William Copeman Kitchin.

A wonderland of the East, comprising the lake and mountain region of New England and eastern New York; a book for those who love to wander among beautiful lakes and rivers, valleys and mountains, or in places made famous by historic men and events; to which is added an afterword on the worth-while i online

. (page 1 of 23)
Online LibraryWilliam Copeman KitchinA wonderland of the East, comprising the lake and mountain region of New England and eastern New York; a book for those who love to wander among beautiful lakes and rivers, valleys and mountains, or in places made famous by historic men and events; to which is added an afterword on the worth-while i → online text (page 1 of 23)
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Each in one volume, decoralive cover, profusely illuslraied


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NEW MEXICO: The Land of the Delight Makers

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tain and Lake Region of New England and East-
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By William Copeman Kitchix, Ph. I). $5.00


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A number of additional volumes are in preparation,
including Maine, Utah, Georgia, The Great Lakes,
Louisiana, etc., and the "See America First " Series
will eventually include the whole of the North
American Continent.

53 Beacon Street Boston, Mass.

Reproduced from an original Phototonc Print by arrangement with
The I'hototonc Company, Boston, .Mass.

*' 1 lit Old Man of the Mountain."

. (See Page 22^)



The Lake and Mountain Region of
New England and Eastern New York

A book for those who love to wander among
beautiful lakes and rivers, valleys and moun-
tains, or in places made famous by historic
men and events ; to which is added an
Afterword on the Worth- While in this Won-
derland of the East, with some Suggestions to
Motor - Tourists on How Best to Find It



Late Professor of the French Language and Literature in the

University of Vermont

With three maps and fifty-four plates
of which sijr are in color


10^6 A

Copyright, 1920, by
The Pagf. Company

All rights reserved

First Impression, October, 1920


t « «. * • <





This is a book of travelogues of sundry motor-car
journeys, during four successive seasons, through the
woods and the valleys, alongside the rivers and the lakes,
and among the hills and the mountains of Eastern New
York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts
and Connecticut, with a side tour through the Finger
Lake district of Central New York. It has much to say
about the scenery and a little about the history of this
fascinating region, and an effort has been made to de-
scribe the former as it really is and, in the latter, to be
accurate in the brief outlines given.

Let it be noted that I speak of a region and not re-
gions. This region, then, though it politically embraces
all of the state of Vermont and parts of five other states,
is, in the unity of its lake and mountain character, one
country; hence the sub-title of the book is — not "The
Lakes and Mountains of Eastern New York and New
England," which would emphasize its political divisions;
but " The Lake and Mountain Country of Eastern New
York and New England," which stresses its unity. In
physical geography, it should be marked off as a dis-
tinct region, — one country, as, I think, the Creator
intended it to be considered when he fashioned it.

In the first chapter, I submit the reasons why this lake
and mountain country may justly be looked upon as a
Wonderland, A Wonderland of the East.


viii Foreword

Since 1914, and the closing of Europe to American
tourist travel, we have heard much of the " See Amer-
ica First " slogan. The spirit prompting the slogan,
when inspired, not to swell the revenues of resorts and
transportation companies, but by a genuinely patriotic
pride in the beauty of American scenery and an intelli-
gent interest in our historic sites and shrines, is the
spirit of true Americanism. That we should all see as
much as possible of our country goes without saying.
Yet one of the most patriotic, as well as the most schol-
arly of American travelers. Bayard Taylor, was of the
opinion that, to appreciate most fully our own country,
it was well first to see something of the Old World.
From my own experience, I am inclined to think that the
great traveler was right.

It was, however, no fault of my own planning that I
did not see America first. As in the case of many an-
other loyal citizen, it just did not so happen. What I
believed to be a call to service took me, immediately
upon graduation from college, to Asia, and after my
return to America and the appointment to a professor-
ship in a New England university, the lure of further
study in my special field drew me to France. Later, I
was offered the position of conductor of European tours,
and the outbreak of the Great War found me in Berlin
with a party of tourists on my hands.

