Part Three:
‘Tahawus Club, 1898-1933,’
    by Arthur H. Masten
           (1935)
The author, with apologies
The author and his partner “goin’ fishin’ ”
Foreword
     More than two years ago112 I was requested by several members of the Tahawus Club
to write a history of that...
The McIntyre Iron Works
     The late Diedrich Knickerbocker, the greatest by far of all historians, began his
“History of...
prices. The details of these activities required voluminous correspondence and much
bookkeeping. Scattered through this do...
McIntyre letters
                                                                    Albany, February 25, 1847
    Dear Si...
The dam was completely wrecked in a flood which occurred in 1856115 and no vestige
of it remains except a pile of stone th...
passed to the north of Trout and Perch Ponds. Crossing the Hudson below the outlet of Fast
River, it went on over Guide Bo...
Porteous evidently replied with some different suggestions, to which Mr. McIntyre
acceded, writing October 11: “Your plan ...
Improvements at the Upper Works
    Notwithstanding all the dam and building activities in 1847 at Tahawus, the village at...
paint left for forge & Snyder House ................................................................. 1.00
7 ps. Paper 23¢...
Sawmill at Upper Works




         168
Odds and ends
                                           1840 – 1852

Discovery of Cheney Pond, 1840
     The discovery of...
Boarding house tales, 1843

                                     SUGGESTIONS FOR MISS YATES
          1843
          April...
I was very sorry to hear you had left Adirondac and so were all the people at
        Pendleton (Newcomb). I could not bel...
The writer was Robert Clarke of Cincinnati, a young relative of David Henderson, who
succeeded Andrew Porteous as superint...
Lake Henderson, half a mile above the village, and Lake Sandford, the same distance
below, were once swarming with lake tr...
severe and fishing through the ice such a common employment, that we have unusual
      facilities in observing this pheno...
once here and has left a few of his dams across some of the small brooks, but he is gone
now.
   I might continue and tell...
Lower Works in the 1890s
  Showing the old well




          176
Buildings at Lower Works
     In 1853 negotiations were opened for the sale of the entire property to Benjamin C.
Butler a...
Club superintendents (AHM’s original photos)
     TOP: Myron Buttles (L), David Hunter (R), in the 1880s and ’90s
BOTTOM: ...
Preston Ponds Club
                                 Adirondack Club
     For some years after the closing of the works the...
These changes were approved with a few minor alterations and amendments and the
proposed change of name to Adirondack Club...
Your committee would report that during the past year their efforts to preserve the
fishing and hunting upon the tract lea...
whatever. The land locked salmon will be put into the lower still waters of the streams
      flowing into Lake Henderson....
recommending the club to make an appropriation from the Treasury for the purpose of
       realizing as large results as p...
dwelling of importance to be erected in the village, and before Robert Hunter’s tenancy had
been used by the original prop...
My cottage, known as “Gabbro,” on the hill west of the barn, was built in 1905,
destroyed by fire in 1926, and rebuilt in ...
Sports costumes in the 1880s




            186
An evening’s entertainment
(from AHM’s proof files for “Tahawus Club, 1898-1933)




                         187
Church of Tubal-Cain and school house




                 188
Club register
                                   Fish stocking
                                 Treasurer’s report
     Th...
point on the river at the head of Lake Sanford, a boat house large enough to hold six boats.
It was ordered also that “a d...
Fish Hatching Expenses....... 1881......... 159.16
        Work on Road ...................... 1880......... 328.00
      ...
Some of the old time guides (AHM’s original photos)
TOP (L to R): Ack Thomas, Henry Thilo, Ira Proctor
  BOTTOM: Eddie Dim...
Scranton visit
     In August 1888, Messrs. William H. Scranton, a mining engineer, and his assistant,
Sebenius,126 visite...
Annals of the Deserted Village (Part 2)
Annals of the Deserted Village (Part 2)
Annals of the Deserted Village (Part 2)
Annals of the Deserted Village (Part 2)
Annals of the Deserted Village (Part 2)
Annals of the Deserted Village (Part 2)
Annals of the Deserted Village (Part 2)
Annals of the Deserted Village (Part 2)
Annals of the Deserted Village (Part 2)
Annals of the Deserted Village (Part 2)
Annals of the Deserted Village (Part 2)
Annals of the Deserted Village (Part 2)
Annals of the Deserted Village (Part 2)
Annals of the Deserted Village (Part 2)
Annals of the Deserted Village (Part 2)
Annals of the Deserted Village (Part 2)
Annals of the Deserted Village (Part 2)
Annals of the Deserted Village (Part 2)
Annals of the Deserted Village (Part 2)
Annals of the Deserted Village (Part 2)
Annals of the Deserted Village (Part 2)
Annals of the Deserted Village (Part 2)
Annals of the Deserted Village (Part 2)
Annals of the Deserted Village (Part 2)
Annals of the Deserted Village (Part 2)
Annals of the Deserted Village (Part 2)
Annals of the Deserted Village (Part 2)
Annals of the Deserted Village (Part 2)
Annals of the Deserted Village (Part 2)
Annals of the Deserted Village (Part 2)
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Annals of the Deserted Village (Part 2)

3,271 views

Published on

ANNALS contains all of the important 20th century summaries, surveys and studies of the McIntyre iron settlement and the old Tahawus Club colony in Newcomb township, Essex County, New York. PART TWO contains Arthur Masten's "Tahawus Club, 1898-1933" (with original photos).

Published in: Education, Technology
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
3,271
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
7
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
23
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Annals of the Deserted Village (Part 2)

  1. 1. Part Three: ‘Tahawus Club, 1898-1933,’ by Arthur H. Masten (1935)
  2. 2. The author, with apologies
  3. 3. The author and his partner “goin’ fishin’ ”
  4. 4. Foreword More than two years ago112 I was requested by several members of the Tahawus Club to write a history of that organization and its predecessors. The immediate occasion of this flattering suggestion was, I believe, the transmogrifications of the Club into the creation known as Tahawus Purchase Inc. In a weak moment I consented to do the job, little realizing what it would entail. There seemed to be plenty of what we historians call “source material.” I had just acquired a bundle of letters, receipted bills and miscellaneous documents, more than five hundred in number, found among the effects of Andrew Porteous of Glens Falls, who had been superintendent of the iron works from about 1839 to 1850. They looked promising at first glance, and no self-respecting historian would forbear a careful examination of the entire package in constant hope of discovering some priceless nugget of history. Too often were these labors rewarded by a discovery no more important than the fact, for example, that the Club’s predecessor in title considered the tax officials of Newcomb “a parcel of idle and unjust officers.” Another disappointment arose from the mysterious disappearance of the Club’s minutes for the entire period between 1884 and 1921. Doubtless they were dull enough reading, but every presumption must be to the contrary under the maxim omne ignotum pro magnifico. The imagination runs riot as to the interesting character of these missing records. They might, for instance, have disclosed the name of the talented artist who frescoed the dining room walls and ceilings, or the names of the committee who ordered his work painted out, leaving the Club no remedy but palimpsest. But history is not to be based on riotous imaginings. I have done the best I could with the material at hand. The gentlemen at whose instance the work was undertaken must accept it as it is, a sort of hodge-podge, olla- podrida, omnium-gatherum, potpourri, or, in the vernacular, historical hash. They will find it abounding in trivialities, but it must be remembered that no less an authority than Lord Macaulay said that he would “cheerfully bear the reproach of having descended below the level of history.” ARTHUR H. MASTEN 112 LM: Written in 1935. 159
  5. 5. The McIntyre Iron Works The late Diedrich Knickerbocker, the greatest by far of all historians, began his “History of New Amsterdam,” it will be remembered, by a description of the world. Following this he set forth a number of theories by which the creation of a world is shown to be no such difficult matter as common folk would imagine. On a principle somewhat analogous I propose to write the History of the Tahawus Club by beginning at a time some seventy-odd years before that club was organized. The reader may be surprised and impatient at finding himself introduced to descriptions of the early days of the iron works and the troubles of the proprietors, but he may be equally surprised to find how closely they are interwoven with scenes and objects familiar to him as a member of the Tahawus Club. The tract of which the property long occupied by the Club forms a part was for many years owned by the Adirondack Iron and Steel Co. and its predecessors. Their title was derived from the original owners, Archibald McIntyre, Duncan McMartin Jr., and David Henderson. They discovered the ore beds in the locality now known as the Upper Works in 1826, and proceeded as rapidly as possible to acquire title to the surrounding territory until in the end their holdings were considerably over 100,000 acres. They began at once the development of the property by the construction of roads and buildings, and within a few years were making iron and steel in very small quantities and by primitive methods. A forge and charcoal were used in smelting the ore. Their product was of excellent quality, however, and was so favorably received by the trade as to encourage their further efforts. The first blast furnace, built in 1838, was located near the head of the village street, a short distance north of where the building now known as the Ferris cottage stands. Andrew Porteous, to whom most of the letters hereafter quoted were addressed, was made superintendent of the works and continued to act as such until 1850. It was not long before another furnace was in contemplation, entailing the construction of new dams for developing additional water power. It was while on a trip to investigate a proposed dam site that Mr. Henderson was accidentally shot at Calamity Pond on September 3, 1845. But the plans for further development were not checked by this catastrophe. Neither Mr. McIntyre nor the Robertsons (who had succeeded to Judge McMartin’s interest after the latter’s death in 1837) had practical knowledge of the iron business. Yet with more courage than discretion they undertook to carry on the enterprise as planned. The correspondence of the years 1847 and 1848 shows the construction of a steel plant in progress at the Lower Works, with the necessary buildings and appurtenances. The brunt of financing and directing this enterprise fell on Mr. McIntyre, as he lived in Albany while the Robertsons lived in Philadelphia — too remote for active participation in the work. Although then an old man in somewhat delicate health, he was forced to take up the business in all its details, except the actual manufacturing. He bought, on requisition from Porteous, all needed farm and food supplies, besides many articles required in furnace operation. He also attended to the shipment of these goods by canal boat from Albany to Cedar Point on Lake Champlain, and made contracts for hauling them in to the works by team. As the season for navigation was short, it was necessary to contract for the supplies far in advance and follow the markets closely to take advantage of the most advantageous 160
