Thursday, November 30, 2006

Siebert and Rice Annual Sale

Siebert and Rice makes the best terra cotta urns, vases and garden statuary. Their website is not very buyer-friendly, since you need to email them to obtain a price list and cannot order directly from the website. However, their annual sale is this weekend in Somerset, New Jersey. Their wares are among the best, highest quality terra cotta we have seen. They are made in Italy using time-tested techniques by skilled craftsmen. And they are frost-proof, so good for those cold Adirondack winter days and nights. Check out the website at The details of the sale are as follows:


Saturday, December 2, 2006

10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.


545 Weston Canal Road

Somerset, New Jersey

"Deck the Halls and Welcome All"

Menu for 2006 White House Holiday Buffet Receptions

Display of Specialty Cheeses and Winter Fruits
(Served with a Bountiful Display of Lavish Specialty Crackers and Spiced Pecans)

Colossal Shrimp Cocktail and Jonah Crab Claws
(Served with Ramsey's Cocktail Sauce and Spiced Remoulade)

Stuffed Turkey Breasts with Winter Mushrooms,
Cheese and Brandied Cranberries

Sugar Cured Virginia Ham with Hot Pepper Mustard
(Served with Warm Blue Corn Muffins)

Chicken Fried Beef Tenderloin with White Onion Gravy
(Served with Tiny Icebox Rolls)

Herb Roasted Lollipop Lamb Chops served with Warm Yeast Rolls
Honey Cup Mustard Sauce
Fresh Tamales with Tomatillo Sauce and Black Beans

Baked White Cheddar Farfalle

Sweet Potato Souffle

Asparagus Tier with Lemon-Garlic Aioli

Golden and Crimson Beet Salad with Orange, Fennel, and Feta

Holiday Reception Desserts


Chocolate Peppermint Cookies with Peppermint Crunch

Pecan Sandie Tree (Mexican Wedding Cookies, Russian Tea Cakes) with Layers of Cookies

Holiday Ornamental Cookies


Miss Beazley

Christmas Trees


Candy Canes
Other Specialities:
Red Hat Box Mascarpone Cake
White Pound Cake with Mascarpone Cream Filling,
Red Marzipan Frosting and Red Ribbon Bow Decoration
Coconut Cake Coconut Chiffon Cake
Coconut Pastry Cream Filling and 7 Minute Meringue Frosting

Chocolate Roulade (Christmas Log)
Soft Ganache Frosting with a Chocolate Sponge, Meringue Mushrooms,
Magnolia Leaves in White Chocolate, Raspberries
Mini Tartlettes
Pecan Pie, Lemon Meringue Pie, Orange Chiffon and Chocolate Boston Cream Pie

Chocolate Truffles
Homemade, Bittersweet Chocolate, Ganache

Long Stem Strawberries
With Dark Chocolate Dipping Sauce

Warm MacIntosh Apple Cobbler
With Oatmeal Crumble

Pumpkin Trifle
Spiced Pumpkin Mousse with Whipped Cream and Shaved Dark Chocolate

More on lamps

I love lamps. There is such a variety of them, and they really represent one of the easiest ways to alter the look of a room.

I often search for vintage lamps on Ebay, where there seems to be an endless supply. Now, we haven't given Ebay it's due, given that it was in invaluable resource for our house. I'll devote some future posts to it. Ebay has lamps of every size, shape, material and price. Frankly, it can be overwhelming. Mostly, I gravitate towards alabaster lamps, simply because I think that they're incredibly unique and timeless, but I've also found amazing lamps made of glass, wood, porcelain, bronze and iron. I don't get overly concerned about finding lamps in perfect condition: a small chip or dent here or there can add to their character. The lamp pictured here is made of Spanish alabaster, known for its warm, caramel tones.

When you purchase a vintage lamp, it pays to be on the safe side and rewire it. Even if a lamp's wiring seems to be in good condition, you just never know. Hardware and lighting stores sell very inexpensive rewiring kits, and many of them will do it for you for a nominal fee. If you're going for a more antique look, ask them about silk cords and vintage-style plugs, which seem to be more and more available these days.

Now for the lampshade, which I think is the trickiest element of the lamp. The golden rule here it to take your lamp with you when you shop for its shade. It's also not a bad idea to bring a light bulb with you. Much like the lamps themselves, lampshades come in every conceivable variety and price point. Two things to consider: first, pick a size of lampshade that will cover the lamp's socket completely when viewed at eye level; second, consider the kind of light you wish the lamp to give off. Paper will give bright, diffused light. Mica will give off a warm, amber glow. Silk will tend to diffuse the light the most, while directing it downward. My personal favorite is the silk string variety of lampshade, pictured above, because it creates a beautiful play of light as you walk past it. Darker lampshades tend to appear more formal, while lighter ones appear more casual. If you want to tie a room together, use the same type of lampshade on all your lamps. For a more cottagey, "collected over time" feeling, use a variety of lampshades in a room.

When placing lamps, I tend to put larger ones in living rooms and smaller ones in bedrooms, but you can mix up the sizes however you like. One rule of thumb: the eye will usually be drawn to the largest lamp in a room, so place that one where you think the focal point should be. Lamps can be much more than a utilitarian light source. They can be an easy and cost-effective to express your personal style.

William H. Seymour Takes a Ride on His 100th Birthday

William H. Seymour, father of Helen Seymour Sylvester, takes a ride on the first "horseless carriage" in Brockport, New York, August 19, 1902. Mr. Sylvester was 100 years old on this day and was riding in the first automobile in town. Wilson H. Moore, driving, at left, was the owner of the car. Mr. Seymour would die the following year. His daughter would go on to build Seymour Point in Old Forge, which later became Penwood. Helen Seymour Sylvester inherited Mr. William H. Seymour's home in Brockport following her father's death. That home served as the Seymour Library for many years and now houses the Brockport Town Offices.

Seymour Family Memorabilia Comes Home to Brockport, 2003

The hundreds of Seymour family papers and photographs discovered at an on-line auction site by Brockport resident Bill Heyen offer items of familial rather than historical interest but are fascinating nonetheless, say Brockport's historian and historian emeritus.

"Most of the papers are of family interest but the family was so interwoven into the fabric of the community that it is an important find for the village," Historian Emeritus Bill Andrews said.

Andrews pointed out a piece of correspondence that did carry historical weight as it offered information on the mass production of the reapers made by the Seymours. William Seymour, who founded Globe Ironworks in 1844, laid claim to being the first manufacturer to produce mass quantities of the reaper. "The production of the reapers began the industrial revolution in agriculture," Andrews said.

James Seymour was the co-founder of the village of Brockport. His brother, William, was Brockport's first postmaster, a position he began in 1829. Many of the Seymour clan, including Henry, moved to Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan where they began a lumber business. James Seymour was also influential in Monroe County as he was instrumental in getting the county created. He was the first sheriff, president of the first bank, vice president of the first railroad, treasurer of the Athenaeum (now RIT), was the supervisor of the Town of Murray before Clarkson was created. He went on to become the first supervisor of Sweden. Upon his move to Michigan, he owned the land which eventually became the state capital (in Lansing) and was one of the founders of the Republican party nationally.

