition held in Saranac Lake on Monday on the Mt. Pisgah course, making a leap of 85 feet.
Plattsburgh Sentinel, January 22, 1926.
The use of ferrets to aid in the rat extermination campaign is favored by Saranac Lake also, it is learned following reports that Tupper Lake has taken this method of fighting the rat pest. In one instance at Saranac Lake the ferret became a household pet.
1. "I have seen the elephant" was a mid-ninteenth century expression meaning, variously, to have seen wondrous things or to have seen too far too much, as in too much of war.