Murdocks of Inlet

This was donated by Donald Murdock a past resident of Inlet.
Check out his website which is linked on our Links Page.

I have been asked by Lisa Slaski, Hamilton County, NYGenWeb county coordinator, to write down my memories of growing up in Inlet for her to place on that site.  For me to do so I must start with a brief out line our family and how it got to Inlet.

I donít know who was the first Murdock to settle in Inlet my grandfather, Allen Chase Murdock or one of his brothers. The brothers were Frank, Fred and Phineas (Bert).  All four brothers lived there in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.  Bert Murdock was a passenger on the steamer Marjorie which sank in Forth Lake on November 22, 1902 and Bert was the only passenger to drown.  The Marjorie was later raised but Bertís body was never found.  My grandfather brought his family to Inlet in the spring of 1899*.  At that time it included his wife Estellle and their children in order of age, Don A. C., 12; C. Ray, 11; Una T, 5 and Ina P. M., 3.  Three more children were born in the house that Grandfather built.  My father Matteson  M. in 1900, Guy G. in 1905 and Ralph L. in 1907.  Descendants of Allen have lived in Inlet ever since.  Estelle died in 1915 and Allen died 1938.  They are buried in Gouverneur, NY.

Don Murdock went to work as a fireman on the New York Central  Railroad March 2, 1908 and retired as an engineer November 1, 1951.  He married Reba VanArnum in 1911 and eventually settled in Carthage,  NY and raised three children.  A son, Winfred, a daughter, Vera both now deceased and a daughter, Enola Heydt, now living in Rochester, NY.  Reba died in 1959 and Don in 1961 and they are buried in the Allen Murdock plot in Gouverneur.

Ray Murdock married Ethel Miller in 1917 and settled in Syracuse, NY.  They raised three daughters, Helen, Marian and Dorothy all now deceased.  At the time of his death in 1936 Ray was service manager for Leroy Casper, a Ford dealer in Syracuse.  Ethel died in 1960.  They are buried in Kirkville, NY.

Una Murdock married Robert J. Lewis in 1912 and settled in Inlet.  I donít know for how long but for sometime in the 1920ís Rob (as he was known by the family) served as Superintendent of Highways for the Town of Inlet and for most of the 1950ís Una was the Tax Collector for both The Town of Inlet and The Inlet Public School. She also Played the piano and later the organ for the Church of Lakes in Inlet for much of her life.  Rob and Una raised four sons all born in Inlet, Robert R., Allen J. and William P. all now deceased and Howard W.  now living in Philadelphia, PA.  All four boys served in the military service during World War II, Robert and Allen having enlisted in 1939 and making careers in their chosen branch, Robert in the Army and Allen in the Navy.  None of the four made Inlet their home after the war.  The last time I saw Bill Lewis was in 1996 at my sisterís home in North Carolina.  I couldnít help noticing the Virginia license plates on his car.  In very bold letters it read ďINLETNYĒ.  I call that home town pride.

Rob died in 1958 and Una in 1977.  They are buried in Riverview Cemetery in Old Forge.

Ina Murdock married Gerald A. Kenwell in 1916 and settled in Inlet.  Geraldís parents, Wellington and Mrs. Kenwell operated Sixth Lake Inn and Store which Gerald and Ina eventually took over.  Gerald also had a hunting and fishing camp on Otter Brook in the Moose River plains area for over forty years.  In the summers he operated a large excursion boat on Sixth and Seventh Lakes, catering to the many resort hotels on Fourth Lake for weekly picnic outings for their guests.  This boat, the Osprey, was sold to Norton (Buster) Bird after World II who continued to operate it until the resort hotels faded away.  It ended its life as the Pirate Ship in the Enchanted Forrest theme park in Old Forge, NY.  In June 1938 a fire destroyed the Sixth Lake Inn and Ina and Gerald moved to a house at the corner of the Limekiln Lake Road and Route 28. They were divorced in the 1940ís and in 1945 Ina married Clifford Goodspeed.  They made their home in Syracuse, NY.  Clifford died in 1969 and Ina died in 1972.  They are buried in the Goodspeed Plot in Riverview Cemetery in Old Forge.  Ina and Gerald had one daughter Geraldine Birmingham, born in Inlet and now living in Jamesville, NY.

