Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Malone Cookbook

The history of The Malone Cookbook stretches back 128 years, and includes nine editions. The cookbook was sent all over the world, including to troops in World War I, and was given to Grace Coolidge (wife of President Coolidge).
       From the August 18, 1926 Malone Farmer:
The Malone Cookbook appears in kitchens throughout Franklin County and across the country. A recipe for Adirondack Trout from the 1923 edition was included in the Works Progress Administration (WPA) Federal Writers' Project [unpublished] "America Eats" project.  The recipe for "House of History Molasses Cookies," used for 30 years in the Franklin County Historical and Museum Society's fourth grade Museum Day program, appears in the 1982 edition.
4 c. flour

1 c. sugar
1 t. salt
1 t. baking soda
1 t. ginger
2 t. cinnamon
1 c. shortening
1 c. molasses
2 eggs

Sift together the first six ingredients. Cut in shortening. Add molasses and eggs. Mix well, using hands. Roll teaspoonful of dough into a ball and roll in extra sugar in dish or on wax paper. Place on greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees (F) for 8-10 minutes (12-15 for crunchy cookies).
The first Malone Cookbook was published in 1882 by the Ladies' Aid Society of the First Congregational Church of Malone, as a means of raising funds to build their third (current) church building. Mrs. C.S. Richardson (the pastor's wife) and Mrs. M.E. McClary were editors of this first edition. An 1882 article in the Franklin Gazette noted that

The 500 copies of the small book, costing $.75 each, sold so well that a second edition was published in 1888. Ten years later, the third edition of 700 copies was offered to the public, and in 1903 1000 copies of the fourth edition were for sale. The 1908 (fifth) edition, priced at $1.25, sold 2500 copies and was also chosen to be used as a textbook in New York State Institutions for the Blind. This abridged edition was published in New York Point (a predecessor of Braille).

The sixth edition was printed in 1917, priced at $1.50, and sold out by the early 1920s. The 1923 (seventh) edition was revised and expanded, and half of the 3000 copies (selling for $1.75) were sold within a year. Although the church continued to receive letters requesting copies of the cookbook, a space of 45 years intervened before the eighth edition (1968) was created.

The current (ninth) edition of The Malone Cookbook was produced in 1982 as an anniversary edition in commemoration of the cookbook's centennial, and also to celebrate the centennial of the church building, in 1983. This edition contains recipes submitted by three great-granddaughters of one of the original editors, reprinted recipes and advertisements from earlier editions, and a list of all the editions' editors.

(Note:  Copies of the 1982 edition of The Malone Cookbook can still be purchased from the office of the First Congregational Church of Malone by calling 518.483.3950, although we understand that supplies are low.)

Trout "a la Woods"

This article first appeared in the Summer 2010 issue of "New York Archives" magazine, a benefit of membership in the Archives Partnership Trust www.nysarchivestrust.org.  It is reprinted here with permission from the Trust.

Trout "a la Woods"
by Christine Karpiak

Fishing in the Adirondacks is great sport.  Cooking and eating the catch is good, too -- especially with lake trout on the menu.  This "Adirondack Trout" recipe by Martin E. McClary appears in records of the New York State Federal Writer's Project.  As part of the Works Progress Administration, the Writer's Project gave jobs to thousands of unemployed writers during the Great Depression.  Editors and "field workers" compiled guides, collections of rural and urban folklore, ethnic studies, and oral histories for publication

In 1941, research was underway for New York's contribution to a series on food customs, to be called "America Eats."  On January 8th, WPA field worker Alfred S. Bendell (Franklin-Saranac Lake district) sent Mr. McClary's recipe, as it had appeared in the Malone Cook Book, to the project director's office for consideration.  But with the advent of World War II, the Writer's Project was nearing its end, and as the program was phased out cookery suggestions joined other works in progress sent from district offices to Albany for review.  Mr. McClary's trout recipe has today fared better than "America Eats," which was never published.

Note:  The recipe appears in the 1923 (7th) edition of The Malone Cookbook (page 33). 

Other resources:
Photos taken for WPA "America Eats" project at the Library of Congress
-  2008 book based on the unpublished "America Eats":  America Eats!: On the Road with the WPA - the Fish Fries, Box Supper Socials, and Chitlin Feasts That Define Real American Food by Pat Willard
-  Listen to NPR segments on the "America Eats" project 
New York's contribution to the Federal Writers' Project "American Guide" Series
National Archives Guide to Records of the Works Progress Administration (WPA)

Map of Loon Lake Hotel property

The Franklin County Historical and Museum Society is hosting Joseph LeMay on September 3, 2010 at 6:30pm for a discussion of the history of Loon Lake, NY.   The event is free and open to the public.  If you have your own photos and memories of Loon Lake, and especially of the Loon Lake House hotel, please bring them to share.  We'll be meeting in the Schryer Center behind the museum at 51 Milwaukee St., Malone.  Call 518-483-2750 for more details.

This map of the Loon Lake Hotel and associated buildings in 1940 is in the collection of the Historical Society.  It is part of an extensive collection of maps and drawings of structures from the O'Neil and Hale Insurance Agents of Malone. 

Click Image to Enlarge

Previous posts and other web resources on Loon Lake, NY:

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Lake Placid Schools

While not strictly speaking part of Franklin County History, we can't help but highlight a wonderful history of Lake Placid schools on the Lake Placid Alumni Association website.   The article was written by Mary MacKenzie, Historian of the Village of Lake Placid and Town of North Elba (Essex County).

1933 Lake Placid school students and teachers from the alumni website

Friday, August 6, 2010

19th century underthings

From the collection of the Franklin County Historical and Museum Society (1980.309.1):

Cage crinoline, ca. 1858

W.S. Thompson patented the cage crinoline in the late 1850s (patent US21581), which was quickly adopted by women of all social classes.   This modest bell-shaped crinoline is an earlier style, with the enormous widths peaking around 1860 and styles shifting to a flat front and bulbous back by the late 1860s.

From the Malone Palladium, January 26, 1865:

According to an 1893 article in The Adirondack News, a bill was introduced in the NYS Assembly banning the sale, loan or wearing of hoopskirts and crinolines as they took up too much space and were an "annoyance and inconvenience."  The article goes on to say:
"Mr. Smith read a statement to the effect that he did not introduce the bill in any spirit of levity, but to call the attention of women of common sense to the silly demands of fashion. He trusted the first lady of the land would not lend her countenance to the fashion, simply because it might be taken up at the queen's drawing room."