Up to the autumn of 1914, therefore, my travel record
ran : a little of America, considerable of Japan and much
of Europe I cannot say that I regret the circumstances
that came into my life and made this order unavoidable.
Despite the fact that it has been, in my case, " See
Europe first, and afterwards my own country," I can yet

Foreword ix

say with Thomas Cole, the great American landscape
painter, *' I look upon American scenery with increased
pleasure," and I can, likewise, subscribe to his declara-
tion of love : " It is so connected with my affection that
it will never lose its power."
With me, it is a genuine case of :

" My country, 'tis of thee,

Sweet land of liberty,

Of thee I sing.

• ••••••

I love thy rocks and rills,
Thy woods and templed hills,"

and of the sentiment expressed by Whittier:

"Land of the forest and the rock,
Of dark blue lake and mighty river,
Of mountains reared aloft to mock
The storm's career, the light'ning's shock,
My own green land forever."

Seeing Europe first has, also, given me the advantage
of looking on American scenery from the comparative
view-point in a better way, I think, than had the order
been reversed. I am constantly making comparisons.
The mental process involved keeps me alert to what I
am now seeing, and the historical associations connected
therewith, and calls up from memory things similar
seen elsewhere and the historic significance these things
possess. These comparisons are thus in themselves a
source of esthetic and intellectual pleasure. Only in one
instance have I obtruded upon my readers any of these
many comparisons; nevertheless, when, here and there,


they run across passages particularly eulogistic of some
bit of American scenery or, perhaps, find a trifle of ex-
tra emphasis placed upon the historic interest of some
particular site or shrine, let it be understood between us
that unexpressed comparisons have had an influence in
restraining the language of praise. This thought may
strengthen their confidence that I have sincerely en-
deavored to avoid exaggeration, or to be anything ex-
cept strictly just in estimating scenic and historic values.

The motor-journeys, herein described, were taken
from two points, the author's home-town, Schenectady,
New York, and a certain summer home, familiarly
known in the family as the Farm, situated eastward of
Lake Winnepesaukee. New Hampshire. Both places are
admirably located to serve as touring centers, Schenec-
tady for motor- journeys through the New York part
of the Wonderland, and the Farm for automobile
explorations of the lake and mountain country of New
England. Such was the plan followed.

Books of great value to the tourist have been written
on individual parts of the region described in this book
as A Wonderland of the East. The titles of those
that I consider to be the best are given at the end of the
volume. I have found no work, however, on the lake
and mountain country of New York and New England
as a whole. Noticeable is, also, the lack of any book to
guide the motor-tourist in where and how to find the
most worth-while places in this same lake and mountain
country. The Afterword gives some hints on this
subject and suggests some tours.

To all. therefore, who are interested in the fascinating
scenic and historic attractions of this Wonderland of

Foreword xi

the East, either as readers only or as tourists, I trust
that this book may be of some service. Let it be re-
membered, however, that he who would know this land
of delight, as it deserves to be known, must see it for
himself. Hence I suggest, particularly to the dwellers
within our more easterly states, in addition to the " See
America First," another slogan: See First this Won-
derland of the East, Scenic, Historic, Romantic.



Foreword ...... vii

I. A General Survey ..... i

II. The Mohawk Valley in Seventeenth

AND Eighteenth Century History . 21

III, Motoring Along the Mohawk — The

Oriskany Battlefield and Cherry
Valley ...... 42

IV. The Helderbergs and the Schoharie Val-

ley — Glimmerglass of Leather-Stock-
ing Land — The Coopers and Coopers-
town ....... 58

V. The Catskills — Lake Ashokan — The

Susquehanna and Delaware Valleys 75
VI. The Hudson River Country from Peeks-

VII. The Adirondacks, a Great V/ilderness
Surrounded by Civilization — Hunt-
ing FOR Beauty by Automobile . .110
VIII. Where Tides of Empire Ebbed and Flowed
— The Lake That Is the Gateway of
THE Country , . . . .126
IX. A Battle-Ground of Nations — The
Views from the Bennington and the
Saratoga Monuments — The Wonder
Lake of the World . . . -145

X. A Side Tour to the Finger Lake District

OF Central New York . . . 160












Landscapes and Learning

Mountains, White and Green

Over the Hills to the Merrimac — The

Pemigewasset and Upper Ammonoosuc

and Saco Valleys
The Two Great Northern Notches
The Valleys of Vermont
Camp Cube to Connecticut
Berkshire the Beautiful
Bibliography .
Index ....