Andrews said that Heyen, a noted poet, kept the papers for a while, purusing them for ideas for his poetry. Andrews will be the keeper of the papers as he goes through them picking out items of interest for a book he is penning on the history of the village. Following that, the papers will be cataloged by Brockport Historian Jackie Morris and kept in the village historian's office.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Adirondack Lean-To

There is something very Adirondack about the simple open camp pictured here, the lean-to. This structure was used when the Adirondacks were just being discovered and developed, by builders and loggers and hunters. Today, they are used by local landowners who hold barbecues or sleepovers in them. As a child, I begged my parents to let me sleep in our lean-to, but I was usually spooked by something and scurried up the hill back to my warm bedroom. On the occasions that my mother supervised the kids sleeping in the lean-to, she usually woke up alone! The lean-to affords a closeness to nature and yet provides shelter from the elements. It is eminently practical, useful, Adirondack.

Benjamin Harrison, Backed to Win

The Great Guides of the Early Adirondacks

When the Adirondack Park was really, truly wild, the Adirondack guides were king. They knew the local area better than anyone and they introduced their park to many of the distinguished and common visitors to the Park over the early years. Their role in the history of the park is significant. Here, some local guides sit by their guideboats at Rocky Point, Fourth Lake.

Pen and Ink Drawings of David R.C. Oster

A few years ago, my parents discovered a local artist named David R.C. Oster. David works in pen and ink and does wonderfully detailed drawings. Many of his subjects are beautiful adirondack camps, including the drawing we commissioned a few years ago. David is now focusing more on nature drawings, which are extraordinary. Detailed and hand colored, they are an expression of his talent, not to mention his patience with his art and his subjects. We became friends with David and his friend Tyler, whose family has a house right across Fourth Lake from Penwood. David works and lives in Utica, New York, and frequently appears at local art and craft shows.

Adirondack Poetry


by Margery Gordon Burstein
Reprinted from Adirondack Reflections, Volume XVI

Each summer's stay
sun's shimmer invites me to the dock.
Her windmoving skirt glimmers.
Her splendid welcome
lures me to my favorite place.
Feet up. Head back.
Now, a deep breath.
Look west over Big Island.
Another deep breath.
Life's a pleasant blur through half-closed eyes.

A twelve years old I cried
"It's shimmer time!
I'll be back later, Mom."

Years later the ritual continues.
Memories mingle with changing designs as precious.
Her decorative jewels reflect light and dazzling heat:
Nature's facial
Soul's shield.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

St. Peter's by the Lake

There is a small, beautiful local church on Fourth Lake called St. Peter's by the Lake. I drive by it in my boat whenever I have the chance. It is like a wise old sentinel, looking out over the lake and watching us grow up and grow old. I have been inside only once. It is simple, but perfect in its simplicity and the way in which it is situated overlooking the lake. The church has a summer pastor who resides next to the church and conducts services. There are a lot of chuches in the area, but this one is our favorite.

President Harrison's Family White House

Mrs. Russell (Mary) Harrison with her daughter Marthena and nephew Benjamin Harrison McKee. ca. 1889. In his great affection for his family, President Benjamin Harrison insisted that his children, in-laws, and grandchildren live with him at the White House.

President Benjamin Harrison's Family

President Benjamin Harrison's grandchildren, Mary McKee, Marthena Harrison and Baby McKee, have a party in the second-floor nursery of the White House. As we have written in other posts, President Harrison built an Adirondack camp on Second Lake on the Fulton Chain of lakes in the Adirondacks. He called it Berkeley Lodge. It still stands today and is privately owned.

The White House Christmas Tree Arrives

North Portico
The White House
10:32 A.M. EST

MRS. BUSH: Hi, everybody. How are you all? Well, we're here once again -- Christmas comes faster and faster the older you get, I think. This year, the Boteks, from Pennsylvania, have given the big tree, and these are their grandchildren who are on the wagon up here, that brought the tree in.

We're so excited to once again start all the decorations. The decorators are here from around the country to decorate the White House, and I think we'll reveal the decorations to all of you this Thursday, I believe. They'll finish up probably on Wednesday and then we'll invite the press inside to come see it. And the big, big tree that the Boteks have grown in Pennsylvania will be the tree in the Blue Room, decorated beautifully once again for this holiday season.

I'm so thrilled and honored that you all would donate a tree to the White House this season. Thank you all very, very much, and thank you for your long interest in growing trees -- they've been growing trees, they've had a tree farm since 1964, so that's a wonderful thing. So thanks, everybody, and happy holidays -- this is the very start of the holidays, even though it's not even December, but we're getting ready to have it be December.

END 10:34 A.M.

A Busy Day in Old Forge

Historic Preservation on First Lake Pond

The Hemmer Cottage on the shores of First Lake Pond in Old Forge, has been restored to its original beauty. The cottage was moved from its site and transported to a new site donated by Sarah and Linda Cohen. The cottage has been reshingled in hemlock bark by local builder Mike Marleau. It is an example of local interest in historic preservation and stands as a successful example of a community working together to save a part of its own past from demolition or decay. There are more historic buildings in the park that need attention and funds to ensure their continued survival. The Adirondack Architectural Heritage group is doing some of the work to help ensure that historic preservation and awareness of these treasures continues to be a part of life in the park.

Deciphering Antique Postcards

Writing on old postcards has always fascinated us, particularly on these early cards when the notes were written on the face of the card. We wonder if Mrs. W.S. Seymour was related to Helen Seymour Sylvester who built Seymour Point on Fourth Lake. Is she writing to say the butter arrived or the butler? Who was Mrs. A.E. Sigourney? Sometimes, some of these cryptic messages can be understood with a little research; other times, they remain a mystery. This one was written just around the time that Seymour Point began to be used by the Sylvesters and Seymours.

After a little online detective work, we think that W.S. Seymour was William S. Seymour and was related to Helen Seymour Sylvester. Mrs. W. S. Seymour was likely visiting Seymour Point as a guest of Mrs. Sylvester and her husband William Bedell Sylvester. We also bet that she was writing about a butler. More on the Seymours in future posts.

The Snow Train!

This is a postcard of the "Snow Train" arriving in Thendara, New York, with skiers ready for a festive day on the slopes. We have not yet ventured out to McCauley Mountain in Old Forge to enjoy a little skiing, but it used to be, and perhaps still is, a popular winter activity. The trains, of course, are long gone. The Adirondack Scenic Railroad still runs, mostly as a tourist attraction, stopping in Thendara near Van Aukens Inne. We've never had any guests arrive on trains, and yet trains were the catalyst for the development and increasing popularity of the Adirondacks. Railroad barons had great camps built and private railcars to shuttle them to the woods. And in the beginning, the railroads were the best, fastest, easiest route to the wilderness. Roads had not been built and developed. Railroad history is everywhere in the Adirondacks, but unfortunately today it is mostly just that - history.

