Treva (Bruce) Miller, a 1947 graduate of Saranac Lake High School, now a resident of Palm Harbor, Fla., has sent me a number of old copies of The Enterprise, many from 1925. But in that envelope was one of the first copies of a newspaper named The Adirondack from 1896. Under the logo the paper promised, "Multum in parvo," or "Much in little" (translation - thanks to the Internet).
A note from Ms. Miller, enclosed with the newspapers, reads in part: "I keep in touch with Donn Garwood and he is kind enough to send me your column - one of my last contacts with Saranac Lake." So thank you, Treva, and notwithstanding a feeble endeavor on my part to comment on the stories of that long-ago era, they will be printed verbatim.
This piece of the editorial could have been written today:
Advertisement from 1896
"We have come to stay. We spend our money in Saranac Lake, not in Plattsburgh. We are not very large yet but then you must remember we are not yet 21. (This copy was volume one, number eight.)
"It will be very easy to remember next year, when we had our first real snow storm this year, for it came with the advent of The Adirondack.
"We will endeavor to print a clean sheet and if we get the support of the home advertisers, their ads will have the best position in the local paper. It is for these reasons and this reason only that a local paper should be sustained first: local news; second: local people read local news; third: local advertisers have goods to sell local people "
No tea party here
"The 55th Congress will stand, Republicans 205, Democrats 134, Populists 18. The territorial delegates are three in number, Arizona 1, New Mexico 1, Oklahoma 1. These may talk but cannot vote in the Congress. There will be 357 members in the 55th Congress, also 3 territorial delegates, making a total of 360."
Don't ask, don't tell?
"Grand Annual Ball - The Odd Fellows Ball a Pretty Event - A pleasing social event of the season was the Third Anniversary Ball given by the Saranac Lake Lodge, No. 59, I.O.O.F., at the Opera House on Thanksgiving Eve.
"The night was not the most propitious (favorable), but about fifty couples of gay young people, daintily arrayed, tripped the light fantastic 'till the peep of morn stole into the large hall, dimming the brilliancy of the electric light and warning the happy throng that the night was far spent."
Village board always in trouble
"Mud! Mud! What is the matter with our village board? Is not there money enough on our treasury to employ a day laborer to keep our crosswalks clear of mud? The merchants in town would do more business if our cross walks were kept clean." (Remember, the village had then been incorporated for only four years.)
"Mrs. Behrens, of Buffalo, who spent the past summer in a cozy tent in Tousley's Grove, at the foot of the Lower Saranac Lake, is an interesting young matron who is in town for another season."
A board to the head stops runaway team
"Quite a runaway occurred here last Saturday. John Welsh of Freedman's Home was just about to leave G. D. Washburn's house, leaving his team standing at the door for a moment when they became frightened and started on a run knocking over, but not injuring, a little boy who stood near. The team ran as far as Fred McIntyre's where they were stopped by one of the horses being knocked over the head by a piece of board. The wagon had been left behind long before a complete wreck. Neither horse was injured."
A very short dispatch
"While J. W. Nye, Sheriff of Essex County, was in Placid after his man, a dispatch was handed to him which read: 'Jerry Hannell broke jail last night.' Signed, Jasper Nye."
A strange accident
"The inhabitants of Lake Placid, whenever they pass a certain point in the road that leads from the Station to Newman Post Office, always look at a certain large stone, for at this point last August Edwin Parker lost his life. A trunk slid off one of the transfer wagons and hit Parker who struck this rock and which accident resulted in his death a few days later. His relatives have asked the transfer to settle but not being able to affect a settlement, steps have now been taken to force a settlement and the suit will soon come off. The relatives of Parker will try to prove that the trunks were not properly fastened to the wagon. The accident happened after dark and on a road too narrow for pedestrians and vehicles both to travel. Parker was an actor and was with the Shannon Company which was playing at Lake Placid."
The Adirondack was a weekly newspaper "issued every Friday morning," The editor was J.W. Ball; the associate editor was Seaver A. Miller. It was published by the Adirondack Publishing Company; subscription rates were $1 a year; however, a special offer was included; for anyone who subscribed before Jan. 1, 1897, the rate was only 50 cents a year.