Thursday, January 28, 2010

Bill Smith the Adirondack Hermit

From the booklet Adirondack Pioneers by John H. Titus (Troy Times Art Press, Troy, NY:  1899.   pg. 39) in the collection of the Franklin County Historical & Museum Society:
"Bill" Smith
    William H. Smith, known as "Bill" Smith the "Adirondack Hermit," and whose portrait appears with this sketch was born in Irasburgh, Vt., in April, 1826.  At the age of sixteen years he went to Lowell, Mass., a distance of 250  miles, traveling on foot.  He began there at driving a truck wagon and remained there till 1850, when he came to Franklin, N.Y., and worked at lumbering for different parties.  He hauled logs off the land where Paul Smith's hotel now stands.  After that he engaged with Price & Dickinson of Bloomingdale, and laid the cellar wall for what is now known as the Titus store, and which was the first cellar wall laid in Bloomingdale.  At that time he owned a farm of 150 acres in the town of Franklin, about 1 1/2 miles from Bloomingdale.  In 1862 he kept the hotel known as Hunters' Home, and after that moved to his farm, where he has lived ever since, most of the time alone, which gave him the name of the "Adirondack Hermit."
    Mr. Smith's beard is about six feet long.  He is six feet four inches tall, and when his beard is properly combed he can stand erect and step on his beard.  His weight is 200 pounds.

Bill Smith was suffiently famous to warrant an article in the NY Times upon his death in 1895. 

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