‘Journal’ entries from November 1970

We summarized the history here last week of the “The Journal,” a weekly newspaper with headquarters in Lake Placid, edited by Fred Ellers and Bill McLaughlin.

We are going to give it another shot along with publishing the Harrietstown voter enrollment for 1938, graciously on loan to me from neighbor Jeff Wood.

Hopefully we can print more pages of the voter enrollment from time to time so readers can find their relatives. I counted 235 registered voters listed. The population of Harrietstown in 1930 was 6,856, and in 2010 it was 5,709.

For instance, on the front page of the enrollment there is Harry and Edith Bedell, grandparents of Ruth Fortune. Harry was a U.S. Postal Rural Delivery employee, with his own vehicle, who delivered the mail to our farm on Norman Ridge in the 1930s.

Also on the list is a number of Buckleys — Mildred, Leona, James and Patrick. Some of those Buckleys might be relatives of my cousin Thomas Buckley (former president of the Saranac Lake Board of Education), whose mother was Margaret Hogan Buckley; first cousin to my mother, Elizabeth Keegan Riley. Margaret’s mother was Esther Keegan.

Alum of Norwich University Military College, Retired U.S. Army Officer, resident of Lake Placid and former Redskin football star. (Photo provided)

Darwin Brown was registered to vote. He lived up the road from our family when we lived at Split Rock farm. He used to drive a wagon loaded with six or eight 50-gallon drums down into the shallow brook next to our farm to fill them with water for his home and livestock. As he drove the team up the steep path out of the brook the water would be splashing all over the place.

Front page news

“An important date for most Saranac Lake citizens will be December 15. A long awaited and perhaps vital public hearing on the River Street, Route 3 reconstruction is scheduled at that time by the State Department of Transportation.

After much discussion, these top-of-the-run attorneys, both friends of mine, made a determination to agree on one point in the case, “Yep, that’s a hole in the ground.” (Photo provided)

“Two weeks ago the business people on River Street and Lake Flower Avenue had petitioned Governor Rockefeller for just such action to determine what plans they might make to relocate or improve the present locations.

“The hearing is set for 8 p.m. at the Harrietstown Town Hall and should be one of the biggest turnouts in several years as nearly every taxpayer in the community will be affected, as least indirectly.”

(The planning of the reconstruction of River Street had been in the works for years. I, with my Deputy Mayor Myron “Rube” Skeels went to New York City about 1966 to meet with state and federal officials in the very early stages of the project. Tony Anderson was the mayor in 1970 in his third, non-consecutive term.)

NCCC budget in trouble

“The Essex County Board of Supervisors voted down the plan for NCCC’s campus three times at a meeting November 2.

“First, the Supervisors turned down the original $9,403,000 plan which they had vetoed two weeks ago. After that, the supervisors discussed and voted down a reduced budget of $8,181,000.

“Another discussion took place following a resolution by Supervisor William Hurley of North Elba. Mr. Hurley offered a two-stage building project that would cost $5 million for the first stage.

“The first two resolutions were voted down 27 to 21. Those voting for the plan were Robert Laundree of Keeseville, Donald Titus of Crown Point, Carl Huttig of Elizabethtown, Elvin Cross of Essex, Robert Purdy of Keene, Lilburn Yandon of Newcomb, William Hurley of North Elba and Arthur Richard of Willsboro.

“Those voting against the plan were Arthur Douglas of Jay, Henry Cornwright of Lewis, Francis Donnelly of Minivera, William Wheelock, (of course, whose nickname was ‘Bumper’) of Moriah, James DeZalia of North Hudson, William Fountain of Schroon, Thomas Norman of St. Armand, John Bevilacqua (who has lots of kinfolks in Saranac Lake) of Ticonderoga, Walter Huchro of Westport and B. J. Cook of Wilmington.”

(I covered this meeting and all of those snarky meetings as editor of the Lake Placid News. I was the first to report and publish a nasty remark by one of the supervisors about the college students. Man, did it ever hit the fan. The supervisor came storming into the Enterprise office and claimed that he never said it, I showed the publisher my notes, he backed me up. But what finally saved the day for me was my pal, Don Nardiello, owner and operator of WIRD Radio in Lake Placid. There it was on his tape recorder, the supervisor mouthing exactly what I had reported he said.)


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