October 05, 2020

Reclaiming Land and Rails at an Adirondack Mine

Frederick H. Turner

Tahawus sits on the southern edge of the High Peaks wilderness in New York State’s six-million-acre Adirondack Park, close to both the source of the Hudson River and the state’s highest point, Mount Marcy. Because of Tahawus’s proximity to the Adirondack backcountry, it has long served as a point of departure for hikers. One of its most famous hikers was Vice President Theodore Roosevelt, who visited Tahawus in 1901 while President William McKinley was recovering from a gunshot wound. As he descended from the summit of Mount Marcy, Roosevelt received a telegram indicating that McKinley’s health had worsened. See Edmund Morris, The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt 778–80 (1979). By the time Roosevelt had returned to the Tahawus Club, he learned that the president appeared to be dying. Roosevelt abruptly departed the club’s MacNaughton Cottage and began a harrowing carriage ride, during which McKinley passed away. See Edmund Morris, Theodore Rex 3–7 (2001).

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