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History of the Region

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From somewhere between the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s no one in my family or circle of friends bought grapes. Why? Cesar Chavez. The United Farm Workers co-founder was successful in using a boycott of grapes to raise the national consciousness about...
The annual Saranac Lake Winter Carnival opens January 31 this year. For more than a century, that has meant the construction of an Ice Palace, built out of blocks cut from the ice of Lake Flower. The job is now in progress. Last year, Saranac Lake...
Here’s a follow-up to earlier posts about the Franklin Expedition. For those who haven’t followed that long-running historical mystery, it’s easily understood that two well-provisioned British ships set off in 1845 off to...
Yesterday’s photo of the day showcased four U.S. servicemen from the 333rd Horizontal Engineer Company (HEC) at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, courtesy of NCPR listener SGT Matthew Coletta. The saying “out of sight, out of...
This story just resonates on many levels. It’s about a chance discovery that included a mystery – partially solved through luck, skill and perseverance. The tale combines history writ large and humanity on an individual level....


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Specials Reports

In the Sudio logo
Audio Series:
The Adirondack Attic
Andy Flynn uses the objects people make, use, and leave behind to tell stories about the life and times of the region.
Audio Series
StoryCorps in the North Country: North Country residents have shared their stories with this national oral history project during visits to the region in 2006 and in 2008.
Masons
Audio Slideshow:
Upper Canada Village welcomes addition
Lucy Martin reports on the newest addition to Upper Canada Village in Morrisburg, Ontario--the Ancient Brethren Lodge.
Watson's Mill
Slideshow:
Old mill requires old skills
Lucy Martin returns to Watson's Mill in Manotick, Ontario to see how old millstones can be made new again, and learn about other vanishings arts of the miller's trade.
Stoddard photo
Audio Slideshow:
Anique North Country Postcards
Jon Kopp, a former state forester who owns an antique store in Tupper Lake, has set out to collect thousands of vintage North Country postcards. He shares his collection with Brian Mann.
Country Schoolhouse
Audio Play:
No Bigger Than a Piano Box: a North Country Schoolhouse in 1893
By historian Betsy Kepes. Based on the 1893 diary of a North Country schoolteacher. A Women's History Month special. Teacher's guide and CD available.
Lock Wheel
Audio Slideshow:
Canada's Rideau Canal hits 175th anniversary
The Rideau Canal is a manmade waterway connecting Kingston to Ottawa. Lucy Martin was in scenic Merrickville for one of the year’s many 175th anniversary celebrations.
faso cartoon
Audio Slideshow:
Volunteers keep Watson's Mill alive
Watson's Mill opened for business in 1860 on the Rideau River in Manotick. It comes alive in the summer — full of the noise of water, turbines, grindstones, and people. Lucy Martin followed two modern enthusiasts who help keep it all turning.
miners
Audio Slideshow:
Mining in Lyon Mountain
Brian Mann talks with author Lawrence Gooley about the hard and dangerous history of mining at Lyon Mountain.
flower library
Audio Slideshow:
Flower Library Gets Facelift
Todd Moe tours an Art Nouveau gem, Flower Memorial Library in Watertown, as it undergoes renovation in its centennial year.
La Duchesse
Audio Slideshow:
Aboad La Duchesse in Clayton
La Duchesse is a 110-foot Gilded Age treasure that's become the crown jewel of the Antique Boat Museum's collection in Clayton. Todd Moe tours the historic houseboat.
Audio Slideshow
King's Garden at Ft. Ticonderoga
1920s landscape architect Marion Coffin designed a pleasure garden for the Pell family's summer home, the Pavillion, at Fort Ticonderoga. It was neglected and almost forgotten until, about ten years ago, workers began to restore the garden to Coffin's plan. Todd Moe takes a tour.
torah cover
Slideshow
A Look Inside Temple Beth Joseph, Tupper Lake
Beth Joseph Synagogue in Tupper Lake is the oldest synagogue in the Adirondacks. Built in 1905, its origins stem from the late 1800s, when Jewish immigrants from Russia and eastern Europe arrived in America. It had been closed up for decades when a summer resident asked to take a look inside. What she found was a national treasure.
St. Williams photo
Audio Slideshow
St. William's on Long Point
In the late 1800s, St. William's was the parish church for Raquette Lake and served many of the Irish and French-Canadian Catholics who were the early pioneers on the Lake. Today, it's a seasonal camp and cultural center, accessible only by boat. Todd Moe visited during restoration work.
The King and Queen
Slideshow
Cape Vincent French Festival 2005
In the early 1600s, French settlers came to the eastern end of Lake Ontario. Much of northern Jefferson County traces descent from them and Cape Vincent holds an annual French Festival to celebrate the heritage. David Sommerstein was on hand and sends this audio postcard.
House of Healing
Audio Slideshow
Saving Sackets Harbor's Historic House of Healing
A group of history buffs wants to restore the old Stone Hospital at Madison Barracks as a military heritage center and cornerstone for restoration work. Todd Moe has more.
Stoddard photo
Audio Slideshow
Following Photographer Seneca Ray Stoddard
In the late 1800s, photographer Seneca Ray Stoddard captured some of the most iconic scenes in north country Now another Glens Falls native, Mark Bowie, has spent two years photographing the exact same scenes.
Farm equipment repair
Slideshow
The School of Agriculture, Canton NY
SUNY Canton started life as The School of Agriculture in 1906. This slideshow is part of a display from the school archives presented at the Third Annual Symposium on Education, Environment and Economic Vitality in April 2005.
Audio Slideshow
A Walking Tour of Sackets Harbor: Battlefield, Bay and Barracks
Todd Moe tours historic Sackets Harbor, one of five villages hosting Seaway Trail Walks this summer.
Photo Audio Essay
Children's Camps in the Adirondacks
The Adirondack Museum opens today for the summer season. A major new exhibition looks at the history of the region's summer camps.
Audio Slideshow
Music Hall Restoration in Heuvelton
A group of residents and historians in Heuvelton is trying to preserve Pickens Hall, one of the oldest buildings in the village. And the building's restoration has sparked a renewed interest in the career of Bessie Abott, a granddaughter of the original owner of Pickens Hall. Bessie took the opera world by storm in the early 1900s. Todd Moe reports.
Audio Slideshow
Napoleon's Brother in the North Country
David Sommerstein visits the historic Benton House in the town of Oxbow in Jefferson County, the former home of Joseph Bonaparte's extramarital daughter.
Photo/Audio Essay
Inside Dark Island's Castle
On the St. Lawrence River near Chippewa Bay, a representative for the buyers of Dark Island and its historic castle gave David Sommerstein a peek of what visitors could see as early as next summer.
Audio Series
Leonora Barry: First Voice for Working Women
North Country Public Radio presents an extraordinary profile of one of the unsung heroes in the history of the struggle for the rights of working women in America.
Audio Series
Ice Storm '98: A Retrospective
This retrospective looks back on Ice Storm '98 through the sounds and stories we all shared during those three weeks of disasterand community.
President Lincoln, portrayed by John Baylis, will deliver an  address this Sunday morning at the Massena Center Cemetery honoring local Civil War veterans.
President Lincoln, portrayed by John Baylis, will deliver an address this Sunday morning at the Massena Center Cemetery honoring local Civil War veterans.

