Major Events, The First Hundred Years
On the twenty-fourth of October, 1863, Dr. Durant was granted a charter forming the Adirondack Railroad Company. He acquired over one million acres, including the entire property of the Adirondack Estate and Railroad Company.
Completion of a sixty mile line from Saratoga Springs was completed in 1871.
The railroad which started with one engine, passenger car, mail and baggage car, and four or five flat cars, quickly doubled the number of engines, passenger, mail and baggage cars and added fifty freight cars.
While North Creek was growing and prospering, the money panic of 1873 brought the Adirondack Railroad to the edge of bankruptcy. In a desperate effort to save his railroad, Dr. Durant attempted to provide access to the Adirondacks for people seeking a healthy environment in which to spend their vacations.
Eight years later Dr. Durant's Adirondack Railroad was again in financial trouble. This time Durant sold the Company to his son, William West Durant, for $350,000. He operated the line until his father's death in 1885. In 1889 the D & H Railroad purchased a majority of the stock and assumed control of the railroad for just under $690,000. This sale did not, however, include much of the wilderness area surrounding the railroad tracks. Three years later, when the merger was completed, the name "Adirondack Railroad" was removed from the cars, to be renamed the "Delaware and Hudson".
Henry Hudson Barton and Frank Hooper were instrumental in the development of one of the most important industries in the Town of Johnsburg. As pioneer of the garnet industry, they developed methods of utilizing and mining this mineral found in abundance in this area. The garnet industry needed many laborers bringing many men to the area to work in the mines.