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I may have bored you on your last visit. On the other hand, maybe not. You came back and I am glad for that.

Let us skip all the reading today and just look at some of my pictures. I have them out of my tin tea cabinet already. I thought you may have been knocking on my door. Could you be a good soul and get my coffee for me? I forgot it on the table. – – – – – – – Thanks.

Today we can make some comparisons of the differences that the Adirondacks have been through in the last ten years. You would be surprised if you ever had been to Saranac or Blue Mountain Lake.

Hotel Wawbeek

They called this monstrosity Hotel Wawbeek. It is on the upper Saranac.

Can you imagine seeing this where once there was only forest? Good or bad; what do you think? Oh, I guess I was pushing you towards “bad.” Sorry.

STERIO after the flood

See, I am trying to be even handed. This is a trout stream that was used by loggers. They built a dam up there on the mountain. They put all their logs in the pond behind the dam. Then they blew the whole damn thing up. Most of the logs got to the Moose River. But, as you can see, some did not.

I bought this from a tourist. Never did have the contraption to look at it. They say it has some depth if you use the contraption.

That was the first comparison. Fancy hotel and little abused trout stream. I guess neither of them added much to these North Woods.

Ralphs Hotel

Now you can’t say that I was leading you on this one. Both pictures are from Chateaugay Lake. I think this one is Ralph’s Hotel. It may have another name but it is definitely Chateaugay Lake.

Charcoal Kilns Chateaugay Lake

And this also is Chateaugay Lake. Look at all the charcoal furnaces! These “charcoal kilns” are all over the Adirondacks now. I am sure you have seen them. Oh that’s right. I forgot that your father took you to AuSable. Lots of kilns there.

Someone told me that the charcoal was intended for the forge at Lyon Mountain.

That is the second camparison; clean air versus smokey air – – – right next to each other.

Tally Ho Blue Mountain Lake

This is the Tally-Ho at Blue Mountain Lake. It you look close you can see Joe Wilson up there with the reins in his hand. Joe could handle a three pair hookup without any trouble.

Except for that white horse that gave him a kick in the pants once.

Billy Coon and Dog

Not much of a hotel, this one. But a few sports stayed here the day they got lost in the woods. That’s Billy Coon the guide. He always seemed to have more game than he was allowed. That dog there – – – Billy Coon named him “Dog.” Yep, that was it, just “Dog.”

Old Dog was one of the best deer hounds around until he got on a cougar trail. That was the end of Dog. Billy Coon never did get himself another dog after that. Heartbroken I hear was the reason.

I don’t know if you could call these two last pictures a comparison. But it does lay two seperate lifestyles up against each other.

Hotel Ampersand

Hotel Ampersand

Can you imagine building that? Now I have built a lot of family cottages and churches in these woods but I would never attempt anything like that. I heard that two men fell off the roof while they were putting it on. Nope. Never anything like that.

Fish Hatchery Workers

No fancy hotels for these boys!

They got hired by the state to raise fish in these tanks. Pay wasn’t too good but they learned a trade. I went to that hatchery once. I still remember their names. That was Willie on the left. He’s sorting fish eggs. That is Luther siphoning water into the wooden half-barrel. Hector, who is kneeling, and Joe, who is sitting, are catching any fry that came through the hose. That is Ralph sitting by the canoe paddle.

Ralph is very good at sitting. He practices all the time.

That was a comparison of the “city sports” to the workers, except for Ralph, who put the fish in the lakes for those fancy fella’s.

Hotel Champlain

And finally this is Hotel Champlain. I never saw this in person and hope I never do. It is the reason that the Adirondacks was opened up to all these people. It was a gateway for all those people from Burlington and Boston.


But they never would have come here had it not been for these fellows. They were laying out the pathway for the Adirondack Railroad.

Look at the fancy tools these fellows used. They looked through telescopes on three legs. Another guy had to run into the woods. I only saw them do this a few times but it was really funny.

One guy would look in his telescope and yell something. Then the guy in the woods would yell back. This would repeat itself a few times. Then, invariably, the guy in the woods would shout a few ill-mannered oaths. The telescope fellow would scratch his head and think for awhile. Then a little more shouting back and forth would occur. Finally the telescope fellow would write something down in his book and the man in the woods would put a colored stake in the ground.

Sometimes in the summer, they would have a bunch of kids from a place called Cornell come up here to join them. The kids were studying some kind of engineering. I think they called it Civil Engineering.

It wasn’t too civil with all that swearing going on.

Tahawas and Tomosky c