Cover

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Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-iv

Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Preface

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pp. vii-xii

My ancestors first came to live in the Adirondack Mountains in the late 1700s. I was raised on a farm in Chestertown, a small village in the southeast corner of what is now the Adirondack Park. While I was growing up there in the 1950s and ’60s, eagerly planning to become an archeologist, my parents and others warned me that I would have to pursue my career elsewhere, as there were no archeological sites in the Adirondacks. “All the best sites” were supposed to be far away and far back in time. How could the Adirondacks possibly compete...

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1 | Traces of the Past in the Adirondacks

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pp. 1-14

The Adirondack Mountains are one of the greatest natural wonders in the eastern United States. Blessed with abundant mineral resources, woodlands, lakes, rivers, and spectacular natural vistas just about everywhere, the Adirondacks have welcomed visitors for thousands of years (fig. 1.1). For their part, both residents and visitors have left behind a great many historical and archeological sites that scholars have studied for only the past forty to fifty years (Folwell 1992; Masten 1968; Tyler and Wilson 2009; Williams 2002)....

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2 | Native Americans

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pp. 15-30

Tom Weinman likes to tell the story of how he received a phone call from his father in 1964, describing his parents’ discovery of some Indian pottery on their property at Assembly Point, a peninsula near the southern end of Lake George. Tom jumped into his car and drove to their camp in less than an hour. The wonderful result for Tom has been fifty years as an avocational archeologist who explores Native American sites, enjoying the sheer thrill of discovery alongside the most-visited lake in the Adirondacks....

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3 | Forts and Battlefields

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pp. 31-54

The Adirondack Mountains are known for their extensive forests, mines, and hiking trails, but generally not so much for dramatic military action. Nevertheless, along the eastern side of these mountains lie the remains of a great many eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century forts, battlefields, and military encampments that literally determined the future of our country. From Plattsburgh in the north to Lake George in the south, the north-south...

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4 | Industrial Ruins in the Adirondacks

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pp. 55-74

The forests of the Adirondacks contain the remains of sawmills, furnaces, ore pits, dams, bridges, brickworks, train tracks, charcoal mounds, tanneries, kilns, and quarries, and no doubt many other types of industrial ruins as well. This may seem ironic, given the region’s reputation for wilderness, oldgrowth forest, and environmental conservation at the highest levels, but the Adirondacks are exceptionally rich in both natural and mineral resources, and early visitors came here in search of work. Thanks to the isolation of many of...

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5 | Family Farms and the Rural Landscape

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pp. 75-88

I have always believed that there could be nothing more boring to dig up than an old farm. That may be because I was born into what was then the only active farm family in a small town, and in school I would be teased by my classmates (“You farmer you”) to the point where I couldn’t leave home fast enough. Still, I always assumed that someday, when I was too old and decrepit to go on digs anymore, I would probably have to dodder home to dig in the garden behind the farmhouse where I grew up (fig. 5.1). Maybe I would find a...

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6 | Tourism and the Hospitality Industry

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pp. 89-106

Communities in the Adirondack Park welcome hundreds of thousands of visitors each year, many looking for opportunities to hike in the region’s mountains, or to canoe on the many lakes and rivers, or to ski at one of the popular ski resorts, such as Whiteface Mountain or Gore Mountain, or perhaps to visit the Adirondack Experience on Blue Mountain Lake. For visitors from New York City, Long Island, or New Jersey, camping and touring in the Adirondacks is a godsend, a way to enjoy a peaceful getaway from the hustle and bustle of...

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7 | Life and Death in the Adirondacks

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pp. 107-122

The Adirondack Park contains literally hundreds of community graveyards (figs. 7.1 and 7.2), as well as innumerable small, family burial plots. In addition, there are a great many unmarked graves of Native Americans and of soldiers who died during the early military campaigns in the region. The grounds of Fort Ticonderoga, in particular, contain the carefully protected remains of French, British, and American soldiers who died there throughout the...

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8 | What Does the Future Hold?

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pp. 123-128

I am pleased to say that Adirondack archeology has now come full circle. When I grew up in this region, the historical sites that were stressed were the Great Camps and impressive architectural survivals, many of which are still standing today (Kaiser 1982; Gilborn 2000; Tolles 2003). The nonprofit historic preservation organization known as AARCH (Adirondack Architectural Heritage), based in Keeseville, promotes the stewardship of these sites and sponsors outstanding tours to historic locations throughout the Adirondack...

Appendix | Adirondack Attractions with Collections and Exhibits of Interest to Archeologists

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pp. 129-132

Further Reading

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pp. 133-138

Index

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pp. 139-142