Yet more from the Deserted Village (Part 2 of 3)
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Yet more from the Deserted Village (Part 2 of 3)



This is Lee Manchester's third and final collection of source materials and significant articles published about the McIntyre iron works in Newcomb township, Essex County, New York. It contains ...

This is Lee Manchester's third and final collection of source materials and significant articles published about the McIntyre iron works in Newcomb township, Essex County, New York. It contains facsimiles of three company sales prospectuses (1840, 1851 and 1854), an account of an 1853 visit to the works, an 1874 travel-guide description of the property, a remembrance of John Cheney by a Tahawus Club member, three articles about the Jersey City steel industry, several Essex County newspaper articles from the 1940s, a series from the National Lead Co. magazine "Cloudsplitter," a summary article by Bruce Seely about his landmark study of the works, and a recounting of the restoration of the MacNaughton Cottage and the New Furnace by Janet Null. THIS IS PART 2 OF 3



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    Yet more from the Deserted Village (Part 2 of 3) Yet more from the Deserted Village (Part 2 of 3) Document Transcript

    • Adirondack Diary, 1853 1 Henry Smith HuntingtonThis story of an Adirondack trip is from the diary of the late Rev. Henry SmithHuntington. A native of Rome, New York, he had just been graduated from thetheological seminary at Princeton and licensed to preach in the Presbyterian Churchwhen he made this trip. The diaries are the property of his daughter, Miss AdelaideHuntington, of Grand Rapids, Michigan, and were forwarded to us [at theConservationist] by Mrs. Alta Littell, also of Grand Rapids.July 1, 1853 — Contemplating a long woods tramp for recreation, I did not desire tomuster a very large company, as variety of opinion and much baggage would necessarilyconspire to hinder dispatch. Accordingly B. H. Wright, Jr., my cousin, and myselfdeparted from Rome on Monday, June 27, at 3:00 p.m. for Schenectady and MoreauStation, north of the city and some 18 miles from Lake George. We reached Caldwell’s about 11 o’clock, occupying the stage by ourselves. Thefire-flies illuminated the landscape most brilliantly, particularly in those portions in theintervale sections slightly covered with a flowing fleecy mantle of mist, which in thenight have the appearance of forest lakes reflecting the starry firmament in their calmdepths. These valley fogs so deceived me that I pointed out Lake George in imaginationto Benny long before we had arrived there. Next morning at 9 o’clock we proceeded up the Albany and Montreal Road in ourhired carriage, unwilling to wait for the afternoon stage that runs to Pottersville andSchroon. The road, though long constructed and lately laid with plank, passes through asolitary and mountainous country of picturesque and sublime scenery. We came toPottersville, 24 miles from Caldwell’s, early in the afternoon — having dined excellentlyat Chester on the way. Here we had to have another conveyance to transport us that nightas far as Root’s Tavern, 17 or 18 miles north and situated near the junction of the Albanyand Montreal Road and the one to the Adirondack Iron Works. The Tavern was gained, after a long but very pleasant ride, before dark. It standsby itself in a wild looking country. Huge moose horns mounted on a neat pole adornedwith gilt letters tell the traveller he is welcome there. Mr. Root has about him a snug well tilled farm, plenty of workmen, a little store,a brook, a shed and several barns. He despatched us in good season Wednesday up theroad to the Iron Works — as far as John Cheney’s, 19 miles. Cheney keeps teams toaccommodate the traveler to the Adirondack. Here we dismissed the team and scraped anagreeable acquaintance with the sportsman. John’s