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Old 10-08-2008, 07:39 AM   #21
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Almost any of the old timers that live in Newcomb worked there at one time. They are getting fewer as time goes on but as stated before George Canon is a great source along with Joe Helms (lived in the Upper works area). My dad Jim McMahon who has moved from the area when my mom passed away to be around family worked there for almost 48 years. National Lead used to put out a little magizine called the Cloudsplitter. It was a great little insight on the operations. I believe dad still has some. I will be going there today and if anyone is interested I will copy some of the articles and post them here. If not I don't want to clutter up the forum.
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Old 10-13-2008, 05:09 PM   #22
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Found this link and it has lots of information on Thahwus and the Mines. Hope you find it useful and interesting.

Just type in Tahawus in the search box
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Old 10-25-2008, 06:54 PM   #23
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The thrilling History of the Tahawus mines

as reported in the Ticonderoga-Sentinel-1941-

The "duck hole" where he was shot that ever since been called "Calamity
Pond," and the brook that
flows from it, and a. near-by mountain,
now bear the same name. The
tiny pond lies about a three hours'
tramp to the east of Lake Henderson
and near Lake Colden, and in this
remote, deserted spot, where only a
straggling hunter or fisherman strays,
stands one of the most unexpected
sights in the wilderness—a beautifully
carved stone memorial, bearing
this inscription:
This Monument
Erected by Filial Affection
To the Memory of
Our Dear Father
Who Accidentally Lost
His Life on this Spot
3rd September 1845
Beneath the inscription, in high relief,
are a chalice, a book, and an an
chor. The monument is of Nova
Scotia free stone, eight feet high, and
weighs a ton. The difficulties and
expense of placing it where it stands
were, naturally, great. It was drawn
in by oxen in winter over a specially
improvised roadway, and there it
stands, a touching tribute of affection
and yet a strange anomaly, for seldom
does a human being pass that way to
gaze upon it.
Mr. Hendersons death is usually
given as the cause of the abandon*
ment of the iron-works, but, while
they undoubtedly felt the loss of his
dynamic leadership, it was the transportation
problem t h a t ultimately
forced them to the wall. The long
haul to Lake Champlain over the
most primitive mountain roads made
it impossible to compete with concerns
nearer the markets, even
though the Adirondack product commanded
the higher prices. The records
show tiat while the best marks
of American and Scotch pig-iron were
selling for twenty dollars to twentytwo
dollars per ton, the Adirondack
output readily brought forty dollars
to forty-flve dollars.
The repeated enlargement of the
works in the face of the transportation
handicap, was largely due to recurring
prospect* of relief. The earliest
was a State survey of the valley
of the upper Hudson, with a view to
building a canal into the mountainous
mining-region. The scheme seemed
highly probable at one time, but was
finally abandoned.
(Ed. Note: The Sentinel presents
herewith the concluding chapter of
that portion of the "History of the
Adirondack*," by Alfred I. Donaldson
chronicling the history of the
iron ore mines at Tahawus. There
follows the first installment of "The
Military and Civil History of the
County of Essex, New York," written
by Winslow C. Watson and published
in 1869, which gives a highly
interesting account of the Tahawus
High hopes were raised again in
1834, when the Sackett's Harbor and
Saratoga Railroad Company surveyed
their line to within a few miles of the
iron-works, and began construction
with fair promise of completion. The
industry at this time was not flourishing
and its downward trend, WAS
clearly manifest The prospects of the
railroad, however, put new hope and
life into the owners. They began
repairing their old buildings and making
many new and costly improvements.
They built a new blast-furnace
of the largest type, furnished
with all modern appliances, which
alone is said to have cost $43,000.
But for the third time (if we include
the Lower Works) money was
wasted on a false hope. The railroad
failed to make good, and when
the last lingering possibility of its
