An Adirondack history lecture series continues at the Whallonsburg Grange Hall, 1610 NYS Route 22 in the Champlain Valley. Presentations on the early settlement, the philosophy and invention of the wilderness ideal, the history of the forest preserve and boats and boating are included in the schedule.
The series “Our Wild Home” will take place on Tuesday nights at 7:30. A donation of $5 is requested, students always free. More information is at www.thegrangehall.info. The schedule of talks is:
February 18, Settling the Wilderness: When Men and Mountains Meet Immediately after the American Revolution, the Adirondacks became a land of opportunity for businessmen and land speculators. Each enterprise began with great optimism, and most ended in despair and human tragedy. Author and historian Glenn Pearsall’s recent book, When Men and Mountains Meet, focuses on the critical settlement period of the Adirondacks, from 1790 to 1820.
February 25, The “Invention” of the American Wilderness The concept of the wilderness is relatively recent. This lecture will look at how this notion developed; the “strenuous life” ideal of Theodore Roosevelt and how it dovetailed with the rise of American imperial power; and the role of environmentalists like John Muir in the invention of wilderness. Presentation by Andy Buchanan, lecturer in History at the University of Vermont.
March 4, Forever Wild: A History of the Forest Preserve In 1885, the land in the Adirondack Park was conserved and never to be put up for sale or lease. The park was given state constitutional protection in 1894, so that the state-owned lands within its bounds, the Adirondack Forest Preserve, would be protected forever (“forever wild”). Ken Hamm, DEC Forest Preserve staff attorney, will discuss its origins and development over the last century.
March 11, Rendering a Landscape: The Influences of Wild Places, We understand who we are by telling stories. The shapes that these narratives take are influenced by the places where they, and we, are rooted. Influence is a subtle and often implicit force, mysterious and, as the poet Rilke wrote “it falls on me like moonlight on a window seat.” This program will explore how the Adirondack landscape has influenced art and artists of our region. Presentation by Marianne Patinelli-Dubay, Environmental Philosophy Program Coordinator, SUNY-ESF’s Northern Forest Institute.
March 18, Wild Waters: Boats and Boating in the Adirondacks Ever since Ralph Waldo Emerson took a trip through the Adirondacks in a small boat, millions of Americans have seen an Adirondack vacation as the antidote to the stress and pollution of industrialized society. This illustrated lecture explores boatshops, liveries, and a way of life and leisure that has all but vanished. Presentation by Hallie Bond, author and former Adirondack Museum curator. (This lecture is free, sponsored by the NY Council for the Humanities, Speakers in the Humanities program)