farm was presented to him by the IronCompany with whom he is an acknowledged favorite. Shortly the good housewife spreadbefore us a most delightful and delicious meal of venison (tender as a three months’fawn) excellent bread, butter, maple syrup and tea, with a bowl of sweet milk. B. and I bathed before breakfast Thursday morning in the Hudson River a mileabove Cheney’s. A saw mill, two or three houses, and a new public house unoccupiedand unfurnished stand along the dam. Near the new edifice turns off the famous forest1 As reprinted in The Conservationist, Vol. 5 No. 1, August-September 1950
    • road towards Newcomb town, Long Lake, and Carthage. The river here is stocked withdelicious trout. Crossing the bridge, we at last fell in with a party engaged in repairing the road.Anthony Snyder was among them, the famous hunter who with John Cheney, his intimatefriend and constant companion for 15 years, stands at the head of the Adirondackwoodsmen. Taking up my rifle, he bid one of the workmen to chop off a strip of bark 4inches square in a tree 25 rods distant; which done, he very coolly raised it to his eyewithout “a rest” and fired a ball through the centre! We prevailed upon the warm heartedenthusiastic hunter to accompany us over night. We crossed the Hudson ½ mile wideabove the dam and then followed a path over a wooded hill to the Pond. Corking theboat’s bottom, we went to the shanty, tied up the dogs, and then lay out upon a marshuntil dark for deer. Friday we rowed down the Lake, crossed the portage with our packs, rifles andvenison, and came to our boat on the Hudson. The river banks, being overflowed by thedam, were covered with innumerable dead cedars and hemlock, so as to retard boatnavigation. This afternoon we rode four miles along the Hudson to Lake Sanford. Here weshantied, examined a bear trap where a bear had recently got in but escaped with the lossof a huge claw and toe; and rowed up the Lake unsuccessfully trolling for pickerel with a“spoon hook.”July 3, 1853 — As we rowed up the river Saturday towards the village, fine mountainvistas came in sight, among which Tahawus proudly towered loftiest. Here were scenesworthy of the studious contemplation of the painter and the poet. God’s Mighty Handseemed visibly outstretched in the vast forest livery of waving green, and the sombresolitudes of the mountains and the glen. Here and there reflected the azure sky in thebosom of some lonely lake, while the never ceasing waterfalls and the songs of joyousbirds responded in nature’s voices to the glory of our God. It is 5 miles distant to Indian Pass (our present destination) from the Iron Works.The path is difficult and rough; and is followed by continuing along the notch stream, oneof the principal branches of the Hudson River. By and by we found steep ascents andthickest underbrush before us. Now the path wound around some broken ledges of rocks,hurled from the distant summit of Mt. McIntyre on our right, in wintry avalanches; orconducted us along the dizzy sides of a yawning precipice. My rifle soon encumbered me — although we got a partridge with it. The footpath runs through the notch to Keene some 20 miles beyond, along which occasionallycame a few laborers to work in the Iron Furnaces. We struggled on to find a convenientspot for lunch, where we could see the pass in all its grandeur. We found the travellingmore and more toilsome, until it seemed almost vain to go any farther. We had, in fact,got below the mountain trail into the legitimate channel of the stream which rippledaround these vast piles of broken stone. Between these boulders the streams are of icycoldness, with large cakes of ice and even snow throughout the year! — where the sunnever shines. Not far from our bivouack we were told the snow was then from 3 to 4 feetdeep in July! On the left side of this ravine the cliff shoots upwards perpendicularly morethan a thousand feet.