ever doing so had faded away, the
AdirondackIron Works gave up their
long struggle against isolation, and
therefore the place became the deserted village.
This was in 1857. Six years later,
in 1863, the same railroad—its name
changed to "The Adirondack Company"—
bought control of the abandoned
works, and advertised them
among its most promising assets. The
scheme to build the road into them
was revived, but never fulfilled. Th<
new company laid its tracks as far
north as North Creek, but was never
able to carry them beyond that point.
Payments on the contract for the ironworks
were never completed,
they were taken back by the original
owners. Later they entered on their
last phase by passing under the control
of a large private fish and game
club—the first of its kind and purpose
to be organized in the Adirondacks.
The original organization was form
ed in February, 1876, and was called
the "Preston Ponds Club," after
three small sheets of water lying not
far north of Lake Henderson. This
club leased the- Preston Ponds for
two years, at a nominal rental, from
James R. Thompson, who was then
acting as agent tor the Adirondack
Iron and Steel Co. (a later Incorporation
of the iron-works). The Preston
Ponds Club had a constitution and
by-laws, but was not incorporated.
It was in the nature of a tentative
experiment, but proved so popular
and successful that enlargement
and permanency were soon decided
on. In January, 1877, the club was
reorganized and Incorporated as the
"Adirondack Club," talcing over the
entire iron property under lease. The
first officers of this club were: James
R. Thompson, president; William E.
Pearson, treasurer, and Thomas J
its predominant
sections of the <
Hall, secretary. incorporators
were: Charles F. Imbrie, William M.
Fincke, James R. Thompson, Francis
H. Weeks, George W. Folsom, Jai
Weeks, Thomas J. Hall, William E.
Pearson, Lockwood DeForest, William
H. Power and Dudley S. Gregory,
Jr., 2nd.
Among the original members were
such well-known names as the following:
Robert H. Robertson, Dr.
Daniel L. Stimson, Rutherford Stuyvtsant
A Low, Jr., Edward Anmentsnon,
M. Hoyt, W. L. Andrews, Emlen
Roosevelt, Dr. John B. Hawes, James
R. Roosevelt, Robert W. DeForest,
Henry W. DeForest, Frederick H.
Betts, Charles L. Atterburk, Coljes
Johnson, William F. Morgan and Robert
In 1898, the Adirondack Club
changed its name again, and became
the present Tahawus Club. The headquarters
and main buildings are north
of Lake Sanford, near the site of the
Upper Works. There is a post-office
of Tahawus ten miles to the south,
where the Lower Works used to be.
The few buildings here are controlled
by the club and kept open for the occasional
convenience of its members.
This club is now the lessee of the Mc-
Intyre Iron Company.
Previous to 1894, the club leased
its preserve from the heirs of the estate,
through the medium of a trustee
acting for the vested interests. This
proved awkward at times, and finally
led to a partition suit and the organization
of a holding company, with
nominal capitalization, known as the
Mclntyre Iron Company. The first
president was Mr. James MacNaughton
of Albany, whose father, a leading
physician of that city, had married
Caroline, one of the daughters
of Archibald Mclntyre. Mr. Mac-
Naughton was always deeply interested
in the Adirondack property, and
became trustee for the heirs after
Mr. Thompson's death. He continued
as president of the new company
until his own death in 1905.
Shortly before this he had started
negotiations for the sale of a controlling
interest in the property to
Congressman Foote and some of his
friends. This deal was consummated
in 1907, when the principal stockholders,
mostly heirs of the Mclntyre
and Robertson estates, united in selling
a major portion of their holdings.
One of the new buyers, Mr. Edward
Shearson, a banker of New York, became
president of the company; Mr.
Andrew Thompson of Niagara Falls,
a great grandson of Archibald Mclntyre,
the secretary; and Mr. Arthur
H. Masten of New York the vice-president.
The property of the Mclntyre Iron
Company has been lumbered from
time to time for many years. In 1914
the company began making tests of
the ore deposits, and equipped a concentrating
plant on Lake Sanford. A
railroad—the Champlain and Sanford
Railroad—has been surveyed from the
old iron-works to Addison Junction
on Lake Champlain, and terminal facilities
acquired. It may be, therefore,
that the iron industry of the region
will be revived a century after it was first begun.

