Imagine if you will, a large hunter’s bark shanty on a small rise overlooking a ten acre farm with cows grazing in the open surrounded by hay fields, crops and an orchard. From 1837 to 1860, this was home to Raquette Lake’s first settlers, Matthew Beach and William Wood. They eked out a hard, solitary life as hunters, trappers and guides welcoming the earliest explorers and the first wealthy tourists. The man who gave the region the name Adirondacks, Professor Ebenezer Emmons stayed with Beach and Woods in the 1840s while surveying the area.
If you were to see William Wood, you might not believe your eyes. He managed to bound through the woods hunting deer, portage his canoe atop his head, and carry a 70 lbs pack long distances – all while walking on the stubs of his knees – having lost both lower legs to frostbite when he fell through the ice one winter while checking his beaver traps.
This story is from Tom Thacher-Author of Fifty Acres of Beach and Wood http://www.fiftyacresofbeachandwood.org