  6. 6. prices. The details of these activities required voluminous correspondence and much bookkeeping. Scattered through this documentary waste are occasional disconnected references to matters affecting the property afterwards owned or controlled by the Tahawus Club. The village at the Upper Works was named McIntyre in honor of the head of the iron enterprise, and it was so called from 1833 to 1848. It was then made a post office under the name of Adirondac. The first postmaster was Andrew Porteous, the superintendent of the works. So far as discovered, he had no successor as postmaster after his connection with the property ceased in 1850. The name Tahawus as applied to the Lower Works was suggested by one Pickslay, an English steel manufacturer, who came over in 1847 to examine and test the ores. Mr. Henderson (the younger) wrote Porteous, January 13, 1847:113 “Mr. P. brought out with him about five cwt of cast steel made from our bar iron and plate metal, and it is certainly very pleasing to find it is of such good quality, having stood the severest tests to which cast steel is put without failing in any one instance.” Mr. McIntyre wrote Porteous, May 12, 1847: “The dam will, I know, be a very expensive one and it will be well to keep the expense as low as may be and yet, I hope, you will be very careful not to have any part of the work slighted. I hope you will spend as much time as you can at ‘Tahawus,’ the name given by Pickslay to the Steel Works village.” 114 Mr. McIntyre’s letters give us an idea of the extent of the development then in contemplation at the Lower Works. 113 The David Henderson whose name appears in letters written subsequent to 1845 was a nephew of David Henderson, one of the original proprietors, who was shot at Calamity Pond in that year. 114 Tahawus was made a post office in May 1873, with John Cheney as postmaster. He was succeeded in October 1874 by Washington Chase, who in turn was followed by David Hunter, Mrs. Hunter and Michael Breen. TAHAWUS CLUB, 1898-1933 161
  7. 7. McIntyre letters Albany, February 25, 1847 Dear Sir If anything is to be done this winter to expedite for the next season the mass of work of various kinds to be done about the site of the steel works it ought no longer to be delayed. ... Mr. Robertson suggests in a letter lately received, that it would be best to have the saw mill and steel works on opposite sides of the river. I agree fully with him in this; and as a bridge must of necessity be built over the river at any rate, no inconvenience can arise from such an arrangement. ... I hope to hear very soon, and perhaps before I close this, that you have visited the falls, and that I shall have your opinion of that water power, and the length, height and probable cost of the dam, as also the character of the land in the vicinity for the works, for a village and for farming. Will it not be necessary where so many men are to be employed, to have one or two women employed to cook and wash for them? If so, a building for their comfort and accommodation must be provided. But this and all other necessary matters we must leave to your judgment. I judge that a quantity of provisions, blankets, etc., must be sent from here. When you can form an opinion of what will be required, let me know. By the last steamer, it appears, that provisions have materially fallen in England in price. After writing this far I received your letter of the 20th and I am really glad to find that you have visited the falls for the site of the intended steel works, which has enabled you to form some opinion of their sufficiency, and of the land and timber in the vicinity. If the falls you visited will answer the object I am of opinion we ought not to go to, and make use of the falls still lower down the river, which Cheney informed you of. This is the first time I ever heard of these lower falls. Even should the lower falls be good, if not absolutely necessary, they ought to be avoided, because of the material increase of the distance from the iron to the steel works, and because also of the increase of the distance to Lake Champlain. The river, you know turns to the west thereabouts, and two miles (the distance Cheney says it is to the lower falls) would carry you to the westerly line of To. 46 if not into the Hyslop Patent. ... I am of the opinion that it will be of the first importance, besides clearing a spot for the steel works and village, that at least 50 acres ought to be cleared to produce vegetables for the workmen in 1848 and food for some animals. If a large portion of such land were sown with oats in the spring of 1848 and seeded down with grass, and the residue sown with turnip seed and planted with potatoes, you will readily see how valuable it would prove to the people. ... Yours sincerely, A. MCINTYRE. Albany, March 8, 1847 Dear Sir, I have just recd. your letter of the 3rd and I feel sincerely gratified in observing how vigorously and determinedly you are pushing forward operations about the site of the Steel Works. You say you can have a dam of 17 feet high. That is much higher than I had supposed could have been had there. But the dam must be very long, it seems, 600 feet you say. I fear, when 17 feet of water are raised, that a large quantity of low land must be overflowed, and I would therefore advise that before the dam shall be raised, all the land that may be overflowed be thoroughly cleared. We ought never again to suffer such disagreeable and injurious consequences as we have already experienced in the overflowing of the low lands about Lake Henderson. 162
  8. 8. The dam was completely wrecked in a flood which occurred in 1856115 and no vestige of it remains except a pile of stone that may be seen in the bushes on the west side of the river, a short distance above the bridge crossing the Hudson at the Lower Works. Albany, June 1, 1847 Dear Sir, I recd. yesterday your letter of the 26th ulto. Had you known that Mr. Henderson intends to be with you next week with money ($2,000 which he proposes to take with him) you would not probably have drawn the draught of which you give me notice in your letter before me, but as it has been made it must be met. I am expecting daily one of Frost’s Boats. When it comes I will send by it to you 35 barrels mess Pork and 20 barrels best Genesee flour. I am very glad to hear that boating can be done between Adirondac and Tahawus. This will be a great convenience, and cheapen the transportation between the two places. The improvement of new land at both places is important, and I am glad you have ordered it done. Yours sincerely, A. MCINTYRE. Mr. Andrew Porteous. This slack water navigation is frequently referred to in the correspondence. It is described at length in “The Story of Adirondac.” Albany, Jane 14, 1847 Dear Sir, It is very important to us that Mr. Judd has engaged so to lay out the Carthage Road as to accommodate the lime bed and Tahawus. It will, no doubt, be a great gain and accommodation the making of a road as you suggest from the guide post, through good coaling land, to Tahawus direct, than to continue on the old circuitous road through bad land, and I hope this will be done with as little delay as possible. If by the employment of additional hands the low land above Tahawus which will be overflowed when the dam is raised, can all, if possible, first be cleared of all its wood it will be very desirable. If not done, it will be a disagreeable and injurious nuisance. I regret much that as yet you have found no clay at Tahawus. The search must be continued until clay shall be found, whether near or at some distance from the place. Nothing can be done without Brick, and to have what will be wanted hauled from Adirondac would be very tedious and expensive, and must be avoided. I rejoice to learn that the iron making business is doing well in all the departments. May it long continue to do so. I regret to learn of the injury sustained by one of the hands about the dam; but such accidents will happen and cannot always be avoided. Yours sincerely, A. MCINTYRE. Mr. Andrew Porteous. The Carthage Road (called by the inhabitants Cartage Road) was for several years under construction. It was laid out to run from Cedar Point on Lake Champlain to Carthage in Jefferson County. Coming westward by Clear Pond, which was north of Blue Ridge, it 115 LM: According to Seely, the flood occurred in 1857. See the note at the front. TAHAWUS CLUB, 1898-1933 163
  9. 9. passed to the north of Trout and Perch Ponds. Crossing the Hudson below the outlet of Fast River, it went on over Guide Board Hill to Newcomb Farm and beyond.116 The books of the company, which were stored for many years at the Upper Works, were destroyed by fire in 1926. Unfortunately there is nothing to show even approximately what the total expenditures were for the iron works development. That they were considered heavy, even in those days, is evident. Albany, Septr. 21, 1847 Dear Sir, I have just recd. your letter of the 14th as also, at the same time, yours of the 16th. I had no idea of your being in immediate want of either flour or pork, or I would have sent by the last of Frost’s Boats. I expect the Boat that took the last articles to be back in a day or two, when I will send 10 barrels pork, being all that I ordered, and which must answer until sleighing. But of flour I will send 50 barrels, altho it must soon be cheaper. The flour for next year I will send by Wilson & Calkins’ Boats when they call; they ought to apprise me beforehand when they will be down, and where they can be found. But the pork for next year, as it must go by sleighing, I will engage safe men here to take it, by one of whom, I must, no doubt, entrust the carrying of money. The draught for $1200, of which you give me notice shall be met. But I really cannot help expressing my surprise that such enormous sums are required. I took you $2000, you drew 1st $1500, then $1200 and now $1200 more, nearly $4000 in about 6 or 7 weeks. Mr. Henderson will be with you pretty early in October, I hope, but how early I cannot yet say. I have no time to notice the various matters you notice, and must leave all for yourself and Mr. Henderson to think about and manage. I must say, however, that I cannot approve of your suggestion about a wooden R.R. But I now advise that you make immediate arrangement for putting your house in a more safe condition as to its windows & doors; all ought to have substantial fastenings, and the windows ought to have shutters. I advise also that preparation be made for fixing, either in the North or South room, a counter & desk, behind which you can have your strong box, pay money, keep accts., &c. Yours sincerely, A. MCINTYRE. Mr. Andrew Porteous. On September 2, 1847, Mr. McIntyre, who had recently returned to Albany from a trip to the works, wrote Porteous regarding a shipment of fire brick: “I will add to them an excellent old-fashioned wrought iron chest as also a bundle of articles for Mrs. Porteous bought at her request soon after our return. The prospect of a good navigation when the Tahawus dam shall be completed is quite encouraging.” A week later he wrote: “I have this day shipped for you by the canal boat J. Frost, Captn. Cleaveland, 1 wrought iron chest. ... The key of the iron chest will be sent to you by Mr. Henderson.” This is the chest now in my possession at “Gabbro.” Under date of September 21, 1847, Mr. McIntyre wrote: “I advise also that preparation be made for fixing either in the North or South room, a counter and desk behind which you can have your strong box, pay money, keep accounts &c.” 116 “The Story of Adirondac,” pages 34 and 35. [ADV 60-61] 164 ANNALS OF THE DESERTED VILLAGE
