Sunday, September 23, 2012

Local Charms Discovered

Whitehall, NY
43 33.27 N 073 24.13 W

I did some exploring today and I discovered something wonderful.   

South Bay is a part of Lake Champlain that we've never seen.   That it because it is too shallow to navigate and because the entrance to the bay is blocked by a very low railroad bridge.   Well, today I rode over there on my bike.  What a nice surprise.   Having seen it now, I must say that it competes strongly for first place in Lake Champlain's most scenic views.  That's saying a lot considering how fond we are of the other views on Champlain.

South Bay is enclosed in a delightful little valley surrounded by the steep sloped of wooded mountains.  The valley comes to a dead end, so I suppose that it could be called a fjord.  Indeed it has many of the characteristics of a glacial fjord.   The mountains flanking this valley to the west and south form the barrier between Lake George and Lake Champlain.    If I could climb the tallest tree on the summit of those mountains I would have splendid views of both Lake George and Lake Champlain.

South Bay Panorama looking South, click to see full screen
South Bay Panorama looking North

I took a lot of other pictures of Whitehall,  you can see them in the embedded slide show below.  From all indications, in the nearly two centuries 1775-1950, Whitehall was a bustling center of commerce, industry and fine living.  The last industry (silk) folded during WWII, and it has been downhill ever since.   Communities either attract new industries when the old ones fail, or die.  Whitehall had water power to attract industry, but by the mid 1900s, electric power made water power obsolete so the attraction was lost. The last industry was silk. Rival silk makers from Massachusetts bought up the Whitehall mills and hired men with sledgehammers to break up the machines in order to eliminate competition.



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