Adirondack Visionaries 1890

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White Face Mountain . Adirondacks . New York

What they were thinking … 1890

Adirondack League Club Early History
Transcribed in 2009 by Town of Webb Historian Peg Masters

1890 – Watertown Times, “To Save the Great Forests,” September 4, 1890, p.2

“The history of the project of saving the Adirondack forests is exceedingly interesting. With that object in view, the Adirondack Park Association was quietly formed in New York City in April last … This association came into being because of the sealed conviction that the forestry commission has proved a failure, says the New York Press; that it has suffered inroads to be made into the heart of the Adirondacks, which has effected serious injury and threatened still greater; that it has promoted no serious measures to promote the planting of trees’ that it has not properly resisted the encroachments of shingle men and charcoal burners; that it had allowed the encroachment of railroads; that in fact the commission was a useless body. Filled with views of this character and instinct that the ‘groves were of God’s first temple,’ Dr. Martin Burke resolved to take up the cause of preservation of this glorious expanse of forest and stream and to save to the state the primitive headquarters of the Hudson river, at least….”

How interesting that a group of preservationists, naturalists and visionaries set out to protect the wild wonderland of the Adirondacks, when exploitation was at the cusp of clear cutting & destroying sacred land … the Forest Commission standing by and watching.

1890? Wow!

A forever wild concept, when we were quite new. Preservation happened I expect because enough concerned environmentalists, had enough money to buy – something good – for once. I think the tax structure of the day might have helped.

Our family, the Wicks Family, were among the early preservationists … manifested in understated style and grace of architecturally harmonious structure in the wild.

I love that.

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