  10. 10. Porteous evidently replied with some different suggestions, to which Mr. McIntyre acceded, writing October 11: “Your plan for the safety of the Bank is no doubt the best. The counter, desk &c. may be prepared and set up at once, if you choose, or all may be merely prepared and be set up after Mr. Henderson’s arrival.” What became of the counter nowhere appears. The desk was probably the one now in the club room in the Upper Works Club House. The operations at Tahawus were first described as the “lower works” in the following letter from Mr. McIntyre dated February 22, 1848. He said: The clay you speak of, found near Tahawus must, from the character you give of it, be Kaolin. It would be a pity to waste this in making common brick and, therefore, I hope the other bed of a more common clay, seen by you, will be made to answer for bricks at the lower works. … There are so many projects now on foot about roads, that we had better look on for a few weeks before determining on any route. Let us reserve ourselves for that which we shall find to our greatest advantage. A gentleman from Schroon called on me a few days ago (name not known) stating that as a plank road would certainly be made from Glens Falls to Caldwell, and thence to Warrensburgh, the people of the Schroon Country & Warrensburgh were determined, if possible, to make one from Warrensburgh to the foot of Schroon Lake, and from the head of the Lake, in as direct a line as possible, to Tahawus (the latter of course to interest and engage us in the plan). He said the distance from the head of the Schroon to Tahawus was less than from Tahawus to Root’s. They are to have a great meeting at Chester, on Thursday, when I am to be informed what they propose doing, &c. What think you of this enterprise? … I am glad you thought of stocking Lake Sanford with Pickerel. If they do well there, it will be very pleasing, altho they may never yield such profitable results as you seem to anticipate. The lake being wholly our own we have the legal right now to prevent others from fishing in it, but it would, I think, be rather an impracticable task to prevent trespasses of this sort. To do so, would be considered an act of tyranny and an infringement of natural rights of our people in this land of liberty, where morals are not always regarded very scrupulously. This letter is also interesting as corroborating the date when pickerel were first placed in Lake Sanford as given in Robert Clarke’s letter. TAHAWUS CLUB, 1898-1933 165
  11. 11. Improvements at the Upper Works Notwithstanding all the dam and building activities in 1847 at Tahawus, the village at the Upper Works was not neglected. A new boarding house (now the Club House) was built in that year. A set of draft specifications “for labour only” has been preserved. They provide as follows: “The main house will be 50 x 37 feet. The Kitchen will be 22 x 18 ft. For height of stories see elevation x x x Put up the stairs where shown on the plan x x x The principal stair will have 2½ round rail 6 in. turned newel and 1½ in. fancy turned ballusters of St. Domingo mahogany put up and stayed in the best manner.” Opposite the words San Domingo mahogany is a question mark, and the word walnut is written, showing true Scotch thrift. The following receipted bill for painting gives a good idea of what the village consisted of at that time, although the boarding house, schoolhouse and barns are the only buildings that can be identified. It is likely that the house described as occupied by Porteous is the one afterwards occupied by Robert Hunter when in charge of the property.117 Adirondac, Septr. 16, 1847 Messrs. McIntyre, Henderson & Robertson a/c John W. Chase Dr. To painting 3 coats on Boarding House ......................................................$98.67 3 coats on School House ......................................................................27.92 1 coat on Store ......................................................................................27.00 2 coats on 3 houses $22.54 each .........................................................67.62 2 coats on House opposite Old Blacks. Shop. ......................................22.00 To expenses in part coming in.......................................................................10.00 The above by contract ...............................................................................$253.21 To painting inside Cheney house ..................................................................$4.66 Beedy house..........................................................................................10.19 Snyder house ........................................................................................10.46 House opposite old B.S. ........................................................................12.32 Kellog house............................................................................................8.32 Andrew Porteous house ........................................................................32.70 School house.........................................................................................18.28 Store ........................................................................................................7.13 Boarding house .....................................................................................80.22 Outside Sargent house..........................................................................28.00 Outside old Boarding House .................................................................26.00 Wood shack to Boarding House............................................................23.00 A.P. House outside................................................................................32.00 2 extra coats on Store ...........................................................................28.00 2 Barns ..................................................................................................35.00 1 Gallon Varnish ..............................................................................................2.63 painting 360 light sash.....................................................................................3.60 22½ pound paint to Forge & Furnace..............................................................2.25 224 pound light lead returned........................................................................17.92 117 LM: Now known as the MacNaughton Cottage. 166
  12. 12. paint left for forge & Snyder House ................................................................. 1.00 7 ps. Paper 23¢ each ...................................................................................... 1.61 638.50 paint & painting Boats ..................................................................................... 4.86 $643.36 th Received payment in full of the above this Septr. 16 1847. JOHN W. CHASE TAHAWUS CLUB, 1898-1933 167
  13. 13. Sawmill at Upper Works 168
  14. 14. Odds and ends 1840 – 1852 Discovery of Cheney Pond, 1840 The discovery of Cheney Pond and the adjacent ore bed was chronicled in the following letter from Porteous to Mr. McIntyre: Dear Sir, … Mr. Ninget has been employed in the mine and blacksmith shop until last night. He is the bearer of this along with a few samples of minerals got in and around a new ore bed discovered by John Cheney betwixt Lake Sanford and Newcomb Farms in the woods amongst beautiful hardwood timber and close by a fine little lake well situated for building a dam, about fourteen feet high. The minerals around there I think differ from the minerals of the country generally. Mr. Ninget went with John and myself one day and put in a blast. He has small samples of the ore and some of the other minerals but I think there is some differs from what he has with him, but John was obliged to go to his traps so that we could not get the others in time to send at present. I expect to have some cord wood chopped this fall at 45c per cord. The “fine little lake” was of no particular use until many years later when the beaver were reintroduced by Dr. Seward Webb on his property at Nehasane and spread throughout the Adirondack country. They built a dam at the outlet, which raised the water approximately to its present height. My grandson, Arthur Crocker, fishing in Lake Harkness one day with Henry Thilo when the trout were rising freely, carried over a number of them in tin pails and placed them in Cheney Pond. This was the first stocking of the pond so far as known. For some years none were taken there except with bait. The fishing in that pond has always been fickle, but under favorable conditions many a good day’s sport has been enjoyed as a result of more or less regular stocking. Ice house, 1847 Mr. McIntyre wrote Porteous, July 10, 1847: “As you are, I understand, about building an ice house I enclose directions cut from a newspaper which I consider good.” Notwithstanding the high character of the newspaper, the ice house could not be expected to last forever, and we accordingly find the Tahawus Club, in February 1924, building a new one to cost $1,500. The Newcomb assessors, 1841 McIntyre to Porteous February 10, 1841 Dear Sir, Mr. Pendleton wrote to me some time ago about the taxes on his lands in Newcomb. I wrote him, intimating my apprehensions and belief … of the Pendleton folks, and that I knew of nothing that could be done, except to watch the proceedings of those people, when they made their assessments, and to prevent them if practicable, from raising too much money, and to see, that whatever may be raised, shall be faithfully applied to benefit the property and the country, and not to go to the pockets of a parcel of idle and unjust officers. 169
  15. 15. Boarding house tales, 1843 SUGGESTIONS FOR MISS YATES 1843 April 18th Terms agreed upon betwixt A. Porteous and Fitch Magoon for boarding hands employed in Adirondack, F. Magoon is to have the use of house with what articles are in it anything or articles wanting he is to find himself, he is to have pork for $16.00 per barrel flour for 8 dollars tea 6/6 and 8/6 molasses 56 cents potatoes 2/ per bushel peper 14d Saleratus 1/ — Corn 9 shillings per bushel Rye 6 shillings per bushel and pasture for his cow and the use of one cow belonging to Company, he is to fix the ground behind old barn for potatoes and to have the half of what is raised on the garden at the south end of boarding house he doing the labour on his own time and A. Porteous finding the seed, he is to have one dollar per day for his work and find himself on farm or wherever employed and salt mutton for 4 cents per 16 and fresh mutton for 2 dollars per head, And he is to board the hands for 18 shillings per week and only giving in the meals taken, Meals to be given 6 o’clock for breakfast, 12 or 1/2 past for dinner and supper after sun down. AND. W. PORTEOUS. Although nothing is said about venison in this contract, there is no doubt that it formed a substantial part of the boarding house diet. John Cheney was described as “Hunter” on the company’s payroll. There were no game laws worth mentioning in his time and when he hunted it was to some purpose. At the age of forty-seven, some twenty years before he had stopped hunting, he had killed 600 deer. Concerning the demon rum In 1845 Joseph Frost, the forwarder, billed to Porteous, in addition to numerous articles of dry goods, the following wet goods: 5 gals. Hollon (sic) gin at $1.45..........................................................$7.25 1 Dimagon (sic) .......................................................................................75 3 gals. port wine at 10/6........................................................................5.25 In 1848 Smith S Wood of Troy billed to Porteous: 1 Keg 10/ 10 gals. St. Croix Rum .....................................................$11.25 1 Keg 8/ 6 gals. Cognac Brandy .........................................................15.25 On December 14, 1850, Porteous, in a bill dated at Glens Falls, bills to William Helms, among a lot of miscellaneous goods, the following: 5 gals. brandy ...................................................................................$11.25 2 gals. whiskey .....................................................................................1.38 1 keg for liquor .....................................................................................2.00 1 jug for whiskey ..................................................................................1.00 On October 30, 1850, Helms wrote to Porteous: You will please let me know how you intend to manage your business with me concerning our trade if you think it best to continue our trading. I shall need some more goods soon. … 170 ANNALS OF THE DESERTED VILLAGE
