Adirondack Guide, Adirondack Mountains, Adirondacks, Alfred Donaldson, Alvah Dunning, Blue Mountain Lake, Boreal Swamp, brook trout, canoe, Chateaugay, Durant, French Louis Seymour, geese, Indian Pass, John Leaf, loggers, Nobleboro, Railroads, saranac, Thomas Tahauwas, West Canada Creek, William Henry Harrison Murray
I had never seen a New York Times newspaper – – – let alone read one. One of the “sports” visiting a Durant lodge on Raquette Lake brought out such a piece of pulp.
I was amazed at its expanse. Wondering why he had bothered bringing it into the Adirondacks I asked “What do you intend to do with it ?”
He said “I brought it for you.”
He knew I could hardly read so I was wondering what his intent was. He must have seen the confused look on my face. He took the paper back and opened it up to a page called “Obituaries.”
The following is my interpretation of what he read to me.
“William Henry Harrison Murray was dead.”
“Dead?” I asked. “So young?”
“Yes” answered the sport. “I knew that you and he were acquaintances.”
That was probably the best way to put it. William Henry Harrison Murray and I were on a “Love/Hate” basis.
We spoke to each other.
We hated each other’s intentions.
However we respected each other’s positions.
“He died in March” continued the sport.
“Just before trout season” I answered. “He would not be happy to know he missed another season.”
“They called him ‘Adirondack Murray’ right there in the obituary” said the sport.
I responded “You know, I think he got to like that name. We started calling him that at Blue Mountain Lake; just to antagonize him. Then some newspaper guy heard it and printed it in New York. It followed Murray to Boston. It was like a cat that wouldn’t go away.”
The sport and I talked for a while about William Henry Harrison Murray. I found out that he was born in Connecticut. I always thought he was from New York. The sport also told me that he was giving “Adirondack” lectures in Boston. I thought that I had heard something about that but could not remember the details.
We talked about Murray’s first book and how that turned these North Woods into a popular vacation spot. That bothered me. I wanted to keep the Adirondacks to ourselves, us local people.
Then Murray committed the second mortal sin. He published a similar book, another “Tourist Edition” in which he posted all the train schedules and stagecoach terminals for getting into the Adirondacks.
He was a good man but I still wonder why he would do such a thing.