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The answer to that question immediately follows.

News 1

News 2

News 3

McNaughton House

Old Blast furnace

So that is what is going on up in Tahawus, NY.

Here is a look at the nice old ghost town before they started “refurbishing” it.

The following is a picture of the mine tailings that someone hopes to recycle.



Mine Tailings


I hope you realize that they have not stopped monkeying around with “MY” Adirondacks.

Probably never will.

Well, that is it. Thank you for coming to my cabin and visiting. It had been a long time since I pulled all those old photos out of my old “TEA CABINET.” Thank God the mice didn’t get in there and make nests out of them.

They do that, you know.

If I run across Dunning, Nessmuk or Old Mountain Phelps I will tell them you said “Hello.”

You be good now and keep an eye out for that old mountain lion; I hear he is still roaming around these parts.

 The End

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The next two days will be long.

Not for me, but rather for you – – – that is – – – if you read the whole thing.

Just a warning. Don’t become alarmed. Well – – – not yet anyway.

Today we will discuss the past. Tomorrow we will discuss the future.



Summer Light

I open this story with the only three things I can remember from my childhood; defined here as five years of age or younger.

First, and least important, I remember being in my crib and a man was looking through my window.

Second, and relatively unimportant, I fell into a swamp and almost drowned.

Third, and most importantly, I asked my mother who I was before I was me.

She almost went bezerk.

TAD Obit

Now that we have the “possibly important facts” out of the way let us look at my stories in this book.

First, it started out as just a bunch of vintage Adirondack prints from the mid-1800′s.

Then I realized these prints needed a spokesman; so I invented Tahauwas, a take-off on “Tahawus” the original name of Mt. Marcy.

Tahauwas’ job was to keep the Adirondacks, in our memory if not in reality, as they originally were. They were left in our care by someone (I think it was God but you can put whoever you want in his place).

TAD Obit2

My stories have normally centered around “others.”

But this one is all about me.

This was originally intended to be short. In fact, it turned out to be the longest one in this series.The facts are as follows. They came to light as I looked for additional 1800′s Adirondack Mountain prints.

Those are all my confessions. Now we get on with the facts

First I was using MOA, the Making Of America, a digital Cornell University site.


As you can see I was looking at a September, 1859 issue of Harper’s New Monthly Magazine. I had homed in on “A Forest Story” written by T. Addison (full name T. Addison Richards).

TAD Harpers

Now you must remember that I am really “Tomosky” parading as “Tahauwas.” Why I decided to spell Tahawus as Tahauwas is beyond me. But Tahauwas I am, named after the Mountain that some fools renamed Mt. Marcy.

Well – – – let’s just let that go and not dwell on what they have done.

Let’s concentrate on my story; which I must admit, is terribly disjointed at this moment.

Something popped out of the page at me. It was the Adirondack Guide Tahawus who I was supposed to be.

I existed before I now exist.


TAD Story 1

As the story opens the writer, T. Addison Richards, finds himself in the midst of the thick Adirondack undergrowth and already misses the guide he found at Saranac. In the third paragraph of the story we find that the guide’s name is Tahawus.

But I am Tahauwas the Adirondack Guide. How could T. Addison Richards know such a fact seventy-eight years before I was born; 1938. Or maybe I should be asking myself how did I know I was someone “before I was me?” And how did I know I was to be Tahauwas?

But, on the other hand, what did T. Addison Richards know about Tahawus?

TAD Story 2

Ah yes! Addison’s view of me was that I was mercurial and would have been worse had not the beauty of the Adirondack Woods smoothed out my rough edges; he termed me a “misanthrope.” He also assumed I had made my village sweetheart, “Polly Ann”, into a scornful person.


TAD Story 3

But then, much to Addison’s grief, he and his companion lose sight of the Mountain Trail and become lost. Now what does Addison do? He quickly reverses his viewpoint of me and knows that I would be of help. He almost sounds like he is in the middle of an atonement.

Desperate people do desperate things.

TAD Story 4

And through the night the men worried that there would be no survival. They had fired their guns, the normal signal for those lost, but to no avail. It was a fitful night. But then – – –

TAD Story 5

Now it is really getting scary. How did T. Addison Richards know that I had a close fishing and hunting pal by the name of Wescott? Not only did “my Wescott” know the Adirondacks but he was a 49′r; one of those people who climbed all 49 of the tallest Adirondack peaks.

There I was, reading what was supposed to be a nice North Woods story and looking at beautiful old prints but instead wondering if I am alive now or was I alive then – – – or yet – – – maybe both.

However, “A Forest Story” continued on. The two recently found men and the two guides, Tahawus and Wescott, are walking through the woods to their destination. A voice is heard and it is not a man’s.

TAD Story 6

Tahawus defended the capabilities of women in these forests. Following through, he suggested that they travel together. The party now numbered eight or nine, depending on whether you counted the hired help.

TAD Story 7

The troupe of eight thought they would see the whole of the area around the McIntyre Iron Works.

TAD McIntyre

TAD Story 8

TAD iron works village

The party of eight followed their hearts to the following areas.

