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Big news from Big Tupper

May 21, 2010
Adirondack Daily Enterprise

The Post-Standard in Syracuse carried lots of news from these parts on a page headlined "Northern New York News" and on this particular Sunday, May 21, 1944, a mere 66 years ago, almost to the day. It featured a story about a big mill that used to exist in Tupper Lake.

The story said that Hurd's was the largest sawmill ever erected in New York state with a capacity of 300,000 feet of lumber a day and - "during one sawing season the mill cut 33,000,000 feet of softwood lumber."


Article Photos

(As published in the Post-Standard, May 21, 1944)

The world's record

"On July 19, 1919, a world's record for a single days sawing was established. In nine hours and thirty minutes, 2304 spruce logs were run through the band and gang saws and converted into lumber 10 inches wide and 1 inches in thickness. The logs varied from 12 to 16 feet in length, and all were sized in the band mill, the cants being made 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 10 inches wide.

"E. H. Webb was sawyer and H. J. Connelly, filer. The carriage crew, on the day the record was set, consisted of Ed White, setter, and C. H. Ames and John Annette, 'doggers'."


Hard times lay ahead

The "Big Mill" was built at a cost of $250,000 but Hurd ran into financial problems and the mill was sold to Shepard & Morse Lumber Company of Boston and later owned and operated by Patrick A. Ducey and The Export Lumber Company; the Norwood Manufacturing Company, of Norwood, operated the mill until 1913. It was then acquired by the Santa Clara Lumber Company, completely remodeled with new machinery and operated until 1926. It then closed and remained idle until 1930 when it was torn down.

Other news about Tupper Lake

"Mr. and Mrs. Sam LaPlante of 45 LeBoeuf Street have received the purple heart medal, awarded their son, PFC Nelson LaPlante who was seriously wounded in action on the Italian front on Feb. 3.


"PFC LaPlante returned to active duty recently, after spending nearly three months in a base hospital overseas. The nature of his wound was not revealed."

"A bulletin from headquarters of the European theater of operations lists Pvt. Lucien Delair of 6 Joseph Street, Tupper Lake as a member of a crack army medical corps unit which recently demonstrated life-saving medicines and devices unknown in World War I.

"Also serving in his unit are PFC William Comstock of Saranac Lake and PFC Robald Brown of St. Regis Falls."


Saranac Lake news items

"Services were set for Ed Horton, Saranac Lake businessman and nationally known speed skater and bob sledder. He had died at home of a heart attack the previous Friday."

Horton was a speed skater and "ice hurdle" racer, hockey player and bob sledder. He competed in the 1932 Olympic Winter Games in Lake Placid as a member of the 4-man bob sled team piloted by Henry Homburger. The team was known as the Saranac Lake Red Devils.

The fishing was good

"Reports coming from all sections around Saranac Lake show the past week has been the most fruitful one as far as taking fish is concerned of the entire season. This applies to lake trout as well as brook trout.

"Fred Derby told us last week (this item is in a column by Charles L. Wright) the lake trout fishing on Upper Saranac lake is the best in several seasons. He and some of his employees have taken lake trout ranging from four to eight pounds, fishing from the docks of his camp and also some have been picked up by trolling, using ordinary baits. In other words, the fish are just waiting for any type of bait to be offered them.


Lake Placid firemen

"Local firemen have selected a squad to represent them in the competition and parade of the convention of the Northern New York Volunteer Fireman's association to be held in Massena on June 2 and 3. (I guess Jerry Strack was a little too young for this 1944 convention).

"The Panthers team captained by Stanley Benham, will be comprised of Albert Valenze, manager; Raymond Bryant, Edward Connor, George Beauregard, William Richardson, Charles Blinn, Harry Simpson, Ted Cave, Frank Fisk, Otis King and Vance Cheney.

"Also attending the convention will be George Anson, president of the association; C. J. Ortloff and Frank Fay, ex-chiefs and George W. Winchell, first assistant chief."



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