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‘Fools Rushed In’ at Wilmington Historical Society presentation Aug. 15

WILMINGTON – The Wilmington Historical Society invites community members to the program “Fools Rushed In: The Story of Murray’s Fools” at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug.15 at the Atmospheric Sciences Research Center at 110 Marble Lane (just off Whiteface Highway).

Presented by Ivy Gocker, library director of Adirondack Experience, the program will focus on the effects of the wilderness experience on tourism in the Adirondacks.

In 1869, Boston-based clergyman and author William Henry Harrison Murray published a collection of advice and anecdotes on his camping trips to a then little-known region — the Adirondacks. The volume, “Adventures in the Wilderness” or, “Camp-Life in the Adirondacks” would launch a thousand camping trips, inspiring hordes of untested city folk to try their hand at “roughing it” in the Adirondack wilds. Known as “Murray’s Fools,” these adventure-seekers flooded the region, spurring the growth of a tourism industry that would change the Adirondacks forever.

Gocker will explore the impact of Murray’s influential guidebook as well as the life of Murray himself, based in large part on the Adirondack Experience Museum’s own collection of correspondence, publications, and scrapbooks from Murray and his family. Gocker has been library director at the Adirondack Experience since the fall of 2016. Prior to that, she worked for nine years at the Brooklyn Public Library in New York City, spending her last six in the library’s local history department, the Brooklyn Collection. She has a master’s degree in library science from Pratt Institute.

The “Murray’s Fools” program on Aug. 15 is free and open to the public, made possible, in part, by the Essex County Arts Council’s Cultural Assistance Program Grant with funding provided by Essex County. Refreshments are provided by the Country Bear Bakery in Wilmington.

For further information, go to www.wilmingtonhistoricalsociety.org or contact the Wilmington Historical Society at whs12997@hotmail.com or 518-420-8370.

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