Adirondack Lean-tos

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Lean-to Campers A Hardy Lot- Adirondack Daily Enterprise- March 25, 1965


The charge that Americans are going soft does not apply to lean-to campers in the Adirondacks, according to Dr. Paul F. Jamieson of the St. Lawrence University English, department.

He writes on the Adirondack lean-to in the current issue of The Conservationist, official magazine of the State Conservation Department.

Lean-to campers are increasing in number faster than the population growth, notes Dr. Jamieson, with somewhere between 30,000 and 40,000 hikers and canoeists being counted annually at the nine interior locations where caretakers and rangers are stationed. Thousands more go uncounted, he says.

A veteran hiker and mountain climber and compiler of The Adirondack Reader he makes clear his love for lean-to camping. "An Adirondack lean-to, deep in the woods, is a good place to find out how honest our primitive instincts are when they quarrel with civilized habits. It is a link with our bush ranging and pioneering ancestors,” he says.

Dr. Jamieson relates how philosopher William James, in the summer of l896, found that a night in a lean-to above Panther Gorge near Mount Marcy was one of “spiritual alertness” and marked his "completest union with his native land."

The St. Lawrence professor raises his voice with others in the nation that want to preserve tracts of wilderness.

"Without the wilderness, the Adirondacks would lose much of their appeal, not only to lean-to campers but to many tourists who, staying on the fringes of the Preserve, look m and wonder," he says.

He considers the Adirondack wilderness an American classic. “It is part of the cultural riches of the country, as are toe Leatherstocking tales, the essays of Emerson and Thoreau, Frost's poems and the Lincoln Memorial A new country without ancient monuments but with a pioneering past must keep its links with that past vital by preserving the wilderness areas," he concludes.

Disgruntled Resident Burns Adirondack Lean-to and Privies; Destroys Replacement Logs (1986 Tupper Lake Free Press)


Minor Knight, Jr.(we changed his name), Upper Saranac Lake was arrested Sunday by a detail of Encon Law Enforcement Officers and turned over to the State Police. Minor Knight, Jr., who is employed by the New York State DEC as a senior fish and wildlife technician, was charged with Criminal Mischief 2nd, a Class D felony.

The arrest stemmed from a lengthy on-going investigation conducted jointly by the DEC and New York State Police in the suspected arson and destruction on July 26 of a state lean-to and two pit privies on State owned forest preserve lands at Indian Point on Upper Saranac Lake, which had been there for many years for public use. The lean-to and pit privies were near the residence of Mr. Knight who had recently begun to voice objections to their presence.

On Sunday, DEC Law Enforcement personnel observed Mr. Knight, using a chainsaw in the process of cutting up the pre-cut logs which were used to replace the burned down lean-to at the building site on Indian Point.

He was arraigned before Town of Harrietstown Town Justice Karl Griebsch who at the request of Franklin County district attorney's office set bail at $15,000 cash.

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