Thursday, September 20, 2012

Poor Whitehall

Whitehall, NY
43 33.27 N 073 24.13 W

Poor Whitehall. It has certainly descended from a grand and glorious past. Almost all the stores in town are vacant and empty. But there are a few great things.
  • The Skenesborough Museum is a delight. We've seen it several times before.
  • Skene Manor sits high on the hill looking down at us. It is lit at night and it reminds me of the "Franenstein House" from The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

  • Built in 1874 by Judge Joseph Potter. It looks brand new even today. We've been up there for afternoon tea and puff pastery. The curators will also give you a tour of this amazing house. Phillip Skene made Skensebborough one of the most important places in New York by the time of the revolution. Unfortunately for him, he was on the wrong side of the Revolutionary War.
  • Birthplace of the US Navy. (But there's nothing about that to see.)
  • The USS Tigonderoga is here on display. She was Captain Thomas Macdonough's flagship for the Battle Of Plattsburg in 1814.
  • There is an Amtrak passenger station
  • The northernmost Stewarts Convenience shop along our migration route is here. We are long time customers and fans of Stewarts.
  • There's a small library where I am right now.
  • There is Lock 12 of the Champlain Canal.
  • In the summer there is The Bridge Amateur Theater Company
  • A symbol of former glory, the building just across the canal from us has faint letters painted on the side. The say "The Whitehall Times" At one time it was so prosperous here, that they had their own daily newspaper.
  • Last night Libby and I blew $60 for a fancy dinner at the Steak and Seafood Restaurant, located only 100 yards from the boat. We almost never eat in that kind of restaurant. However, it was one of the best meals we've ever had, with superbly prepared food. That made it worth the money.
  • We have a spectacular view of a mountainside right beside us that is on the verge of exploding with fall colors.
  • The town graciously provides free electricity, water and showers. 

On the other hand, the nearest grocery is 25 miles away. The nearest hardware store is 30 miles. Whitehall is far from a paradise. Nevertheless, most of the locks on the Champlain Canal are even more remote. We would not find a diesel mechanic, or showers, or power. We're lucky to be here.


  1. You take an expensive, week-long breakdown with such good grace! True, there was not much of an option, but I know I might have gnashed my teeth a bit or grumbled about bad luck.

    My wife Linda and I are about to test our grace under pressure with a cruise down the ICW. We are different cruisers than you -- we like the capability to zip along at 20-25 knots, we prefer to pull into a marina everyday by 2:00, plug into A/C, cable TV, and find a nearby restaurant for dinner.

    Our boat is the same size as Tarawathie -- 32" -- but it is a 32' Pro-Line Express with a pair of 225 Yamaha outboards. We call it EASY GO as a play on Easy Come, Easy Go, and hope it is an EASY WAY TO GO cruising.

    We have not done any long distance cruising on it so the coast of NJ, Delaware Bay have me nervous, but I have been fooling around on boats for many decades so I am hopeful we'll cope OK. We have cruised a prior single-diesel boar from Detroit to Newport, RI so we have done some cruising.

    Good luck with your engine travails!

    John Schieffelin
    Middletown, RI

  2. Hey Dick and Libby, It's Dave and Carol from M/V New Horizon in Abaco. We keep a summer home in Ticonderoga. Check out Green Mountain Market place. It's at 4 Smith St., about a half mile from where you are docked. Nice store!! Also, a Family Dollar, south on Rt 4, about a mile south of you on the main drag. All of these depressed canal towns have little treasures!! Good Luck! Check out


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