Old Forge, New York

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Old Forge
Hamlet and CDP
Tourist souvenir shop in Old Forge, 1973
Tourist souvenir shop in Old Forge, 1973
Nickname(s): the same time
Old Forge is located in New York
Old Forge
Old Forge
Location of Old Forge in New York
Coordinates: 43°42′23″N 74°58′09″W / 43.70639°N 74.96917°W / 43.70639; -74.96917Coordinates: 43°42′23″N 74°58′09″W / 43.70639°N 74.96917°W / 43.70639; -74.96917
Country United States
State New York
County Herkimer
Town Webb
Settled 1798
Incorporated October 1903[1][2]
Dissolved March 31, 1936[3]
Area
 • Total 2.0 sq mi (5.2 km2)
 • Land 1.8 sq mi (4.7 km2)
 • Water 0.2 sq mi (0.55km2 km2)
Elevation 1,857 ft (566 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 756
 • Density 420.0/sq mi (260.7/km2)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP Code 13420
Area code(s) 315
FIPS code 36-54639[4]
GNIS feature ID 2631633[5]

Old Forge is a hamlet (and census-designated place) on New York State Route 28 in the town of Webb in Herkimer County, New York. The population was 756 at the 2010 census. Old Forge was formerly a village that dissolved its incorporation in 1936,[3][6] but it remains the principal community in the region. As one of the western gateway communities of Adirondack Park, Old Forge forms an extensive business district, primarily directed at tourism especially during the summer months. The local school is the Town of Webb UFSD, a K-12 institution with the Eskimo as their mascot. Old Forge often records the lowest winter temperatures in New York. On February 17, 1979, the record low temperature for New York was set in Old Forge at -52 °F (-46 °C).[7][8]

History[edit]

Herreshoff House in 1895

In 1798 the 210,000 acres (85,000 ha) area including Old Forge came into possession of the Brown family of Rhode Island, through a transaction involving Aaron Burr. John Francis Brown built a 25 miles (40 km) wagon trail from Remsen and attempted to settle about 20 families in the area. The land was unsuitable for farming, these attempts failed, and the area was abandoned by 1803.

In 1811 John Brown's son-in-law Charles Frederick Herreshoff moved to the area and attempted to raise sheep, opened an iron mine, and built the first forge. These ventures again failed, and Herreshoff committed suicide in 1819. A few settlers remained, including Nat Foster, said to be the inspiration for James Fenimore Cooper's character of "Natty Bumppo."[9]

The railroad was built in 1888, originally horse-drawn with wooden rails. Before the railroad was completed the plans were changed to use steam power rather than horses.[10] A station was constructed at nearby Thendara.

Old Forge was incorporated as a village in October 1903.[1][2] The incorporation would be short lived as residents voted to dissolve the village on July 11, 1933, 117 to 96, due to the high cost of government operations.[11] A second vote for the final dissolution plan took place on October 21, 1933, also in favor.[6] The New York Supreme Court, 5th Judicial District, would hand down a court order three months later suspending the dissolution process due to a lawsuit claiming the special election in October being deemed illegal based on taxpayer and distribution factors within the plan.[12][13] After an appeal to the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Fourth Department, the Village of Old Forge was officially able to dissolve on March 31, 1936.[3][14]

Attractions[edit]

Enchanted Forest Water Safari is New York's largest water theme park.[15] It has 50 rides and attractions, including 32 water slides, as well as shops, restaurants, photographers, and a circus show.[15]

Mountainman Outdoor Supply Company offers everything you need for the Outdoors: Canoes, Kayaks, SUPs (stand-up paddleboards) & Bike Sales and Rentals, as well as quality clothing and camping gear.[16]

The Goodsell House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2006.[17]

Many peaks can be seen from the village, including McCauley Mountain, home of McCauley Mountain Ski Resort. With a 633-foot vertical drop, McCauley also boasts 21 ski trails of 3,000-5,000 ft, one double chairlift, two T-bar and two rope tows. As Old Forge is frequently affected by lake effect snow, and with 65% snowmaking capabilities, McCauley averages a base of 120+ inches and 105 days of skiing.[18]

Snowfall totals also contribute to the areas other primary winter draw, snowmobiling. Dubbed the "Snowmobile Capital of the East",[19] Old Forge controls primary access to more than 500 miles of groomed trails. These trails, combined with operative sidewalk and limited street use, often ridable frozen lakes (especially the adjoining Fulton Chain of Lakes, and connection to other large trail systems, offer substantial area for the sport.[20][21]

Airport and dam[edit]

The Old Forge Airport is a small grass field airport that is just one mile north of the actual town. There are two runways. The airport is unattended and is privately owned. Permission must be obtained before landing. The Old Forge Dam is a small dam separating the Fulton Chain of Lakes and the Moose River.

