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E.R. Wallace – – – he is a hoot! His book on the Adirondacks, no matter what edition, are full of facts, figures, wood cut prints, literary descriptions and everything that an Adirondack aficionado could dream of.
It seems to me that we should have met. With all the time he must have spent in the Adirondacks I can not imagine how we could not have. But then you have to consider “The Wallace Brigade.” Maybe that is why I never saw Wallace himself.
The Wallace Brigade is a group of folks who were assigned to pick up information on the Adirondacks as they ran across it.
One man was assigned to record the distances and times for various portages that he experienced on his canoe trips. He cheated. He not only recorded his but also asked other canoers for their information on carry distances and times. What a cribber.
Another brigade member was asked to gather all the information she could on hotels, lodges and camps. The information included number of rooms, amenities, prices and meal offerings.
One member was assigned to railroad stations, stagecoach lines, buckboard companies and any other transport that Wallace could think of. He recorded timetables, distances and comforts.
So Wallace was building an encyclopedia on the Adirondacks. That just didn’t seem right to me. Look right here – – – here is a sample of the tedia that Wallace wasted ink on.
Wallace aimed at the small targets as well as the large ones when it came to transportation.
Wallace did not allow the reader to make judgement on his books by himself. Wallace gave the reader a little hint as to how useful his books may be. This was especially true for “the cultivated and intelligent tourist.”
So there you have it. The Adirondacks, not the North Woods as we “sordid trappers and hunters” have called it for over one hundred years, is to be the discovered by the well-to-do coming over here from Europe.
But why would Wallace go to all that trouble to inform the uninformed of things that he was not intimate with?
I found the answer hidden in the back of the book amongst other advertisements.
So Wallace is a land speculator. And he needs a way in which to make people want to buy his land. If it was so valuable, to wit; “Quadruple their investment” why is he offering it to others?
That Wallace; he is a hoot!