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Meet the Masters: Return to Masters Homepage
Ham Ferry, Storyteller, Seveys Corners

Ham recites The Wood Box, by Joseph C. Lincoln. Watch (QuickTime video 2:21)

Ham recites The Passing of the Backhouse, often attributed to James Whitcomb Riley. Watch (QuickTime video 3:53)

Ham explains his philosophy of humor and recites A Hand Upon Your Shoulder. Listen (Real 2:06)

Ham tells the "big story" of how he came to own a game warden's hat. Listen (Real 0:56)

Ham Ferry was the subject of this March 6, 2000 profile jointly produced for radio by Traditional Arts in Upstate New York and North Country Public Radio. Listen (Real 5:36)

Ham Ferry lived where his ancestors settled in 1852 and it is in this place that he earned the reputation of being an authentic Adirondacker and a consummate storyteller. Ham's Inn, a small bar located at Sevey's Corners near Childwold, was Ferry's natural setting and the spot where he held listeners rapt for hours on end. Much of the material for Ham Ferry's stories came from his life as a woodsman, lumberman, and a wilderness guide. He never hesitated to elaborate on reality, having mastered traditional tall tales and invented many of his own. In the tradition of community entertainers of the last century, he also recited from memory long narrative poems by such poets as Robert Service and James Whitcomb Riley. While known best to the local or visiting hunters, fishermen, or campers, Ham was featured in a variety of publications, festivals, and television and radio productions.

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