TAD Collage

Now, as it turns out, the hired help is named Marianna. The ladies that she serves are quite inept in a canoe and can only catch fish when there are so many that the fish put themselves on the hook.

Marianna, in her apparent haste to learn the way of the North Woods, becomes a little to familiar with her watercraft and falls out. Tahawus comes to her rescue and pulls her into his skiff. Eyes meet and then glance to see if anyone has noticed.

On the next outing Tahawus shoots at their supper, a deer, but only wounds it. Marianna stands up in his skiff, grabs a gun and dispatches the deer with one shot.

TAD Deer hunt

Tahawus, or was it I, did not become irate at the situation. Just the opposite, he lauded her shooting and awarded the deer to her even though his first shot had wounded it.

In the end the party decided that the ascension of Mount Marcy would be the crowning glory of their newly combined group.

TAD mountain climb

The view of the Santoni Range was marvelous.

TAD Santoni Range

Addison Richards decided that before the group departed he had to make a good farewell to Tahawus. It was not a farewell he took lightly. However, Tahawus had company.

TAD Story 9

And then T. Addison Richards, assuming that Tahawus was abandoning Polly Ann, attempted to make light of the uncomfortable situation.

TAD Story 10

So now we know that Tahawus was not mercurial nor a cad. We know that Marianna and Polly Ann were one and the same, and, as a bonus, she was already familiar with the North Woods.

Where does that leave me – – – and poor Wescott who never asked to be part of this story? He never poked around in old documents.

The only thing that I can advise you is don’t poke around in things that you have no business poking around in.

TAD Image

Am I Tomosky? Am I Tahawus? Or is this experience telling me I am T. Addison Richards? We are both writers separated by over one hundred years. Well – – – he is an artist – – – and an author – – – I write words; there is a big difference.


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I helped build this private cottage. It was one of the last buildings that I worked on. That is me, way over there on the right hand side, sitting on top of a stump. These are the first guests of the cottage owner. He just opened it up, brand new. I stay in the groundskeeper section of the place. That is my new job. I can’t do heavy work any longer. I have my own private door.

Private Cottage

I have no idea what these people were thinking.

Look at those fancy dresses and hats on the ladies. And the guys are dressed up in their finest also. That fellow on the left has his knickers and a fine looking sport coat. The older guy, I can’t remember his name right now, he has a suit and a bowler hat. He is a guest of the owner. Why they dress like this to come up to the woods is beyond me.

I think the crisscross hemlock work on the porch railing adds a little Adirondack class to the cottage. The matching crisscross work around the foundation finishes it off.

I think we made a big mistake on the foundation. I wanted to use fieldstone like I had on the other cottages and lodges that I worked on. I am not sure who made the final decision to use Black Swamp Pine. Now usually Black Swamp Pine is fine. If it is kept under water it will never rot. That is why we use it for some of the work around the docks.

But see right there? Under each jointed section where the logs meet each other. Those are Black Swamp Pine foundation pillars. If the ground stays wet the pillars will last for years. But I don’t think that ground is going to be very wet with the building standing over it; especially with those nice wide eves on the roof.

I have to say that the choice of leaded glass windows was a nice touch. They only broke two of them when the buckboard brought them in. The owner hired a fellow from Utica to come up and re-lead the new glass panes.

He got the window job done but lost all his earnings in a poker game that evening.

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I like Little Moose Lake. Maybe it is because that is where I kissed my first city girl.

That was just before the civil war.

On the other hand there is the Adirondack League. I will just leave it at that.

I don’t want to start another civil war. Especially with people of power.

Little Moose

A quote or two may be more appropriate:

1890 – Rome Semi-Weekly Citizen, Newspaper

“The North Woods,” July 12, 1890.

“One of the largest deals is the way of an Adirondack preserve is that recently consummated by the organization of the Adirondack League Club, which has bought the Anson Blake tract of about 100,000 acres. It includes nearly all of Jock’s Lake, the upper end only being outside the tract. The preserve lies in both Hamilton and Herkimer counties. It is covered with an unbroken growth of valuable timber. The present owners of the tract are to convey it to the club for about $500,000 and it has been on the market for $1.25 an acre. The five hundred shares are to be sold to the members of the company for $1,000 a share.”

”An effort is being made to extend the Herkimer, Newport & Poland railroad into the preserve and make it standard gauge. Recently the agents of the league posted notices throughout the preserve warning against trespassing. They read as follows:

Notice. All persons not members of the Adirondack League Club are hereby forbidden to hunt, fish, or trespass upon these lands, or any lands forming part of the tract known as the Anson Blake tract. All persons not members of the said club found hunting, fishing or trespassing on said premises will be prosecuted according to law.”

Adirondack League Club, O. L. Snyder, Secretary.

“It is believed every share of the originators of the scheme dispose of over 200 will be clear gain. The certificate of incorporation, which was filed in the office of the county clerk of New York county June 18, names the following trustees: Mills W. Barse, Ole L. Snyder, Warner Miller, Mark (Brick) M. Pomeroy, Robert C. Alexander, Henry C. Squires, Warren Higley, Henry Patten, Abraham G. Mills, DeWitt C. Lefevre, and Alexander R. Harper.”


