Rising from the Swamp got its start ten years ago when I was looking through the 1915 census for Tupper Lake NY and came upon my grandfather’s listing. What a strange feeling seeing a man you never knew take shape on the page with his wife and children. My father was there, just a little boy. It was like stepping into the looking glass experiencing a world that I had never been a part of. I wanted to know more about their life in those early days, and so began my search for that knowledge. It was another year before I decided to start writing about what I found.
The first two years of research was spent in the records room at the Franklin County Courthouse perusing deeds and maps that told the story of the development of the businesses in the Junction. Side trips to Cobleskill, New York and Glens Falls resulted in a deeper knowledge of William Roberts and Patrick Moynehan. A jaunt to the library at the Blue Mountain Museum and to the New York State Library in Albany turned up some detail about George Maddock and John Hurd.
Then the search for photos began. Many came from Goff Nelson Library. Fleurette Rolley had a number of treasured post cards and prints she was willing to share. I put my camera to work winter and summer, recording buildings, some destined to leave the scene and others that would remain. The photo below came from the Goff Nelson Library collection. It pictures Main Street about 1910 or thereabouts.
Countless hours were dedicated to researching the census and Northern New York Historical Newspapers trying to find interesting and meaningful information about the early inhabitants of the village. I finally realized that I had to set limits to the number of people I could include and settled on the first twenty-five years as the logical time of earliest settlement.
So there it is! This book focuses on the people who came to a remote northern Adirondack location, called there by the opportunity to work and make a good living. It chronicles the businesses, railroad and lumber, that first attracted people to the area, moves to the small enterprises that catered to the new inhabitants, and lastly, introduces the people who came to the swamp during the first twenty-five years of its existence. Tupper Lake Junction was being built at the same time as the Panama Canal. Like the canal, The Junction was the end result of a dream brought to fruition by ambition, hard work and overcoming adversity, much like the story, Rising from the Swamp.
This is how the east side of Main looks in 2010. The four houses, slightly changed are still there. If you want to find out who built them and who bought them, Rising from the Swamp will tell you;