" The Old Man of the Mountain " (In full color)
(See page 22g) ..... Frontispiece

Henry Hudson in New York Harbor ... 12

^ The Mohawk Valley, near Schenectady . . 21

The Mabie House ...... 30

; The Surrender of Burgoyne, after the Battle of

Saratoga, October 17, 1777 (In full color) . . 39
Ferris Falls, in the Catskills . ... .48

Otsego Lake ..... . . 63

" Indian Hunter," Cooperstown .... 70

A Waterfall in the Catskills . . > -76
AsHOKAN Reservoir and the Catskills ... 84
The Hudson, from Palisades Park ... 98
The Military Academy, West Point . . . 100
The Highlands of the Hudson .... 102

View from Blue Mountain, in the Adirondacks . 112
Sunset on Forked Lake, in the Adirondacks . 114
The Falls Above the Bridge, Glens Falls . . 123
Moonlight on Lake Champlain .... 127

AusABLE Chasm ....... 131

Lake Placid and Mt. Whiteface . . . .134

V Champlain in the Indian Battle . . . 138

Along the Shore of Isle La Motte, Lake Cham-
plain ........ 140

Ruins of Fort Ticonderoga ..... 144

The Battle of Saratoga . . . . .148

v' Paradise Bay, Lake George (In full color) . .150
Death of Colonel Ephraim Williams, in " The

Bloody Morning Scout," September 8, 1755 . 154
The Surrender of Fort William Henry, August

9> 1757 • • • ' 158

Rainbow Falls and Triple Cascade, Watkins Glen 166

r. ;. . . 168

The Massacre at Wyoming .



List of Illustrations

Cold Riv"er Bridge, Mohawk Trail
In the Valley near North Pownal .
Thompson Memorial Chapel, Williams College
Chocorua Mountain and Lake Chocorua .
The Presidential Range, from Intervale (In full

color) .......

The Ottaquechee Valley ....

Lake Dunmore ......

Mt. Equinox and the Battenkill River, from near

Arlington, Vt. .....

The Franconia Range, from North Woodstock
" The Center of the Earth," Lost River
Paradise Falls, Lost River (In full color)
The Indian Head, near North Woodstock .
Echo Lake and Eagle Cliff
The Willey House .....

Crawford Notch, from Elephant's Head
DixviLLE Notch and Lake Glorietta (In full color)
The Green Mountain R.\nge
Mt. Pisgah and Mt. Hor ....

Lake Eden .......

Along the Shore of Lake Champlain, ne.\r

Thompson's Point .....
In the White River Valley
Lake Winnepesaukee ....

Lake Winnepesaukee, from the road near Laconia
Mt. Monadnock, from the Toy Town Golf Links
The Old Frary House (1698), Deerfield
House of William Cullen Bryant (1759), Great

Barrington .......

Map of Western Massachusetts and Western

Connecticut .......

Map of Vermont and New Hampshire .

Map of Eastern New York .....












Spread out before you a map of New York and New
England and, with a ruler and pencil, beginning at Hart-
ford, Connecticut, trace a line through Waterbury and
Danbury, in that state, and Tarrytown, New York, to
Port Jervis, on the Delaware River. Run your pencil
up the course of the Delaware as far as Deposit, then
across to the Susquehanna at Windsor, following that
stream to its source in Otsego Lake, at Cooperstown.
From Cooperstown, mark off a direct line to Rome, a
second straight line to Malone, and a third to the Cana-
dian boundary above Rouses Point. Follow the national
boundary eastward across Vermont and New Hampshire
to Lake Umbagog, just over the state line in Maine. In-
clude something of the woods and waters of Northwest-
ern Maine. I leave the amount you include indetermi-
nate, but come back to the Maine-New Hampshire
boundary at some point between Ossipee and Sanborn-

ville, in the latter state. Thence a line, straight as the


A Wonderland of the East

crow flies, to Mt. Monadnock and on to Hartford, our

The line that you have drawn encloses the most beau-
tifully scenic section of the United States, east of the
Rocky Mountains. From an historic point of view it
also contains more places made famous by great men
and events than any other region of like size in the
western hemisphere. Paradoxically speaking, this his-
toric interest antedates, by centuries, the historic age, for
here lived those Indian tribes that were to become earli-
est and most closely associated with the destinies of the
white man in the New World.