    • By 6:00 p.m. we reached the Iron Works village, and stopped at the store in theplace to procure a few necessaries. The Iron Works are not now in operation. At one timemore than 100 men were there employed and the little village was alive with the din oftrade. There are two factories — a mile apart; the new one has a mammoth chimney ofunnecessarily heavy masonry. The fires are to be kept alive by three huge bellowsworked by steam. In front is the hearth where the melted liquid flows out. The country round abounds with iron. The supply is inexhaustible — enough,says a report, for the use of the whole world! The first discovery of the metallic wealth ofthis country was made by an Indian — Benedict. Another ore bed was discovered by Cheney, the hunter, for which and otherservices, the company presented him with his farm and house east of the Hudson. TheAdirondack steel took the prize at the last year’s world’s fair at London! Our Sabbath breakfast was of richest speckled trout, venison and potatoes, thebest of which grow here.July 6, 1853, Colden Lake — What charming scenery, thus to be shunned by man andliving things! Tony had formerly seen game here. But now the well-beaten deer pathswere a year old, and Tony thinks these beautiful creatures were hereabouts mostlydestroyed by wolves last winter. During the afternoon we left our pleasant shanty on Colden Lake. Fording theinlet of the Lake, and subsequently the swift current of the Opalescent, we reached thehighest dam of the Hudson, 6 miles from the Iron Works and built by the Company. Atthe dam report said the trout were numerous — but we were too late to procure them. Aneasy footpath conducts you to Calamity Pond and an easier one to the village — wherewe arrived before sunset.July 7, 1853 — Preston Ponds are about 5 miles from the village. To approach them wehad to row over a part of picturesque Lake Henderson, whose shores were thicklystrewed with the bare stalks of the never-dying cedar and whose depths abound withnoble salmon trout. Thence we continued by a long carrying place where I shot a brace ofpartridges, to the Preston Ponds. This is good fishing ground for delicate speckled trout,of which we took care to secure a mess to accompany our dinner of roast partridge. The flies so harassed us that we were glad to fire some underbrush as a smudgefor self-defense. Cold River is shallow and swift so that it affords no navigation;otherwise it would be the most direct, and the nearest route to Long Lake. Neither at our ambuscade nor upon our return did we see a deer; but Ben and theguide caught quite a string of speckled trout that were playfully leaping about the surfaceof the water between sunset and dark. When we came to camp again we ascertained a visitor had suddenly been thereand departed. Ben, going to the mountain brook besides our bivouack in search of fishthat had been cleaned at noon and deposited there to preserve them from the heat of thesun in our absence, could not find them. A sly mink had pilfered our savoury treasures.These creatures will lug off all the fish they can find — and if their burden prove toogreat for one attempt, they will repeat it, till all is gone.
    • July 8, 1853 — After baths and breakfast we departed for the dock of the Iron Works onthe Hudson, where Tony had left a boat for us. We moved down the river, trolling vainlyfor pickerel, 11 miles through Lake Sanford, until we came to Tony’s cozy nook of logs.July 9, 1853 — We all set off for Newcomb Lake 8 miles northwesterly. Poor Chesterthe teamster was so boozy from liquor obtained at the works, that Tony had to leave himbehind with a sharp reprimand for his neglect of duty. I accordingly volunteered to driveto the Lake, while Seth Pearce and Tony crossed Lake Sanford to re-examine a bear trap. We soon emerged from the verdant arches of the forest, into a cleared farm ofelevated land. From the Newcomb farm the view of the Adirondack group of mountainsis very superior. A short drive through the woods beyond the farm brought us to the Lake.At the north end we “turned in” to an old shanty, after laying it with new fresh boughs. Our hound, “Pilot,” which we had brought with us to the rocky point, seemedanxious to be off — and when he was let loose he drove down a deer no less than threetimes before we could secure a shot. …
