COLLECTED WRITINGS OF MARY MacKENZIE
EDITED BY LEE MANCHESTER
For many, many years Mary MacKenzie, official historian of the Adirondack town of North Elba and the village of Lake Placid, New York, cherished the dream of writing a comprehensive history of her home community. She began work on the project in the early 1960s. By the time she died in 2003, however, her dream had not been realized.
MacKenzie’s family recruited local author Lee Manchester to serve as the historian’s literary executor, combing through the files Mary had transferred to the Lake Placid Public Library and gathering as many of her magazine and newspaper articles, letters, lectures and unpublished essays as possible. The resulting volume is a close facsimile of the sweeping, comprehensive history MacKenzie had so long envisioned.
In 2008, “The Plains of Abraham” won the Adirondack Literary Awards’ first-ever Special Appreciation Award, given at the annual program in Blue Mountain Lake. According to one of the judges, the unique award was bestowed in recognition of the book’s long-term importance to Adirondack literature:
“This is more than just an important book for this year. People will be reading and appreciating this book 100 years from now. Adirondack Park residents and visitors owe Manchester a great debt of gratitude for this extraordinary project.”
“The Plains of Abraham” was first published by Nicholas K. Burns Publishing of Utica, New York, in 2007. Shortly after the book’s launch, however, the publisher went out of business. To ensure that this treasure trove of public history continues to be available to the community for which it was created, the Lake Placid Public Library has reissued the book in a new, print-on-demand edition. It is one of the five volumes compiled as part the Mary MacKenzie Project, all of which are available from the project’s online storefront (http://stores.LuLu.com/MaryMacKenzie).