Over 200 years of Adirondack history seen through the lens of one plot of land. Fifty Acres of Beach and Wood chronicles the lives of iconic characters from Adirondack history whose footprints have graced the shores of Indian Point on Raquette Lake. Discover the heritage of Indian Point imparted by the Mohawk Indians, Sir John Johnson, Farrand Benedict, Matthew Beach and William Wood, Professor Ebenezer Emmons, Joel Tyler Headley, Mitchell Sabattis, Nessmuk, Alvah Dunning, John Plumley, Adirondack Murray and Verplanck Colvin. Tom Thacher is donating all his proceeds from this book to the Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts. “Tom Thacher’s project about the past of his family’s cabin is much more than a book of memories. It not only brings to life an interesting story of the west central Adirondacks; the book also provides proof of the direction and depth to which a dedicated researcher can go when he has the resolve to dig deep into the past. Turning the pages is like discovering some forgotten steamer trunk in the attic, one that is stuffed with treasures like old photographs, yellowed newspaper clippings and dated diaries, each with a story of its own.” —William J. O’Hern, Adirondack historian and author Five years ago Tom wanted to solve a family mystery that dates back to 1867. When was the family’s little red one-room cabin originally built on Indian Point? His research revealed that in 1837, Matthew Beach and William Wood, Raquette Lake’s first settlers, built a life on his family’s land. The book highlights the role they, their prominent visitors and Raquette Lake played in the formation and protection of the Adirondack Park. The search for and discovery of the exact locations of Beach and Wood’s cabins moves the book along, and the unraveling of the stories of Indian Point is intertwined with discoveries of intrigue and surprise in his own family history: a mystery cabin that existed between 1878 and 1886 and disappeared without a trace, and his family patriarch’s secret second family.
About the author
The great-great-grandson of the very first “summer folk” on Blue Mountain Lake in the Adirondacks, Tom Thacher has spent every summer of his life on lands purchased by his family in 1876 on Raquette Lake’s Indian Point. Raquette Lake has played a central part in the author’s life, providing a place of continual relaxation and renewal. What began as a simple curiosity about his family’s little red one-room cabin grew into an odyssey of research and discovery, which has culminated in this book. In appreciation for the generosity of the Adirondack historians and local residents who helped with his research, Tom is donating all his proceeds from the book to The Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts. The Arts Center, located in Blue Mountain Lake, provides music, dance, theater and arts programs in communities throughout the Adirondack Park.
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