    • 2Route 17: Schroon Lake to the Southern Adirondacks Schroon Lake to Root’s, 9 M. (,Crown Point to Root’s, 18); Fenton’s, 14; Boreas River, 20; Tahawus, 28; Newcomb, 30; Long Lake, 51. The road follows the valley of Schroon River, with the long slopes of Spirit Mt.and the Blue Ridge on the W. At a point 3-4 M. N. of Schroon Lake, the bright waters ofParadox Lake are seen 2-3 M. W. This sheet of water is over 6 M. long and affordsconsiderable fishing. Brott’s Hotel is near its head, 9 M. from Schroon Lake; 10 M. fromRoot’s; 13 M. from Ticonderoga; and 16 M. from Crown Point. About 2 M. S. E. is LongPond, and Pyramid Pond is 1 M. S., while several other sequestered lakelets lie in thevicinity. The intersection of the Crown Point road is soon passed, and then a broad andbarren plain is traversed until Root’s Inn is reached, 9 M. from Schroon Lake. Thishouse accommodates 40-50 guests at $10 a week and is a famous resort for sportsmen.The routes westward from Ticonderoga and Crown Point meet at this point. Ticonderogais 23 M. S. E. of Root’s, and the road passes Paradox Lake and Lone Pond. The distancefrom Crown Point to Root’s is 18 M., the first half of which leads up the valley of Put’sCreek. The Great Northern Highway. The tri-weekly mail stage from Schroon Lake continues from Root’s on the GreatNorthern Highway, with the lofty Dix Peak in advance. After passing through threedeserted villages, it enters a wide and tangled forest and ascends the water-shed heights.Thence it runs down into the Boquet River Valley, with the imposing peaks of the Giantof the Valley on the W. When near New Russia, the Split Rock Falls on the Boquet areseen by the roadside, and a little farther N. another fine cascade opens on the l. 22 M. N.of Root’s (32 M. from Schroon Lake) the beautiful village of Elizabethtown (see page141) is reached. The stage arrives here at 2 P.M., and waits for dinner, after which it goesN. to Keeseville, passing the Boquet Mts. and traversing (for 3 M.) the romantic gorgeknown as Poke-a-Moonshine. Schroon Lake to Keeseville, 52 M.; time, 12 hrs.; fare,$4.25. In going S. from Keeseville, Elizabethtown is passed at 11 A.M., and dinner isobtained at 4 P.M. at Root’s. ---------------- Root’s Inn is situated on the ancient State military road from Crown Point toCarthage, crossing the Wilderness in 133 M. This highway has fallen into disuse, but isstill (barely) passable, with the exception of a section of 16 M. between Stillwater andBeach’s Lake. Parties sometimes hire conveyances from Root’s to Long Lake, 42 M. W.,accomplishing the trip in one long day. Fine sporting is found to the S. and S. W. of theinn, while the obscure trail which leads by Chapel Pond to the Keene Valley (18-20 M.)passes through noble scenery. It is 11 M. from this point to the Hunter’s Pass. Passing W.for 5 M., Fenton’s Inn is reached, near the fishing grounds on the rugged slopes of theBlue Ridge. A forest road here diverges to the N., leading to Clear Pond (Lake-Side Inn)in 4 M., and to the inn on Mud Pond in 5 M. These sequestered waters are environed withmts., and a bridle-path conducts thence to the top of Mt. Marcy, 16 M. from Fenton’s. A2From “The Middle States: A Handbook for Travellers,” edited by Moses Foster Sweetser (1874 or 1876),pages 136-138
    • difficult trail leads from the inn at Mud Pond to the summit of Dix Peak, 4 M. N. E., fromwhich the view includes the lakes of Schroon and Champlain, the chain of the GreenMts., and the chief Adirondack Mts. The wonderful gorge known as the Hunter’s Passlies at the base of this peak. It is 6 M. from Fenton’s to Bullard’s, and the road passesbetween Hayes Mt. on the S. and the graceful Boreas Spires on the N. (forests obstructmuch of the view). Bullard’s is near the Wolf and Sand Ponds, while Boreas Pond is 3-4M. N., whence a trail leads to the Ausable Ponds and the Keene Valley. The road nowcrosses the Boreas Valley, and in 8 M. from Bullard’s (19 M. from Root’s) reachesTahawus (Lower Works). Tahawus to Long Lake, see page 135. Adirondack (Upper Iron Works) is 11 M. N. of Tahawus by a picturesque roadwhich has Lake Sanford on the E. for 5 M. Moore’s Inn is at this place, and the vicinity isfilled with objects of interest. The immense deposits of iron and the iron dam across theriver were discovered and reported by an Indian hunter in 1826. Mining was sooncommenced, but the expense of freighting the ore to Lake Champlain was too heavy, andafter some years the village, with its Church of Tubal Cain, was abandoned, and has sinceremained desolate. The unfortunate names of two of the chief Adirondack peaks,McMartin and McIntyre, were given in honor of two of the speculators in these mines.Lake Sanford, 5 M. long, and girded with mts., is 1 M. S. of Adirondack, and LakeHenderson, E. of Mt. Henderson, is ½ M. N. and 3 M. long. Grand mt. views are foundhere, and from the trout =-abounding Preston Ponds (2 M. from Lake Henderson bypath). 