"Farrand Benedict: The Little Giant with Big Ideas "

January 22, 2017

with Mike Prescott

Free to members and students; $5 for non-members
This program takes place at 1:30 p.m. in the Adirondack Museum's auditorium. Please note: there are limited seats available in the auditorium. We suggest arriving early to secure a spot.

In the 1846, Farrand N. Benedict, "Professor B," surveyor and professor of Mathematics and Engineering at the University of Vermont, Burlington wrote a proposal for an across the Adirondacks Canal. His plan was to use the Black River Canal with its connection to the Erie Canal at Rome and build a railroad from Boonville to Old Forge. He was then going to utilize the Fulton Chain of Lakes, Raquette Lake, Long Lake, the Raquette River the Saranac Lakes with various lock systems, dams, and inclines to the Saranac River for canal boat traffic. He then proposed another railroad to Port Kent on Lake Champlain.
By the early 1850's Benedict had abandoned the Adirondack Canal Idea and proposed a canal to connect the Upper Raquette River watershed to the Upper Hudson River watershed. A dam would have been built at the end of Long Lake raising the water level of Long Lake, and a canal dug from Long Lake to the beginnings of the Upper Hudson River. This same proposal was brought up again in the 1870's by both Benedict and Verplanck Colvin.

Mike is a retired educator, after 34 years of secondary school teaching and administration. ( Does anyone ever actually retire from education and teaching ? ) He is a Licensed New York State Adirondack Guide and an avid flatwater paddler spring, summer, and fall. In winter he enjoys skiing. He taught history and enjoys reading and researching little known or somewhat obscure facts relating to Adirondack History. Mike is a sometimes writer. He volunteers with the Northern Forest Canoe Trail (NFCT), The Raquette River Blueway Corridor project (RRBC), The Adirondack Mountain Club, Conservation Committee, The New York State Trails Council (NYSCT) and most recently serves on the Accessibility Advisory Committee to the APA and the DEC. On other words Mike is a retired "jack-of-all-trades and a master of none."

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