  16. 16. I was very sorry to hear you had left Adirondac and so were all the people at Pendleton (Newcomb). I could not believe you had gone when I heard it. You will please write as soon as you receive this and oblige your friend.” Various questions are suggested by the foregoing statistics. They are not easy to correlate. For example, was Helms boot legging for Porteous, or vice versa? Was the liquor consumed at the iron works, or at Newcomb? Does it follow, because its records are silent on the subject, that the Tahawus Club consumed any less liquor per annum, per stirpes, per capita, or per pocula, than the other persons or corporations involved? Finally, is any useful purpose to be subserved by pursuing this inquiry further? Concerning tuyeres, 1847 Few of the members of the Purchase Inc. know what these articles are, but most of them have in their cottages several pairs which are used as andirons. They came from the old furnace and were part of its ventilating apparatus. Any member of the Purchase Inc., whose conscience may trouble him, is hereby advised that the tuyères were purchased in 1847 by the Iron Company from the Crown Point Iron Company and cost $3 each. Wedding bells at Upper Works, 1848 There is something in the atmosphere and romantic surroundings of Tahawus that is conducive to hymeneal activity, and this has been so, apparently, from the earliest days. I recall one engagement that was announced at the De Forest open camp on Lake Sanford, and three or four others, addresses not given. At least a dozen newlyweds have come to Tahawus for their honeymoon within my recollection. Richard Henry Dana, visiting the Upper Works in 1849, speaks of the agent (Porteous) as being a justice of the peace who “had actually married a couple.” That he had no monopoly of the business appears from the following certificate: State of New York County of Essex Town of Newcomb I Daniel Bissell a justice of the peace of the said County do hereby certify that a Marriage was by me Solemnized in due form of Law between Oliver Harvey and Cordelia Leaves at Adirondac in Said County and town on the 15th day of October 1848. Newcomb Oct. 15th 1848 Daniel Bissell Justice of Peace. The foregoing disjecta membra may perhaps be regarded as “below the level of history.” But they are more than counteracted by an admirable letter written in 1852 by a bright young man who spent a long cold winter at the Upper Works. So far as known it has never before been printed except in “The Story of Adirondac,” which is out of print and, therefore, not generally accessible.118 It gives a more graphic picture of life at the Upper Works than any other document that has come down to us, and is especially valuable because of its account of the fauna and flora of the region. 118 LM: The letter which appears here is also included, in its entirety, in “The Story of Adirondac” (ADV 106-110). TAHAWUS CLUB, 1898-1933 171
  17. 17. The writer was Robert Clarke of Cincinnati, a young relative of David Henderson, who succeeded Andrew Porteous as superintendent of the works in 1852. Adirondac Iron Works Essex Co., New York March 15, 1852 To the Members of The Western Academy of Natl. Sciences, Gentlemen: This is Monday evening and many a Monday evening do I think of you and wish I could spend it among you, but my lot is cast for a time here in this wilderness of woods and snows and I must abide contentedly in the hope of “a good time coming.” If I cannot be with you bodily, however, thanks to Rowland Hill, I can send my representative in the shape of these few lines, which I trust will not be unwelcome to my old Academician friends, even if they are not very scientific. A life in the backwoods is just like a life anywhere else “all over in spots”; has its advantages and its disadvantages; its merry times and its gloomy times; its summers and its winters. The greatest advantage here, however, is the climate, which is extremely healthy, owing, in part, to our altitude; the Village stands in a little north-and-south valley in the Adirondac Mountains at an elevation of 1750 feet above tide water. Summer is here a delightful season, mild and pleasant. The thermometer is seldom higher than 80° and very rarely above 90°. In July and August, the warmest months, there are but few mornings and evenings in which a fire is at all uncomfortable; and we can never “camp out” in the woods without a big fire at our feet, which is kept up all night. On the other hand, the winters are very severe, but the air is dry, bracing and healthy, with no damp, chilly weather. I see by my Cincinnati papers and letters — most welcome messengers to me — that the winter has been unusually severe with you, as almost everywhere else. But your winter, with all your freezing descriptions of it, we would laugh at, and wish you here for a week to see you hop about in furs, moccasins and snow shoes. The only difference I can notice between this and last winter, is in its length. It commenced a couple of weeks earlier than usual and is likely to last a little longer. The first sleighing was on the 8th Novr. Since then we have not seen the ground, except where uncovered by drifting of the snow, and we don’t expect to see it until about the 8th of April, thus we will have had about one hundred and fifty days of uninterrupted sleighing. The sleighing lasted until 5th of May; thus we only lacked five days of having six months of uninterrupted sleighing. The actual amount of snow that has fallen this winter I cannot tell, but it has kept at an average depth of four feet nearly all winter. At times it would be reduced by thaws, to a foot or so, but it was immediately piled up again by fresh storms. The snow is dry and mealy, and we cannot walk off the beaten track except on snow shoes, on which we do all our hunting and strolling. The thermometer has been down to 32° below zero this winter, and I have seen weeks ° together that it would average below 16 below zero. The winter of 49/50 was a much colder winter than this one; the mercury froze and for a week it was colder than it was ever known here, even by that ancient individual “the oldest inhabitant.” That was what the folks here would call “quite a spell of weather,” which expression is applied equally to hot or cold weather provided it keeps the same for a “spell.” We have plenty of fishing here. Our trout, pickerel and perch furnish fine sport for the followers of old Isaak Walton. The trout fishing is not as good as formerly, but still a mess can be caught almost any day in most of our streams and lakes. There are two kinds, the Lake trout (Salmo confinis: DeKay) and the Brook or Spotted trout (Salmo fontinalis: DeKay); the former inhabiting the larger lakes and the latter the smaller lakes, ponds and rivers. 172 ANNALS OF THE DESERTED VILLAGE
  18. 18. Lake Henderson, half a mile above the village, and Lake Sandford, the same distance below, were once swarming with lake trout, but their spawning beds were destroyed by the construction of dams for the Works, which raised the waters of each of them some six or eight feet above the original level, and I doubt very much if they ever form new spawning beds after their old ones have been destroyed. In Lake Henderson there were only three caught last year. They were about the same size and weighed twenty-one pounds. This winter there has been seven caught in Lake Sandford through the ice, an unusual number. They were all large; the heaviest weighed thirteen and a half pounds, and the total weight of the seven was seventy-three pounds. They are indeed a delicious fish, firm fleshed and finely flavored, though I don’t think they are equal to the brook or spotted trout. These little beauties give great sport, especially when fished for with the artificial fly. But they are very capricious in their tastes; sometimes you can tickle their fancy with a worm, when they wouldn’t look at the most “killing” flies; and then again they will, at times, “rise” to the merest piece of feather when a good, fat, well conditioned worm wouldn’t move them. Their average in weight is under half a pound but they vary very much, and always in proportion with the size of the pond or stream. The largest I ever saw weighed three pounds. The pickerel came originally from Lake Champlain. They were taken thence to Schroon Lake, and doing well there, five years ago there were eighteen brought in here from the latter lake and put into Lake Sandford. They increase very rapidly and grow very large. To see the Lake Champlain pickerel and those caught in Lake Sandford now, together, you would scarcely suppose them to be the same fish, so great has been the change produced on them by the purity of the water and probably the abundance of food. Ours are not so long, lean and soft, but are shorter, thicker, firmer in flesh and more delicate in flavor. They are an excellent “game” fish in summer and require no little tact to capture them. In winter, through the ice, they act quite differently and are more easily caught. There have been upwards of five hundred caught this winter, which would average from four to five pounds each. A yearling weighs from two to four pounds and the oldest in the lake, four years, being the product of the first year’s spawn, weigh from twelve to fifteen pounds. Perch are also plenty and give good sport, though sometimes I have caught them so fast that there was no fun in it. One afternoon I went down to Lake Sandford with my aunt, cousin and a friend, bent on a pickerel, and perchance a few perch by way of a change. It was in August last and the water drawn down to its original level. We no sooner fastened our boat to a stake than we were surrounded by such a swarm of perch as I never saw before. It was needless putting out our pickerel hooks, so we rigged for perch and caught them just as fast as we could throw in our hooks and haul them out, until we were perfectly sick of it. We unhitched and rowed off fifty yards or so, threw in our pickerel lines and each of us had a bite immediately. The others pulled up and nothing but perch appeared again. I knew mine was not a perch, by the way he acted, and expected to surprise them with an awkward young pickerel which had got hold of a hook for the first time. So, laughing at their perch, I pulled up my line and lo! I had what was ten times worse, a big bull-pout or catfish, with its infernal “squeak, squeak.” I would rather have had a snake on. We gave it up, pulled for home and reached the landing just one hour from the time we left, and had caught three hundred perch, just as much as two of us could waddle under, placed in strings across two oars. Besides these, bull-pouts are plenty enough for those who want them. Stickers in the spring come up the river from Lake Sandford to the foot of the dam in myriads, and can be speared or scooped out with a net, or even a shovel, in any quantity. When they first come up they are tolerable eating, but they soon get soft and then are not good for anything. Then, we have the minnon, horned chub, dace, punkin seed and other small fish. Eels have also been caught, but none since I came here. There is a curious fact connected with fish, which is generally doubted, even by scientific men. I refer to their resuscitation after having been frozen. Our winters are so TAHAWUS CLUB, 1898-1933 173
