Tag Archives: Charles Herr

A 1900 travel advertisement from The Adirondack News

— Part THREE —

Also on the transportation schedules page that appeared in a July 1900 issue of The Adirondack News, were the following lines…

Delaware Lackawanna & Western Railroad

This line was established by consolidation of other lines in 1853.

Originally a transporter of anthracite coal, the line diversified under Jay Gould’s leadership in the 1880s and added increased merchandising traffic as well as commuter cargo.

New leadership in 1899 resulted in upgrading of its programs.

In late October 1899, the railroad appointed a travel agent, W. B. Hunter, to travel to the region with noted photographer W. H. Jackson to obtain images for travel books planned by the company.

According to the schedule, lines connected to Utica as far south as Philadelphia and west to Elmira and Binghamton.  Continue reading

Share Button

An 1891 negative opinion of Doctor Webb’s Railroad

Part two

Some five years ago a wooden railway (first Fulton Chain Rail-way] was built, beginning at Moose River tannery so-called, which is situated thirteen miles from Boonville (a village on the Rome, Watertown and Ogdensburg railroad).

A good road and daily stages make connection at Moose River [Settlement] with this little railway.

The [wooden] rails were laid nearly to the line of Township 7, when the owners, to save their park from railroad encroachment, conceived the plan of improving [with dams and lock dams] Moose River (the outlet of the Fulton Chain), to enable them to run a little flat-bottomed steamer [the Fawn], which, connecting with the cars [at Minnehaha], accommodates the travelers in search of pleasure, sport and health.

On this tract are twenty small lakes, which, with this beautiful stream [Moose River], make a park of unrivalled beauty.

In opening this little river for navigation (if it may be called), great care was taken not to raise the water above a line where it would injure the trees or obscure the original outlines of the stream.

This was done by [H. Dwight Grant’s] several low dams and a lock, thus affording the necessary water for the little boat.

Continue reading

Share Button

An 1891 negative opinion of Dr. Webb’s Railroad

Part One

I sometimes find a newspaper article that resists my summarizing or paraphrasing without detracting from its essence. In the Lowville Journal & Republican of August 6, 1891 was a letter whose author was “a correspondent at Lyons Falls, N. Y.” that was written to the New York Tribune.

Judging from the letter’s origin and the writer’s apparent personal feelings about the topic, I am convinced that the author was either William or Julia Lyon deCamp.

The “family” had recently objected to the combine that wanted to build the wooden rail “Peg-Leg” railroad from Moose River Settlement through their lands to the Forge House, offering a more environment-friendly steamer alternative for that stretch that was currently operating, and would later in the decade win a five-year court case against John Dix’s lumber company, stopping log driving through their lands from destroying north branch Moose River forested river banks and dams.

In Harter’s “Fairy Tale Railroad”, Webb’s engineer Herschel Roberts described surveying across the deCamps’ lands and starting a condemnation suit for the right-of way in July 1891.

Continue reading

Share Button

The Worst Guides… and The Worst

Part Three

Orrando Dexter. Besides being killed, Orrando Dexter’s name also suffered in that it was repeatedly given as Orlando, even by Donaldson’s history. Barbara McMartin spelled it correctly.

Orrando was the son of Henry Dexter, President of the American News Company.

Orrando bought two contiguous tracts of 6000 and 4000 acres at Santa Clara and was a millionaire and also a recluse. His official residence was in Connecticut to avoid New York City taxes.

At Dexter Lake, Dexter built a large mansion designed after Albrecht Durer’s Nuremburg house, a large cottage for his workmen, a maple sugar orchard and a farm house, most of these roofed in copper.

He also fenced in his lands, the traditional haunts of locals and woodsmen, prevented lumber jobbers from passing to deliver wood for their contract jobs and built a house on a widely used road, posting guards to shoot trespassers on site, to prevent its continued use by locals.

Continue reading

Share Button

The Worst Guides… and The Worst Landowners


Mr. Bull accompanied Cole and they tracked Parker down. Cole urged Parker six times to surrender and then shot him.

Nessmuk says it was while Parker dodged behind his wife who was helping him get away.

The following May, Mrs. Bull died.

Afterward, both Cole and Bull were indicted for murder after Bull abused guides, accusing them of helping Parker get away.

The guides claimed Bull urged Cole to shoot while Parker was surrendering.

The charges evidently did not stick and this ended the first instance in people’s minds where a guide took advantage of the confidence placed in them.

Continue reading

Share Button

Herr-Story by Charles Herr

The Worst Guides… and The Worst Landowners


Before railroads and automobiles, travelers depended on the quality and skills of North Woods guides to show them the region’s natural beauty, to feed them and provide the best in hunting and fishing.

Often, guides were entrusted with taking ladies in the woods.

The guides, especially those not aligned with large hotels, depended on per diem fees for subsistence and quality reputations for honesty, dependability and woodcraft benefited all guides.

So when two guides brought dishonor to the profession, guides hoped people realized these two were the exception.

In 1901, a group including the largest Adirondack landowners formed the Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks.

This group’s goals have been to preserve the health of the Park’s forests and inhabitants for present and future generations.

Its initial critics felt it formed to protect its members’ large preserves.

But its immediate opening of the membership to individuals helped bring about a broad base of support and today it is still a force benefiting the Park.

But two preserve owners brought unneeded bad press nationally upon the group.

Charles Parker. Continue reading

Share Button

Herr- Story by Charles Herr A look at local days gone by

Lt. Gov. Timothy L. Woodruff’s Letter to W.W. Durant

Just when I think I have learned all of the origins and instigators for the building of the Raquette Lake Railroad during 1899, I find a new participant.

I have read of Collis Huntington’s impatience with the inefficiencies of the Fulton Chain steamers and stages from Old Forge’s transportation monopoly’s companies, his sitting on a keg of nails during a long wait.

Then his wife refused to visit him at Pine Knot until a builder of the transcontinental railroad built a railroad to their camp.

Dr. Webb did plan on a road from Clearwater to Raquette Lake; the Raquette Lake Railroad would use the two mile lumber railroad built in 1897–1898 by John Dix to Rondaxe Lake as the beginning of this road’s route. Continue reading

Share Button