continued The walls and ceilings had never been finished with plaster or drywall, and after wiring and insulating, Leslie spent two long winters cutting and hand-nailing narrow “beadboard” wainscotting which she discovered at Murphy Lumber. The beadboard was decades old and had a beautiful natural patina after aging outside under cover all those years. She finished the walls with amber shellac to pull out the gorgeous coloring of the wood.
The cedar shingle siding on the south side had worn down to about a sixteenth of an inch after a hundred years of exposure to Adirondack winters. Clement pulled them all off, and nailed up new cedar shingles, going up ten feet high, then hiring friends to help complete it. “I tell folks that I built, painted or fixed everything under ten feet. Although I was a daredevil union carpenter in my twenties, I don’t go any higher than ten feet anymore!” Rosa rugosa shrub roses and perennial flower beds were tucked into place after siding completion.
During another scouting expedition at a wrecking yard, Clement discovered a set of reproduction leaded glass casement windows similar to the ones brought to Bird Camp from Long Island in 1908. She bought them for use in partially enclosing the front porch which has suffered from a hundred years of snow and rain, and to complete a barn she built last summer.
The bedrooms retain the original metal painted bedframes but with fresh new mattresses, feather duvet comforters and new sheets. There are numerous framed historic photographs which will fascinate anyone interested in North River history.
Clement is in the process of nominating Bird Camp to the National Register of Historic Places.
The North River Hobby Farm is located on an 8-acre parcel with panoramic views of Gore Mountain and a historic cemetery next door. The property is off Route 28 up 13th Lake Road to the top Cemetery Road, historically known as “Christian Hill.” The Hobby Farm will be open weekends starting in May, and full-time after school is out. Clement’s daughters, Emeline and June McCarthy, attend JCS and will be helping their mother this summer at the Hobby Farm. For more information, see NorthRiverHobbyFarm.com or call (518) 812-7770.