Timeline

Events on these Fifty Acres of Beach and Wood

These points in time reveal some of the stories, of import and of good sport, that are yet to unfold in this blog.

1650-1794

Indian Point is used as a Winter hunting encampment by the Mohawk tribe.

1776  

The tory Sir John Johnson camps at Indian Point during his harrowing 19 day escape to Canada.

1837

At a pond northwest of Indian Point (Lone Pond or Cranberry Pond?), William Wood traps the last beaver seen alive in the Adirondacks until they were reintroduced in the beginning of the 20th century.

1837-40

Matthew Beach and William Wood became the first permanent settlers of Raquette Lake with their cabin built on Indian Point.  Exact date undetermined.

1840-43

Professor Ebenezer Emmons, first surveyor and the person to give the region the name “Adirondacks”, repeatedly stays with Beach and Wood while surveying the area.

1844-46

Joel Tyler Headley writes in his 1849 book The Adirondac – Life in the Woods of visits with Beach and Wood during his earlier explorations with guide Mitchell Sabattis.

1845

J.H. Young publishes the first map of New York State that shows a body of water in the location of Raquette Lake.  Only Long Lake to the north is named on the map and the drawing of Raquette Lake is almost completely inaccurate except for the detailed, near accurate depiction of Indian Point.

1849

Beach and Wood purchase from Farrand Benedict legal land titles giving them each an equal share of the 50 acres they have occupied on Indian Point.

1854

Beach deeds his 25 acres to Amos Hough of Long Lake contingent on Hough taking care of Beach until his death.

1856

Hough sells the 25 acres to land speculator Marshall Shedd Jr. allowing Beach to still reside there.

1859

John Plumley, -“Honest John” – famed guide of Adirondack Murray purchases William Wood’s 25 acres.

1860

Matthew Beach goes to live in Long Lake in the home of John Plumley, who as Amos Hough’s son-in-law has taken over the family obligation to care for Beach.

1861

In July at the South Inlet of Raquette Lake, William Wood shoots and kills the last moose seen alive in the Adirondacks until they were reintroduced by W. Seward Webb on his private preserve at the end of the 19th century.

1862

Mitchell Sabattis guides George Hornell Thacher on his first exploration of Blue Mt. Lake and Raquette Lake at the suggestion of Joel Tyler Headley, Thacher’s old friend from Union College days.

1865-1868

Alvah Dunning – one of the most notable of Adirondack Guides – squats on the south side of the southern fork of Indian Point.

1867 

John Boyd Thacher purchases an island in Blue Mt. Lake to build a lodge for the use of his father George Hornell Thacher.

1868

Verplanck Colvin, Superintendent of the Adirondack Land Survey from 1872-1900, as a 21 year old seeks the advice of his old childhood friend John Boyd Thacher as he plans his early explorations of the Adirondacks.

1869

Renowned landscape artist Arthur Tait spends the summer in Matthew Beach’s old cabin. He sketches here the paintings he named “The Adirondacks” and “Deer in the Woods”.

1873

Amanda Benedict, the sister-in-law of Farrand Benedict, organizes the first major all female expedition of the Adirondacks.   Four groups of women botany students traverse different routes starting from Schroon River, Saranac, Lake Pleasant and Moose River to converge at Indian Point.  The women and 16 of the most famous Adirondack Guides are brought together at one time on these acres.

1876

John Boyd Thacher purchases Matthew Beach’s 25 acres from Marshall Shedd Jr.

1876

Verplanck Colvin establishes an observation station for the Adirondack Land Survey on Thacher Island in Blue Mt. Lake.  He uses it to test a new technique for synchronization of time among survey field teams separated by great distance within the Adirondacks.

1877

First written description appears of George Hornell Thacher Jr., age 26, camping on Birch Point with a large group of young friends.

1877

Levi Wells Prentice, famed landscape artist, sketches from a vantage point within these acres the scene later depicted in his painting “Raquette Lake from Wood’s Clearing”.

1878

Reverend Henry Gabriels conducts Catholic Mass at the “Thacher Camp” on July 11, 12, 13, 14.  This is one of the earliest Catholic missions within the central interior of the Adirondacks.  At the time, Rev. Gabriels is the President of the St. Joseph Seminary in Troy, NY.  He later became the Bishop of Ogdensburg – the Diocese covering all of the Adirondack region.

1879

The Map of the New York Wilderness by Colton-Ely in the 1879 edition superimposes the name “Thatcher” written across the whole of Indian Point.  Earlier editions of the same map lack this detail.

1880

George Hornell Thacher Sr. begins his annual summer visits to the Thacher Camp staying in a “fine lodge” that pre-exists the current little red, one room cabin that is there today.  The location of the original cabin and its subsequent disappearance by 1886 is a mystery that drives my on-going research.

1883

George Washington Sears – a famous outdoorsman and author who penned articles and books under the name Nessmuck – visits with George Hornell Thacher at Thacher Camp during his Cruise of the Sairy Gamp.  This exchange is included in Nessmuck’s book titled Woodcraft.

1883

John Boyd Thacher, as New York State Senator representing Albany, fights for funding to expand Verplanck Colvin’s role to oversee an expanded New York State Land Survey.

1885

John Boyd Thacher in his role as Senator joins a unanimous vote to pass the Forest Preserve Act which is the first step toward the eventual creation of today’s Adirondack Park.

1887

George Hornell Thacher Sr. dies.

1893

John Boyd Thacher invites the Spanish Duke of Veragua, a direct lineal descendant of Christopher Columbus, to attend the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago and arranges for him to travel through the Raquette Lake and Blue Mt. Lake region on a trip hosted by Verplanck Colvin.

1909 

John Boyd Thacher dies.

1910

George Hornell Thacher Jr. inherits the Thacher lands on Indian Point and builds the little red, one room cabin.

1915

George Hornell Thacher Jr. donates the use of the land for the month of August to the first annual State Forestry Camp of the State College of Forestry at Syracuse.

1939 

Two young boys of British Aristocracy are hosted at Thacher Camp and their guide is later paid with a barrel full of fine English china which legend says now lies at the bottom of the Needles Channel.

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