Tag Archives: Franklin County

‘Mostly Spruce And Hemlock’ Book Party in Tupper


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A book-release party for the reprint of the classic Adirondack history “Mostly Spruce and Hemlock” will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 19, 2009 at the Goff-Nelson Memorial Library, 41 Lake St., in Tupper Lake. The party will feature brief comments from library officials, Tupper Lake Free Press Publisher Dan McClelland, index author Carol Payment Poole, and publisher Andy Flynn. Refreshments will be served, and historical exhibits will be on display throughout the library.

“We see this party as a celebration of Tupper Lake’s heritage,” said Goff-Nelson Memorial Library Manager Linda Auclair. “Louis Simmons gave this community a huge gift in 1976 with ‘Mostly Spruce and Hemlock’ and the library is proud to give the same gift to even more people with a reprinting of this classic volume of Adirondack history.”

In June 1976, Tupper Lake Free Press Editor Louis J. Simmons released the first comprehensive volume of Tupper Lake history in “Mostly Spruce and Hemlock” at a book release party at the Goff-Nelson Memorial Library. It was a fitting location; the research room – the Grace Simmons Memorial Room – was named in honor of Louis’ first wife, a longtime Tupper Lake librarian. Louis Simmons used a lot of photographs from the library’s collection for his book.

At 461 pages and more than 140 photos, “Mostly Spruce and Hemlock” was an instant best-seller in the Tip Top Town and was sold out in less than two years. People have been searching for copies of the book for more than 30 years. Only 2,000 copies of the original were printed.

Simmons used more than four decades of experience at the editorial helm of the Tupper Lake Free Press to write “Mostly Spruce and Hemlock.” A 1926 graduate of the Tupper Lake High School and 1930 graduate of Syracuse University, he was hired as the Tupper Lake Free Press editor in 1932. He retired as full-time editor in 1979 and continued writing and editing until his death on April 4, 1995. He was also the Tupper Lake historian for many years.

“Mostly Spruce and Hemlock” details the early days of life in the village of Tupper Lake and the town of Altamont (the name of the town was changed to Tupper Lake in 2004). Histories are offered on the logging industry, railroading, churches, schools, hotels, Sunmount DDSO and businesses such as the Oval Wood Dish Corporation.

The new “Mostly Spruce and Hemlock” includes all of the original text and photos, but there will be some major differences. It is a paperback book, instead of hardcover, and the cover was redesigned. The original book did not include an index; however, the 2009 version has an index, which was written by author and Tupper Lake native Carol Payment Poole. Tupper Lake Free Press Publisher Dan McClelland wrote a new foreword. And the book is dedicated to Simmons and “Tupper Lakers everywhere.”

The reprinting is a joint project between Hungry Bear Publishing and the Goff-Nelson Memorial Library, which received permission to reprint “Mostly Spruce and Hemlock” as a fund-raiser. The library will receive all the author’s royalties plus a retail percentage for copies it sells directly to the public.

Presale orders for “Mostly Spruce and Hemlock” were taken between March and October 2009; anyone who prepaid for a book may pick it up at the library at the book-release party on Nov. 19. Prepaid orders to be shipped will be sent out as soon as the books arrive. No more orders will be taken until Nov. 19; anyone may purchase a copy at the party or during library hours anytime afterward. The books will also be for sale at various locations throughout the Tri-Lakes beginning the week of Thanksgiving. A print run of 2,000 was ordered for the Second Edition.

Based in Saranac Lake, Hungry Bear Publishing is home of the five-volume “Adirondack Attic” book series (Adirondack history) and the Meet the Town Community guide series. The company is owned and operated by Tupper Lake native Andy Flynn, who personally produced and edited the Second Edition of “Mostly Spruce and Hemlock,” and his wife, Dawn, originally from Bloomingdale.

For more information about the new “Mostly Spruce and Hemlock,” call the Goff-Nelson Memorial Library at (518) 359-9421.

New Additions to Online Newspaper Archive


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Additional content from two newspapers has been added to the Northern New York Historical Newspapers site at http://news.nnyln.net. The Plattsburgh “Press-Republican” coverage has been expanded to 1998, with a starting date of 1942. The newspaper’s own indexed archive takes over with 1999. The Saranac Lake “Adirondack Daily Enterprise” has been expanded to 2007, with a starting date of 1948. It can be searched by itself or as part of the Franklin County group search.

The increased content of these two newspapers join over 40 titles with a total of more than 1,620,000 pages on the NNY Historical Newspapers site. The site is provided free of charge to the public by the Northern New York Library Network (NNYLN) in Potsdam.