  19. 19. severe and fishing through the ice such a common employment, that we have unusual facilities in observing this phenomenon. I may here give you the substance of a letter I wrote to the Editor of the “Scientific American” (in answer to an enquiry on this subject) which was published in the number of that paper for the 21st of February, as it will illustrate this point as well as anything else I can write. I have witnessed it repeatedly in the trout, pickerel and perch and have no doubt but that all other fresh water fish are affected in the same way. It is not every frozen fish, however, that will revive on being thawed out but only those that have been frozen under certain circumstances. If, for instance, after having been frozen, as I have described, is known to every one here who is in the habit of fishing in winter and cannot escape notice as the weather is cold enough almost all the time to freeze them and they have to be thawed out before they can be cleaned. I have heard some say that they have taken trout when frozen and whittled their fins and tail off, and on being thawed, found them alive, but I have never tried this nor any other experiment with them and would not vouch for its truth. Before leaving the water, I must mention our fresh water shells. I have often looked for them but never found any till last fall when on a little island in Lake Sandford. I obtained two species, the Unio purpureus and the Anadonta undulata. The shells are very thin, so different from the shells of the Ohio, showing the absence of lime in the water. This Lake is, no doubt, the highest water in the United States in which shells are found. It is 1714 feet above tide water. I have never found any fresh water uni-valves. Of the Helices I have found six, viz: Helix Alternata; H. Hirsuta; H. Interna; H. Arborea; H. Thyroides. The other is a small one, one-twelfth of an inch in diameter and the same in height, being very much elevated; it has no formed lip and the umbilicus is closed. I don’t know what it is. I think there are more here but the moss is so thick in the woods that it is difficult finding them. I have seen the remains of the H. Albolabris where fire has run over part of the woods, but have never found a live specimen. There is grand scope here too for the hunter and trapper. Deer are very plenty, and in the season we are kept pretty well supplied with fresh venison. “Once upon a time” moose were not very scarce about these “diggins,” but now they are. Though, two were killed a few days ago, by two parties, out in different directions. I never saw one but they are described as most frightful looking beasts, especially when attacked and kept at bay by the dogs. One of those caught, a bull, stood six feet eight inches, or twenty hands, high. Their color at this season is greyish black, though this one was almost black and his skin will make a beautiful sleigh robe. We feasted on his nose the other day which is considered a great delicacy by epicures, but I beg to be excused. I would rather have a piece of his ham any day. His meat is coarse grained, like beef, and has a wilder taste than venison. But it shows its good qualities best in the dried state. I have the skull of the other one, an old cow, and will clean it and put it among my crania. There was a party of Indians came in here, with their families, about eight winters ago and camped near the Boreas pond in the principle “yard” of the moose; killed all they could find and scared off the rest, which accounts in part for the scarcity. There is one trait of this singular animal which shows that he has a little foresight. Whenever there comes a thaw, they will tramp roads for miles wherever the balsam and mountain ash, on which they browse, are thickest. Thus in a few days’ thaw they can make themselves quite a large “yard,” in which they can walk at their leisure when the deep snows come, when otherwise they would find it almost impossible to move at all. There used to be panthers here and if all stories we hear of them are true, we have them around us yet. A bear or two are killed every fall. There are wolves, wolverine or lynx foxes, black cat, otter, sable, mink and some smaller animals. The beaver too were 174 ANNALS OF THE DESERTED VILLAGE
  20. 20. once here and has left a few of his dams across some of the small brooks, but he is gone now. I might continue and tell you of our birds. The eagle among the precipices, hawks, owls, jays, partridges, robins, snowbirds and the tame and pretty little crossbill who will pick crumbs from your very feet and enlivens every second winter with its cheerful chirp. And also the red-headed and black ducks, the loon or northern diver, snipe and dippers in abundance, with once in a while a great heron stalking in majesty in the shallow waters, but my few lines have been multiplied too often now and I fear I am tiring your patience. But before I close I must mention a curious botanical fact noticed elsewhere as well as here. In the woods, where there is not the least vestige of a cherry tree or raspberry bush, if the wood be cut and carried off and then the land let go to waste, it will immediately spring up with the wild cherry. But if the timber is logged and the brush and heaps burned on the land and then let go to waste, in a season it will be covered with raspberry bushes. The fruit is very fine and they cover all old deserted land that has been burned. The cherries are sour and small, but the trees are good for grafting on. The seeds of these have no doubt been latent in the soil for years, perhaps centuries, and only required the heat of the sun to develop them. They are probably remains of a former forest which stood on this same land and the seeds have probably laid deep in the soil for more than a thousand years, but why would they not rot? Would not water cause them to rot? It is true seed have been taken from an Egyptian mummy after being encased for upwards of two thousand years and then take root and reproduce, but in that case they were perfectly dry. I have given you a long screed on almost everything, and have no doubt you are heartily tired of it. I hope however, it will give you a small idea of my whereabouts and of the company with whom I enjoy myself here in my backwoods home. I shall be happy to hear from any of you personally, and will always be glad to hear of the welfare of the Academy at whose meetings I have spent many a pleasant Monday evening and I trust, not unprofitably. I remain, gentlemen, Ever truly yours, (Sd) ROBT CLARKE. TAHAWUS CLUB, 1898-1933 175
  21. 21. Lower Works in the 1890s Showing the old well 176
  22. 22. Buildings at Lower Works In 1853 negotiations were opened for the sale of the entire property to Benjamin C. Butler and associates of Luzerne. They made an initial payment but the transaction was never closed. A prospectus issued by the syndicate in 1854 recited the fact that a new blast furnace had just been completed and put in operation on August 20, 1854. The buildings at the Lower Works were described as follows: 1 Warehouse for Merchandise; Iron Warehouse; 1 Blacksmith Shop; 1 Saw Mill; 1 Large Boarding House with large Barn and Sheds; 3 Dwelling Houses for Workmen; 1 Schoolhouse; 1 Lime Kiln. The dam was stated to have cost $19,000. Very little is known of the last year of the company. In August 1856,119 unusual floods occurred which carried away not only the upper dam at Upper Works but the long dam and saw mills at Tahawus. Of all the structures not a vestige remained excepting a few fragments of the dam and the foundations of one of the buildings near the lower Club house. Mr. McIntyre lived until May 1858, but he had been for several years incapacitated for active business. The death of Mr. Robertson later in the same year left the enterprise without any responsible head. The financial panic of 1857, following the destruction of the plant, made any reorganization out of the question. The ownership was vested in numerous heirs no one of whom was in a position to assume control. They accordingly united in placing the property in the hands of Mr. James R. Thompson, a nephew of Mr. Henderson, as trustee. He administered it as trustee until his death in 1887. The guardian in charge was Robert Hunter, father of David Hunter, who had been employed as a brick maker when the works were in operation. He occupied for a number of years the double house hereafter referred to as Cocktail Hall.120 He was hired, says John Burroughs, the naturalist who visited the property in 1863, “at a dollar a day to live here and see that things were not wantonly destroyed, but allowed to go to decay properly and decently.”121 119 LM: Per Seely, October 1857. 120 LM: Now known as the MacNaughton Cottage. 121 “Wake Robin,” 2nd Edition, 1891, page 102. [TDV 203] 177
  23. 23. Club superintendents (AHM’s original photos) TOP: Myron Buttles (L), David Hunter (R), in the 1880s and ’90s BOTTOM: David Hunter (L), Michael Breen with David Hunter II (R), after 1897 178
  24. 24. Preston Ponds Club Adirondack Club For some years after the closing of the works the property remained idle excepting for occasional lumbering operations in the course of which practically all the pine timber, of which there was a considerable amount, was marketed. Mr. Thompson was in the habit of visiting the property at least once a year, sometimes more frequently, and other members of his family and their friends went up occasionally for the fishing and shooting. In February 1876, he and a few associates organized the “Preston Ponds Club,” having for its objects “the protection, increase and capture of fish and game in and about the Preston Ponds in the County of Essex, and the promotion of social intercourse among its members.” Mr. Alfred Donaldson, a most accurate historian, says that this was the first organization formed in the Adirondacks for sporting purposes (“History of the Adirondacks,” Vol. II, p. 159).122 Its first meeting was held on February 17, 1876, at the office of Francis H. Weeks, a New York lawyer, at 120 Broadway. There were present, besides Mr. Weeks, Messrs. James R. Thompson, Thomas J. Hall, George W. Folsom, William E. Pearson and Charles F. Imbrie. A constitution and by-laws were adopted and Mr. Thompson was elected president, and Mr. Pearson secretary and treasurer of the Club. Under this constitution the membership was limited to twenty-five and the annual dues were fixed at twenty dollars. The regular meetings of the Club were fixed for the first Tuesdays in March, June and November. The only other business transacted at this meeting was the adoption of a resolution authorizing the Club officials to execute a lease to the Club from James R. Thompson, agent of the Adirondac Iron & Steel Co., covering the Preston Ponds, for the term of two years from March 1, 1876, at the rate of one dollar per annum. At a meeting of the Executive Committee held on March 1, 1876, the business before the meeting was to make arrangements with Mr. John Moore of Adirondac Village, who was present, for placing the Preston Ponds under his care and supervision and attending to their proper protection. After considerable conversation it was agreed that Mr. Moore’s compensation should be $100 for his services from the present time to 1st July next. There are several indications that the organization of the Club was, for some undisclosed reason, of a temporary character. Accordingly we find that at the quarterly meeting of November 8, 1876, the question of whether Mr. Moore would be continued as guardian of the Ponds for the ensuing year was laid on the table, and the subject of procuring the whole of the Adirondac Company’s property was considered. At the next meeting, January 23, 1877, the Executive Committee reported that it was both practicable and desirable to preserve the whole property, and it was decided to examine and report what alterations and amendments in the constitution and by-laws would be necessary. 122 LM: Other historians had less favorable opinions of Donaldson; see, for instance, pages 91-95 of Mary MacKenzie’s “More from the Plains of Abraham” (http://stores.lulu.com/MaryMacKenzie). 179