Geography and climate[edit]

Old Forge is located at 43°42′23″N 74°58′09″W / 43.706401°N 74.969122°W / 43.706401; -74.969122.[22] It lies within the Adirondack Mountains, a southern extension of the Canadian Shield and an important geologic feature of New York. As with any settlement in Adirondack Park, development both inside and outside the hamlet of Old Forge is somewhat restricted and land use policies set forth by the Adirondack Park Agency must be observed.[23]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 2.0 square miles (5.2 km2), of which, 1.8 square miles (4.7 km2) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) of it (10.00%) is water.

The primary highway passing through Old Forge is New York State Route 28. Old Forge lies along the Moose River at the western end of the Fulton Chain of Lakes.

Climate data for Old Forge, New York (1971–2000)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 59
(15)
58
(14)
76
(24)
86
(30)
90
(32)
92
(33)
98
(37)
95
(35)
94
(34)
87
(31)
76
(24)
62
(17)
98
(37)
Average high °F (°C) 25.1
(−3.8)
28.3
(−2.1)
37.3
(2.9)
49.4
(9.7)
63.1
(17.3)
70.7
(21.5)
74.6
(23.7)
72.8
(22.7)
64.9
(18.3)
54.6
(12.6)
41.5
(5.3)
30.6
(−0.8)
51.1
(10.6)
Average low °F (°C) 2.2
(−16.6)
4.2
(−15.4)
15.2
(−9.3)
28.0
(−2.2)
40.0
(4.4)
49.1
(9.5)
53.5
(11.9)
52.2
(11.2)
44.5
(6.9)
33.9
(1.1)
24.6
(−4.1)
11.2
(−11.6)
29.9
(−1.2)
Record low °F (°C) −46
(−43)
−52
(−47)
−36
(−38)
−24
(−31)
15
(−9)
24
(−4)
30
(−1)
23
(−5)
18
(−8)
3
(−16)
−20
(−29)
−43
(−42)
−52
(−47)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 4.15
(105.4)
2.96
(75.2)
3.70
(94)
3.69
(93.7)
4.14
(105.2)
4.14
(105.2)
4.57
(116.1)
4.52
(114.8)
5.07
(128.8)
4.33
(110)
4.84
(122.9)
4.28
(108.7)
50.39
(1,279.9)
Average snowfall inches (cm) 56.8
(144.3)
33.4
(84.8)
27.4
(69.6)
12.4
(31.5)
2.2
(5.6)
T 0
(0)
0
(0)
T 3.3
(8.4)
22.9
(58.2)
36.3
(92.2)
194.7
(494.5)
Average precipitation days 19.1 14.5 15.6 13.6 14.1 13.6 12.2 12.8 13.0 14.1 17.2 18.7 178.5
Average snowy days 17.1 13.1 11.8 5.1 1.0 0 0 0 0 2.3 9.4 15.3 75.1
Source: TWC[24]

Demographics[edit]

As of the census[4] of 2010, there were 756 people, 371 households, and 208 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 420.0 people per square mile (260.7/km2). The racial makeup of the CDP was 97.0% White, 0.4% Black or African American, 0.7% Native American, 0.3% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 0.1% from other races, and 1.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.2% of the population.

There were 371 households out of which 19.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.1% were married couples living together, 5.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 43.9% were non-families. 38.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.04 and the average family size was 2.67.

In the CDP the population was spread out with 19.0% under the age of 20, 5.2% from 20 to 24, 19.5% from 25 to 44, 37.4% from 45 to 64, and 19.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 47.9 years. For every 100 females there were 95.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.2 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $32,539, and the median income for a family was $62,708. Males had a median income of $32,750 versus $31,761 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $26,662. About 3.3% of families and 10.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 0.0% of those under age 18 and 10.6% of those age 65 or over.

Housing[edit]

There were 778 housing units at an average density of 432.2 per square mile (165.5/km²). 52.3% of housing units were vacant.

There were 371 occupied housing units in the CDP. 231 were owner-occupied units (61.3%), while 140 were renter-occupied (37.7%). The homeowner vacancy rate was 4.1% of total units. The rental unit vacancy rate was 18.1%.[4]

NOTE: It is common for resort communities to have higher than normal vacant house counts. Many are vacation homes which are seasonal and not regularly occupied.

Notable People[edit]

Old Forge also has been home, or at least the summer residence, to many of our nations most notable people, including former U.S. Presidents, United States Olympic Athletes, and World Cup Skiers.