Portrait of President Benjamin Harrison

Downstate: New York City View

Monday, November 27, 2006

Hollywood Hills Hotel, First Lake

The Hollywood Hills Hotel sits today on First Lake, Fulton Chain. It has been converted to condominums like many of the great old Adirondack hotels and resorts, but the building is still there, unlike its less fortunate sisters, including Rocky Point, that were demolished. Here is a great view of the rustic interior of the old hotel.

Adirondack League Club, Forest Lodge

This is the interior of Forest Lodge, Adirondack League Club, Honnedaga Lake, New York.

Rocky Point, as it was

The Rocky Point hotel and resort on Fourth Lake had a wonderful gazebo, pictured here, at the tip of its little point, connected to the mainland by a bridge. Here, the ladies relax in the gazebo looking out at the lake. Rocky Point was demolished to make way for new condominums in recent years. A gazebo still sits on this spot, but it is not as elegant as this one - unfortunately, not even close.

A Rare View of Cedar Island

Cedar Island, Fourth Lake, near Inlet, New York, is the summer home of former New York City Ballet principal dancer Suzanne Farrell. It has over the years been developed and re-developed for various purposes. Here is a rare image of Cedar Island showing two bridges, a lean-to camp, and a floating dock with slide. These are long gone relics from one of the Island's past lives. Beautiful and classic Adirondack style.

Blue Mountain Lake with Sailboat

A View of First Lake Pond, Old Forge

An Adirondack Villa

The diversity of architecture in and around the Adirondack park is notable. Not all buildings conform to the Adirondack great camp style. There are cabins and camps, Victorian style, Arts and Crafts era homes furnished with Stickley and Roycroft furnishings, log cabins, and more refined homes like the one pictured above, in Saratoga Springs, once the home of Charles Lester.

President Harrison's Inaugural Ball

We have written about President Benjamin Harrison's Adirondack cabin, Berkeley Lodge, on Second Lake, near Old Forge. President Harrison, like many American presidents, loved the wilderness and the fresh air of the Adirondacks. Here is a view from the beginning of his presidency, in Washington, at his inaugural ball.

Childhood Bedrooms are Irreplaceable

This is the bedroom that I grew up in. Later, it became more than a summer bedroom filled with toys but a haven from city life in New York, an Adirondack living space carved out in a hundred-year-old house. Now we have built a newer, more modern house on the property, but the new, more spacious bedroom with a better view of the lake will never be the same as this one, with its pattern of light in the morning and the frogs, old friends, ribbet-ing outside the windows at night.

Musee du Quai Branly

Now I know that this is a blog about the Adirondacks, more or less, so it must seem strange that we post things about Paris every now and then. Well, we can't help it. We simply love Paris, and there it is. But this post about the French capital does have some relevance to the Adirondacks.

During my last trip to Paris in late September, I visited the new Musee du Quai Branly, a long overdue addition to the museum scene of the city. This museum is devoted to tribal and so-called primitive art from all over the world. The collection is extensive and stunning, a living catalogue of many brilliant cultures that preceded us, and some that persist. The building is a marvel, the latest installment of Jean Nouvel's rather iconoclastic career. Glass gives way to moss-laden walls, which terminate into rust-colored masses, much of it suspended over the garden. And it is the garden that really struck me. Here, in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower and a five-minute walk from the Boulevard St-Germain, I found myself gazing upon paper birches and all manner of ferns, from delicate wood ferns to gargantuan ostrich ferns. The garden is meant to be a collection of specimens from all over the world, a horticultural encyclopedia to match the collections inside. For me, it was a little piece of the Adirondacks firmly planted in the Right Bank.

Turkey afterglow

After weeks of rather unsettled weather, Nature finally smiled upon the Adirondacks this weekend. In town, a few pockets of activity - generally related to Santa and all that he brings - do not diminish the deep quiet that has fallen over the lakes. At this time of year, few birds and even fewer boats traverse the water, so that the stillness of morning lasts longer now than at any other time of year. Those perfect watery reflections, sought after so often by photographers, become less fleeting, undisturbed for several hours after sunrise. The ground, too, has become hushed, able only to produce a mere rustle of leaves. It is easier to navigate the forest this time of year. Most plants have died back, leaving only the most nascent of evergreen saplings, and so one can walk freely without fear of trampling delicate lady ferns, hostas or blueberry plants.

This morning, the quiet was briefly interrupted by the unmistakeable call of a loon, which startled me. Generally, loons have vacated the area by now, seeking their own version of a beachfront condo. But this one, for reasons unknown to me, had remained. Perhaps it was just me, but his call seemed more drawn out and urgent during these most quiet days of the year. Not having to busy himself with worries of predators and boat propellers, he seemed all the more aware of his predicament. It's as if, having missed his flight with all of the other loons, he found himself unable to book another, his frequent flier miles no longer valid and his three-ounce bottles and plastic bag not up to the standards of the loon TSA. I suspect that he knows all this, that he is resigned to his fate. But at least he's not going quietly.

A Christmas tree, by any other name ...

So we bought a Christmas tree this weekend. We just had to. One of the many advantages of the Adirondacks is that you can buy the freshest, most beautiful nine-foot tree you've every seen for only $25. In New York, things are rather different. The day after Thanksgiving, legions of Christmas tree farmers from all over the country bring their wares into Manhattan and set up shop on street corners everywhere. Typically, they stay with their trees 24 hours a day, staking out their territory and protecting their merchandise from theft. Of course, there are rewards for such vigilance. A nice Christmas tree in New York can run you about $200. If you're more interested in the Charlie Brown variety of Christmas tree, it will cost you around $50. In Manhattan, everything gets marked up.

Before we built our house, we used to go for a middle-of-the-road tree: three feet tall, full and perfect. A cool $100. Exactly the size of tree you'd want in a tiny one-bedroom apartment. Over the years, we collected ornaments to suit it. Miniature glass balls, tiny figurines in wood, porcelain or glass. And, of course, a diminutive angel for the top. Our trees were always charming, if a bit Lilliputian. When we bought our first Adirondack tree, our ornaments, collected so carefully over the years, barely made a dent in it. Our tree had grown three-fold to a perfect nine-foot specimen, complete with lovely, delicate pine cones; but our ornaments couldn't keep up with it. So we scrambled to acquire enough large ornaments just to get us past the point of the ridiculous. Even now, our tree seems slightly disjunctive - an uneasy truce between our New York ornaments and their newer, larger Adirondack cousins.

Still, I love decorating the tree. As I pull out lights and ornaments left unseen for eleven months, all the little stories of their purchase come flooding back. Past trees, past holidays, even those from my earliest memory, reassert themselves in a way that seems appropriate only this time of year. I remember ornaments fashioned from construction paper in nursery school, or a nest I made of twigs, leaves and Elmer's glue in Kindergarten. For me, Christmas retains a constancy unlike any other holiday.