6 M. N. W. of these ponds is Mt. Seward, the Onnowanlah of the Indians, aremote peak 4,348 ft. high, which is separated from Ragged Mt. (4,126 ft. high) by thePass of Ouluska (“place of shadows”) where panthers abound. Far around the S. base ofSeward is the silent district called by the Indians Coughsarageh, “the dismal wilderness,”while Ampersand Pond and Mt. lie on the N., and the confluence of the Cold andRaquette Rivers is 12 M. S. W. The * Adirondack Pass is 5 M. N. E. of Adirondack by awell-defined trail. It is a great gorge between Mts. Wallface and McIntyre, and presents ascene of wild grandeur. The bottom of the pass is 2,901 ft. above the sea, and Wallfacefronts on the W. side with a continuous precipice 1 M. long and 1,319 ft. high. 5 M.beyond the pass is the hamlet of N. Elba (see page 145). There are many other scenes ofsublimity and beauty in this vicinity, but they are difficult of access, and theaccommodations of the mt. inns are very limited. The trail to the summit of Mt. Marcy (see page 144) is 12 M. long, and veryarduous. At 6 M. N. E. from Adirondack, the path reaches Lake Colden, “perfectlyembosomed amid the gigantic mts., and looking for all the world like an innocent childsleeping in a robber’s embrace.” From this sheet, 2,851 ft. above the tide, flows thefoamy Opalescent River. Far up the Opalescent gorge to the E. is seen Gray Peak, onwhich 4,293 ft. high is Summit-Water, a bright mt. tarn from which the Hudson flows. 1M. beyond Colden is Avalanche Lake, around which stand Wallface, McIntyre,McMartin, and Colden Mts. The long slopes of Marcy are soon encountered, and a steadyclimb over rocky ledges and steep acclivities conducts to the summit. After passing up bythis route, the mt. is often descended into the Keene Valley. A long trail leads fromAdirondack to Keene, via the Ausable Ponds.The Middle States: A Handbook for TravellersBOSTON:
    • JAMES R OSGOOD AND COMPANYLate Ticknor & Fields, and Fields, Osgood & Co.1876Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1874BY JAMES R OSGOOD AND COMPANYin the Office of the Librarian of Congress at WashingtonPages 136-138Moses Foster SweetserEditor of Osgood’s American Handbooks131 Franklin St Boston
    • Personal Recollections of John Cheney and his Wife of Tahawus, N.Y. 3 by Frances C. [Mrs. S.E. “Ned”] Stimson, 1911 It was in September of 1868 or 1869 that I first made the acquaintance of theCheney family. We had arranged to make our headquarters with them for an indefinitetime, which eventually settled into three delightful months. Ned had been there beforewith Archibald Robertson and, as were all of his name and lineage, was a warmlywelcomed guest, for John Cheney loved nothing so well as talking over with the youngergeneration the incidents and exploits of the days when as a young man he guided theirforebears. (In this connection please note that it is a better word than ancestors!) We were a party of five and though the house was small it proved its elasticitysoon after by taking in another party of five, mostly artists, one of whom was HomerMartin. For a month we all shared the good fare and ministrations of Mrs. Cheney overthe week end, and from Mondays till Saturdays camped on the neighboring lakes: then allleft but Homer, Martin, Ned and myself and the former became our good comrade for theensuing two months, much to our enjoyment. During this time, we camped often, watched the near-by runways, tramped forgrouse or sketching, or stayed around the place, reading or listening to tales of adventureand enjoying the excellent table which Mrs. Cheney always provided. Giving place aux dames, I will try to draw a picture of that excellent woman. Thinto meagreness, active, alert; straight grey hair cut short and drawn back with a roundrubber comb from a plain pockmarked face; garbed n a straight shapeless homespun dress— she did not at first sight present an attractive appearance — but how soon that wasforgotten! And how quickly she