  25. 25. These changes were approved with a few minor alterations and amendments and the proposed change of name to Adirondack Club was also approved, at a meeting of the Executive Committee held on February 7, 1877. At the annual meeting of the Club held on March 6, 1877, the Executive Committee was authorized to execute a lease of the whole of the Adirondac Company’s property for twenty years at the rental of $100 per annum and taxes. The change of name to Adirondack Club was authorized and provision was made for twenty members and thirty associate members. The initiation fee was fixed at $50 and the annual dues were a like amount. At a meeting held two days later, Myron Buttles was engaged as head keeper and David Hunter as assistant keeper at an annual aggregate salary of $800, of which it subsequently appeared that Buttles received $500 and Hunter $300. The pay for guides was fixed at $2 per day and the price of board at $1 a day. The sum of $150 was appropriated for repairs on the Club house at the Upper Works and it was provided that no part of said amount should be expended for any labor or time given by either of the keepers. It was resolved that the Club would lease to acceptable parties, for the term of five years, the farming land with the houses and barns thereon situated at the Lower Works, together with the farming land situated at Newcomb Farm, at a rental of $400 per annum. This iridescent dream never materialized. The secretary was instructed to notify Mr. Buttles to put up immediately a necessary hatching trough for the hatching of fish, the same to be located in the kitchen of the boarding house, as the club house at the Upper Works was then called, and a chimney was to be constructed for that building. This was the chimney in what has for many years been called the club room, on the north side of the house. The secretary was to notify John Moore that his services would no longer be required, and Buttles was instructed to take possession of the property of the Club and of the old Preston Ponds Club now in possession of Moore, “our late keeper.” Included in this property was a neat volume of 140 pages stamped in gilt “Minutes Preston Ponds Club” which came into my possession from that of the Adirondack Club’s last secretary, the late Robert H. Robertson. Thus was inaugurated, in the spring of 1877, the reign of the Buttles dynasty, which was destined to have charge of the property until Buttles’ death about twenty years later. He was an entertaining personage, with a pleasing sense of humor and an endless supply of anecdotes, some of which were more appropriate for a sportsman’s club than for a family resort. He was the keenest of sportsmen and always ready to act as guide, no matter how urgent his duties as an executive might appear. In this regard he followed the custom indigenous to the soil, “Pleasure first, business afterwards,” and the record shows that the hatching trough and chimney, which in April were to be constructed “immediately,” were in October 1877, ordered by the Executive Committee to be built “at once.” But on the whole he made a fairly good superintendent. He certainly contributed to the gaiety of the Club members, and it is to be regretted that to the present generation he can be no more than a tradition. I doubt if there are any of the Adirondack Club members now surviving who knew him, excepting Mr. John T. Terry and myself. More will be heard of Buttles later. At the opening of the season of 1878 the new Club was in full swing. The Executive Committee, at the annual meeting held March 5, presented its report which, though somewhat discursive, not to say prolix, is of such importance historically that it deserves printing in full. 180 ANNALS OF THE DESERTED VILLAGE
  26. 26. Your committee would report that during the past year their efforts to preserve the fishing and hunting upon the tract leased by the club have been attended with fair success and that no actual cases of poaching have come to their knowledge, although it is probable that some fish have been taken, and some deer killed by poachers in spite of the efforts of the keepers employed by the club to prevent such acts. Both Buttles and Hunter have thus far proved themselves in every respect satisfactory, and the club is to be congratulated in having obtained the services at the onset of two such men, who have shown themselves singularly reliable and energetic in the performance of their duties. The Club house has been much better kept than under the administration of Mr. Moore, and those of the Club who have had an opportunity to make the comparison, will probably agree that the table and general appointments show a very marked improvement over their former conditions. The old barns immediately in front of the house, which were always an eyesore as well as dangerous, have been removed, and it is proposed this spring to level off the space formerly occupied by them and seed it down with grass, thus adding very much to the out look from the house. The brick barn some hundred feet south east of the house is in good condition, and will answer all the purposes of the present establishment. The Club house itself has been put in thorough good condition during the past season, painted and renovated throughout, and the piazza enlarged and it is proposed before the opening of the sporting season, to place a chimney on the south side of the house, giving a large open fire place in the sitting room on that side, which will add greatly both to the comfort and cheerfulness of the house. The long room in the rear in which the water tank has stood has been sealed with boards and has been turned into a hatching house for trout spawn, with the necessary troughs &c. for 100,000 fry. This has been completed under the supervision of one of the men from Seth Green’s Establishment and 10,000 land locked salmon and 40,000 speckled trout have been hatched there, during the winter. It is probable however that it will be necessary to introduce water from the river, or from some other spring, than the present source of supply, as the fry have not done well, but have died in large quantities, owing it is supposed to the large amount of Iron or other mineral substances held in solution by the water. It was found last summer that fish caught in the river or Lake Henderson and placed in the large tank on the north side of the house fed from this same spring although in a perfectly healthy condition when placed there, in the course of a few days invariably languished and died, Bull pouts being apparently the only fish that survived the change of water. It would not be very expensive to make this change, as the water could be brought down through wooden pipes from the river in the neighborhood of the old furnace at small outlay. It would also be desirable to make a small pond on the other side of the river near the old dam for the purpose of receiving the fry when too large for the troughs. When taken directly from the troughs and placed in the lakes they are very apt to be devoured by the larger fish, and but a small proportion of them arrive at maturity. The idea of transferring to this proposed pond, would be that they could be taken care of there, until they attained some size, say two or three inches, and could then be placed in any of the lakes with comparatively little risk. There is a natural basin at the spot referred to, which could be very easily utilized. In April 1877 about 13,000 California Salmon were placed in Lake Henderson, and in July last one was taken in a net in the river opposite the house about four inches in length; this is the only one that was seen after June. Whether they went down stream or are still in the lake it is a matter of conjecture. The lake itself is singularly well adapted for the land locked salmon as the water in places is very deep and the streams flowing into it are of considerable size, giving them opportunities to make their spawning beds. This spring 40,000 Lake trout have been put in the same lake and it is proposed to put the brook trout fry now hatching, into Lake Harkness an affluent of Lake Henderson, in which it is supposed there are now no fish TAHAWUS CLUB, 1898-1933 181
  27. 27. whatever. The land locked salmon will be put into the lower still waters of the streams flowing into Lake Henderson. Comparatively few fish were taken from the Preston Ponds last year, owing to the smaller number of parties there and it is estimated by Mr. Buttles that not over 500 lbs. were taken during the entire season; this estimate is probably under rather than over the mark, but if it is at all accurate the fishing this year should show a marked improvement. The average quantity taken out annually before the effort to preserve the ponds was made was probably over 2,000 lbs. and the rest which the ponds had last year should be evident this season in the increased size of the fish. It will be desirable however for some years to fish these waters moderately, as it is not considered wise to run the risk of deteriorating the present variety of fish by restocking from other sources, and the ponds must therefore he allowed to replenish from their natural supply. Black Bass have also been introduced into Lake Sanford, although as yet in small quantities. This summer it is the intention of your committee to obtain from Schroon Lake a large quantity of this fish and place them in Lake Sanford, where it is to be hoped that they will do well, and ultimately drive out the pickerel. Lake Andrew, Trout pond, Lake Colden and the Beaver brook should all be restocked with speckled trout, but this year the club have not the means at their disposal to accomplish this. Perch pond now abounds in pickerel, one of the members having caught 11 there in one afternoon last August that weighed 85 lbs. During the summer there was comparatively little hunting done in fact none that has come to the knowledge of the committee prior to the month of September. During that month, two deer were shot in the woods but none in the water and from information derived from Mr. Buttles it would seem that during the fall and early winter a good many deer had been driven into the tract from other parts of the woods where the hunting was carried on in a more reckless manner. The great difficulty in preserving the deer is not in the summer, but during the months of December and January when they are still-hunted or later even when they are in yards, and it has been of course exceedingly hard to cover as much ground as is embraced in our tract and to see that no poaching was done with the small force of keepers at our disposal. All that can be said is that probably not more than 10% to 15% as many deer were killed on the club tract during the past year as in the year preceding. In the direction of Newcomb lake and Moose pond it is probable that a good many have been killed, but on the East river and back of Lake Henderson and the Preston ponds it is thought that almost none have been taken and in that neighborhood they were quite abundant in November and December. In addition to the efforts that have been made to preserve the game and fish now in the tract, a few members of the club have at their own expense procured a Cow Moose from Nova Scotia and forwarded it to the upper works, and have also purchased a bull moose which is expected to arrive very shortly and will be at once sent up to join the other. These woods within the memory of the present generation have abounded in Moose, John Cheney alone having killed about 20, almost all of them on this tract, and there is no reason why with proper care they should not in time be as abundant as ever. There are probably no wild ones left in the State of New York at the present time, but if a proper supply from which to breed can be obtained and all hunting prevented for a term of years, there is little doubt but that the natural increase would again populate the woods, so as to afford excellent sport. The idea was first suggested by Mr. Stuyvesant and it is to his liberality that the club is indebted for the Cow which is now at the Upper Works. It is not proposed to turn these moose into the woods at present, but to retain them in an enclosure and to breed from them and ultimately as the supply increases to turn a portion at large every year. The cost of procuring these two moose delivered at Adirondack will be about $400, all of which has been raised by individual members of the club, and has not been in any way a charge upon the Treasury. The committee however consider that the benefit to be derived to the club from this attempt to introduce a new species of Game into the state is sufficient to warrant them in 182 ANNALS OF THE DESERTED VILLAGE