And yet, the tree means something different to me now. I am older, which is perhaps part of it. But also, our household is an interfaith one, combining the traditions of Judaism and Catholicism. So now, the tree acts as a convergence of two faiths. It is as much Hanukkah Bush as it is Christmas Tree. Today, as we were decorating the tree, we were talking about how the Tree of Life is such an important symbol in so many cultures and religions. We discussed the Tree of Knowledge and its significance in the Judeo-Christian tradition. And so our tree, whatever we call it, has become a Tree of Knowledge of sorts: knowledge of each other, of what we've been through together, of what we hope for the future. In the end, the tree is what we make of it.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Adirondack Boys Love: The Adirondack Almanack

Sunday, November 26, 2006

An Angry Adirondack Almanack Note To Neighbors

We've had enough. Regular readers know that the Almanack has never been one keep its opinions to itself - today is no exception. It all started about two months ago. We heard there was a new Adirondack blog - Adirondack Boys. Sure we thought the name was a little strange given that it obviously wasn't being written by two boys, but hey, the Adirondack Almanack is on record for supporting alternative lifestyles. Anyway, we dutifully added the new Adirondack blog to our blogroll and subscribed via Bloglines to the RSS feed. We were amazed by the pace the new blog was setting, sometimes daily posts ran into the dozens - in a short two months the new blog had posted nearly 200 times! Just short of the Almanack's total post count of almost two years! We know what you're thinking - well a lot of those posts have to be really crappy - who could possibly post that much on intelligent, informative, engaging, and/or entertaining topics and still have a life - still have a job. We thought the same thing too.The posts started nicely enough, mostly the history of Penwood (Old Forge), where the Adirondack Boys have recently had a home built for them. All was well for a while, until, perhaps inevitably given the pace of posting, the posts started turning to other subjects and, well, frankly, began pissing us off.For several weeks the Almanack held a regular internal debate about the new blog. The Almanack doesn't always agree with even our favorite bloggers, and we don't always have to comment on a bad post or two. The Almanack encourages conflicting viewpoints, alternative ideas, even the downright outlandish. The Almanack doesn't want to be mean. The Almanack wants friends in the blog world and wants to encourage Adirondack blogs. Today however, the insults aimed at locals reached a crescendo and if there is one thing we can't stand it's hypocrisy: don't believe one thing and support the exact opposite just because it fits your social milieu more appropriately. If you worship the devil at night in the woods, don't send money to evangelical TV preachers and sell bibles on the side.If you write the following:

The young, hormone-rich bodies of the two fourteen-year-old boys sent signals to Mark and Tad that urgently needed translating. Their conversations, normal verbal communication, in the fresh, Adirondack air, by the lake and in the sun, and at night, definitely at night, were subsumed by a much more powerful chemical communication exchanged between them through the air, in a language neither understood and neither could control.

You are being a hypocrite, of the Mark Foley variety, when you revel in the "magical" quality of the Bush oligarchy and are proud of your role in propagating its lies and hypocrisies. Boys, in case you've been living in your own fantasy-land since the days your hormone rich fourteen-year-old bodies shared that cigarette - Republicans are opposed to you and your lifestyle. Today's Republicans have been, and still are, leading the charge to make your lifestyle illegal. When you smoke pot and work for the DEA, you are a hypocrite - plain and simple.Even that hypocrisy, however, didn't make us mad enough to write this missive. People make mistakes in life and sometimes they are painful to others - sometimes painful to others who even share their same values. We make mistakes here at the Almanack - maybe this post is one of them - but we try to have the self-awareness to understand our mistakes rather than revel in them. Still, mistakes don't warrant a harangue on the level being issued here. There were other things that we didn't like, and we didn't find all that important to comment on. But today - today - was the last straw.Today's post started like this:

The single largest change for us since we built our house was being able to experience life in the Adirondacks all year, rather than just the months between Memorial Day and Labor Day. During the past two years, we have been in town most weekends, from the muddiest days of Mud Season to the buggiest days of Bug Season. And yet we're "summer people", and that's all we'll ever be.

Fine.... ok... I'm with ya... then we got this:

Like most communities dependent on seasonal residents, Old Forge's population grows exponentially during the warm months, a time when the divide between summer people and locals is at its deepest. Summer people have their own restaurants, their own activities and their own social networks. Locals have theirs. It is rare to see summer people and locals mingling for any reason other than business. It works like this: locals run the businesses in town, service seasonal camps, manage construction and do odd jobs; summer people write the checks and hope the work gets done someday.

Ah... what.... hold it just a minute - "dependent on seasonal residents" - so the people of Old Forge are dependent on you - not you on them?"Summer people have their own restaurants, their own activities and their own social networks. " - Really? who the f*&# do you think owns, runs, washes the dishes in, takes out the garbage for, squashes the garbage at the town transfer station for, pumps the septic tank for, repairs, maintains, washes, builds, and who the hell knows what else? Summer people?"It is rare to see summer people and locals mingling for any reason other than business. " WRONG it is rare to see rich people and poor, or middle class (such as they are), people mingling, mostly because the rich think they have their own life which is separate from the mostly poor who surround them. The truth is that summer people and year-round residents mix all the time in every business in town where services are shared, in every pub that doesn't charge $4 for a beer. You see, the vast majority of people in the Adirondacks did not grow up in a rich family, or even on a lake, they didn't attend (and can't afford to send their kids now) to expensive prep schools, most probably don't hire people to help them as much as they do it themselves. Most summer people spend their vacations here - in trailers, small camps, far from the lakes which are largely owned by the rich. They don't get to go to Paris, EVER. They don't have dogs that require regular spa visits. Most year-long residents have probably - gasp - never been to a spa in their lives, never mind their dogs. When friends of ours were recently married, there was a collection to pay for a professional to do the bride's hair!
It works like this: locals run the businesses in town, service seasonal camps, manage construction and do odd jobs; summer people write the checks and hope the work gets done someday.That comment to so degrading that it only needs to be shared here again without comment. No, that's wrong, it does deserve comment. Hey assholes! We are not only your servants! We have lives, aspirations, friends (rich and poor), we also need to write checks... and when we do, it has meaning beyond the "hope the work gets done," meaning like, I'll have to work extra this year, or I'll have to cut down on this or that. According to the census, poverty in New York is up to nearly 15 percent! The county your magnificent Penwood is located in is one of the poorest in the state!

When our construction project was first underway, we decided to invite the crew to drinks one Friday afternoon. All of our corporate management training was working against us here. We had been trained to believe in the value of "team-building" activities designed to foster good communication and to set projects in motion on the best possible terms. Full of resolve to develop a good working relationship with the crew, we went to the store and bought all manner of beer, nuts, chips and dips. We arranged it all carefully on the porch of the old camp, interspersing iced buckets full of beer and platters of food so as to optimize the party's flow. We thought about topics of conversation our guests might enjoy, even a toast to express our gratitude to everyone for helping us to realize our dream of a house. Everything was ready, and everyone was invited.