grew into your heart with her kindness and into yourmemory with her quaintness, no words could tell. No more hospitable soul ever inhabiteda human body, and nothing within her means or power to do for her guests, was stinted. I wonder if she ever rested, I never saw her — and altho’ she dearly loved to talkand did talk all the time, she never stopped her work for it — but you were expected tofollow the thread of her discourse while she journeyed back and forth, from kitchen towoodpile, back to slam wood under the stove lids, into the pantry to deposit a dish,through the dining room (where you sat), down cellar (her voice rumbling underneath)back to bedroom to get her “specs” — off to kitchen &c., &c., never stopping andfortunately never expecting more than a nod or smile in response. What one did glean ofher narrative made one wish for the whole, but no one ever could have grasped that, whohad human limitations. And what a cook she was! No one ever equalled her skill with trout or venison, noone ever stuffed and baked a muskelonge as she did and I am sure that neither the godson Olympus or the gourmets on Fifth Avenue were ever served with a more delectablecombination than her broiled partridge with potatoes that crumbled into powder at atouch, peppered and salted and smothered with thick rich cream. Oh, that cream! Agenerous bowl of it, thick enough to spread, graced the table at every meal, as did a plateof luscious sugar cookies — better than any grandma “used to make.” Though her cows3 As transcribed from Mrs. Stimson’s typescript, found in the Adirondack Museum Research Library
    • had never heard of Jersey (no pun intended) or had seen rich pasture land but roamed thewoods and as far as one could see, lived principally on moss and leaves, the product theybrought home at night rivalled that of any prize-winners. How well I remember going after those cows one cold November night! The menwere off on a hunt and Mary and I started with “Cubby” to trail the wanderers and bringthem home. There was snow on the ground so their tracks were plain enough, but thedance their vagrant ways led us before we finally caught up with them over by PerchPond brings an ache in my bones even to think of. Bringing them home by icymoonlighted ways was more difficult and less romantic than it sounds. I have ever sincefelt a kinship and sympathy with our early settlers that nothing else could have given me. However, I am wandering like the cows, and with no such good reason, for I wason rich pasture land for my browsing. My most vivid mental picture of Mrs. Cheney is ofher wielding a birch switch over the stalwart unflinching figure of young John and in hernervous excitement vociferating “Johnny you ain’t half licked, you ain’t half licked!”Indeed he wasn’t — as well expect adequate punishment for an unruly elephant from thepounding of a butterfly’s wings! Poor little mother! Johnny was an aggravation and aproblem — for he had not yet been pronounced insane — and it was more than even hergreat mother-love could stand sometimes, to see him, a very giant in strength, stand allday motionless in the middle of a field, while she, little, frail creature, burdened with herbig day’s work, stopped to chop wood and dig potatoes and milk the cows, and so, withnerves and body strained to breaking, her patience would give way and she would ply theunavailing switch. Strange that we never feared Johnny, who afterward became violentand shot his father — but it never dawned upon us, fortunately, for many a night wewomen were alone, with unlocked doors. We thought him only stupid and lazy, andthough disgusted, I could but laugh at the only notice he ever took of me — which was toblow a mouthful of apple peelings at the back of my neck while I sat reading, oblivious ofhis presence! The other son, David, went off guiding or teaming a great deal and was minus hismothers energy when home, so that a large part of mans work fell on her and on Mary(an adopted daughter), but I never heard a word of complaint or self pity from the heroicsoul, whose sixty years of hard work and fulfilled duty had never been relieved but byone outing and that only to the village of Crown Point! How can I tell of John Cheney. Such an unique and delightful personality needsan inspired pen. He must have been over seventy at that time — a little wiry man,somewhat shrunken but rugged, with deeply lined face, bushy