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Old 10-25-2008, 07:05 PM   #24
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Mines at Tahawus planning To Go Into Full Production 1946
TAHAWUS — The National Lead
Company is planning to plaqe their
plant here under full production, according
to a statement made recently
by F. R. Milliken, company official,
who reported that the mines are now
shipping more than they did during
the war.
The task of going into one of the
wildest and remote spots of the Adirondacks
faced tihe lead company,
when tl>ey literally blasted a foundation
out of the hard mountain
stone to place this thriving village of
130 homes and a population of over
700 people.
Mr. Milliken said that at present
the product coming from the huge
mills hanging on to the side of the
mountains is ilmenite. This metal is
the source of titanium dioxide.
Previous to the war the chief source
of this metal was India. The opening
of hostilities in the Pacific stopped
this supply and the government
then took practically all of the metal
coming from Tahawus.
There are plants in New Jersey and
Missouri where the ilmenite is converted
into titanium.
Also considerable iron ore is being
shipped to smelting furnaces in various
plants in the east, this being a
by-product after the other metal has
been removed.
Going back into the history of the
mines, or upper works as they were
known years ago, it is learned that
at one time the iron from these mine*
won a World Award showing better
quality than Swedish or English.
However, the expense ; of removing
this metal, now in such demand, was
so excessive it was impossible for the
mines to continue tljeir production.
Practically all of the output of this
mine is used in the manufacture of
paint, although a very small amount
goes into the manufacture of cosmetics,
especially lip stick.
Due to the war emergency it was
necessary for the government, rather
than an individual concern, to build
the 30 miles of railroad from NortSi
Creek to the mine. The road was
completed and now is in use daily, a
Diesel engine hauling the cars between
the two points.
This mountain village has its own
post office, store*, recreation hall
and a first aid station under the supervision
of a trained nurse. There
is no resident physician, but they are
available from nearby villages.
Within a short time there will be a
Y.M.C.A. building erected in the village.
There will be a gymnasium,
bowling alleys, game room and a
large recreation hall. There will also
be a coffee shop in connection. Movies
are enjoyed twice a week now in
the company recreation hall.
The National Lead Company is furnishing
the money and the land for
the new building and it will be operated
under the direction of the YM.
Asked about the supply of mineral
and how soon it might be exhausted,
Mr. Milliken said that there were
many years' reserve supply.
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Old 10-25-2008, 07:12 PM   #25
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5O MEN Aug 1943
For Track Work
75c Per Hour
and Overtime
S. A. Scullen Contracting Co.
North Creek, N. Y
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Old 10-27-2008, 11:38 PM   #26
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I wonder if it's the same National Lead Company that manufactured paints in the 1940s thru 1960s on southern shores of the Raritan River in NJ and left behind a Superfund site that's in the very early stages of just starting to talk about cleanup! They really screwed up the environment down there and they had to be sued for the cleanup costs. I'm not saying it's the same company, could be just a name coincidence.
Does anyone know of an area nearby where nothing will grow? Does anyone ever see frogs with five legs? Anything strange? Usually, abandoned mines leach all kinds of heavy metals and the water is not fit to drink.
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Old 10-28-2008, 06:33 AM   #27
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I do believe it is one and the same. However when you strip the topsoil off the land and just grind up the stone, take out the mineral you want then dump the rest out on top of the ground not much grows. I would think that because of the nature of the plant in NJ there was a lot different chemicals used then here in Tahawus. Tahawus was just a mining operation. It did leave large pits that have now filled with water and mountains of stone and stone grindings.
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Old 10-28-2008, 12:01 PM   #28
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Tawhaus info at Newcomb Historical Society

The Newcomb Historical Society, located on 28N near Town Hall, has a wealth of information about Tawhaus. They even have a movie showing the houses being moved to Newcomb. The building is open Thursday to Sunday, from 1 to 4pm. For more information about it, check out Newcomb's web site at

There are tours of Tawhaus given nearly every year at Newcomb's Teddy Roosevelt weekend, which is held the weekend after Labor Day. People who worked in the mines and lived in the houses give the tours. The last tour I went on, there were people who were summer residents of the cottages who had come for the summers from NYC in the 1920's and the 1930's, and the children of workers who lived in those same houses in the 1950's. It is a fascinating place.
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Old 02-16-2009, 10:46 PM   #29
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I know this post reply is three years late but I may have some information for you. In 2006 you wished to know where the remnants of the Elbe Iron Works are located - I have your answer. They are easily viewed from the deck of Lisa Gs restaurant in Lake Placid. From the deck you can see a dam and down river the relics of a foundation. As far as I have been able to discern the Elba Iron Works changed its name to the Lake Placid Iron Works in 1812 and later, upon failure, was turned into a mill. The mill was located in the present location of Lamb Lumber. Lisa Gs restaurant has its own storied past and was once a opera house, carriage house, and, later on, several bars. As a child I wandered the woods surrounding Lake Placid and have found the waterways full of relics of the past. A simple search of Elba Iron Works on the internet could prove helpful. The history of the region is far richer than I have dictated here; continue your search for the past, it is fun!
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Old 03-29-2009, 06:28 PM   #30
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Tahawus move...

