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Adirondack short stories

April 20, 2013
By HOWARD RILEY ( , Adirondack Daily Enterprise

George H. Canon, longtime Newcomb supervisor, is a friend since my days with the Adirondack North Country Association when George was on the Board of Directors. He is a loyal reader of this space, so here are a couple of stories for George.

The following is mined from deep inside the archives of the Adirondack Room of the Saranac Lake Free Library.


Article Photos

This old Enterprise photo is not related to today’s column, but it is nice to look back at what Main Street, Saranac Lake, looked like prior to the LaPan Highway construction. The building on the right is the Seaver A. Miller home, built in 1850. I wonder, if Historic Saranac Lake was around back then, maybe they could have stopped destroying that beautiful house. This picture does not do it justice; it was L-shaped with a lawn, with the entrance to the left where the awning is visible. Next to it was an antique shop operated by Mrs. Marian Brogan (owned by Mr. Miller), then the Novelty Shop, and then what is today the Little Italy restaurant.

From the Ausable Record Post, March 10, 1932

"A two-day manhunt in the section between an abandoned logging camp known as the 'Jesse Stanley Camp' located between Indian Lake, Hamilton County, and the Goodnow section in the Town of Newcomb, resulted in the death of a mysterious negro, believed to be a fugitive from justice, who was shot by members of a posse made up of county officials, state troopers, game protectors and trappers, who had gone out in search of the man of mystery, who threatened to shoot two trappers who run across him in the wilderness. [Wow, that is one long sentence!]

"The trappers, Ernest Blanchard and his brother-in-law, named Turner, were returning to Long Lake when they came upon the mysterious negro, wearing raw rabbit skins on his hand and feet. As they approached the stranger, he raised a shotgun and ordered them to move on or he would shoot them. They obeyed and when they reached the Long Lake settlement they reported the incident.

"A posse headed by Lt. C. B. McCann, started out next day on a search for the stranger. They eventually came upon him and ordered him to surrender. His reply was a shot from his gun. The negro was shot in the leg but still he refused to surrender and continued to shoot at the posse. Finally he was wounded in the stomach. One of the troopers rushed him and found him lying in the snow. But he was still defiant and would not talk. In a few minutes he died."


A Roosevelt connection, December 1958

"Norman Hall Sr., 77, died December 13, at his home in Newcomb. His death came on his birthday anniversary. He was a life-long resident of Newcomb, except for a few years he spent in New York City as a chauffeur for a Tahawus Club member.

"Older members of the club will recall Mr. Hall as crack marksman, while younger members will remember him as the man who imparted to them some of his love and knowledge of the Adirondack area. He was a boatman in the days of the picturesque Hudson River log drives.

"In recent years he was employed by the National Lead Company as a foreman in the clearing of the present mine and mill site in Tahawus. His career ended as caretaker of the Newcomb Union Cemetery. He had held office as collector and assessor in the Town of Newcomb, and was a member of the Board of Education of the Newcomb Central School for many years.

"Mr. Hall's father, the late Harrison Hall, was the Adirondack guide who delivered to Theodore Roosevelt the news that President McKinley had been shot."


Pet deer is killed, the Enterprise, Nov. 19, 1963

"Five men were arrested last night by the New York State Police from the Ray Brook Zone Headquarters for slaying a pet buck deer by cutting its throat and stealing the carcass. The deer was in a pen at St. Nick's Motel located on the Saranac Lake/Tupper Lake road next to the new armory."

[Those arrested, I am not using their names because they still have relatives here, were given long sentences in the county jail after appearing before Harrietstown Justice Karl Griebsch.]

"Nicholas Acrivlelis, [Rita Sweeney's father], owner of the motel, said three other pet deer in the pen, two doe and a small buck and a 209 lb., 8 point buck he had killed hanging in a tree not far from the pen, were not touched.

"He said the slain deer weighing between 150 to 175 lbs., was a dama-dama Indian deer he purchased three years ago from the 1000 Animal Farm in Lake Placid. The deer had a 12-point rack with a wider spread than the Adirondack white-tail deer, Mr. Acrivlelis explained, and a coat that never loses its spots. He said the animal was used for breeding, valued at $300, and Peter Trumbilis, manager of the game farm was interested in buying or trading to get the deer back to the farm as a show animal.

"Jack Beardsley, state employee on night duty at the armory, saw a car parked at the beginning of the Armory driveway, next to the motel; but he was not suspicious since people stopped their at all hours to feed the pet deer."



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