A Family History Started "At Camp"

A family history of camping in ny state

Three years ago this week my mother passed away. She was born Edna May Rose Plumley in 1923. The Plumley family were the first settlers in Long Lake, New York back in the mid 1800s. After a serious boundary dispute in Shrewsbury, Vermont (seems to run in the family), my great-great grandfather, Joel Plumley, relocated his family to Long Lake - including two sons, Jeremiah and John Plumley. The Plumleys arrived at the north end of Long Lake and it was there that they built their first cabin.

Last Friday, I took my mother's only living sibling, Jack Plumley, and his sons. John and Jeremiah, to my cabin on the north shore of Long Lake, which is located within a mile of our ancestors' camp. Uncle Jack had not traveled to the north end of the lake since he graduated from high school in 1947 and Jack is now 83 years old. In true family fashion, his boys and I came to work and Uncle Jack's role was to "manage the job." John and Jerry built a rustic, outdoor shower (now the envy of the lake), while I struggled with the final trim and fixtures for the two paneled Dutch door at the front of my camp. By no accident, the Plumley boys seated Uncle Jack (complete with an old guide boat oar for a cane) directly in front of camp where he could oversee my work while the other two worked in virtual secrecy out back. About 1 pm our cousin, Lou Plumley, a lifetime Long Laker, came ashore to greet his cousins and their father. John and Jerry had never met Lou and Jack had met him only once. Many great stories , tall tales and antidotes where exchanged. It was fascinating and truly a blessing to witness. Lou stayed a good, long time and departed promising to stop by again. We will probably never all be at my camp at the same time in the future but I am happy this meeting occurred. Lou, Uncle Jack, Jerry and John are some of my favorite people to share stories with at an Adirondack camp - all real characters. I'm sure my mother got a big kick out of the scene from above. Life at camp with family is a very special experience every time you are there. ~ Dan Christmas