It is of the scenery of this pencil-line-enclosed region,
however, that I want first to speak, for this is of such a
wonderful beauty as to entitle the country to the name
given it : "A Wonderland of the East." To return,
then, to what you have included within the boundary
line that you have just drawn. Notice that, with the ex-
ception of a few outlying members, you have enclosed
the entire mountain system of New York and New
England. Also observe that the great majority of the
lakes of the East are included. Only one important
group is outside of your line, the Finger Lakes of Cen-
tral New York, and this district is within visiting dis-
tance by an easy and comparatively short side tour.

Imagine, now, that we are standing on the summit of
Greylock, in the northwestern corner of Massachusetts,
and the highest mountain in that state. Greylock is
situated somewhat south of the geographical center of
the Wonderland of the East, yet, from its top, under
proper atmospheric conditions, we can command a vast
panorama, — better, cyclorama, — stretching, in every

A General Survey

direction, more nearly to the boundaries that you have
marked off with your pencil than does any other view
within the area.

From this Pisgah-like point of observation, here, in a
very general way, is something of what we see. Let us
begin with the New York section. Yonder, in the far
southwest, rise the summits of the Hudson Highlands,
the Ramapo Hills and Shawangunk Mountains, and,
north of these, the Catskills and the Helderbergs, the
latter two groups flanked on the west by the tangle of
highland plateaus and ranges of lofty hills that come up
from the Alleghanies of Pennsylvania and extend in two
or more places far enough north to link themselves with
the Adirondacks.

Among these hills, crossing the highland plateau and
the western slopes of the Catskills, are found the sources
of two rivers, the Delaware and the Susquehanna. An-
other noble river, the Mohawk, comes into the Wonder-
land at Rome and flows eastward, in ever increasing
volume, through one of the most beautiful valleys in
America. Running southward from its Adirondack
source, the Hudson stretches its silvery band down the
broad valley flanking the mountains, above named, on
their eastern side, becoming, as it reaches southward to
the Atlantic, less a river and more a long, slender arm
of the sea, its sluggishly moving waters feeling the
pulse of the ocean's tides as far north as Albany.

All this country, the valleys of the Mohawk and the
Hudson on the north and east, and the mountains and
highlands enfolded in the angle between, are exquisitely
beautiful in the softer types of landscape loveliness.

As we turn our gaze northward from the Mohawk,

A Wonderland of the East

our eyes fall upon the great wilderness of Northern
New York, the Adirondack country. Here, with much
that has the quiet charm of the scenery further south,
there is more that is wild and savage. The mountains
are higher; there are lakes, so great in number that they
have never been all named or even counted ; there are
vast forests. The inmost depths of some, it is said, are
yet untrodden by the foot of white man.

Here, for those who seek absolute calm, is to be found
a refuge from the tumult of the city and the frequented
highway, an asylum of rest, where nothing need be
heard except the voices of beast and bird, the music of
the breezes, the whispering of the trees and the laugh
of waters.

And for those who prefer to live their vacation in
touch with their kind, there is the summer hotel or cottage
or camp, with all the refinements and conveniences of
home, all the social pleasures of the city in regions of
the purest mountain atmosphere and surrounded by mag-
nificent scenery.

The whole great wilderness of mountains, lakes and
forests has fittingly been called " A Summer Paradise,"
and a paradise it is for both the motor-tourist, speeding
over its superb roads, and the vacationist, spending in
it his furlough from toil.

The New England section of the Wonderland is no
less attractive than Eastern New York. Outside of the
immediate surroundings of the larger towns, the part of
New England, included in the boundaries that have been
drawn, is one great vacation playground, invigorating
in its summer coolness, delightful in social life and
superb in scenery.

A General Survey

There, to the south, are the exquisitely lovely Litch-
field Hills of Connecticut and the Berkshire Highlands
of Western Massachusetts. In mountain scenery and
valley landscapes, Vermont is all a Wonderland, while,
in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, the climax
of mountain scenery in New England is reached. The
lake region of this state is, perhaps, the most beautiful
of all the groups of lakes found within the boundaries
of the Wonderland. The noble Connecticut River,
from its source up close to the Canadian border down
as far as Hartford, flows through a valley that is every-
where replete with magnificent scenery, ever changing
in character, yet always captivating in charm.