Our house being pulled from its Tahawus foundation...

Loaded, and ready to hit the road...

Crossing the bridge at the edge of town...

Resting on wood piers in Winebrook Hills while the new foundation is built...

Last edited by Celt1; 03-30-2009 at 05:07 AM.. Reason: text edit
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Old 03-30-2009, 03:29 AM   #31
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Damn Celt1! Impressive move, I'm always amazed how they lift/transport a house all in 1 piece. I guess since the homes in Tahawus are built to withstand a lot of abuse from nature, this wasn't too bad.

Thanks for the pictures.
- It's lonely at the top. But its comforting to look down upon everyone at the bottom
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Old 03-30-2009, 03:19 PM   #32
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Man does that bring back some memories. I lived there as a kid and remember the move all to well. Pick up a whole town and move it down the road 15 miles and set it back up. This was one of the smaller places that they moved. St Threasa's chruch in Newcomb and the 5 apartment housed that had 8-10 apartments were some of the bigger ones. I have some actual 8 mm movies of the move and some of the mines itself. One of these days I will have to get them converted to dvd.
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Old 03-30-2009, 05:53 PM   #33
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Oh, yeah... The apartments. We lived in them for a couple of years when we first arrived in Tahawus. I can remember standing on the back porch of our apartment in the evening, watching the black bears along the tree line at the bottom of the yard. They'd come onto the porch later at night, and root through the garbage cans. We then moved into one of the company houses, then bought another before the big move. Like many/most families, we cycled through the 20-family building while waiting for our house to be set up in Newcomb. Oh, those were good times...
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Old 03-30-2009, 06:55 PM   #34
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Celt I also lived there durring the move and graduated from Newcomb in 69. Courious as to what your last name is. Do you know any of the McMahons?
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Old 04-01-2009, 04:43 PM   #35
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I went to school with two McMahon sisters (Doris and Donna?), but only until 1966 when my family moved to Vermont. I would have graduated from Newcomb in 1973.
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Old 04-01-2009, 08:59 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Celt1 View Post
I went to school with two McMahon sisters (Doris and Donna?), but only until 1966 when my family moved to Vermont. I would have graduated from Newcomb in 1973.

Small world. They are my sisters. Both live in the Malone area.
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Old 05-05-2009, 07:20 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by 'Dukes View Post
Thanks Dick, most of this I have seen although the first link is a great "all in one" location.
Still leaves out the mystery "transition" period. The only identifiable edifice from the Mcnaughton era is the smelter and the cottage.
I'd still like to talk to someone who lived there in the NL days.
Hi Dukes, I lived in Tahawus from 1943 thru 1958, the year I graduated from Newcomb Central School. I was there before our house was built, before the "Y" was built and before the constuction of St. Thresa's Church. The white apartments were not built at that time either and neither was the "school on the hill". The upperworks was entirely there and my girl friend lived in the mcnoughton cottage.
If you would like to ask me about what my knowledge of the history is you can write anytime. My father was an electrition at the mines and helped in the electrical construction of the YMCA, St theresa's church,and the wiring of the new school in Newcomb after the old school burned down.........Bob
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Old 05-05-2009, 07:32 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by adkman12986 View Post
I lived there from 1951 to 1964 when they moved the town to the Winebrook Hills area.
Hi adkman. I lived in Tahawus from 1943-1958. What is your name?
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Old 05-06-2009, 05:48 PM   #39
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Dave McMahon Lived there until they moved the town to Newcomb and then in Newcomb when I graduated from High school in 1969
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Old 09-14-2009, 01:36 PM   #40
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Came across these photo's of the mines when in operation and shortly after it shut down.
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