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Shop www.charliejohns Store  for over 300 titles of Adirondack books online with FREE SHIPPING!  There are books to suit everyones taste including history, hiking, camping, Adirondack animals, and much, much, more!

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The history of the Adirondacks has been shaped and influenced by many powerful forces. Logging, mining, farming, tourism and even medicine have all played a major role in the development of the region. In the early 1800's, towns like St. Regis, Paul Smiths and Old Forge sprang up taking advantage of the vast timber resources and iron ore deposits. In the central Adirondacks, pioneers cleared the large tracts of land for farming creating the first settlements. And beginning in the late nineteenth century, the Adirondacks became a popular destination for the rich and famous. Known as the "Gilded Age", this period is famous for the construction of huge rustic compounds called Great Camps.

We invite you to learn more about the history of the Adirondacks by visiting the many museums and historic sites. We will soon have sections on logging, farming, tuberculousis, mining and so much more. Have any history you like to submit, please
Historic Saranac Lake

Historic Saranac Lake, a not-for-profit organization, formed to seek National Register of Historic Places listing for buildings in and around Saranac Lake, New York, works to encourage historic preservation in the community through education and research. Activities have included: the listing of 170 properties to the National Register of Historic Places, operation of a rural preservation company, completion of a comprehensive housing survey, two rehabilitation conferences, full rehabilitation of two houses in the community and publication of two books and two videos on local history and architecture. For further info please click here.

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Adirondack Statistics

  • Adirondack State Park - 6 Million Acres
  • Adirondack Forest Preserve - 2.3 Million Acres
  • 8,000 Sq. miles of mountains
  • 2,000 miles of foot trails
  • 240 lean-tos
  • 35 campsites
  • 200 lakes at least a square mile area
  • There are over 2,000 high peak mountains
  • There are over 40 high peak mountains over 4,000 feet
  • The highest peak is Mount Marcy at 5,344 feet
  • There are over 50 species of animals
  • Over 220 Birds Over 30 species of reptiles and amphibians
  • 66 species of fish
  • Over 2,300 lakes and ponds
  • 1,500 miles of rivers
  • 30,000 miles of brooks and streams

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Castles of Ice

The Saranac Lake Winter Carnival is a week long celebration that came into being around the turn of the century. Developed as a traditional approach to cure "cabin fever" for the local residents, The Winter Carnival became an annual event in 1897. The centerpiece of the festival is the ice palace, a grand structure built entirely of 700 pound blocks of translucent lake ice.

Prior to the advent of refrigeration, ice cutting was a thriving profession in the North Country. Blocks of ice were harvested from the frozen lakes of the region and shipped to the cities; packed in sawdust aboard railroad boxcars. The use of ice blocks as building blocks was an obvious invention and the first ice palace was born.

In the initial years of Winter Carnival, the construction of the palace was the source of much competition between the various ice cutters, the early ice palaces were quite elaborate, with each succeeding year's buildings striving to out do the the previous years'. Each company took pride in their design and spent many hours sculpting the ornamentation of the palace.

Present day ice palaces retain this excitement in the choice of design, as engineering students from various colleges die for the opportunity to see their design utilized. Construction begins in late January as the ice blocks are harvested and assembled along the shore of Lake Flower in the center of the Village of Saranac Lake. The design includes indoor rooms: a throne room, staircases, towers and embattlements reaching heights of 50 feet, as well as an ice slide leading out onto the lake ice. Fabricated completely with volunteer labor, the palace utilizes over 3000 ice blocks, each cut to size of 2 feet wide by 2 feet thick by 4 feet long. Using slush as mortar, the blocks are frozen in place as the palace takes form.

The sheer size of the structure is impressive and the sight of such a beautiful building created entirely of natural materials is awe inspiring. Illuminated by interior lights, it is a marvel to visit on a crisp winter's eve or a joy to behold on a sunny weekend day with children scurrying along its ramparts.

For Further information contact the Sarnanac Lake Chamber fo Commerce. Main Street, Saranac Lake, N.Y. 12983. Phone: 518-891-1990.

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Adirondack Museums

Enjoy your visit!!
The Adirondack Museum
Blue Mountain Lake, NY - (518) 352-7311

One of Americas finest outdoor history museums and called, the best of its kind in the world, by the New York Times, the Adirondack Museum is the only place to discover the regions history. A magnificent new Visitors Center and Museum Store welcome visitors to the stories of how people have lived, worked, traveled, and played, in the Adirondacks from the early 1800s to the present. In addition, two fine art galleries showcase some of the regions finest works from nationally acclaimed artists. Traditional skills demonstrations, hands-on activities, games for the whole family, and special events are all part of the Adirondack Museum experience. Open daily 9:30 5:30, May 24, 2002 through October 14, 2002 (except Friday, September 27 when the museum closes to allow for set-up of the Adirondack Museum Antiques Show the following day).