Such is what we see in a rapid, general survey of the
country bounded by the enclosing pencil line, a delectable
land of beautiful mountains, exquisitely lovely valleys,
sparkling rivers and placid, shining lakes, silver-toned
rapids and waterfalls, picturesque glens and gorges and
far-reaching landscapes. Then we must add to these
glories of scenery, the ancient towns, quaint with the
survivals of the colonial age, the literary associations
that cluster about former homes of famous authors and,
above all, the historic sites and shrines of the Hudson,
Mohawk and Connecticut Valleys, and of the classic
shores of Lake George and of Lake Champlain.

It is not a large land and is easily accessible, for
everywhere throughout it there are good roads. The
motor-tourist can drive his car the full circuit of its
most worth-while attractions within the limits of the
usual fortnight vacation. Four-fifths of his way, he will
be entirely among mountains, ranges of hills or lakes or
in glorious valleys. He will pass, in close succession.

A Wonderland of the East

from one beauty spot to another, with not an uninterest-
ing mile in the entire tour, an experience which, I ven-
ture to say, cannot be duphcated in any other section of
equal size in America.

On the title page of this volume, the lake and moun-
tain country of Eastern New York and New England is
called A Wonderland of the East. The term, aptly
descriptive, is not original with me. Neither am I un-
aware of the mental picture which the word. Wonder-
land, evokes in connection with certain sections of our
Great West. — gigantic mountains, clothed in glacier
mantles and lifting snowy summits more than two miles
skyward ; awesome canyons, rainbows-colored and a sheer
mile or more in depth ; Yosemite's cataracts, and Yel-
lowstone's geysers. Nevertheless, the country that is the
title and theme of this book, considered, as I have al-
ready said, as one piece of country, as the Creator in-
tended it to be considered when he fashioned it, consti-
tutes a real Wonderland. True, it does not resemble
any of the Wonderlands of the West, but, for that mat-
ter, no one of these resembles any of the others. In
their variety lies their charm. One star differeth from
another star in glory. So may one Wonderland differ
from another Wonderland and that again from others,
yet all be Wonderlands. A Wonderland of the East
differs from Western Wonderlands, not in scenic value,
but merely in the kind of scenery. The glory of the
savage and titanic Rockies is one, and the glory of the
softly carved Berkshires is another. There is one
glory of the Yosemite Valley, and another glory of the
Keene Valley, and another glory of the Franconia

A General Survey-

in the number of its lakes, the mountain country of
New York and New England exceeds any other section of
the United States, and nowhere are these surpassed in
limpid clearness, brilliancy of sapphire hue or beautiful
setting. Valleys, almost as numerous as the lakes, vary-
ing in size from the rock-walled mountain glen to the
far-stretching expanse of the Hudson Valley, seen from
the Catskill Mountain House, or the Champlain Valley,
seen from the university tower at Burlington, form,
equally with the lakes and the mountains, the compelling
fascination of this land of many charms.

Thomas Cole chose, in preference to foreign scenes
of sterner grandeur, the more modestly beautiful scenery
of the American hills and valleys for subjects for his
canvas. The great artist understood the psychological
truth that, though the mind be, for a time, dazzled and
enthralled by what is overwhelming in the rugged as-
pects of nature, it will eventually recover from the spell
and seek lasting satisfaction and enjoyment in the gen-
tler forms of beauty. This is the reason why, in the art
galleries of Europe, we find so few examples of an
•attempt to picture the gigantic or the bizarre in natural
scenery, and why the number is legion of the paintings
representing the milder types of landscape beauty, those
that are pure loveliness, the originals of which we might
easily imagine had been found somewhere in the lake
and mountain country of Eastern New York and New

This Wonderland of the East, however, has not al-
ways been an Eden of beauty. Time was when it was
far otherwise. By the help of what the science of geol-
ogy tells us, let us endeavor to picture to ourselves the

1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23

Online LibraryWilliam Copeman KitchinA wonderland of the East, comprising the lake and mountain region of New England and eastern New York; a book for those who love to wander among beautiful lakes and rivers, valleys and mountains, or in places made famous by historic men and events; to which is added an afterword on the worth-while i → online text (page 1 of 23)