Born: February 28, 1890

Died: January 1968

Married: Margaret McLaughlin

Children: Nelson Davis, Jr., Richard Davis, Jane Nelson

Nelson R. Davis, Sr.,was a World War I veteran, a mail carrier and a guide. He was a son of guide Henry Davis. He had a camp on Long Pond that he inherited from his father; it was converted to a tent platform, and dismantled entirely in the mid-1970s.

Adirondack Daily Enterprise, January 8, 1968

Nelson R. Davis

Nelson R Davis, 77, a mail carrier in Saranac Lake for over 35 years, died Saturday evening, at 7 o'clock at Saranac Lake General Hospital. He had been a patient there since Dec. 25.

Mr. Davis was born in Saranac Lake on Feb. 28, 1890. He was married in 1920, in Scranton, Pa., to Margaret McLaughlin, who survives him. He served as a second lieutenant in the Seventh Infantry in World War I and was one of the first members of the local unit of the American Legion. He also was a Mason.

Survivors besides Mrs. Davis are two sons, Richard of Port Henry and Nelson, Jr. of Bethel Park, Penn.; and daughter, Mrs. Jane Nelson of Saranac Lake; nine grandchildren; and a sister, Mrs. Frank Arnold of Scota.

A veterans service will be held at 7:30 this evening at the Fortune Funeral Home and a Masonic service at 8 o'clock. The funeral will be at 2 p. m. Tuesday at the funeral home with the Rev. Daniel Partridge officiating. Interment will be in May in Harrietstown Cemetery.

Adirondack Daily Enterprise, January 15, 1968

Passing of Nelse Davis Ends Colorful Guide Era

Seaver Rice, of Southbridge, Mass., who grew up with the Late Nelse Davis, pens the following lines about the famous outdoorsman -and personality whose passing ends a great and colorful era of Adirondack history.

"The passing of Nelse Davis, has removed from this region one of the last of the old time hunters and woodsmen. He was the son of "Hank" Davis perhaps the greatest guide of all on the old time Adirondack honor roll.

Hank was a guide of many wealthy people who came here in the early part of the century. He established the first hunting d fishing camp on Long Pond in the late 1890's.

Upon Henry's death, Nelson carried on the camp duties for over 50 years. One of Nelse's sons still maintains the camp which has been in the Davis family for three generations.

I knew Nelse Davis for 65 years or more and hunted and fished with him in the halcyon days of the Adirondacks when Long Pond and surrounding bodies of water teemed with trout and the woods abounded with deer.

Nelse and I went away together, in 1911 to a smail New England Prep School, Dean Academy in Franklin, Mass. We roomed together and graduated in 1912.

Nelse never left his beloved Adirondacks after that except for a year or two with a Pennsylvania coal mining company where he met and married his wife, Margaret.

Somehow things won't be the same at Long Pond but those of us who knew him will remember and see in recollections, Nelse rowing an Adirondack Guide boat, on an early August morning over the fog shrouded waters of Long Pond.

He always rowed like a compass needle, straight to his destination, the mark of a real Adirondack guide.

Sleep on old chum beneath skies of deepest blue. In Adirondack land with friends so tried and true. Dream on of mountain lake and forest glen God bless you and keep you till we meet again.

Adirondack Daily Enterprise, November 14, 1961

Merely Local

By Bill McLaughlin

…It was always a treat to see the flashing oars of Nelse Davis as he rowed from Long Pond landing to his camp at the far end of the lake. The measured dip and pull and the glint of the fading sun on the wet oarblade was something for an artist to capture.

The little blue guide boat cleaved the waters like a hunter's knife and the power in Nelse's back was a heritage from the hunters of old. They tell of the days when Nelse was young . . . of meeting him going over a mountain top with a 160-pound buck on his shoulders . . . a part of the rustic tableau of the day…

Adirondack Daily Enterprise, February, 1962

Merely Local

By Bill McLaughlin

…We landed [the helicopter] on [Long] pond and I'm glad Nelse Davis wasn't around to see it. Nelse, as I once mentioned, still uses oars and a guide boat in summer and snowshoes in winter to get to his camp on the same pond.

Nelse likes to keep the forest the way the Indians left it with the possible exception of having wet scalps lying around. Anything with a motor on it rubs his fur uphill. I think a helicopter landing on the pond would cause him to cancel his membership in nature's noblemen of America.

Nelse could have been drugged and shanghaied aboard a helicopter but the shame of it would kill him. The unfortunate part of having a camp on state land is that you have to put up with a lot of foolishness from the summer recreationists. On Long Pond in the past few years we have counted amphibious airplanes, cabin cruisers, sailboats, bikini clad sunbathers, heavy drinkers, pontoon planes, girl scout war canoes, water skiers, aqua-planists, skin divers, high, powered magnum African rifles, bottled gas, flush toilets, electric lights and portable TV. The state removed the toilets and electric lights.

This is truly the end of the wilderness era. Nelse has seen it all. He shakes his head in unbelief occasionally and thinks back to the days when he could have bought the whole Long Pond country for some ridiculous figure like $6.00 an acre . . . or was it 6 cents.