June 14 - 16 : No-Octane Regatta Weekend Wooden boat races, a Grand Parade of Boats, demonstrations, workshops, behind-the-scenes tours of the museum. s boat collection, activities for children, food, music, and more. The fun begins with a Splash Into Summer party Friday evening. An opportunity for the whole family to spend a weekend in the Adirondacks on or near the water.

July 02-07: Rustic Furniture Making - Demonstration - 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Jim Lanthier demonstrates rustic furniture making.

July 09-14: Weaving on a floor loom. - Demonstration - 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Pete Rose weaves on a floor loom.

July 11: Teddy Bears Picnic Anniversary Celebration: Concert on the lawn at 1:00 pm for families of all ages with award-winning singer/songwriter Gary Rosen. Children admitted free when accompanied by a Teddy Bear.

July 13: Garden Festival. A day-long celebration of gardening in the Adirondacks. Demonstrations, plant sales, keynote speaker, activities for children, workshop.

July 16-21: Seat Caning Demonstration - 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Everard Crocker. Buck Lake Club Camp on museum grounds.

July 23-28: Willow Basket Weaving - Demonstration - 10:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Jean Gage, Buck Lake Club Camp.

July 30 Aug. 4: Ash-Splint Basket Making - Demonstration - 10:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Jack Leadley, Buck Lake Club Camp.

August 6-11: Quilting - Demonstration - 10:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Diane Britt and Linda Bennett, Buck Lake Club Camp.

August 13-18: Swedish Rag Rugs - Demonstration - 10:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Lis Barsuglia-Marsden, Buck Lake Club Camp.

August 20-25: Card wool & Spin Fleece - Demonstration - 10:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Serendipity Spinners, Buck Lake Club Camp.

August 21-25: Traditional Blacksmithing - Demonstration - 10:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. John Scarlett. Center campus.

September 14: Rustic Furniture Fair 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Showcasing one-of-a-kind works by 50 craftspeople, the Fair features furnishings hand-constructed from natural materials in their natural form. Individual pieces may be purchased.

September 28: Adirondack Museum Antiques Show - 9:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. With an emphasis on rustic Adirondack furniture and accessories, the Annual Adirondack Museum Antiques Show, with 100 dealers represented, offers antique lovers a wide range of choices.

Franklin County Historical Society
Malone, NY

Exhibits of early Franklin County, including victorian parlor and Dining Room, Old country store, crafts rooms and so much more.

Six Nation Indian Museum
Gabriels, NY

Paintings, drawings, maps and artifacts that reflect the historic and contemporary aspects of the Six Iroquois Nations Federacy culture (Haudenosaunees).

Constable Hall
Constableville, NY

This restored nineteenth century mansion with its original furnishings was built out of limestone.

Historic Society of Saratoga Springs Museum
Saratoga Springs, NY

This museum use to be a gambling casino during the17th century

Fort William Henry
Lake George, NY

Restored French and Indian War fort. Military drills, musket-cannon firing

Awakesasne Museum
Hogansburg, NY

Historical and Contemporary Mohawk Art and Artifacts

Chapman Historical Museum
Glens Falls, NY

Delong House, Victorian period home restored to 1865-1910 era. Exhibitions on history of southern Adirondacks

Adirondack Park Visitor
Interpretive Center

Paul Smiths, NY

Life in the Adirondacks, its natural .history, workshops and special programs offered.

Penfield Museum
Crown Point, NY

Historic Site. Museum of local history around the 1800's. Exhibits on the Civil War and early Iron Work

Slate Valley Museum
Granville, NY

Exhibits documenting the history of slate quarrying.

Almanzo Wilder Homestead
Malone, NY

From The Little House On the Prairie - Laura Ingals Husband, Almanzo Wilder Home

Webb Historical Association
Old Forge, NY

Exhibits of of the first Adirondack settlements.

Robert Lewis Stevenson Cottage
Saranac Lake, NY

Master storyteller and author of Treasure Island and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Hancock House
Ticonderoga, NY

Museum of the Adirondacks and it also has a research library


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Saranac Lake, New York 12983
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