brows and a droop in thecorners of his mouth that prepared one for the almost whining, high-pitched voice withwhich he greeted you. I cannot remember that I ever saw him smile or heard him laughbeyond a sort of chuckle, but one never felt that his whine was more than throat deep andthat he had a quiet sense of humor no one could doubt who ever heard his resumé of thedays drive as we sat at the close of it in the glow of a big campfire. He too was a greattalker, tho’ not as rapid an one as his wife, and as neither by any chance ever stopped togive the other right of way, it was sometimes difficult — except for the roving habit ofthe Missus and the sedentary one of John — to get the gist of their discourse when in thehouse, but out in camp, when all gave way to hear what the old guide had to say, he wasin his element and his tales of past encounters with wild beasts and thrilling experiencesof many kinds were wonderful to listen to. He told the most blood stirring stories in the
    • same high-pitched sing-song whine as he told the tale of his rheumatism — but it addedan unique touch that was inimitable. By the way, he had that form of rheumatism whichdisappears under the prospect of a good time, and to him a good time meant a trampthrough the woods, setting out his dog, a rapid making for a runway to watch — happilyto kill, but anyway to recount and hear recounted, while the tea boiled (!) and the toastand venison were browned by younger hands, how the deer came in “kersouse, kersouse”by the “cranberry mash,” made for the “driftwood” and so entangling the dog, leaped forthe bank, etc., etc. We had the good luck to dispel his rheumatism several times. We tookhim as nominal guide for the joy of his company, while younger men carried the “duffle”and did the work. Perhaps his vigor and unerring knowledge of the woods had no greater showingthan on the occasion of a visit Theodore Wynkoop made us. Just before starting for Indiaas a missionary, Theodore made a hurried trip into the woods to bid us good-bye andwhen he arrived at the Cheneys to his great disappointment, as he had only a few hours tospare, found that we were camping on Lake Newcomb. Old John, who had remained athome, took pity on him and late as it was, brought him to our camp by the short (?) cut,over the hills in the darkness and roughness — a matter of a dozen miles — and,apparently unwearied, was ready to regale the new listener with his stories half the nightor more. It was that same night (I think) that I was unfortunate enough to be a spoil-sport.In the midst of one of his panther stories, John stopped short and pointed an excitedfinger at a very live scion of the race who stood glaring at us across our blazing fire. Nedsprang for his gun but John caught him, with an expletive afterward interpreted to meanthat if he failed to kill, the beast would spring into the shanty and what would became ofme! “No time for a panther scrap with a woman in tow” — which was both sense andchivalry — but I presume I never occupied a lower place in the masculine mind than I didthat moment, and as for John, I wonder did he ever forgive me for losing him one more chance of a pantherscrape! Beside his rheumatism, John had two other afflictions: terrible cramps in his legsand nightmare. As both presented the same outward symptoms it was not easy always todiagnose correctly and the vigorous treatment which he used for one did not always provea painless remedy for the other. I remember sitting with Homer Martin reading in thedining room one evening, when one of the two sent him howling from his bed, inabbreviated attire, into our presence — but which one it was I did not stop to inquire. Ioften thought, in camp, that I had learned how our foremothers felt when the Indianswere upon them — for to be waked from a sound sleep by John’s unearthly howls was afrightful experience — though once thoroughly initiated, I could rush and pull him to hisfeet and like the others, leave the “Which?” till afterwards. Of all his stories, one remains in my mind, probably because it is the only one Iever heard him tell that had a Munchausen flavor. He was hunting moose on AndrewsMt. and by the sound knew his dog h ad brought something to bay. John crept to wherehe could see, sheltered behind a fallen maple that still adhered to its trunk and discovereda bull and cow moose. At the same moment they discovered him and charged, but hesprang behind the tree trunk and fired just as they leaped the barrier exactly abreast. Thebull fell but the cow went on down the mountain. When dressing out, he found that hisbullet had gone clean through the bull’s side and must have gone into the cow and on