Guy Murdock married Ruth Kerber in 1928 and settled in Inlet.  They raised four sons.  Ralph was born in Allenís house in 1929.  Sometime later Guy built a house for his family where the next two sons were born,  William in 1931 and Mervin in 1937.  The fourth son, Edward, was born in Rome, NY in 1942.  War work caused Guy to move his family from Inlet during much of the 1940ís, first to Phelps, NY while he worked on the construction of The Seneca Ordinance Depot in Romulus, NY and after a brief period,back in Inlet, to Freeport, NY where he and Ruth both worked In the Grumman Aircraft Plant.  They returned to Inlet for good in 1948.  Shortly after the end of World War II Guy and Ruth acquired all of the property that had been owned by Allen Murdock by the payment of all back taxes and penalties and with a legal release from the remaining heirs.  Guy worked for the Town of Inlet Highway Dept. until his untimely death in 1959.  Ralph made his home in Inlet until his death in 1999.  William built a camp on land acquired from his parents in the 1950ís where he now spends his summers.  Dr. Mervin Murdock will soon retire as Music Director and Professor of Music from Rio Grande College in Rio Grande, OH.  He makes his home in Gallipolis, OH.  Edward still lives in Inlet.  At this writing Ruth still lives in the house Guy built for them.  Guy is buried in Riverview Cemetery in Old Forge NY.

Ralph L. Murdock died in 1916 and is buried Gouveneur, NY.

I have deliberately put this summary out of sequence for now I will begin talking about growing up in Inlet.  Matteson Murdock married Inez Emrich in 1923 in Rock Valley, NY and settled in Syracuse, NY where their first two children were born, a son, Evan and a daughter, Kathlyn.  In 1928 or 29 they moved to Buffalo, NY where this writer, Donald was born in October 1929..  In 1930 our family moved into my grandfathers house in Inlet.  Allen had previously built a smaller cottage for himself where he lived his final years.  My brother Edson was born in this house December 5, 1931.  Many times years later, I heard Dad say that this was the day Inletís first Town Supervisor, Frank Tiffany died and that Dr. F. S. Cole spent the time between tending to the dying of one man and the birth of another.  Matteson died in 1974 and Inez in 1976.  They are buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Chittenango, NY.

I canít put a date on my earliest but very vivid memory but I believe it is from the summer of 1932, the year I now know that the entire country celebrated the bicentennial of the birth of George Washington.  In any case the memory is of watching a series of events from the shore of Fourth Lake by the old Navigation Dock or the lawn of  The Wood Hotel.  They included the docking of the Clearwater, speed boat racing and a man parachuting from a plane flown by Harold Scott.  The Clearwater was the last passenger steamboat to operate in the Fulton Chain of Lakes.  I have since seen the Queen Elizabeth at her pier in New York and traveled across the Pacific Ocean with nearly 3500 men on troop ship but when I saw the Clearwater I had never thought I would see anything bigger.  Sometime after it was removed from service, the Clearwater caught fire and burned to the waterline.  For several years the remaining hulk could be seen from the Hollywood Hills Road and we used get Dad to drive by it occasionally while traveling between Inlet and Old Forge. The last steam powered boat to operate in the Fulton Chain was one operated by Marks & Wilcox grocery in Old Forge.  This was used to deliver grocery orders to camps on the lakes all the way to Inlet and was called the Pickle Boat.

The earliest family car I remember was a Model T Ford.  In 1934 Dad had a 1924 Packard.  This had a tool box at one end of the rear seat which was my seat when the whole family traveled together.  My sister would sit in the middle and Evan on the other end.  Edson would generally stand in front of our Mother in the front seat.  A family with four children under 10 years of age needs, at a minimum, a 3 seat mini-van for traveling under the safety laws we have today.  We later had a 1924 Chevrolet, a Willys-Knight, a 1927 Chrysler.  In 1939 Dad bought a 1927 Chevrolet truck from Milo Leitch and in 1941 a 1931 Chevrolet dump truck.