While it is always fun and interesting to search decades back in the older newspapers, the more recent years make it easy to go back and check facts or clear up if something was remembered correctly.

For instance, with a few clicks through the Plattsburgh paper readers can be reminded of the “Champlain hires engineers for flood mitigation” story from Sept. 11, 1998 which read, “With $46,000 promised from Clinton County, the Champlain Village Board voted recently to hire Cold Regions Research Engineering Laboratories to build a flood-mitigation system in the Great Chazy River.”

Those going through the Saranac Lake paper can see the December 27, 2007 edition reported the following: “The Mountaineer’s 12th annual Adirondack International Mountaineering Festival is coming up on the weekend of Jan. 11, and there are still openings in some of the ice climbing, avalanche and snowshoeing clinics.”

The Northern New York Historical Newspapers website averages well over one million searches every month.

Adirondack Museum To Open For Season May 22nd


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The Adirondack Museum will open for its 52nd season on Friday, May 22, 2009. The Adirondack Museum once again extends an invitation to year-round residents of the Adirondack Park to visit free of charge in May, June, and October. Through this annual gift to close friends and neighbors, the museum welcomes visitors from all corners of the Park. Proof of residency is required.

The Adirondack Museum is open daily from May 22 through October 18, 2009 from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Friday, September 4 and Friday, September 18 are exceptions to the schedule, as the museum will be closed to prepare for special events. All paid admissions are valid for a second visit within a one-week period.

On Saturday, May 23 the Museum Store will host a book signing from 3:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. as part of the opening weekend festivities. Elizabeth Folwell, Creative Director of Adirondack Life will sign copies of her new book Short Carries – Essays from Adirondack Life. Betsy Folwell joined the staff of Adirondack Life in 1989. Since then she has written scores of articles and essays on the politics, nature, history and culture of the six million acres Adirondack Park. She has won eight writing awards from the International Regional Magazine Association.

The twenty-two exhibits, historic buildings, outstanding collections, lovely gardens, and pristine views that are the Adirondack Museum tell stories of life, work, and play in the Adirondack Park of northern New York State.

“Common Threads: 150 Years of Adirondack Quilts & Comforters” is one of two exhibits to debut in 2009. The exceptionally beautiful exhibition will include historic quilts from the Adirondack Museum’s textile collection, as well as contemporary quilts, comforters, and pieced wall hangings on loan from quilters in communities throughout the region. The exhibit illustrates a vibrant pieced-textile tradition nurtured by the Adirondack region for over a century and a half. From bedcovers, plain or fancy, meant to keep families warm through long Adirondack winters, to stunning art quilts of the twenty-first century, the quilts and comforters of the North Country mirror national trends and also tell a unique story of life in the mountains.

The second new exhibit, “A ‘Wild, Unsettled Country': Early Reflections of the Adirondacks” will include paintings, maps, prints, and photographs that illuminate the untamed Adirondack wilderness discovered by early cartographers, artists, and photographers. The exhibit will showcase more than forty paintings from the museum’s exceptional collection, including works by Thomas Cole, John Frederick Kensett, William Havell, and James David Smillie. Also featured are fifty of the engravings and lithographs of Adirondack landscape paintings that brought these images to a wider audience and provided many Americans with their first glimpse of the “howling wilds” that were the Adirondack Mountains. A dozen rare and significant maps from the collection of the museum’s research library demonstrate the growth of knowledge about the Adirondacks.

“A ‘Wild Unsettled Country'” will feature photographs sold as tourist souvenirs and to “armchair travelers.” The first photographic landscape studies made in the Adirondacks by William James Stillman in 1859 have never been exhibited before. Photos by Seneca Ray Stoddard will also be included. The exhibit will include special labels and text just for kids in addition to the traditional presentation. The Adirondack Museum encourages parents and children to explore and discover together.

The Adirondack Museum’s 2009 Photobelt exhibition will feature rarely-seen images from the extensive postcard collection. “Wish Your Were Here” will showcase Adirondack views of hotels, campsites, tally-ho rides, scenery, boat trips, restaurants, and roadside attractions – sent home to friends and relatives from 1900 to 1960. Postcards have always been treasured souvenirs and the perfect way to say, “Wish you were here!”

Five newly acquired boats will be displayed in the exhibition “Boats and Boating in the Adirondacks.” These include a very rare 1918 Moxley launch, a Hickman Sea Sled (forerunner of the Boston Whaler), a Grumman canoe, a Theodore Hanmer guideboat, a Grant Raider, and a 1910 William Vassar guideboat.