Digital Collections @ St. Lawrence University

1836-1867: “The Island of Wilderness”

1836-1867:   “The Island of Wilderness”

It is during this time period that literary sources surrounding the Adirondacks start to become abundant. In his “Introduction” to Dorothy Plum’s Adirondack Bibliography Supplement, William K. Verner deems them “The Golden Years,” calling the Adirondacks “an island of wilderness in a part of the country becoming rapidly civilized” (Verner xvi). The major northern New York mountains were officially designated the “Adirondack group” in 1838 after the “discovery, ascent, and naming of Mt. Marcy in 1837” (xvi). These two monumental events caught the attention of the general public; the Adirondacks began to grow in popularity. The poetry of the time concerns itself with the “picturesque” qualities of the wild landscape and the benefits of sport and recreation within the Adirondacks.