October 21, 1943 – Alvin G. Whitney to JSA –
Dear Mr. Apperson:
Yesterday, Mr. Paul Knox, an attorney at 51 State Street, Albany, came into my office to purchase a copy of our Guide to the Geology of Lake George, and mentioned owning a farm on the isthmus back of Assembly Point. Apparently it has been in the family a long time, o he is familiar with that vicinity.
I inquired whether as a shore owner he was interested in the present litigation over the water levels, and in the current legislative investigation. He assured me he was following them closely. He’s a man of about 45, alert, and evidently has had to be concerned about the water levels with the rest of the shore owners who have suffered damage periodically. Some of his comments are interesting:
- Says that during that severe drought several years since, his boathouse and dock were high and dry; but on the other hand the low water exposed his fine sand beach – such as he would like to have permanently, and which he rather thinks a natural level would more or less insure. It might cost him a thousand dollars to reset his dock and boathouse.
- He wonders if it would not be a fine thing for a geologist to examine the outlet and determine the facts as to the natural conditions there. He understands that a Dr. Stanton has gathered a great amount of first hand field data on this water levels question!
- Does not think the current legislative committee (or the legislature) in proposing and adopting a measure to settle the matter will ever agree to restoring the levels to where they were originally, because of the tremendous expense to the shore owners in relocating or rebuilding docks and boathouses, — perhaps now representing a million dollars investment. He believes that is a very great difficulty.
- He evidently never heard of the Forest Preserve Association and your part in this long agitation for a proper solution. I spoke of it in passing, to assure him that the basic data had been gathered; and without mentioning your name I said I would try to have an important booklet sent to him. He will await it with great interest.
- He seems never to have seen the outlet and the natural rock regulator there. If you think it wise to end him “Lake George a Millpond” I think he will be amazed at the revelation. This is my first impression, gathered with fingers crossed as always. If it is not too late to gather recruits to the cause, here is one who seems especially favorable to restoration to original conditions. And as a lawyer he might be in a position to help at this juncture. But very likely you know all about him.
Alvin G. Whitney
(The above hints will enable you to write Mr. Knox a note with the booklet, to whet his interest. )