FCP History - The Old Beach and Hickoks

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 - The Old Beach and Hickoks

Postby CampADK » Tue May 15, 2007 10:42 pm

Disclaimer: The following is based on bits and pieces of information gather from several sources, and is in no way meant to be
taken as completely accurate. Any additional information anyone can provide would be greatly appreciated!

Back in the early days of FCP, the original beach was located between what is now Site 67
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thru 80. This area was reserved for
swimming and boats were allowed farther up past around Site 80
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.

Image

Image

During these early years, the park issued a vendors permit on a yearly basis to the Hickok's who operated their boat livery from
a location just south of what is now the new beach. ie between the new beach and the bridge on route 30.

At some point, presumably towards the end of the 1960's, early 1970's a political decision was made to move the beach from the
penninsula on Square Pond to where it now is located south of the park gate. Unfortunately the new beach area is not a natural
sand beach area like the original beach was.

The area on the pennisula was originally the beach and picnic area. Once the beach was moved, this area was converted into
additional campsites, and the original sites were renumbered.

The original 10-20 or so sites at the park entrance where located along the shore of the current day use area. These campsites
were converted to day usage once the beach was moved.

At this point the Hickocks were forced to move, presumably because of the size of their operation, and close proximity
to the new beach. Thus they had no choice but to obtain land on the other site of the bridge at their current location.
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Gail & Steve Collins
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Postby Gail & Steve Collins » Wed May 16, 2007 11:16 am

Dave,

That is a great recap of the "old beach/new beach"story, and is pretty similar to my wife's family's recollections of that situation.

I have yet to find a picture of the old Hickox location, but Gail tells me that it was just a trailer for an office and some open space with the canoes and boats laying around. Apparently they expanded their services quite a bit when they moved to the new location. We don't think they did any fuel sales from the old spot.

The old office trailer is sitting at their new location behind some buildings. I don't know if they use it for anything these days.

Their new location is a former boy's camp, hence many of the summer camp style buildings around the property. The old gas station out by the Route 30 entrance to Hickox's was also a general store, and campers who needed financial assistance worked in the store to cover their tuition and expenses.

Gail recalls the vendor that sold milk and bread. The breads were fresh baked daily, and that vendor was sorely missed when they stopped serving the park.

I was glad to see my buddy Bob's ice vending truck show up a couple of years ago. He's a great talker and you can have quite the chat with him when he stops by. And the cheese and sausage breads that he sometimes sells are very, very good.
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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Postby CampADK » Wed May 16, 2007 12:01 pm

Thanks for the info Steve! I did talk to Carolyn Hickok a bit last week, and she filled me in on some details. But I still can't pin point an exact spot for their original livery.

Do you know the name of the boys camp? Seems I read something about a came over that way... but thought it was across the bay in the direction of Upper Saranac.

Are you talking about the older guy with the beard that has been delivering ice for at least 3 years now?

By the way Carolyn apparently has a collection of cards and photos, and people still bring her some once in a while. Have you seen it?
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Postby Gail & Steve Collins » Wed May 16, 2007 12:38 pm

The name of the boy's camp was La Juenesse and was run by Henry H. Blagden. There are very few references to it via a Google search, but that is what it was. The store out front was called The Stockade. Many of the postcards in my collection were published via the Stockade and sold there exclusively.

I haven't seen Mrs. Hickox's collection, but will try to get over to see her this summer.

Gail says that the old boat livery was just to the right of the current beach area as you face the shore from out on the pond. There are just trees and bushes there now.
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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Postby CampADK » Wed May 16, 2007 12:55 pm

Great!

Our neighbour last week (Everett) is the current distributor of Adirondack postcards for Dean Color. His son... forget his name is a well known photographer. He had a fantastic long exposure night shot taken across square pond that was published in Adirondack Life... maybe last year?

Steve do you know what year the new beach was created?
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Re: FCP History - The Old Beach and Hickoks

Postby Gail & Steve Collins » Sat May 10, 2008 9:25 am

Regarding the "old beach", we've finally figured out pretty much exactly where it was and we've got a bit of photographic evidence which also provides the year that the old beach was removed and converted to campsites.

We found this picture in one of Gail's old albums. She took it with her trusty Brownie camera in July of 1966, and the title for the picture in her album is "Building the breakwall at the old beach." So based on that, we've now determined that the old beach was where the concrete breakwall is above Site 80
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, probably in the area of 85 to 100 or so. (Steve's note: I had always thought the old beach was on the western side of the "point area", Site 67
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to 80. I was wrong.) One of our postcards verifies that as it does not show the "point" area at all, but the curved area just beyond Site 80
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or so.

Here's the picture:

Image
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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Gail & Steve Collins
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Re: FCP History - The Old Beach and Hickoks

Postby Gail & Steve Collins » Sat May 10, 2008 9:37 am

And here is the postcard - looking across the old beach from a higher site number (maybe today's 95 or so) towards roughly what is now Site 80
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.

Image
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 - The Old Beach and Hickoks

Postby kkirsch » Fri Apr 03, 2009 11:43 am

I remember the beach being were the 70's campsites are now. The bathhouse was moved to the new location and you can still see the dip on the point there between the two bathhouses were the beach privy once stood. That was also the original picnic area. There was a sandbar out in the lake from the beach just inside of where the float use to be. I think I have some slides at home that may show the beach. Also, there use to be a small tower for the fiddler and caller to stand on when they had square dancing on the road in front of the ampitheater. I was little then but I remember that being very popular at one time.

The livery was located to the road side of the current beach. There use to be an old house trailer there. My dad always wondered where they ran the sewage from it. You could rent row boats there to put outboards on but they had a limit of I think 5 hp. We owned a "Powerful" 18 hp (the one on the raceboat now) so my dad would take our pack outboard 1.7 hp (still have that too) to get the boat and then switch to the 18.
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Re: FCP History - The Old Beach and Hickoks

Postby CampADK » Fri Apr 03, 2009 2:13 pm

Wow! Did I miss that photo somehow or what?

I agree with kkirsh. The most local place for the beach was from Site 70
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to about Site 80
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. The break wall starts at 75 through 101. However the really shallow areas are between Site 70
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through about 82 or so (maybe a bit farther up). Also the postcard shows the curved shorline which matches perfectly with Site 71
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through 80. I would say the postcard shot was taken on or about Site 80
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looking south east towards Site 70
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.

Gails photo from July 1966 seems to have be taken farther up the shoreline around Site 90
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or so, especially considering the shoreline in the background. The water certainly was shallow in that area if you look at the truck. I cruised this area last summer looking for the areas which wouldn't be great for our boat / clock. I have those notes somewhere, but I do remember that at least Site 80
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back to 70 or so where really shallow! Not a good place to camp if you have a recreational boat.

What would really improve the sites in the 80 thru 101 area would be to fill in the voided areas of the cement breakwall. There are many sites in that region which can be hazardous, especially for kids (or tipsy adults). I think it was 2 years ago that I saw them studying that area, and there was talk of taking out the cement and putting in a more natural shoreline... nothing much became of that idea apparently. Maybe some bailout money will make it over to the park... lets hope!

PS. Thanks for posting that one Steve!

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