  28. 28. recommending the club to make an appropriation from the Treasury for the purpose of realizing as large results as possible. An effort such as this is an indirect benefit aside from its direct advantages to the club in as much as it creates a feeling amongst the people of that part of the country, that the club is doing something more than merely trying to get the exclusive control of a certain tract, with a view to keeping every one else out, and preserving all the fish and game for the sole use and benefit of its members, and that the club is not an enemy of all the people there who depend largely upon the streams and woods about them for their means of subsistance [sic]. It is of course impossible to restrict the Game to our own tract entirely and in restocking, that we restock the whole vicinity, and the people there are beginning to realize the fact that a club of this kind liberally conducted is as much an advantage to them as to its members and every attempt on our part to increase the game in the woods renders them more inclined to co-operate with the club in its endeavor to preserve their own tract and thereby renders our task so much the easier. The introduction of Moose has done much to propititate [sic] the feeling of the guides and hunters in our favor and to secure their co-operation in the purposes of the club. Your committee therefore recommend that they be authorized to make a sufficient appropriation to defray the expense of enclosing with a suitable fence from 50 to 100 acres of land in a convenient locality for the purpose of keeping the moose already obtained and such others as may hereafter be purchased or raised and also to purchase from time to time such additional moose as may be offered to them, provided that in the judgment of the committee such purchases can at the time be made without interfering with the ability of the club to carry on its general work. A bill has been submitted to the Legislature of this state in the interests of the club, for the preservation of Moose making it a misdemeanor to kill or chase them at any season of the year and adding a penalty of $250. The brick barn southeast of the Club House, referred to in the foregoing, remained standing until 1901. It was located a little to the west of the cottage now (1935) occupied by Mr. E. Farrar Bateson. The spring that fed the water tank in the Club House is located on the ridge several hundred feet to the west of the building now (1935) known as the Annex. Water from it was stored in a brick reservoir on the ridge (still standing) and was conveyed in lead pipes down to the Club House. At a meeting of the Club held on May 19, 1878, it was resolved, that Mr. Buttles shall at once have certain grounds as selected in the rear of the club house enclosed by a proper fence to be not less than 9 feet in height for the safe keeping of the Moose, and that the cost for enclosing same, shall not exceed the sum of One Hundred & twenty five dollars, $125. and that the same shall be paid by the Treasurer from the funds of the club. This fence was constructed, and vestiges of it may still be seen on the ridge back of Furnace Bay. The attempt to breed the moose was unsuccessful, however. They lived but a short time. At the same meeting permission was granted to Mr. William Loring Andrews to build at the Upper Works a house for his own exclusive use. He was not long a member and never acted on this permission. Mr. Francis H. Weeks was authorized to repair the house “now called the Hunter House”123 for his own exclusive use. This house was the first 123 LM: The MacNaughton Cottage. TAHAWUS CLUB, 1898-1933 183
  29. 29. dwelling of importance to be erected in the village, and before Robert Hunter’s tenancy had been used by the original proprietors for their own occupancy. For some years it was occupied jointly by Mr. Weeks and his business associate, Mr. Robert W. deForest. Later, upon the organization of the Tahawus Club, the premises were excepted from its lease and were taken over for his own use by James MacNaughton, who succeeded James R. Thompson on the latter’s death in 1887, as agent for the owners. Mr. MacNaughton shared the premises (which were christened Cocktail Hall by the Jennings) with my family, and we lived there in great amity for several years, until 1905, when feeling the need of more space I built the first “Gabbro” on the ridge below the gate. After Mr. MacNaughton’s death, Cocktail Hall was occupied by Robert H. Robertson, his successor as president of MacIntyre Iron Company, until his death in 1919. And this seems an appropriate place, throwing chronology to the winds, to say a few more words regarding Club house, cottages and camp124 The first cottage for private occupation was built by Alexander Taylor Jr., at the head of the street on the west side, in 188–. It was occupied later by Robert Bonner, and now (1934) by John T. Terry Jr. Its annex, “Lipstick Lodge,” was built in 1933. Mr. Taylor, after selling to Mr. Bonner, built another cottage on the east side of the street, called “Lazy Lodge,” now (1935) and for some years previously occupied by Mr. W.R.K. Taylor. A studio adjoining this cottage on the north was built for the use of Alexander Taylor’s daughter. Later it was demolished to make room for another cottage built by Mr. W.R.K. Taylor Jr. in 1932. The cottage now (1935) occupied by Dr. Savage was originally built for the late Dr. Walter B. James. It was never occupied by him, but was sold to Mr. John T. Terry, who held it for some years. Between the site of this cottage and the street, there stood as late as 1883 the store house of the Iron & Steel Company. The cottage to the south of the Club House and north of the gate was built by Dr. George E. Brewer near the site of the old schoolhouse (about 1900), and is now occupied by Mr. T.R. Williams. Mr. E. Farrar Bateson’s cottage on the opposite side of the street, like Mr. W.R.K. Taylor’s new cottage before referred to, and Lipstick Lodge, is what our British friends would call a “recent creation.” The Debevoise cottage to the east of the street and near the river was built by George L. Nichols in 1900 and later sold to judge Samuel H. Ordway, who occupied it until its sale in 1922 to Mr. Debevoise. The Lockwood cottage, adjoining the Crocker premises already described, was built by Gordon Abbott, and later occupied by Acosta Nichols and by Marshall Geer. The cottage recently occupied successively by Walter D. Edmonds, Thomas Williams and Douw Ferris was built by E. Holloway Coe. The cottage on the east side of the river, now owned by Bayard Rives, was built by Walter Jennings in — , and was for some seasons after Mr. Jennings resigned from the Club, occupied by Marshall Geer. 124 LM: Also see Haynes, ADV 464-553. 184 ANNALS OF THE DESERTED VILLAGE
  30. 30. My cottage, known as “Gabbro,” on the hill west of the barn, was built in 1905, destroyed by fire in 1926, and rebuilt in the following year. The so-called Foote Cottage on the east side of Lake Sanford was built in 1907 by MacIntyre Iron Company for the use of its officials. It was used for some years by Mr. George C. Foote and was for one season rented by Marshall Geer. Its latest tenant (1933) was Major McLean, U.S.A. The cottages of Messrs. Seeley and Jessup, built on Lake Sanford by special dispensation, were completed in 1933. The Preston Ponds camps are elsewhere referred to. A camp was built at Lake Colden by Mr. Alexander Taylor Jr., shortly after the organization of the Tahawus Club, which he later sold to the Club. It was used as an annex to a more commodious camp built by the Club which was situated to the rear and farther from the lake shore. It is still in use. Open camps were built at lakes Harkness and Andrew in the earliest days of the Club. Mr. Holloway Coe built the closed camp at Harkness in the ’90s, and built the road along which the trail now (1935) runs. The first Andrew camp was situated on the opposite side of the lake from the boat landing and was permitted to go to ruin, being altogether too convenient for the use of poachers coming in from Newcomb by way of the Pruyn preserve. The new camp on Andrew is of quite recent construction. A large camp was built by Robert W. deForest on Bear Island in the early ’80s, near the site of the day camp now in use. Edward M. Field, a son of Cyrus W. Field, joined the Club in 1883 and built a camp on the east side of Lake Sanford, on the brook that empties into the lake just below the mines. This and the Robert deForest camp were quite elaborate, each having spacious sleeping and dining shanties, kitchens, and separate quarters for the guides. The day camp now in use on the north side of the island was constructed during the administration of Walter Jennings, who selected the site because of its beautiful view, and made it a favorite resort. Camps on Lake Henderson have never been permitted, although much desired. The premises now owned by Mrs. Masten on the road to Schroon about half a mile east of the Lower Works, were given to John Cheney, “the mighty hunter,” by the original proprietors in 1849. The lumber used in its construction was furnished by the company’s saw mill. After the Adirondack Club was formed, Mr. Lanman Bull, one of its early members, bought the property, made extensive alterations in the house (which was christened Sunset Lodge), and erected another building on the hill in its rear for the use of his bachelor guests and guides. The Bulls entertained large house parties and were frequent visitors at the Upper Works in the ’80s. The property came into my ownership in the ’90s and after further alterations took the name of Sunset Farm, which it still bears.125 125 See “Story of Adirondac,” page 157 [ADV 135]. TAHAWUS CLUB, 1898-1933 185
  31. 31. Sports costumes in the 1880s 186
  32. 32. An evening’s entertainment (from AHM’s proof files for “Tahawus Club, 1898-1933) 187
  33. 33. Church of Tubal-Cain and school house 188
