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Old 12-03-2018, 03:00 PM   #1
Festus
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useless history - Chapel Pond area

Changes are coming to one of this regions most spectacular areas - the Chapel Pond Pass corridor. Soon there'll be (if current thought holds true) limited or no roadside parking, new parking lots and rerouted trails...Here's a bit of this area's history:
- The original 9 mile road through the pass was built in 1812 and was generally located to the SW of current rt. 73. It can still be followed.
- The second road was built in 1865 and generally followed the current path of rt. 73. The section ascending the hill by Roaring Brook Falls was a very dangerous, sandy, single track lane that often slid and required a great deal of maintenance. Passengers leaned into the hill (and prayed) as their stage, cart or early auto passed through this section.
- Major work was done in 1935 when macadam was laid down and the numerous road-cuts were blasted. The 1865 road remains can be followed above and to the SW of these blasted sections of today's rt. 73.
- Leantos used to exist at The Washbowl, Round Pond (western end) and 2 facing each other on Giant's summit.
- Chiseled dates/names can be found and still deciphered in the bedrock that forms the open summit of Giant Mountain. This was done by the reserves that were called in to fight the fire of 1913 (which came very close to wiping out the Ausable Club).
- An Ausable Club member named Col. Loring built a camp near the cliffs and beach on the southern shore of Chapel Pond. He built it in 1888 and it burnt in the great fire of 1903.
- Lee Garfield built a logging camp in the early 1900s just north of the Round Pond Trailhead on the SW side of rt. 73. Buildings existed there into the 1920s.
- An Ausable Club nanny from Germany was lost and became stuck on the cliffs of Round Mountain above Chapel Pond in 1938. She screamed for help and was eventually heard and rescued (after several failed attempts). A wire from one of those failed attempts leading from Chapel Pond Canyon up through the cliffs still exists, wrapped around (and deeply cut into) several trees.
- A horse on a logging crew fell off a cliff into Dipper Brook - the inlet brook to Chapel Pond that rt. 73 crosses just south of Chapel Pond - (or possibly Putnam Brook depending on the source) in 1916. The crew boss who owned the horse felt it was impossible to retrieve and was ready to leave it when a worker offered him $10 for the horse. The worker and friends spent 4 days (and nights keeping the horse warm and fed) attempting to get him out and finally succeeded using a block and tackle system.
Lots of cool human history here!
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Old 12-03-2018, 08:36 PM   #2
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Thank you! Fascinating! A whole lot of activity packed into a small area!
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Old 12-03-2018, 10:02 PM   #3
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Wonderful stuff! Thanks, Festus.

We bought our property here from Adrian Edmonds, who was born in about 1915. He told us he well remembered when the road over Chapel Pond pass was an unpaved carriage road, and carriages would get stuck or flipped over.
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Old 12-17-2018, 09:25 AM   #4
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Harold Weston's Freedom in the Wilds , as edited and expanded by his granddaughter, Rebecca Foster, in 2008, describes a 1921 incident that was nearly identical to the rescue of the au pair in 1938. Again it was an au pair for an Ausable Club family who went to climb Dix and became lost on the return. Again it was also a chauffeur on his way to Westport who became aware of the girl's plight. Knowing of the 1938 rescue from Peter Bronski's At the Mercy of the Mountains, I questioned Rebecca whether Harold had just mis-remembered the dates years later when he wrote the first edition, published in 1971. She said that this incident was recorded in his diary for 1921 - a source she used for much of the added material.

Since the 1938 incident was independently reported in newspapers of the time, one has to believe that there were indeed two such nearly-identical incidents, but still I wonder .... The 1921 incident is related on pages 83-87 of the Third Edition. This edition also corrects, by removing, passages that referred to "Klondike Notch" being called "Railroad Notch" because was a route on the Underground Railway to get to John Brown's Farm.
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Old 12-17-2018, 06:32 PM   #5
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I hope she corrected the original books account purporting that General Burgoyne built a road through Chapel Pond Pass for the surprise attack on Fort Ti (pages 35 and 36). That road was built in 1812 by the state of NY and records stating such exist in Albany...
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Old 12-18-2018, 08:58 AM   #6
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I'm quite sure that was also corrected, although I didn't specifically look for that "corrective omission" in the current edition.
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Old 12-18-2018, 09:13 AM   #7
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I'm gonna venture a guess that someone got lost on Round Mountain in 1921 (maybe even a Club employee) when sections of the trail were hard to follow after the fires and subsequent logging operations but that Harold then mixed the details of the 2 incidents (1938 rescue and 1921 incident) when he wrote his book in the early 1970s. I wonder how much detail was written in his 1921 journal entry...Like Tony says, how likely is it that a Westport chauffeur was driving through and heard the cries for help in both cases (as well as other similarities...)?
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Old 12-18-2018, 08:31 PM   #8
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Chapel Pond Pass Picture

I hope this works.
I saw recently a Senaca Ray Stoddard photo taken c1890 in Chapel Pond Pass in a 1989 Adirondack Life Magazine. It shows a walking path. Anybody that has been there will recognize the cliffs in the background.

The photo is copyrighted. However, I was able to find a link to the photo in the collection of Adirondack Experience. If the link (below) doesn't work go to Adirondack Experience Collections Database. Type "Chapel Pond" in quotes into the search box. In fact go there and do the search anyway because this and other images will get listed.

One of the additional pictures I saw refers to Severance Camp. What was that?

https://adirondack.pastperfectonline...2-929512525010
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Old 12-19-2018, 08:59 AM   #9
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That path is actually the road of 1865. Good luck getting a stage through that! It was taken about where the pullout is for viewing Roaring Brook Falls. The older road was above and to the right of that road, up on the plateau...Great Stoddard photo!
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Old 12-19-2018, 12:38 PM   #10
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Per old newspaper accounts Severence Camp was a girls camp on Paradox Lake from 1924 - 1974...
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