The Adirondack Museum asked me to be an Artisan-in Residence to demonstrate making guideboat paddles. So from Wednesday through Saturday of this week (August 22nd) I have been at the Marion River Pavilion at the Museum in Blue Mountain, NY.
Guideboat paddles had their origin in enabling guides to take their “sports” hunting. The guide would be in the stern of the guideboat with his paddle and the sport in the bow with his rifle. The usual method of propelling the boat, oars, was too noisy for hunting. The guide and his sport usually set forth at night and prowled along the edges of marshes. When they heard a deer splashing about the sport would light a candle lantern and “jack” the deer. This practice was outlawed in NY State around 1900.
Later on, when the wealthy bought guideboats to use for pleasure, steering paddles began to be used. These were shorter than guide’s paddles and were used as a rudder by the passenger who sat in the stern seat while the oarsman rowed from the bow. You can learn more about these paddles and their history from my book “Guideboat Paddles An Adirondack Treasure”.
Below is a sign announcing my presence. I am in the Marion River Pavillion at the Museum.
I have brought my latest guideboat and reproductions of guideboat paddles from the Museum’s collection.
The Marion River Carry is an historic pathway between Blue Mountain Lake and Raquette Lake. Below is some history about it.
Here is the original locomotive used on the Marion River carry.
Here are the train cars used on the Marion River Carry.
Inside the building on the left is a 3-D diorama where model steamers and trains move as the narrator tells the story of how an elaborate transportation system brought tourists to Raquette and Blue Mountain Lakes at the turn of the 20th century. It is very well done.