Name Notability Reference
Lowell Bailey U.S. Olympic Athlete in Biathalon and World Cup Skier, resided and learned to ski as a youth in Old Forge. [25]
Louie Ehrensbeck U.S. Olympic Athlete in Biathlon [25][26]
Erin Hamlin U.S. Olympic Althlete in Luge [25]
Benjamin Harrison 23rd President of the United States built a summer camp named Berkley Lodge [27]
Chantelle Heroux X Games Skicross skier, Director and Founder of "Bridge to Skate" [28][29][30]
Hank Kashiwa US National Ski Champion, U.S. Olympic Skier, and Sports Commentator [25][30]
Maddie Phaneuf U.S. Ski Team Competitor in Biathlon [31][30]
Dan Stripp U.S. World Cup Skier and former U.S. Women's Ski Team Coach. [32][30][33]
Sandy Stripp Tetreault U.S. Foot-Orienteering and World Ski Orienteering Champion [34][30][35]
Gary Vaughn U.S. Olympic Athlete in Alpine Skiing [36][30][37]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Town of Webb, Early History of the Town of Webb, June 2002, Retrieved Mar. 17, 2016.
  2. ^ a b Rome Daily Sentinel, Old Forge to be Incorporated, October 5, 1903, Retrieved Mar. 17, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c Ogdensburg Herald, Community Ceases to be a Village, Associated Press, published April 1, 1936, Retrieved Mar. 17, 2016.
  4. ^ a b c "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2016-03-17. 
  5. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. August 30, 2010. Retrieved 2016-03-17. 
  6. ^ a b New York State department of State. "Villages dissolved since 1900 and incorporated since 1940". Local government Services. Retrieved Jan 15, 2016. 
  7. ^ Old Forge Weather, retrieved Dec. 28, 2006.
  8. ^ USA Today - Each State's Low Temperature Record http://www.usatoday.com/weather/wcstates.htm
  9. ^ "Early History of the Region". Town of Webb History. Retrieved Jan 6, 2016. 
  10. ^ Herr, Charles. "Peg Leg Line: The First Fulton Chain Railroad". Adirondack Almanack. Retrieved Jan 6, 2016. 
  11. ^ Rome Daily Sentinel, To Dissolve As A Village, July 12, 1933, Retrieved Mar. 17, 2016.
  12. ^ Boonville Herald, Appeal is Filed in Old Forge Dissolution Case, February 14, 1935, Retrieved Mar. 17, 2016.
  13. ^ Utica Daily Press, Court Holds Up Dissolution of Old Forge, January 10, 1934, Retrieved Mar. 17, 2016.
  14. ^ Utica Observer-Dispatch, Friendly Suit in Dissolution Move Possible, February 14, 1935, Retrieved Mar. 17, 2016.
  15. ^ a b Enchanted Forest Water Safari, Retrieved Mar. 17, 2016.
  16. ^ [1]
  17. ^ Staff (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  18. ^ "McCauley Mountain Ski Area". 
  19. ^ "Snowmobile Capital". 
  20. ^ "Snowmobile Capital of the East' : N.Y. Town Is Mecca for Some Good Sledding". 
  21. ^ "Old Forge". 
  22. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2015". United States Census Bureau. February 12, 2015. Retrieved 2016-03-17. 
  23. ^ "Land Use Area Classification". Adirondack Park Agency. Retrieved 7 May 2016. 
  24. ^ "NCDC: U.S. Climate Normals". The Weather Channel. Retrieved 2011-08-11. 
  25. ^ a b c d Ulrich, Megan (17 February 2014). "Olympians in our midst". Adirondack Express. Retrieved August 2014.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  26. ^ "Polar Bear Club". LOCALadk Magazine. 2015. Retrieved July 2016.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  27. ^ Herr, Charles (4 February 2014). "Benjamin Harrison's 1895 Fulton Chain Vacation". The Adirondack Almanack. Retrieved August 2014.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  28. ^ "Former Webb Alpine Skier seeks help with school building project". The Weekly Adirondack. March 21, 2013. Retrieved July 2016.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  29. ^ "Bridge to Skate". Bridge to Skate. 2015. Retrieved July 2016.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  30. ^ a b c d e f "Polar Bear Club". LOCALadk Magazine. 2015. Retrieved July 2016.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  31. ^ "Team USA". United States Olympic Committee. 2016. Retrieved July 2016.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  32. ^ "Vail". Ski and Snowboard Club Vail. 2016. Retrieved July 2016.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  33. ^ "FIS". Federation Internationale De Ski. 2016. Retrieved July 2016.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  34. ^ "Express". The Adirondack Express. March 5, 2013. Retrieved July 2016.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  35. ^ "World Ski Orienteering Championships 1996". International Orienteering Federation. February 19, 1996. Retrieved July 2016.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  36. ^ "Norwich Record". Norwich University. 2016. Retrieved July 2016.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  37. ^ "Burlington Free Press". Burlington Free Press. August 16, 2015. Retrieved July 2016.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)

External links[edit]