Sunday, August 9, 2015

Cranberry Lake and Wanakena Walkabout

What a treat we never knew we had in store before strolling down the streets of Cranberry Lake
A passerby told us that this marina/lodge used to be the place where everyone put their boats in, purchased gas, and secured repairs. The owner passed and though it is partially open, it is not the same.

This is  giant Cranberry Lake with blue, blue waters.

Across the street is the local library/community center, which used to be the school.

The post office is in back of the community center.

Venita and I loved these flags

Cranberry Lake is a huge lake. The first dam was constructed in 1867, which consisted of lumber cribs filled with stone. A wooden sluiceway was installed to send logs to the mill. When the dam was built and the land flooded, the trees and stumps were covered leaving some tree tops close to the surface. The original lake was only five square miles. It is now about 134 square miles.

The general store smelled like cookies and we tried to buy one, but to no avail. Taking a whole pack was out of the question since we had many more miles to go. This is the lovely clerk who agreed to let me take her picture.

This is the Oswegachie River. Venita and I felt like we were back in the highlands of Scotland looking down on the River Dee.

This is a  walking bridge they have decorated with flowers. At one time, it carried vehicles but no more. We loved that they didn't just tear it down. Instead they blocked it, decorated it and provided a wonderful view of the river.

Wow, this was a neat looking rescue boat. In Cranberry Lake, they look out for you.

Here we are feeling like we are in Scotland again. There is a path the whole way around Cranberry Lake (50 miles) and, no, we did not walk it. There were many trails and paths to walk on. I'm going back for sure.

Here is the restaurant in town. It is also the ice cream place. Oh well, there go all the calories I am losing on this walk. It was worth it though. Good ice cream and we met the owner's son who was a very friendly chap. Later, when we came back through, there was a line for ice cream. Cranberrians know a good thing when they have it.

Several people in town told us that we had to go to Wanakena, a hamlet down the road a few miles, so here we are at the sign. We were in for an absolutely delightful surprise.

Wanakena is a planned hamlet. In 1902 Herbert Rich came to the area to purchase land for his lumber business. The town was carefully laid out and the railroad connected the village to Carthage and the Adirondack Railroad at Benson Mines.

Had to snap this picture of this unique weather vane.

Here is the town general store and post office. Sadly, the owner told us that they will be closing the store in September because there is not enough support for it year around.
The owner of the Old General Store graciously allowed us to snap this picture. It was with much sadness in his voice that he told us about the closing of the store. However, in speaking with two other townspeople, we learned that the population in the winter is under 40 so suffice it to say that the old wooden store steps are no longer being worn down. PLEASE, lets all go to the general store shopping so it doesn't have to close.

Here is the awesome suspended footbridge built in 1902. It is a National Historic Landmark and may be the oldest suspended footbridge in continuous use in the United States.

Tragically, in January of 2014, a giant ice flow came rushing down the river and slammed into the bridge. A man who lived close to the bridge told us that it was very loud, and within minutes he had four feet of water in his house. The picture to the left shows what is left on one  bank of the river. The community is trying raise funds to build it again. In fact, they said they will build it again. Donations can be sent to the Historical Society, P.O. Box 73, Wanakena, NY 13695.

We are doing the River Walk. What a beautiful place! The historic society has placed plaques in front of several historic houses and places. We met a woman who grew up here and she told us a lot about the place. The people of Wanakena were all so friendly and proud of their home. We want to run away to Wanakena!

The Western Adirondack Presbyterian Church, built in 1904 is recognized as a historic landmark.

Paddling on down the river like a Mark Twain day
on the Mississippi.

Halleluiah, another bridge and I love bridges! We couldn't use the footbridge but here is another one that we crossed to get to some unique ponds.
Just past here was the playground and several ponds including Mill Pond. I forgot to take pictures of those so you will have to visit this place to see the rest. I know I will definitely be back. There is also a Ranger's School about a mile from the town and many trails all around.

Thank you Cranberians and Wanakenians. We are absolutely in love with you and your towns!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

North Creek

North Creek
Our walkabout in North Creek began walking the length of the train since that is where we parked. We began at 9:00 A.M. and it was already hot that day. The history is contained in the illustration to the left and what a rich wonderful history North Creek has!

This is Leonard Wilson who was manning the register at the Braley and Noxon Hardware Store. What a friendly, knowledgeable man. We enjoyed our visit with him and already loved the North Creekers.
This is the old hardware store first owned by Alfred Braley and Ernest Noxon. They had an agreement that when one died the other would became sole owner. Braley died first. Eleven years later, Ernest sold it to Rick Green. This photo is very interesting because it reflects my hand and arm taking the picture.
We went next door to Café Sarah where I immediately devoured a pastry and it was delicious. Again, very friendly folks. Love the Creeks!

Two days later, my friend, Pat and I, went to Martha's Restaurant and enjoyed our lunch. It was very good and inexpensive.

The text to the left tells how the whole town cooperated in the making of the community center which also houses offices, historical items, and the theater where they conduct drama classes and plays.

Below is the community center, which was as beautiful inside as out. This is where we learned about the strong Irish influence of the people in North Creek and where we saw what the town board, and the people could accomplish by coming together in harmony on a desire to improve their community. The lady told us that the old community center burned down and so they began making phone calls asking for donations to build or buy a new one. One phone call resulted in the donor saying, "I will donate the money for it." With his generosity and the community working together, they built this beautiful structure.

Tannery Pond Community Center

Here I am in front of the town hall

This is a picture of Gore Mountain taken from the top of the cemetery where we were told a cool story about a woman who was buried in a mausoleum on top of the hill so she could look down on all of those below because they had once looked down upon her. However, after looking for quite some time, and roasting in the heat, we abandoned the search and headed for town.

North Creek Fire Department
Elegant bed and breakfast. Love the historic ski memorabilia.

Here I am looking little and how I love to look little! We have arrived at the Hudson River Trading Co. outlet.

This is Laurie Prescott who owns the Hudson River Trading Co, an absolutely exciting store because of the history, tons and tons of Adirondacky items, and my books! This store was a livery in the early days. Laurie lived up the street and used to go by it when she was a little girl. It stood vacant for fifteen years until she bought it and turned it into a store just everyone has to go and see. You can browse for hours and find everything from log beds to lotions, kids toys, and clothes.
The  numbers beside the original stairs show numbers where the horse harnesses were kept. The floor downstairs is original and cut in to allow for drainage in the livery. The windows where the horses poked their heads through are still there and the original grain room is now filled with wonderful items. The store smells like balsam and lavender  because of the candles, soaps, perfumes and pillows.
     Our trek through North Creek was so great, I want to go back and do it again! Thank you North Creekens for being so kind and friendly to us!