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Big log jam in the Hudson

The largest jam of logs ever known by river men in the Hudson River has been lodged, the week of April 24, 1913, between Thurman and Stony Creek. The jam extends up the river four and a half miles, a solid mass of spruce pulp logs. Great difficulty is being experienced in breaking it up.

(Note: The controlled movement down the Hudson and Schroon rivers of masses of single logs began in the Adirondacks as early as 1813. Occasionally such a pile-up had to be dynamited but usually seasoned log drivers preferred to let brains and brawn get the logs moving. In the river many met their death in a roiling mass of logs.)

Charred body found in ruins

William Merrill, for many years a prominent businessman and leading citizen of the little hamlet of Bakers Mills in the town of Johnsburgh, was burned to death shortly after 1 a.m. April 8, 1913, in a fire that destroyed his store and residence and the nearby barn. Mrs. Merrill and her nephew, Edgar Cole, asleep in the upper story, barely escaped with their lives.

Mr. Merrill had been sleeping for some time in the store and it was there the fire started. It is believed to have caught from a lantern the man was carrying about the building during the night while he was intoxicated. Rumors of arson and suicide are discredited.

Man dies sitting in a chair

Joseph LaFlure, 73, one of the best and most widely-known lumbermen in northern New York died the night of March 27, 1913 while seated in a chair in his home in Chestertown. He was talking with his daughter, Mrs. Elizabeth Kittenbach, when he suddenly threw up his hands and fell backwards dead.

He was born in Canada in 1840 and had lived in Chester for 32 years where he had established for himself an enviable reputation as a businessman.

Readers are welcome to contact Adirondack Journal correspondent Jean Hadden atjhadden1@nycap.rr.com or 623-2210.

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