FCP History - Whippets and Mystery Can Graveyard

A place for you to post memories you or your family remember from camping at Fish Creek over the years, as well as any other items of historical nature. Photos would be great too!
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CampADK
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FCP History - Whippets and Mystery Can Graveyard

Postby CampADK » Tue May 15, 2007 9:27 pm

Steve Collins first informed me about the old cars last year, that can be found near Site 123
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.

Here is a shot of one of the 3 cars you can find by taking the path near Site 123
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and heading up the hill to the left. Apparently the path back there is an old hydro line of some sort.
It is a Whippet manufacturer by Willys-Overland CO in Toledo Ohio,
build as a low-price (under $1000), small, yet swift like a whippet (dog).
These cars were built between 1927 and 1931 before the depression.

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Here are a few FCP postcards from the 1920's/early 1930's which include the Whippet...

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Here is a shot of old Whippet a bit more intact than the ones at the FCP graveyard...

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A few restored Whippets...

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Before the path up the hill you'll also find these old items... in fact there are several scattered piles of them in the area.

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After a bit of head scratching I decided to see if I could find anything that looked like them in Steve Collins postcard collection.

Low and behold I found them! They appear to be garbage cans used back in the 1920's/1930's. Each site had them...
well in some postcards. Maybe they were used for some time and then someone decided to get rid of them...
after a bear got into one? :shock:

Perhaps the park rangers did garbage pickup back in the old days? :lol:

Here is a shot from one of the old postcards that has what appears to be garbage cans by several site...

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There is no evidence of these old garbage cans in other postcards, so I assume the idea was 'discontinued' earlier on, and thus we find a large quantity of them abandoned, at what appears to be the same time. Maybe a count of the cans would provide some idea as too how many sites there were at the time... or not... and thus may point to the period when they were used.

Anyone else know anything about these 'cans' ?

So there may have been garbage pickup... I have heard they was a milk and bread truck at one time as well... I take it there were other vendors too.
Last edited by CampADK on Wed May 16, 2007 2:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Gail & Steve Collins
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Postby Gail & Steve Collins » Wed May 16, 2007 11:24 am

Great info about the cars and cans.

My brother-in-law and I speculated endlessly about those old cans nar the car bodies. We aren't sure that they would have been used for trash as there are no cut-out ends on them. They all still have the solid (but rusting rapidly) bottom, and the top has a much smaller hole, and has not been removed from any of them. They're also kinda small for trash receptacles.

One possible thought is that they may have been placed on the campsites for smokers (everyone smoked back then) to dump their butts and pipe ashes so that the chance of a forest fire starting would be minimal.

One interesting note about the old cars: we never found any evidence of engines, frames, or drive trains up on that hill. Our guess is that those parts were removed back in the 1930's when FCP was a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp. We think that the engines, etc. would have been used to make powered construction equipment suchs as cranes, sawmill, etc. It was pretty common back then to do that.

The power lines back to Rollins Pond Campground used to run up that old right of way.

That's is a fun hike for those that are interested.
Happy Camping!

Gail & Steve

'11 Cougar 326MKS, '12 Ford F250 Super Duty, '11 Grand Cherokee, '68 Sea Sprite, 2 bikes, and 1 Abby dawg
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CampADK
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Postby CampADK » Wed May 16, 2007 12:05 pm

Cigaratte butt bins.. hmm.. could be! They did smoke a bit more heavily back in those days :lol:

Good info on the use of the engines. What ever happened to those powerlines?

Have you been up there in the spring Steve? Before the leaves come out, you can see quite far into the bush... much easier to locate items such as these, and really reveals the landscape.

As long as the weather isn't totally a wash, we'll be back up on memorial weekend. Might have to revist those cans and take a closer look.
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Postby Gail & Steve Collins » Wed May 16, 2007 12:43 pm

Memory says the power lines are underground now, but I am not 100% on that. I think they found a better route back to Rollins.

I'll have to ask Dale Marshall about that in June.

Earliest I've been up there is early June, but everything is pretty well leafed out by then. Last year, we camped on Site 40
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or 41 in June, and the pond there was covered with a scum created by all the pollen and such from the trees and plants. The wind pushed it all into that corner of the lake near the boat launch.

We're due up there on June 11th for 10 days.
Happy Camping!

Gail & Steve

'11 Cougar 326MKS, '12 Ford F250 Super Duty, '11 Grand Cherokee, '68 Sea Sprite, 2 bikes, and 1 Abby dawg
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CampADK
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Postby CampADK » Wed May 16, 2007 12:58 pm

Great Steve! We're there for the TearUp in June. We'll be at our place in Lake Placid the week of June 8th, and head over to FC on Thurs June 14th, Site 241
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for 4 nights.

We have 23/24 sites reserved now for the TearUp. Site 232
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-254.
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CampADK
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Postby CampADK » Sun May 27, 2007 4:46 pm

Back from a fantastic picture perfect Memorial weekend! Ok at least Friday and Saturday were perfect...

Anyways I recoved 2 of those mystery cans.

Here are how they look by the campsites...

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And back in the 1930's....

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Seems like the same cans right?

There are the letters 'STC' engraved in the top of the can.

Think I'll paint one white, just like they orginally were.. hard to say what color they were, and paint on 'Fish Creek Pond' in blue or something...

Mind you the rust color isn't bad... paint it an Adirondack brown even...

Kate of course had to work through some of the other possible purposes that these cans served...

Camping boots...

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Hand warmers...

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Adirondack Black Fly Headwear...

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Porta-pottie...

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Water bucket (kind of holy don't you think?)...

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Gail & Steve Collins
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Postby Gail & Steve Collins » Fri Jun 08, 2007 4:28 pm

The cans in the photos look like the old garbage cans. Yes, there were guys on staff who collected the trash up until the late 1970's. They weren't rangers. At the time there were only two real rangers - the head ranger and his assistant. They did all the assigning of campsites, etc. No computers back then just those cards in the rack that I believe still hangs on the left side of the check-in booth as you are facing it. It's still hard to believe how little staff there was back then. Back to the trash...when they closed the dump at Donaldson's in the early 80's I believe, there were two or three bears that frequented the campsite. In fact, one walked by our tent in the middle of the night and over to my brother's station wagon next door. Took all the baked goods out of the back. My brother accused my sister-in-law of dreaming until he went out and saw the bear consuming his brownies. The bear ran when they banged on some pots. The next year the state put dumpsters (bear-proof) at each bathroom and hired a trash collector. Eventually, they built the recycling stations and consolidated trash collections at those two sites. I'm sure that was a cost saving measure.

And that's the history of garbage (as I remember) at Fish Creek.

Gail
Happy Camping!

Gail & Steve

'11 Cougar 326MKS, '12 Ford F250 Super Duty, '11 Grand Cherokee, '68 Sea Sprite, 2 bikes, and 1 Abby dawg
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Re: FCP History - Whippets and Mystery Can Graveyard

Postby kkirsch » Fri May 09, 2008 2:26 pm

The cans were used in the 60s and were collected by a dump truck that came around (originally daily). They later put in concrete platforms (still around ) just off the road at the privys so you could bring your garbage there. I originally thought it was more of a cost saving exercise than one to keep the bears out.

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