How magnanimous, you invited everyone! Is that what you have at your parties at Penwood? Beer, nuts, chips, and dips? Did they get to enjoy the Stickley? And just a little note here - they didn't help you realize your dream, they realized it for you, since you had neither the skills nor the willingness to learn for yourself how to realize your own dreams.

And yet no one came. As five o'clock approached, we began to notice the din of work dying down. Then the ignition of the cars. Then the cars speeding away. We rushed down to the building site in hopes of gathering some of the remaining crew and found no one. Feeling a bit foolish and offended, we learned a painful lesson that day. The crew was happy to work on the house but not happy to work on any kind of relationship with us. To them, we represented the Other. We were summer people, and that's all we would ever be.No, you represent yourselves, and you didn't care enough about the people working for you to even consider that they might not want to extend their workday by entertaining more of your needs. Our guess is those workmen - far from being "happy to work" - had to pick up their kids, make dinner, get to the evening side-job they are doing to make ends meet, do their own work at home, or any number of things that were more important than making you feel more welcome for free. Probably a few went out to a local pub to buy their own drinks and eat free pretzels, and not have to be condescended to by you.When our friend the Stone Mason recently finished a big job with only one helper he didn't gather some chips and beer and make his assistant stay late to enjoy them with him - he gave him two weeks paid vacation. It wasn't part of the deal, he can't afford to pay a better wage let alone a paid vacation for himself or his helper. But, it was the most meaningful gift between men who understand what their common needs are.You can blame "the crew" all you want for not doing what you wanted them to do - but odds are, that every one of those men know some rich and /or summer folks who they've stayed and enjoyed that beer with - you should stop blaming them and ask yourself why it wasn't you.The Almanack encourages you to stop thinking you're special, more worldly, more educated, or know more about how our homes should be decorated. Try instead to think about your place of privilege and the opportunities for true benevolence you've apparently squandered heretofore. Find out the names of the men who built your dream - and buy them all a week's paid vacation - or two. Certainly your dream house on a lake in the Adirondacks is at least worth the cost of a little time off for the men who made it happen - use your wealth to buy them an opportunity to spend some time dreaming their own dreams.

Price to pay twenty workmen a week's paid vacation - about $12,000. Respect of your new neighbors - priceless.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Boathouse near Penwood

We have always liked this little green boathouse. It is outdated and was designed to accommodate small boats, such as guideboats, that could be pulled up a ramp into the structure, but it has a lot of charm and Adirondack style.

William H. Seymour, Father of Helen Seymour Sylvester

Seymour, William H., was born in Litchfield, Conn., July 15, 1802. But four generations intervene between him and his ancestor, Richard, whose name is inscribed on an old monument to the first settlers of Hartford in 1639. Richard came from Berry Pomeroy in Devonshire, according to an old bishop's Bible, still in the pos- session of the family, on which his name is written. William H. was the son of Samuel Seymour and Rebecca Osborn Seymour, and is the sole survivor of five children. Samuel, with his brother Moses, established a hat factory about 1760 in Litchfield. Moses Seymour was the grandfather of Gov. Horatio Seymour of New York State. James, son of Samuel, went to Pompey, where he was in the employ of Henry Seymour, father of Horatio Seymour, to Ovid, Seneca county, and soon after to Murray Four Corners, Genesee county, and engaged as partner with him in the general mercantile business. In 1818 William H. entered the employ of his brother, and in 1823 removed to Brockport which was then the head of navigation on the Erie canal, and continued the same business. James was appointed the first sheriff when the county was organized in 1820. Soon after he removed to Rochester, leaving the business to his brother, who continued it till 1844. About 1845 he engaged in the furnace business, manufacturing the first McCormick reaper used in the field, and after Mr. McCormick removed to Chicago, he invented the first self-raking reaper, known as the New Yorker, and other improvements.

August 29, 1921: Helen Seymour Sylvester, 76, Dies at Seymour Point

SYLVESTER - At her summer home, Seymour Point, Fourth lake, Old Forge, N.Y., Monday, August 29, 1921, Helen Seymour SYLVESTER. She was born in 1845 and was 76 years old. She is survived by her husband, William B. SYLVESTER; one brother, James H. SEYMOUR; one niece, Helen Seymour WILEY, of Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. -Funeral from her home in Brockport, Thursday afternoon, September 1st, at 3 o'clock. Interment at Brockport cemetery.

Adirondack League Club - Club House

Henry William Seymour, Brother of Helen Seymour Sylvester

SEYMOUR, Henry William

SEYMOUR, Henry William, a Representative from Michigan; born in Brockport, Monroe County, N.Y., July 21, 1834; attended the public schools, Brockport Collegiate Institute, and Canandaigua Academy and was graduated from Williams College, Williamstown, Mass., in 1855; studied law in Albany, N.Y., taking lectures at Albany Law School; was admitted to the bar in May 1856, but never practiced; engaged in mercantile pursuits in Brockport; moved to Michigan in 1872 and settled in Sault Ste. Marie, where he engaged in the manufacture of reapers and subsequently in the manufacture of lumber and in agricultural pursuits; member of the State house of representatives 1880-1882; member of the State senate 1882-1884 and 1886-1888; elected as a Republican to the Fiftieth Congress to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Seth C. Moffatt and served from February 14, 1888, to March 3, 1889; unsuccessful candidate for renomination in 1888; died, while on a visit, in Washington, D.C., April 7, 1906; interment in Lakeview Cemetery, Brockport, N.Y.

Helen Seymour Sylvester's Brockport, New York House

James Horatio Seymour, Brother of Helen Seymour Sylvester

James Horatio Seymour was the brother of the original builder of Seymour Point, later Penwood, Helen Seymour Sylvester, wife of William Bedell Sylvester, sister of Henry Seymour and daughter of William H. Seymour.

James moved from Brockport, New York to Sault Ste Marie, Michigan, where his brother Henry had a very successful reaper factory and later lumber and farming businesses.

When William H. Seymour died, he left the family home in Brockport to his daughter, Helen Seymour Sylvester. When Mrs. Sylvester died, the house was left to her brother James, who by that time lived in California most of the time. Mrs. Sylvester's Adirondack estate, Seymour Point, was also left to James Horatio Seymour, with a life estate reserved to Mrs. Sylvester's husband, William Bedell Sylvester.

In 1930, upon his death, the Brockport house was given to the village of Brockport along with a substantial endowment to run a library in the house. In 1936, books from the local community center were moved to Seymour House and the Seymour Library was opened to the public.

