Sunday, June 24, 2012

Some History and Geography

If you haven't visited our Pinterest site yet, you should take a look at this letter from 1934. A staff member's mother found a letter at an antique postcard show from 1934 written on Woodcraft stationary. The letterhead gave Clearwater, NY, as camp's location. I had never heard of this before so I started consulting some old maps. I found a local map drawn with survey information from the 1890's.

As you can see, the survey lists Carter Station as Clearwater and it is only accessible by train. This map was made almost 30 years before camps first summer in 1925, but the road and trail situation was much the same in 1925 as it was in 1897. This map pretty accurately represents the area around Woodcraft at the founding of camp. One major difference was the Raquette Lake Railroad Spur heading east from Carter Station (used by the Vanderbilts and Morgans for access to their great camps near Raquette Lake) ceased operation sometime before 1925. The defunct Raquette Spur, visible leaving Clearwater heading east and passing West Lake on the above map, was used as a hiking path for campers arriving from the train. They would leave the old railroad and turn south at West Lake to head onto Woodcraft land. Woodcraft's property surrounds Kan-Ac-To and Te-Jec-Na; the two small lakes next to West Lake (and east of that staple holding the map portions together).

On this 1984 rendering of the area, you can see that the old Raquette Spur has become a maintained dirt  road and Clearwater has been retitled as Carter Station. The small black squares to the west and south of Kan-Ac-To are Woodcraft's buildings. Also by the production of this map, Old Forge had grown in size and its zip code was applied to the area including Woodcraft. Reading these two maps next to each other gives some insight into how infrastructure impacted the growth of Woodcraft.

Post a Comment