The Way Things Were
By Anne Weaver

ABOUT THE WEEK OF OCT. 2, 1964, sportsmen were reminded that first-time hunters must pass a hunter safety course before they can be licensed. The four-hour, state-approved safety course was required by law for all prospective hunters, regardless of age, if they could not show proof of a previous license.

Safety training courses were conducted by volunteer sportsmen certified by the NYS Conservation Department. First-time hunters were advised to watch for announcements of classes being held in their area. Applicants who had held a license in the past, in New York or elsewhere, had to present the old license. An affidavit from a license-issuing agent or a receipt from the Conservation Department stating the sportsman had been previously licensed was also acceptable proof.

It was a misdemeanor in New York to hunt without a license, and all persons over age 14 who hunted had to be licensed. The small game hunting season in Upstate New York would begin Oct. 5.

At the annual meeting of the White Deer Association of N.Y. State at Wells, the following officers were elected: President Leroy Bellair, Morehouseville; Vice President Ed Cox, Clinton; Secretary Roger Edkin, Oneida; and Treasurer Otto Koenig, Forestport. The next meeting would be held at the Central School in Speculator.

The Association suffered a great loss in September with the death of John Haskell. John Haskell was a member of the Board of Directors and was one of those who started the association. He had been active for many years in conservation, but he was better known for his rescue work in the Noblesboro area. Against doctor's orders, he led a rescue party deep into the wilds just three days before his death.

Prospects for the coming deer season were very poor in the Adirondacks. Most of the professional woodsmen (guides, trappers and game protectors) agreed the Adirondack deer herd was almost one-third of what it was 10 years ago.

Forty-eight percent of the party permits issued for the Adirondacks were filled in 1963. The association had asked the organized clubs of the state to join it in boycotting the party permits. Without any organizing they had a partial boycott going last year.

Supervisor Norton Bird of Inlet showed his colored movies of deer slaughtered by state biologists the previous winter in the Moose River Plains area to the Watertown Fish and Game Club. After viewing the movies the club went on record as unanimously opposing the special party permit.

One of New York state's many literary shrines is a white cottage in the midst of the Adirondacks. It was here, the state Department of Commerce pointed out, that the great storyteller, Robert Louis Stevenson, spent the winter of 1887-88.

The cottage, overlooking the Saranac River in the village of Saranac Lake, contains the largest collection of Stevenson material in America, including such items as his ice skates and the desk where he wrote part of "The Master of Ballantrae." The cottage is maintained as a literary memorial and is open to visitors daily from June to October.

Stevenson came from Borunemouth, England, hoping to find relief from tuberculosis in the clear Adirondack air. Dr. Edward L. Trudeau, one of the pioneers in the treatment of tuberculosis and founder of the famous Trudeau Sanitarium, had recently settled in Saranac Lake and Stevenson became one of his first patients.

The ailing writer moved into the Baker Cottage, as it was then called, took walks in the frosty air, skated on Moody's Pond and continued to work. He wrote a dozen articles for Scribner's Magazine and completed a number of essays while living the routine prescribed by Dr. Trudeau.

It was a productive winter and one in which his health greatly improved. The winter brought lots of snow to the village. The mountain air did benefit Stevenson's wasted lungs and Dr. Trudeau had hopes for his eventual cure, but the Spartan conditions weren't to Stevenson's taste and he found the cold unbearable.

With the arrival of spring he left for the West Coast and the South Seas, where he died in 1894. But in Saranac Lake, where the white frame cottage is now known as Stevenson Cottage, the author of "Treasure Island" is still remembered.

Victor Skiff, deputy commissioner of conservation and a long-time friend of the Adirondacks, died Sept. 21, 1964 at his home in Brookview, near Castleton. Apparently he suffered a heart attack.

Mr. Skiff had served in his present position since Jan. 15, 1959 when he was appointed by Gov. Nelson Rockefeller. Under former Gov. Thomas E. Dewey, he held the same position from 1944 to 1954. In the intervening years he was on the staff of the Legislature as consultant on natural resources problems.

He was survived by his wife, the former Kathryn Sweeney, and three children, John, Joseph and Winifred.

At INLET, Hamilton County News was published at Inlet every Friday; 50 issues per year, entered as Second Class matter Dec. 17, 194 at the Post Office in Inlet under the Act of March 3, 1879 with editor Clark P. Osborne. It was the official newspaper for Hamilton County, the towns of Arietta, Inlet, Lake Pleasant, Long Lake, Morehouse and the Village of Speculator; and cost $2 per year in advance.

At LONG LAKE, John C. Dewyea, parachute rigger airman apprentice, U.S. Navy, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Dewyea, Long Lake, had recently reported to Helicopter Utility Squadron at the Naval Air Station, Lakehurst, N.J. Dewyea assisted in inspecting, maintaining and repairing flight clothing and equipment.

The squadron provided helicopter support service to the units of the Atlantic Fleet.