The Seymour Library survives to this day, but is now run in a larger and more modern facility. The Seymour House is used as the village offices in the village of Brockport.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

The Adirondack Boys Love: Mecox Gardens

It is rare to find a store that has more than things you like, but seems to have the same good taste in all of its wares. Mecox Gardens, an antiques, furnishings and home accesories store with shops in New York, the Hamptons, and elsewhere, sells a great selection of wares for your home and garden. At right is a faux bois bench from the current Mecox Gardens catalog. The offerings include antique furniture, club chairs, garden furniture, home accessories and antiques. The items can just be bought and plunked down in your home or garden. Mecox has great taste. Check it out at

Sunset on Fourth Lake

Photo by Joel Levy

The Cat Lady

Like the Hamptons, the Adirondacks has its share of eccentric characters: famous hermits like Noah John Rondeau and the local nut case living in a house left to him by his mother, drinking beer and hoarding the cans across thirty years, stacking them methodically around the house until there is no room to move. The beer-can-stacking nut case is discovered dead in his beer-can-full house just as he has run out of space to stack cans.

Or the family that rents their sprawling, spooky Victorian mansion to summer tourists, giving the landlords a year-round living and leaving them time to - drink and stack beer cans. My favorite local celebrity is the Cat Lady.

The Cat Lady lived in a charming brick house in Old Forge. The Cat Lady had no friends, but she had many, many cats. Cats she bought, cats she inherited, cats left on her porch because the locals knew she would care for them. The Cat Lady's house was more a place of squalor and filth than Grey Gardens (above, behind Little Edie Bouvier Beale), with its fleas and raccoons and urinating cats.

The Cat Lady lived in her small house with her horde of cats. In the winter, the house was heated, in the bone-numbing cold of the Adirondacks, by a single wood burning stove in the kitchen. The stove emitted soot and smoke and ash into the house so the walls were covered with grit and the Cat Lady's hair was artificially colored black.

She must have had 30 cats at any one time and quite possibly more. Cats were left on her front porch day and night. And those cats mated and had more cats. The soot grew thicker, supplemented by cat hair and fur balls and the stench of uncleaned, makeshift litter boxes scattered everywhere in the tiny, soot and hair-filled cottage.

The Cat Lady slept in the dirty little kitchen with her cats climbing around, over and beneath her, just beside the black stove. The Cat Lady's hands were so ruined with arthritis that she could not open a can of cat food.

But, though she was not a good housekeeper, she was clever and displayed a most Adirondack brand of ingenuity. When it was time to feed the cats, she set the can of cat food on the hot black stove and scurried out of the room: "Shoo! Run!" she shouted.

Bang! went the can of cat food, exploding from the heat and spraying chunks of cat food on the walls, the stove and the floor. The cats emerged from their places of repose and pounced on the can, thrown to the floor by the force of the explosion. A feeding frenzy ensued while the Cat Lady watched with satisfaction.

The smell of the rotting cat food left in the crevices behind the stove added the perfect complement to the sweet smell of her big, hungry family.

Something to be Thankful For

On this Thanksgiving, we are thankful that our parents met and married and adopted the three of us. Here is the engagement announcement that ran in the Dayton, Ohio newspaper in 1963. My grandmother, Dorothea Gordon, grew up in Dayton.

Margery Gordon to Wed in June

The engagement and approaching marriage of Margery Ellin Gordon to Alan Stuart Burstein is being announced by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Albert Gordon of Fayetteville and Penwood, Old Forge, N.Y.

Mr. Burstein is the son of Dr. and Mrs. Harry S. Burstein of Detroit.

The bride-elect is the granddaughter of Mrs. Charles H. Rosenthal of Daytona Parkway and the late Mr. Rosenthal who was president of the National Leaf Tobacco Co. and vice president of the Miami Valley Tobacco Co.

Miss Gordon, a graduate of Fayetteville-Manlius High School, is a senior at the University of Michigan. She is house manager of her social sorority Alpha Epsilon Phi.

Her fiance was graduated from Mumford High School and the University of Michigan. He is a member of Phi Epsilon Pi fraternity.

Mr. Burstein is presently attending the University of Michigan law school and is a member of Tau Epsilon Rho legal fraternity.

A June wedding is planned

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Dining Room, The Point, Saranac Lake

First Bisby Lake, Adirondack League Club

Adirondack Park Land Classification Scheme

The Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan, originally developed by the Adirondack Park Agency in 1972, divides the lands of the Forest Preserve into several classifications. DEC manages individual areas of the Forest Preserve in accordance with the guidelines given in the Master Plan, as summarized for the major classifications below:


There are 17 wilderness areas with a total area of about 1 million acres. Because access by motor vehicles and bicycles is not allowed, wilderness areas afford visitors exceptional opportunities for solitude in remote forest settings. The St. Regis Canoe Area is managed as a wilderness, but with special emphasis on travel by canoe.

Wild Forest

About 1.3 million acres of Forest Preserve land are classified as wild forest. These diverse lands offer a wider range of recreational opportunities. Limited access by motor vehicle is permitted on designated roads, and most trails are open to mountain bicycles. Some wild forest areas have extensive snowmobile trail systems. Areas like the Moose River Plains and Aldrich Pond Wild Forests are available for a variety of motorized and non- motorized recreation.

Primitive Areas

Primitive areas generally are Forest Preserve land areas that have the natural characteristics of Wilderness but either because of small size or the presence of roads or other man made features cannot be classified as Wilderness. There are two dozen Primitive Areas and corridors totaling approximately 51,000 acres of land within the Adirondack Forest Preserve.

Historic Areas

Historic areas are properties that are significant in New York State history and are now owned by the State of New York. There are three historic areas in the Adirondack Park: Camp Santanoni, John Brown's Farm and grave site and Crown Point. All are listed in the State and National Registers of Historic Places and have been designated as National Historic Landmarks. Camp Santanoni is the only publicly owned Adirondack Great Camp and is managed by DEC as an Historic Area. More information about Crown Point and John Browns Farm and how to get there is available by visiting the website for the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

Intensive Use Areas

A number of places within the Forest Preserve are developed for more Intensive recreational use. Besides the Gore Mountain and Whiteface Mountain Ski Areas and the scenic highways ascending Whiteface and Prospect Mountains, there are numerous campgrounds and picnic areas throughout the region.

Adirondack Mountain Reserve/Ausable Club Gate

Main Street, Old Forge, New York

Camp Penwood in Winter

Aerial View of Penwood 2004

Seaplane visits Penwood, 2004

One of our favorite summer special activities is taking private seaplane rides around the fulton chain and surrounding areas. We like to fly over the Adirondack League Club to view the lakes and club buildings. Here, the seaplane visits us in the summer of 2004. Seaplanes are a true part of the Adirondacks and Fourth Lake. Photo by Joel Levy.

Old Forge Gets DMV Office at Long Last

Senate grant to help open satellite office
Saturday, November 4, 2006

Town of Webb residents will get a local office of the Department of Motor Vehicles as the result of a $75,000 senate grant announced today by State Senator James L. Seward in Old Forge. Seward, who announced the funding at the Town of Webb Visitors' Center, was joined by Herkimer County Clerk Sylvia Rowan, who requested the funding. "The funding will enhance county services to Webb residents without pressuring local property taxes. Now registering a car, snowmobile or boat will get easier," Seward said. "It's about bringing government closer to the people."The senate grant will help purchase equipment, furnishings, supplies and telephone connectons to establish a satellite DMV office in Old Forge to provide improved customer service to Old Forge area residents. Residents will be able to get drivers' licenses and take care of vehicle registrations at the site.

