The First Jennings to Settle in Long Lake
Walter Dean Jennings first came to Long Lake in the Spring of 1867. He was a single 20-year-old blacksmith from Adams, Massachusetts.
Walter was born January 3, 1847 in Adams, Berkshire County, Mass. His father was Samuel Harvey Jennings (1815-1871) and his mother was Lucretia Dean (1815-1872). Walter got his name from his grandfather Walter Dean (1764-1833) of Dalton Mass. His other grandfather William Jennings (1747-1837) was from Rhode Island and served in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. Walter's father was a blacksmith and a member of the local militia. Samuel trained his son Walter to be a blacksmith and Walter worked in his father's shop, till the age of 15, when he started his own shop.
The Civil War was raging at this time and Walter's older brother Charles had already joined the 21st Mass. Volunteer Infantry. So, Walter lied about his age on his enlistment papers and joined the 1st Regiment, Mass. Cavalry, Co. A on December 2, 1863 at the age of 16. Walter served under Gen. Phil Sheridan, fighting in the battle of the Wilderness and the Raid on Richmond. Walter fought in many more skirmishes and battles with his unit until the end of the war. He mustered out in June of 1865. He returned to Adams and went back to his blacksmithing business.
A few years later, in 1867, he ran into a Captain Calvin Parker. Captain Parker was a resident of Long Lake at the time that was born and grew up in Williamstown, Mass., which is adjacent to Adams. While visiting the Williamstown and Adams area he met Walter and told him of the Town of Long Lake and convinced him to go back with him and visit. Walter's first night in the Adirondacks was spent at the Aiden Lair, a roadhouse between Minerva and Newcomb, on what is now Rt. 28N. Captain Parker showed him around Long Lake and Walter decided he would settle there.
Walter soon met a young lady named Annie Welch of Long Lake and married her on November 27, 1870. Justice of the Peace D. B. Squire officiated and Richard Welch and Reuben Cary served as witnesses. Walter and Annie first lived in a log cabin just across from the current site of Days Garage and Hoss's Country Store. Eventually they bought a house on Maple Avenue (Currently the house of Art and Francis Jennings) and lived the rest of their lives there.
Walter worked over the years in Long Lake as a blacksmith, guide, lumberman, teamster, laborer, meat cutter, and ran a general store for awhile. Walter was also civic-minded. He served on the Long Lake Town Board in the late 1800's, he was one of the first trustees of the Town Cemetery in 1880 along with Robert Shaw and William Stanton, and he served on the Town Board of Health. Walter became a trustee of the school system and served as Board President during the early 1900's. He was one of the first trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Long Lake in 1900. Walter served in many positions in the Grand Army of the Republic, Local Post #531-William Wood, including its commander for many years in the 1890's. He was active in the Masonic Lodge and in the Order of the Eastern Star, (a charter member of each). Walter's wife Annie was active in the Easter Star and Methodist Episcopal Church also.
The Jennings raised 6 children in their house on Maple Avenue:
1-Lewis Livingston Jennings was born October 14, 1872. He married Margaret J. Murray of Quebec, Canada in 1900. They had one son, Arthur. Lew owned a local stage line, owned and operated the Long Lake Hotel, was town supervisor for 21 years and Chairman of the County Board of Supervisors for 11 years. He was a charter member of the Masonic Lodge in Long Lake. Lew died suddenly of a heart attack at his home in the Adirondack Hotel in 1933 at the age of 61. He was the Town Supervisor at the time. Both Lew and Margaret (1871-1941) are buried in the Long Lake Cemetery.
2-Edward Burbank Jennings was born February 22, 1877 in Long Lake. He married Elizabeth Murray in 1904. She was the sister of his brother Lew's wife. Edward worked most of his life for the Long Lake Highway Department. Edward and his wife had 7 children. Three of their sons served in the armed services during World War II. Elizabeth died in 1926 and is buried in the Long Lake Cemetery with her husband Ed, who passed away in 1953 at the age of 76.
3-Alice Rose Jennings was born January 29, 1879 and died in July of the same year. She is buried in her father and mothers plot in the Long Lake Cemetery.
4-Jeannette May Jennings was born June 10, 1885. Jeannette was one of the first four graduates of the Long Lake Union School. After High School she attended and graduated from the Geneseo State Normal School. She taught elementary classes for many years in the Long Lake School. Jeannette married the widower Beecher W. Wilson in 1931. He was a contractor and builder. They lived in Deerland, at the corner of Rt. 30 and the Forked Lake Road. Jeannette was very active in the Order of the Eastern Star and was Town Chairman of the American Red Cross during World War I and II. She was a charter member of the Long Lake Calvary Methodist Church and very active in its affairs. Jeannette died in 1952 at the age of 66 and is buried with her husband in the Long Lake Cemetery.
5-Harrison Dwight Jennings was born May 25, 1888. Harrison married Metta Edmonds, of Rodman, NY, in 1914. They raised 5 children in Long Lake. Their three sons served in the Army during WW II. Over the years in Long Lake, Harrison owned and operated a plumbing store, helped run the Long Lake Hotel with his brother Lew, ran a livery service from the train station at Sabattis to Long Lake, and operated an insurance agency in town. He also served as Town Supervisor for six years and was County Clerk of Hamilton County at one time. Harrison was active in the Masonic Lodge and the Methodist Episcopal Church. Both Harrison and Metta died in 1973 at the age of 84. They are buried in the Long Lake Cemetery.
6-Walter Henry Jennings was born March 16, 1892. Walter was a bachelor and lived in Long Lake all his life. He served in the Army as a Private with the 52nd Pioneer Infantry, Headquarters Company, from 1918-1919, during World War I, in France. In Long Lake he worked as a lumberman, laborer, and a caretaker for many years for M. B. Saul. He had a nickname that he picked up while working in the woods. He was very good at tending to sick and hurt horses in the lumber camps, that were used to pull the logs out of the woods, and because of this work he became know as "Doc" Jennings. Walter died in 1974 at the age 82, and was buried next to his father and mother in the Long Lake Cemetery. Walter was the last of Walter and Annie's children to pass away.
After raising a family and living in Long Lake for 63 years, Walter D. Jennings died on September 23, 1930 at the age of 83. He was the last Civil War veteran in Long Lake to pass on. His wife, of 56 years, Annie, had died 3 years before him on April 15, 1927 at the age of 76. Both are buried in the Long Lake Cemetery. Many of Walter and Annie's descendants still live in Long Lake to this day.
Info submitted by: Walter D. Jennings Jr.
(A great grand son of Walter and Annie Jennings)
Last Updated: Wednesday, 14-May-2008 13:18:18 PDT
Copyright © 2000: Walter D. Jennings Jr.