Johnsburg Historical Society

JOHNSBURG The Dynamic Dr. Durant....and His Impact on Local Community is the topic of Johnsburg Historical Societys annual Presidents Day Program. Scheduled for 2 p.m. Monday, Feb. 19, the event will be held at Wevertown Community Center. Local historian Milda Donohue Burns will present a dramatic description of Dr. Durant, builder of the Union Pacific Railroad, and his dreams for the Adirondacks. Author Paul Schneider (The Adirondacks, 1997) quotes the New York Times issue which predicted the effects of Durants plans: The Adirondacks would become a suburb of New York. In the second half of the 19th century, Durant was able to direct the buiding of a cross-continental railroad, but was thwarted in his attempts to build a railroad 185 miles across the Adirondacks. He did, however, see the completion of 60 miles of track from Saratoga springs as far as North Creek by 1871. That success had huge ramifications for the tiny hamlet, from hotels and stagecoaches and freight houses to sawmills, a wood-working mill, a hardware and tin shop, a carriage repair shop, and a variety of other enterprises. The railroad had strengthened the economic foundation of the North Creek hamlet. JHS Librarian Sue Rawson will describe the impact of the coming of the trains upon some local families. Ski in the morning and relax in the afternoon while learning some local history. Refreshments will be served, and admission is free. At right: "The Gables:" The North Creek residence of the Durant family.

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