About the Adirondack Park Agency Commissioners

The Adirondack Park Agency Board consists of eight commissioners appointed by the Governor; the other three members are the Secretary of State, Commissioner of Environmental Conservation, and Commissioner of the Department of Economic Development.

The Commissioners are:

Frank Mezzano, Speculator
Arthur Lussi, Lake Placid
Katherine Roberts, Garrison
James Townsend, Rochester
Leilani Ulrich, Old Forge
Ross Whaley, Tupper Lake
Cecil Wray, New York City
State: Frank Milano (Designee: Richard Hoffman)
DEC: Denise Sheehan (Designee: Stuart Buchanan)
DED: Charles Gargano (Designee: Randall Beach)

The Honorable Ross S. Whaley
Chairman, Adirondack Park Agency

New York State Adirondack Park Agency
P.O. Box 99
1133 State Route 86
Ray Brook, New York 12977
Tel. (518) 891-4050
Fax (518) 891-3938

The New York State Senate approved the Governor’s nomination of Dr. Whaley as Chairman of the Adirondack Park Agency on September 16, 2003. He brings to that position more than 30 years experience as a university teacher, researcher and administrator. He also served as Director of Economics Research for the United States Forest Service for 6 years. He holds a bachelor’s degree in forestry and a Ph.D. in natural resource economics from the University of Michigan.

Since 1984, Whaley has been associated with the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, 16 years as its President and subsequently as University Professor. As Professor his interest focused on the political economy of sustainable development. He continues to maintain a part-time relation with ESF through the Research Foundation.

Ross Whaley has served as a consultant to or member of several state, national and international commissions devoted to natural resource and environmental issues. In recognition of these activities, he has been awarded the Pinchot Medallion by the Pinchot Institute for Conservation, the Professional Conservationist Award by the New York Conservation Council, the Heiberg Memorial Award by the New York Forest Owners Association, and Honor Alumnus of Colorado State University.

Commissioner Leilani C. Ulrich
Appointed by Governor George Pataki
Term ends 2008

The Honorable Leilani C. Ulrich
P.O. Box 642
2955 State Route 28
Old Forge, New York 13420
Tel. (315) 369-3353
Fax (315) 369-3355

151 Adams
Old Forge, New York 13420
Tel. (315) 369-3647

Leilani C. Ulrich is the Founding Director of Central Adirondack Partnership for the 21st Century, a not-for-profit regional planning group based in Old Forge. She has also worked for the New York Planning Federation, the Conservation Fund, Herkimer Community College and Lynn University of Old Forge.

Commissioner Arthur Lussi
Appointed by Governor George Pataki
Term ends 2010

The Honorable Arthur S. Lussi
Commissioner, Adirondack Park Agency
c/o Lake Placid Vacation Corp.
1 Olympic Drive
Lake Placid, New York 12946
Tel. (518) 523-2556

222 Averyville Lane
Lake Placid, New York 12946
Tel. (518) 523-4610

Arthur Lussi is/was president of his family business, Lake Placid Vacation Corp. which owns and operates Crowne Plaza Resort and Golf Club. He grew up in Wilmington, where his parents operated the Holiday Motel at the base of the highway to Whiteface. Both worked as ski instructors at the mountain. In 1969, his family moved to Lake Placid, and he began skiing at Mount Whitney, after school and at Whiteface on the weekends as he attended Northwood School. Lussi later was the ski team captain at Dartmouth College, where he received a degree in English. He also has a law degree from Syracuse University. Eventually, Lussi returned to Lake Placid, and in the late 1990s, his family purchased the former Lake Placid Club.

Commissioner James T. Townsend
Appointed by Governor George Pataki

The Honorable James T. Townsend
Commissioner, Adirondack Park Agency
c/o Remington, Gifford, Williams & Colicchio, LLP
Suite 1400, Alliance Building
183 East Main Street
Rochester, New York 14604-1617
Tel. (585) 232-5225
Fax (585) 232-2557

James T. Townsend was appointed to the Agency in June 1999. He is a partner with the Rochester, New York, law firm, Remington, Gifford, Williams & Colicchio, LLP, a general practice firm concentrating in corporate, business and real estate matters. He is also Counsel to the Monroe County Industrial Development Corporation. Also, he was an Assistant Corporation Counsel to the City of Rochester. Mr. Townsend received his B.A. in Government from Trinity College in 1968, and his J.D. in 1971 from Albany Law School of Union University, where he was a member or the National Moot Court Team and was awarded the Moot Court Prize. Civic and professional activities include the Volunteer Legal Services Project, Monroe County Bar Association, Chair of the Seventh Judicial District, Attorney Grievance Committee, Chair, Salvation Army Advisory Board, for President of The Harley School Board of Trustees, the American Arbitration Association, and the Rochester Hearing and Speech Advisory Committee. Mr. Townsend resides in Rochester, New York.

Commissioner Frank Mezzano

The Honorable Frank Mezzano
Fish Mountain Road
Lake Pleasant, New York 12108
Tel. (518) 548-5204

Frank Mezzano was appointed to the Agency in February 1998. Mr. Mezzano attended Moses Brown Prep School in Providence, Rhode Island, and graduated Wells High School in Hamilton County. He attended the University of Arizona. Since 1962 he has owned the Speculator Department Store. From 1993 until his appointment to the Agency in 1998, Mr. Mezzano was Supervisor of Lake Pleasant, a member of Hamilton County Board of Supervisors, and President of Speculator/Lake Pleasant Consolidated Health District. During that time he also served as the County representative to Region 5 Open Space Committee, a member of the Local Government Review Board and Intercounty Legislative Committee on the Adirondacks and Director-at-Large of the Adirondack Association of Towns and Villages, as well as an advisor to the Agency's Economic Affairs Committee. Since 1997 he has served as Director of Colonial Health Care Corporation of Nathan Littauer Hospital and Nursing Home. He was recognized as the Review Board's 1996 Outstanding Local Government Official. His community activities include, among others, Zoning Board of Appeals Chairman from 1977-1992; member of the Chamber of Commerce since 1990; member of the Speculator/Lake Pleasant Fish and Game Club since 1994; member of the community marching band since 1994. Mr. Mezzano and his wife, Betty, have a daughter and granddaughter.

Commissioner Katherine Roberts
Appointed by Governor George Pataki

Katherine Roberts was appointed to the Agency in June 1995. She was employed as an investment analyst by INA Corporation, Philadelphia. Mrs. Roberts has served as principal, chair of the Social Studies Department and teacher at the Spence School. She is also an author and writer. Commissioner Roberts served as Executive Director of the Open Space Institute, which buys and protects land. She has served as vice-chairperson of the Hospital for Special Surgery and trustee to the Hudson Highlands Land Trust; the Garrison Landing Association; the Alice Desmond and Hamilton Fish Library and United Hospital in New York City. Commissioner Roberts resides in Garrison, NY with her family.

