The Random Scoots Blog | Fred Provoncha
Writer, Author, Ticonderoga Heritage Museum, Rock Collector
Hi folks! In the before time, (1874) the Ticonderoga Sentinel was born on the big island in what would become Ticonderoga’s “Downstreet”. Just in time to record the “great fire” of 1875 in the only Extra the Sentinel ever ran. In those early editions of that venerable paper, an anonymous author know only as “Perry Winkle” regaled his curious readers with the ancient history of Ti. Though many guesses about “his” identity were made, only his non de plume comes down to us today.
In the year 1948, two loving parents brought a young boy home to live on Lake George Avenue in Ti. Across the avenue and through the budding woods were the crumbling ruins of the first International Paper mill and its predecessor, Lake George Manufacturing’s old Cotton mill, the “Beehive” and, of course, the Upper Falls. By an odd twist of fate, the boy’s last name, brought to North America in 1660 from France, in that language means, (are you ready?) ‘Periwinkle’, and so bearing that name, raised in that place, kin to those that raised Fort Carillon to protect New France from the English and the Indians, I take up my imaginary pen and take my turn to share with you who we were, who we are, and who we might become.
It is a pleasure to be offered the opportunity to share these musings with you on Ticonderoga360.com, and I pray that you’ll find them to be interesting and/or thought provoking. The ruins of this mighty industrial and military empire surround us, reduced to ashes time after time, yet like the Phoenix, Ticonderoga rises again and again. Once the natives called us Ticonderoga, then the French named the place Alainville, then the English created Alexandria, then as Alexandria faded, Ticonderoga was reborn. This is the place.
So who am I? Some of you may know me as the author of a book called Ticonderoga (Images of America) filled with pictures of our town. (See link below) Others may have known me as the Ticonderoga Heritage Museum coordinator these last 9 years or so. Some have attended school with me in Alexandria, the Central School or “TiHigh” class of 1965, or maybe we bowled together at the Adirondack Lanes. Howsoever, whether I’m Fred V Provoncha dit Provencher, or Fred, or Sonny, it’s my hope to be able to inform and possibly entertain you with my stories here in the coming months.
P.S. One of my passions, is rocks. The industrial history of Ti is filled with industries based on minerals that abound here: It’s my sad duty to inform you that Diamonds are not, in fact, forever. Graphite is the only truly stable form of Carbon. Graphite is forever. And the graphite mined here in Ticonderoga on Lead Hill (Which is the partial remains of 150 million year gone sea creatures who swam in the warm salt sea that proceeded our Adirondacks), and milled at the Lower Falls, gave us our world famous Ticonderoga Pencils.