Preview: Civil War Weekend in Massena

One of the largest Civil War reenactments in the region takes place at Robert Moses State Park in Massena this weekend. Music, cannon fire, military drilling and campfire stories are part of the event. More than 5,000 men from St. Lawrence County enlisted in the Civil War, and New York contributed more soldiers to the war than any other state. Todd Moe caught up with John Baylis, of Cassville, NY, who will portray President Lincoln this weekend.  Go to full article

Sparkling Skiffs at the Antique Boat Show

This weekend the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton celebrates its 38th Annual Antique Boat Show and Auction. Through Sunday, thousands of people will choke the streets of the small town to gawk at slip after slip of historic skiffs, launches, and run-abouts.  Go to full article
Chief Jake Swamp looks on while his grandson, Frank, hammers a log to loosen strips for basketmaking.

Spreading a Legacy of Harmony

This week the Tree of Peace Learning Center in Rossie in western St. Lawrence County hosts an annual workshop series called the Sacred Circle. It brings together people to teach and learn about a variety of native issues, from how the Iroquois document history to native burial mounds in Ohio.

The Tree of Peace Society was founded two decades ago by Mohawk Chief Jake Swamp. Its mission is to recover and pass on Mohawk and other tribal culture and philosophy. David Sommerstein went to the learning center in Rossie to talk with Chief Swamp.  Go to full article

Latin American Culture In A Northern Village:

For decades, hope for a tuberculosis cure lured patients to Saranac Lake from all ove the world. Spanish teacher and amateur historian Amy Catania has written about the...  Go to full article

The American Freedom Trail: An Adirondack Correction?

Brian Mann talks with Dr. Milton Sernett, author of North Star Country, Upstate New York and the Crusade for African American Freedom. It's a closer look at the...  Go to full article

St. Lawrence County Celebrates 200 Years of History

St. Lawrence County celebrates its bicentennial Thursday. Martha Foley talks with St. Lawrence County Historian Trent Trulock about the county's past, and bicenntenial...  Go to full article

Alcoa Turns 100

The St. Lawrence County village of Massena kicked off two weeks of events this week to celebrate its 200th birthday. Tomorrow marks another Massena milestone. Alcoa--the...  Go to full article

More on the history of Massena and Alcoa

From the NCPR archives, a story about the history of Massena and Alcoa, and the beginnings of the aluminum industry in Massena. Our story was produced in 1989 to complement...  Go to full article
 Fort Ticonderoga, a bottleneck of history. We visit the  "Grand Encampment" where stories of the French and Indian War and the Revolution come to life amid the sounds of fifes, drums and cannon fire.

Fort Ticonderoga's Grand Encampment

Communities across the state celebrated Independence Day Thursday. But another turning point in history, the Battle of Ticonderoga Falls, occurred 244 years ago this week...  Go to full article

Restoring the Common Tern

The Common Tern is a bird best known for its graceful flight and dramatic dives. The shoals and nooks of the eastern Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River shoreline have been...  Go to full article

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