Commissioner Cecil Wray
Appointed by Governor George Pataki
Term ends 2010

The Honorable Cecil Wray
c/o Debevoise & Plimpton LLP
919 Third Avenue
New York, New York 10022
Tel. (212) 909-6533

Hickey Road
Keene Valley, New York 12943
Tel. (518) 576-9220

47 East 88th Street
New York, New York 10128
Tel. (212) 427-0352

Cecil Wray was appointed to the Agency in June 1999. He is Of Counsel with the law firm of Debevoise & Plimpton, having retired as a full-time senior partner in 1997. His practice has focused on general corporate matters, including domestic and international corporate finance transactions, securities matters and acquisitions. Prior to joining the firm, he served as a Law Clerk to United States Supreme Court Justice Tom C. Clark. He is also an Adjunct Professor at New York Law School, where he teaches Mergers and Acquisitions. Mr. Wray received his B.A. from Vanderbilt University in 1956 and his LL.B. from Yale Law School in 1959, where he was the Managing Editor of the Yale Law Journal. He is a member of the New York City Bar Association, the American Bar Association, and the American Law Institute, and is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. He was a founder, and later President, of the American College of Investment Counsel, an organization of lawyers engaged in major institutional financing transactions. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Mr. Wray is presently President of Episcopal Charities of the Diocese of New York and a Trustee of the Board of Foreign Parishes of the Episcopal Church. He is also a member of the Boards of Directors of Search and Care, Inc., East Side Community Center, Inc., Hudson Highlands Music Festival and the Hudson Highlands Land Trust, and was formerly a member of the Board of Directors of the Adirondack Council. Mr. Wray resides in New York City, with weekend and vacation homes in Garrison and Keene Valley, New York.

Millions for Adk Water Quality & Infrastructure

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 17, 2006

Jane Forbes Clark and Arnold Fisher Receive State Honor

Governor George E. Pataki today announced more than $8 million for 12 North Country communities to implement critical water quality projects that will protect the Adirondacks and provide needed infrastructure improvements. The projects will help reduce the amount of phosphorus and other contaminants that enter Adirondack lakes and rivers, helping to improve the ecosystems while also providing reliable sources of sewage collection, treatment and disposal.

“New York has made significant investments in projects statewide that improve water quality by creating new wastewater treatment facilities and upgrading existing ones,” Governor Pataki said. “Today we continue that commitment by helping these Adirondack communities implement key projects that will help protect our waterways and drinking water supplies from pollution and other harmful impacts to our natural resources.”

Senator Betty Little said, “Keeping our streams, rivers and lakes clean and healthy is a goal we all share, but replacing and making necessary improvements to local infrastructure is expensive and difficult for local governments to fund on their own. The grants announced today are very helpful to many North Country communities and we appreciate Governor Pataki's support once again.”

Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward said, “I welcome the funds Governor Pataki has made available for the North Country. The Adirondack Park is a major asset to New York State. However, the rural character of the Park and the economic limitations for the residents of this region make municipal infrastructure projects a heavy burden for taxpayers. There are $30 million in sewer needs for Essex County alone. Water quality projects can not be accomplished without financial assistance on the state and federal levels.”

A total of $8.075 million is being made available to the following municipalities: Essex, Elizabethtown, Moriah, and Ticonderoga in Essex County; St. Regis Falls and Tupper Lake in Franklin County; Wanakena and Newton Falls in St. Lawrence County; Dannemora in Clinton County; Northampton in Fulton County; Indian Lake in Hamilton County; and Putnam in Washington County. The funding will be administered by the State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) as part of the New York State Technology and Development Program. The assistance to these smaller communities will target the protection of Adirondack lakes and rivers by fully or partially funding improvements to the municipalities’ sewage treatment, collection and delivery systems.

Among the funding announced today is $1 million for the Town of Elizabethtown, Essex County, to help construct a wastewater treatment plant and collection system. The community is located on the Boquet River, a tributary to Lake Champlain. Small lot size and shallow groundwater make individual on-site septic systems an ineffective means of wastewater treatment and the town is pursuing the construction of a new treatment facility expected to cost approximately $8.1 million. The plant will be instrumental in reducing the amount of phosphorus and helping to prevent the discharge of harmful pollutants into Lake Champlain.
DEC Commissioner Denise M. Sheehan said, “Positive changes in our water quality can be witnessed throughout New York State as a result of the commitment Governor Pataki has made to provide municipalities with the tools and support to fund needed infrastructure projects. The funding announced today will help continue the progress we are making in improving the health of Adirondack water bodies and improving the quality of life for North Country communities.”

Elizabethtown Supervisor Noel Merrihew, III said, “This important funding allows us to address our critical wastewater problems here in Elizabethtown. The Governor has recognized this necessary investment as a priority to provide clean and healthy communities here in the Adirondacks. The citizens of Elizabethtown and Essex County are grateful for his vision for us here in the North Country.”

Essex Town Supervisor Ronald Jackson said, “The Town of Essex is extremely happy to hear that we are receiving a New York State grant of One Million Dollars from Governor Pataki to help finance our wastewater treatment plant and collection system. Essex is the only Hamlet on the Lake without a wastewater system. This grant is a big step towards reaching that goal that we have been striving to achieve for over fifty years, since my Uncle Elvin Cross was the Supervisor. These Grants once again show that Governor Pataki is the Environmental Governor.”

The list of recipients includes:

Essex County:
Town of Essex - $1 million Construction of a wastewater treatment plant and collection system

Town of Elizabethtown - $1 million Construction of a wastewater treatment plant and collection system

Town of Ticonderoga - $1 million Upgrading of the existing wastewater treatment plant

Town of Moriah - $200,000 Replacement of the Mineyard Pump Station

Essex/Washington Counties:
Towns of Ticonderoga and Putnam - $1 million Provide sewer district extensions at Black Point Road

Franklin County:
Hamlet of St. Regis Falls, Town of Waverly - $575,000 Purchase aeration tank/clarifier covers and replacing the existing sludge treatment system with a low technology natural reed bed unit

Village of Tupper Lake, Town of Altamont - $875,000 Upgrade two existing aging pump stations and construct an equalization tank to help improve plant performance

St. Lawrence County:
Hamlet of Wanakena, Town of Fine - $750,000 Correction of infiltration and inflow issues

Hamlet of Newton Falls, Town of Clifton - $1 million Construction of a wastewater treatment plant

Clinton County:
Village of Dannemora, Town of Dannemora - $75,000 Installation of a permanent phosphorus removal system at the Village’s wastewater treatment plant

Fulton County:
Town of Northampton – $200,000 Replacement of sanitary sewers to correct inflow/infiltration issues

Hamilton County:
Town of Indian Lake – $400,000 Replacement of some sewers in Route 28 to address inflow/infiltration issues.