I think that paints the picture.

Tahawas and Tomosky c

ADIRONDACK IMAGES AND TALES; The Northern End of the Fulton Chain of Lakes – – – Limekiln Lake


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Now this is what a lodge should look like!

Old Chase built this camp on Limekiln Lake. He should receive some recognition for this.


Instead, what do we have? Almost all the writers and photographers are burning a ton of black ink and black powder taking pictures of the “sports.” Look, right there if you don’t believe me. There is one all dressed up in a suit carrying a gun.

R.G. Chase is the type of fellow that is going to save the Adirondacks, not Thomas or William West Durant. We need to keep our clearings small and our hearts big, not the other way around.

But you are not going to ever win fighting progress.

Thomas Durant can be ruthless. There is some kind of scam going on right now. It is said that he manipulated railroad stocks and kept a set of false books. He seems not to care about anyone except himself.

The Adirondack Company is involved in building railroads. In 1863 Durant started building the North Creek line. It is probably a lark to him. His main project is working on the cross continental railroad.

In a mere twenty two years he and his son, William West Durant, succeeded in bringing “progress” to the Adirondacks.

William West Durant went to schools in Europe. He travelled quite a bit. At 24 his father gave him an order to develop the Adirondacks and bring in “the rich” from Boston and New York City.

I foolishly helped the Durants with their plan. I built some cabins for them on Raquette Lake. Then they opened a stagecoach line and eventually ruined the Marion River. They created a steamboat line on the Marion and later a short railroad. This route allowed the city folks to travel from Blue Mountain Lake through two other lakes to reach their cabins on Raquette Lake;

– – – without getting their feet muddy!

R.G. Chase; now there is a true Adirondacker. No desire for progress, just a lean-to for enjoying these North Woods.

Limekiln Lake will be natural forever, I hope.


Tahawas and Tomosky c

ADIRONDACK IMAGES AND TALES; The End of the Numbered Lakes – – – Sixth, Seventh and Eighth


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Well, well, well. This is now what my beloved Adirondack Mountains look like?

Made up of stage coaches, state dams, steam boats and a diabolical paved road?

Did they have to build the road right beside the lake? Look at all those beautiful dead trees along Sixth Lake.

Isn’t progress charming?

6 7 8

The cause is lost. There is no going back. The only thing us natives can do is to go deeper into the woods. Then they call us hermits.

They charge us with squatting on their land.

It wasn’t theirs in the first place. It was ours. It was peaceful. It was what God wanted it to be; not what man wanted it to be.

What did the railroad man think was going to happen? Is this what he wanted it to be? And the banker man and the land man and the lawyer man?

But I and other Adirondackers are also to blame. We want to get our hands on a few of the dollars that the city folk from Boston, New York, and Utica bring with them.

And then there are others from all along the great canal systems that crisscross New York State. They do not bring as much money but come by the hundreds.

This picture is all we have to show for those few dollars.

I weep. My parents would sob.


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I wish you could see this canoe a little better. I built it with my own hands.

It has lasted a long time because I take care of it.

Hidden Canoe

I had a habit of bringing it up on shore out of the wind and water. Then I started noticing that someone else had been using it when I was not there. Whoever it was did not wash it and clean it like I did. He left mud on the bottom.

So I had to hide it in the rushes like this. I was concerned that it may rot from the water or get blown away by the wind. I needed not to worry. I found that the water kept the wood fresh and the rushes held it tight in their grip.

French Louie Seymour let the cat out of the bag one day. We were enjoying a pipe full by his cave house. He told me that John Leaf, Louie’s Indian friend, had almost died in the cave from illness. We talked about John for some time and Louie finally told me that it was John who was using my canoe.

Louie hinted that I should let John use my canoe because John was very ill these days. I told him I would think about it.

I did. I thought that I will not tell John were my canoe is hidden because he cannot seem to respect other people’s property.

Louie said nothing more about it but I could tell he was not too pleased with my decision.

The next year was when John was murdered.

I felt bad about my decision.


Tahawas and Tomosky c



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These are the mountains that I roamed in as a young man.

I moved away to find work around Blue Mountain and Raquette Lakes.

Old Phelps stayed in these mountains. He mapped them. He cataloged them. He loved them. He wrote poems about them. He brought strangers to them. He was sorry he did.

High Peak Litho

Can you believe that they are digging for iron just on the other side of that lake? And they are building a big blast furnace to cook it down.

That is one of the reasons that I left this area. It was getting a little too busy for me.

But I cannot get away from this “progress.” It seems to have established itself everywhere.

When I was a boy my father and I hunted bear and mountain lions in those high mountains. The moose liked to stay in the valleys. We saw fishers and lynx and wolf and all sorts of animals in those high mountains.

There is one place where a mountain is split in half. Honest. It is just split in half. One half makes a big cliff and the other half lays in a jumble within the deep valley below.

There are little lakes caught in between the mountains. There are long lakes that rest in the passes. And there are swamps here and there. It is the country were God first started his work.

I should have stayed there with Old Phelps. It would not have made a difference because it is all gone now.

On the other hand I would have enjoyed it for a few more years.

Tahawas and Tomosky c


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