  34. 34. Club register Fish stocking Treasurer’s report The Adirondack Club Register, now belonging to the MacIntyre Iron Company, was opened on May 12, 1878, Francis H. Weeks making the first entry. He left for home a week later, having killed at Preston Ponds, as appeared from his marginal entry, 208 trout, average weight one-half pound. John B. Hawes, who registered as of July 11, took 53 trout at Preston, average one-half pound, and 13 at Lake Colden, average one pound, and also five lake trout at Lake Henderson. There are several entries showing the taking of “R.T.S.” trout, whatever form of New Deal those letters may signify. Suffice it that they weighed on the average one and one-half pounds, and are unknown today. In 1879 the Executive Committee presented a report summarized as follows: During the past year the condition of the Club had improved, about 40,000 Lake trout had been placed in Lake Henderson and the same number of Brook trout in Lake Harkness and also about 4000 L.L. Salmon in Lake Henderson. Just previous to the spawning season some fifty six black bass running from ½ lb. to 2 lbs. had been put in Lake Sanford and they were subsequently seen on the spawning beds and in August and September large quantities of fry were seen in the shallow water near the Camp. It is proposed this year to put in a large number of grown fish if possible & by the summer of 1880 there should be good fishing for Black Bass in Lake Sanford. A small number were put in during the summer of 1876 which were known to have spawned in 1877. Two young moose were sent up in December but unfortunately were poisoned in some way in January and died. The original pair are doing well. The old school house has been moved down to the river and fitted up as a hatching house and another year it is proposed to strip the fish on the premises, it having been found difficult this year to procure spawn except at considerable expense. About 40,000 brook trout will be sent up during the current month and will be kept near the house until they are of sufficient size to take care of themselves, when they will be placed in some of the water belonging to the Club. The “old schoolhouse” stood near the site of the cottage now (1935) occupied by Mr. Williams. It remained standing on the west bank of the river just below the falls until it was broken up and carried down stream in the spring freshet of 1914. The cupola or belfry was grounded on the east side of the river for a year or two before its final disappearance. The treasurer’s report, presented at this 1879 meeting, states that he had received from the sale of liquors $292.75, and paid out $344.75, having on hand at the close of the fiscal year wines and liquors valued at $94.60. This shows a laudable moderation on the part of members. Indeed they might possibly be criticized for having carried over so much stock to the ensuing year. In 1880, it appearing that the Club had $900 in its treasury, the superintendent was directed at the annual meeting to make “certain additions to and reconstruction of the house adjoining the Club House (having in view the better accommodations of the Club members) at a cost not exceeding $400.” He was also instructed to build, at a convenient 189
  35. 35. point on the river at the head of Lake Sanford, a boat house large enough to hold six boats. It was ordered also that “a dam be constructed at the mouth of the river of simple and substantial construction.” The following year the building above referred to, now called the Annex, was referred to as “the new Club House,” and the construction was authorized of “the necessary lockers for the use of members.” These were installed at the west side of the large hall in the second story. They were not the club lockers of prohibition days, but might more correctly be described as small closets. They were designed to hold their owner’s fishing equipment and save him the trouble of carrying it back and forth from the city. I believe several are still in existence. It was decided at the same meeting that no fishing for black bass in Lake Sanford should be allowed until after the fifteenth of July 1881, nor for trout in Lake Jimmy or Harkness before the spring of 1882. The minutes of subsequent meetings of the Adirondack Club and its officers throw little light upon its activities. Two annual meetings were postponed “until such time as the Superintendent could be present” and another “until such time as the Executive Committee might deem wise.” Several resolutions were adopted and reports presented which appear in the minute book only in the form of a parenthetical “Here take in.” When meetings were held, the chief business concerned either the election of new members or the acceptance of resignations. At one time the secretary was instructed to notify all members and associate members that it was undesirable for the present to elect any further members or associates to the Club, a condition, I believe, seldom obtaining in the history of the Club or its successors. The Treasurer’s Report, dated April 4, 1882, and covering also the years 1880 and 1881, is quite instructive. Jersey City April 4, 1882 To the Adirondack Club Gentn: The Treasurer would submit following statement of receipts and disbursements from March 1, 1881, to 1st of present month — Balance on hand March 1, 1881...........$483.51 Dues of 18 members $50 ............................900 Dues of 12 associate $50 ............................600 Received from sales Liquors /80 & /81 ..................................1033.20 Received from sales hay 1880 ....................140 Received from sales hay 1881 ......................20 Received from Pasturage ..............................15 $3191.71 — Expenses — David Hunter salary to 1 Mar. /81.........$150.00 Macy & Jenkins Liquors &c ....................302.45 Macy & Jenkins Ale &c .............................94.50 Building Materials ................. 1880 .........183.97 Building Materials ................. 1881 .........210.30 Labor- ................................... 1880 .........428.99 Labor- ................................... 1881 .........122.00 Fish Hatching Expenses....... 1880 .........370.35 190 ANNALS OF THE DESERTED VILLAGE
  36. 36. Fish Hatching Expenses....... 1881......... 159.16 Work on Road ...................... 1880......... 328.00 Work on Road ...................... 1881......... 277.75 Taxes-................................... 1880......... 170.90 Taxes -.................................. 1881......... 145.45 Freight .................................. 1880........... 41.62 Freight .................................. 1881............. 2.91 For Boat House at Lake Sanford.............. 32.50 Myron Bottles on a/c................................. 46.00 ............ 3066.85 Balance on hand ............................................................ $124.86 We owe David Hunter 1 Year Salary.................... 300.00 Myron Bottles (Balance) ......................... 354.00 .............. 654.00 Deficit.............................................................................. $529.14 which amount will be paid as soon as the Treasurer receives sufficient amount of dues for present year. We have paid in 1880 & ’81 for Building Materials ........ $394.27 for Labor ........................................... 550.99 Boat House Sanford ............................. 32.50 $977.76 For Expenses Fish Hatching 1880 & ’81.......................... 529.51 $1507.27 It is not probable that we shall be obliged to expend much money for either purpose this season and unless there is a larger outlay than is now anticipated — our receipts, if the same as last year will very nearly if not quite cover our expenses — all of which is respectfully submitted. W M. F. PEARSON, Treas. Although much less scientific than the neatly typewritten pages now presented annually by the treasurer of Tahawus Purchase Inc., the foregoing seems to get there just the same, so far as red ink is concerned. The purchase for $125 of the camp on Upper Preston Pond built by George W. Folsom, who had recently resigned, was authorized. This was on the site of the present camp, of the same general plan, but somewhat smaller in its proportions. It was the first camp to be owned by the Club, but not the first to be built on Preston Ponds. I remember very well an elaborate open camp with outbuildings, situated on a ridge to the right of the narrows as one goes down the lake, also another simple open camp on the brook between Upper and Lower Ponds. At the 1884 meeting also a resolution was adopted authorizing the purchase of Rangeley Lake trout eggs for Lake Harkness at a cost of not to exceed $150. This is the last entry in the Adirondack Club Minute Book. No books, records or correspondence have been found covering the period from 1884 to 1898, when the Tahawus Club was organized, with the exception of the Club Guest Register and a Year Book for 1891. TAHAWUS CLUB, 1898-1933 191
  37. 37. Some of the old time guides (AHM’s original photos) TOP (L to R): Ack Thomas, Henry Thilo, Ira Proctor BOTTOM: Eddie Dimick (L), John Galusha (R) 192
  38. 38. Scranton visit In August 1888, Messrs. William H. Scranton, a mining engineer, and his assistant, Sebenius,126 visited the property at the instance of Mr. MacNaughton. They made their headquarters in the Annex and were an interesting addition to the Club colony. Both were especially susceptible to black flies and midges, and Sebenius added materially to our vocabulary of Swedish profanity. It was new to us and can be highly recommended, being sonorous and reverberating. Mr. Scranton wrote an entertaining letter, now in possession of Doctor Savage, describing his visit. He stated his conclusion that “it is harder to be a consistent Christian in the Adirondacks than anywhere else in the world.” He was much impressed by Buttles, of whom he wrote that “the yarns he spun as we sat around the bright fires after a hard day’s work were not only marvelous but told in a style that would have made the fortune of any writer.” The Year Book showed that Mr. James Weeks was then president, W. Lanman Bull, vice president, Francis H. Weeks, secretary, and William E. Pearson, treasurer. The members of the Executive Committee were, in addition to the officers above named, Messrs. Robert W. deForest, John B. Hawes, Robert L. Livingston, Alexander Taylor Jr., and George G. Wheelock. There were forty-five regular members and one associate member. The price of accommodations to members at the Club House was $1.50 per day or $10 per week. Anti-hounding laws The anti-hounding laws cast a gloom over the Club in the late 1890s. No one had much familiarity with still hunting, and it was not considered reasonably possible to get a deer, or at all events a buck, without the aid of dogs. The Club owned a small pack of hounds which were kept in kennels located on the westerly side of the river in the bank between the river and what is now known as the Debevoise cottage. They howled dismally. They were sometimes kept also at the Lower Works, the kennels being located in the edge of the woods. Each hound had a kennel, consisting of a barrel sunk horizontally in the river bank. He wore a chain on his collar, equipped with large rings made to slide back and forth on a long stretch of heavy wire. I have reason to remember these hounds. The first meeting of the Adirondack Club that I attended was held at the old Delmonico’s on the corner of 26th Street and Fifth Avenue, the usual business meeting following a good dinner. The treasurer presented his report, which included an item in Buttles’ account of six hundred odd dollars covering oatmeal for the hounds for a considerable period. This came unexpectedly and was the last blow to an already demoralized budget. Recourse was had to the usual first aid for sporting clubs in financial distress. A bond issue was authorized which was loyally taken up by the members. On the morning of the first day of hunting under the new law, the hunters took stations at the points where they had been accustomed to watch. The guides started through the 126 LM: Uno Sebemus, a Swedish engineer. Scranton and Sebemus were field testing a new Swedish magnetometer. A biography of Scranton, written by R.W. Raymond following Scranton’s death in 1889, appeared in the Transactions of the American Institute of Mining Engineers, pp. 213-218, Vol. XVIII (1890). 193

×