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Some Adirondack Mountain Reserve history

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  • Some Adirondack Mountain Reserve history

    Page 145 of “The Great Forest of the Adirondacks” by Barbara McMartin.

    The men who bought the Adirondack Mountain Reserve land with the intention of protecting it, also bought land in adjacent valleys to help finance their investment. In the 1890s, Finch, Pruyn and Company cut timber under contract to Adirondack Mountain Reserve in the Stillwater area south of Panther Gorge. “Clearcutting for pulp wood was done in the valleys of the North Fork of the Boquet River, Elk Lake’s East and West Inlets, Johns Brook and north-flowing Marcy Brook valley.” The Beede brothers logged the north slopes of Wolf Jaws and Armstrong also under contract with Adirondack Mountain Reserve. The pulp logs from these cuts were shipped to the J. and J. Rogers’ Mill at AuSable Forks.
    Leave No Trace!

  • #2
    I really appreciate this kind of history. Thanks!


    • #3
      I grabbed the book in the library because I thought it was going to be about Adirondack forests but it is really about logging. The main points that I have learned.

      The original logging was done to create farms. Lots of White Pines. Some were sent to England for ship masts!

      If you bought a farm you could cut down all the trees and burn them all and make potash. Making potash sounded miserable. They sold the potash for the cash. I guess hard cash was really hard to come by.

      There was also logging for hardwoods for charcoal for mining. This had a bad impact on the forest.

      Then in the 1800's logging was for saw logs. Saw logs where 13 feet log Red Spruce. Steps of logging.
      1. Buy land.
      2. Log the land - This logging means removing the big Red Spruce.
      3. Send the spruce down the rivers because they float.
      4. Don't pay the taxes on the land because your land is now worthless too you.
      5. The state takes your land for taxes.
      The author felt that this kind of logging did not really have a large impact on the forest. Those Red Spruce left lots of cones that grew back really fast.

      They invented a way to make paper. This was bad. Lots of paper mills. Paper mills needed lots of water and infrastructure. Paper used lots of trees. Lots of clear cutting. There where more paper mills then the Adirondacks then needed. They actually imported trees from Canada if you could imagine!

      Rich people came and made clubs. We are talking vast tracts of land. Some of the clubs allowed logging on their land to help with the costs of the clubs.

      There was lots of buying and selling land in the book.

      All this is 100,000 foot generalizations. There is alot more in the book. It is kind of overwhelming trying to to get a grip on it all. The book must have been tons of work.

      I probably need to read it 3 times to get it all.
      Leave No Trace!


      • Learning The Trails
        Learning The Trails commented
        Editing a comment
        Hey Bunchberry - these sort of actions were obviously common around the Northeast. I'm attaching this episode of the Lore show because there's a bit that touches on the logging practices of that era - though the stories take place in Vermont. The burning of wood to make charcoal for the production of metals is discussed in the first half. The effects that it had are also discussed. The rest of the show is based on hikers disappearing in the vicinity of Glastonbury Mountain in Vermont. It's a very well done and researched episode and a short listen.

        Your post and discussion about the logging practices made me think of it. If you check it out, lemme know what you think!

      • Bunchberry
        Bunchberry commented
        Editing a comment
        I hated it! LOL! I really hate spooky stories. Ever since my borthers and I watched "House on Hauted Hill" the night my parents went out. My brothers were like 16 and 17 so I was like 11.

        If you like that kind of thing it was great! But there is a wikipedia page for it.

      • Learning The Trails
        Learning The Trails commented
        Editing a comment
        Bunchberry - Ah, that's too bad that you didn't like it. I like spooky stories.
        I enjoyed how Aaron gives a lot of the background history for the mountain and discusses the logging practices that took place and the attempts to settle the area as the backdrop.
        I checked the wiki page after I listened to the episode a few years ago. I think Aaron Mahnke does a much better job of setting the scene and discussing what happened than the wiki page.