October 15, 1929 – Jean Canivet to Henry Lutz (Conservation Commissioner)

  • October 15, 1929 – Jean Canivet 14 North Church Street, Schenectady (copy) to Mr. Henry Lutz, Conservation Commissioner –

My dear Mr. Lutz:

The rocky bluff known a the Indian Ladder, which overlooks the valley occupied by Albany, Schenectady, etc., is one of the most beautiful spots as well as one of the most interesting geologically I our State.

I had not visited this spot for several years until a few Sundays ago when I found it changed almost beyond recognition. Smothered in dust, cars dashing incessantly the whole length of the cliff where one used to walk slowly along drinking the beauty of the landscape. Even if one cared to risk one’s life by walking along the road it would be useless as far as the view is concerned as one’s eyes are blinded with dust! Between the lunch tables and the view the stretches line upon line of parked cars.

As one reaches the top of the cliff from the reads leading from Albany to Altamont, the view is practically the same as it is anywhere along the cliff and there is no possible reason for wallowing cars to proceed further that the top of these roads. They should be parked there where there is plenty of space, and e rest of the cliff should be reserved for pedestrians. The same applies to the road leading to the cave. Anyone who is able to go down “Fat Man’s Misery” and visit the cave is able to take the and what used to delightful walk to the entrance to “Fat Man’s Misery.”

You will have to visit the Ladder to get any idea of the conditions existing there at present. I am thoroughly in favor of people being allowed and encouraged to enjoy our beauty spots, but do let us in the interest of these people and with the object of safeguarding their health and happiness, as well as preserving the beauty of our state; let us restrain them and teach them to use a Paradise without turning it into a Hades!

All we need is a few rough barriers and a few plain signs and we restore the Indian Ladder to its former beauty to be enjoyed by the people forever.

Very sincerely yours,

  1. J. Canivet (Mrs. Jean Canivet)

P.S. Dear Appy, Please return this to me as I want to refer to it when I write and ask him why he hasn’t done anything.