    • tracking her a little way found blood marks in the snow. It was too near night to followup the chase so taking the moose hide and some of the meat he left the rest for “the boys”to come after later on. Some weeks after that, he killed a cow moose on Andrews Mt. andwhen he came to dress her, found as he had supposed, his old bullet lodged in her, nearher heart but healed over. For many years he never carried a gun, having both ruined and become disgustedwith his rifle during a fierce hand to hand combat with a wolf; ever after he carried only apistol - of a very clumsy outward appearance, but a trusty and sufficient weapon in hisexpert hands. The pistol he gave to Ned a year or two before he died and Ned placed it inthe Museum in Albany with some record of its owner’s prowess, and I presume it is stillthere. A picture of the Cheney household would not be complete without a mention of“Cubby” a small mongrel dog, mostly terrier, who was the pride of John’s heart, for hecould run deer or bring home the cows with equal cheerfulness and accuracy andfrequently put to shame, by his stolid attention to business, the better bred of his race. Onthe one and only occasion of Mr. Martin’s participating in a hunt, Cubby drove a doe intoIslip still water where he was watching, but to use Mr. Martin’s own words “the frightfulcreature roared and pawed the ground” so that he missed his aim and the doe escaped, toCubby’s manifest chagrin and his master’s scarcely veiled indignation. In those days the roads were extremely bad — well-nigh impassable, very littlemore than trails; full of stones and stumps or else worn out corduroy and it was necessaryfor all baggage to be securely tied on and for yourself to hold fast with both hands, butthough bruised and sore at the end of the journey, it gave the charm of remoteness that isforever lost. So “remote” were we that no one passed the house for days at a time, exceptthe Bennett children on their way to school, which was five miles from their house on thetop of the hill above the Cheneys. When the sound of wheels was heard — which it couldbe from a mile away — every other occupation was deserted and we watched in greatexcitement and endless surmisings as to who it might be, hoping for home letters andrecent news. Also at that time there was a very small clearing around the Cheney place, andfrom the house to the Lower Works was thick woods — a charming walk, especially as Iremember it one notable day when a heavy snow, undisturbed by any wind, had fallenand lay level on every branch and twig. A very bower of beauty. A trip to NewcombLake meant a rough drive to a point near the settlement then called Pendleton, and a threemile tramp through the woods to the foot of the duck hole, and to Lake Sanford boats andcarry partly over a windfall, the crossing of which left an indelible and amusing pictureon my mind. Homer Martin, whose kit of sketching tools seemed to him a sufficientburden, offered, as an easy job, to lead the two leashed together hounds. As his muscleswere by no means as nimble as his wits, or his eye for stepping as accurate as for beauty,the result when he attempted the windfall was ludicrous in the extreme. One dog going upone fallen trunk, the other, another, diverging as they progressed, brought Mr. Martinviolently to an undesired seat and the dogs to a consequent hanging more times than one,only to be extricated by the united efforts of the rest of the party. It was highlyentertaining at first but after many repetitions it became monotonous and called for ashifting of burdens which left Mr. Martin a happy man with a jangling array of fryingpans and pails.
    • Two years after that stay with the Cheneys, we made our headquarters thereagain, but as our party was larger and our stay shorter and camping more frequent, it isnot as much associated with the family as my first visit. Nov.24/11.P.S. Dan reminds me that Johns pistol Ned took and had raffled for $100.00 to supplyJohn with some needed funds. As in the draw it fell to him, he placed it in the Museum asabove.
    • Dudley S. Gregory family Dudley S. Gregory home Dudley S. Gregory Joseph Dixon