My Motherís father, Ernest J. Emrich of Long Eddy spent six weeks with us over the holidays in 1934-35.  I donít think he originally intended to stay that long but while he was visiting he had a minor automobile accident with a vehicle driven by Philip Panella of Inlet and he had to wait that long to have his car fixed.  I believe he had to get a new radiator.  Grandpa Emrich had been a farmer all of his life.  I learned later from my Mother that after my Grandmother died in 1927 that Grandpa sold his farm, bought that car, a 1927 Chevrolet and drove to California with Momís brother, Fred then fifteen years old.  Grandpa Emrich still had this car when he died in 1943.

My Mother had a sister, Emily Emrich Staples that lived in Smithville Flats, in Chenango County, NY.  In the spring of 1935 a devastating flood hit the area.  Later that year we were there for a family visit.  One site I remember that, to this day, everyone who ever saw it calls the Crazy House.  I remember my Uncle Jesse Staples and my cousin Raymond taking us through it.  The house had itís foundation washed away and was at a significant tilt.  Walking through was what it must be like in the Leaning Tower of Pisa.  It was quite a sensation.

Aunt Emily died suddenly in June1936.  When we attended services for her it was my first awareness of the finality of this earthly life and my first viewing of a dead person.  Seeing the reactions to their loss by Uncle Jess and cousin Raymond left me with an appreciation for the life of my parents and all other loved ones, that lasted the rest of the lives of those that have passed away and continues for those still living.

I became the object of deep family concern within a week following our return to Inlet from my Aunt Emilyís funeral when I was struck by a Railway Express truck while crossing, the road with my brother Edson, in front of our home.  The first car to stop at the scene just happened to have a medical student.  They carried me to Dr. Lindsayís off in Old Forge and the Old Forge Ambulance rushed me to St. Elizabethís Hospital in Utica.  I had a double fractured skull and remained in a coma for sixteen days.  My first post accident memory of the whole occasion is saying ďI am notĒ when my Father told me where I was after I awoke from my long sleep.  I have now survived sixty-five years.

During the Great Depression years of the 1930ís my father would come to Syracuse, NY for work during many of the winters coming home to his family on weekends.  In summers he worked at what ever he could find.  Like his father he became a fine carpenter.  He worked on the construction of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp that was built at Green Lakes State Park and later on the one built in Thendara. which was never used after it was completed.  In the summer of 1937 Dad began operating an excursion boat, The Moose, for scenic tours around Sixth and Seventh Lake.  This boat had a roof to shelter passengers.  Dad liked to tell this story.  One of the noted radio sportscasters of the day was Graham McNamee.  He was vacationing one summer at the Rocky Point Inn.  One day while he was there, Gerald Kenwell had taken a party of Rocky Point guests up to the head of Seventh Lake for a days outing on the Osprey.  When the time came for him to return and pick up his party it had started to rain so Uncle Gerald asked Dad to go after them with the Moose.  From the time the guests loaded until they were well out in the middle of Seventh Lake, Mr. McNamee sputtered for all to hear about Gerald not being there with the Osprey.  At that point Dad informed him that he could always get out and walk and drew a round of applause from the rest of the rest of the guests.  They all enjoyed a quiet boat ride back to the Sixth Lake dock after that.

In 1939 Dad bought a bigger faster boat, the Gull, from Henry Bowman who had operated it on Fourth Lake for many years.  Henry Bowman was one of the men that helped bring up the steamer Marjorie after it sank in Fourth Lake in 1902.*  Dad cut logs and built a sturdy boat cradle and took it to Art Rarrickís boat livery and the Gull was hauled onto it.  After talking to the State Police that patrolled our area he arranged for Phil Panella and Louis Puffer with their trucks hooked in tandem to tow it to Sixth Lake.  This was done at 3:00 oíclock in the morning and we children were allowed to stay up and watch as it went past our house.  They pulled it to a spot near where Birdís Flying Service operates today.  He gave it what sprucing up it needed and using several pieces of pipe for rollers got it to the lake for re-launching.  Unfortunately after it was in the lake Dad was never able to devise a way to get it out with the limited resources he had.  Almost daily for at least two winters, my brothers and I would go up to the dock and pump it out.  As the war clouds loomed an ultimately erupted other more important work developed and Gull just rotted and sank.  Years later I found where some of its remains had been dumped after the lake was cleaned up and was able to rescue some of the brass letters from the hull.

At the time the Gull was purchased,  Mr. Bowman who by then was eighty-five years old,  also arranged for Dad to take over his job as caretaker of  summer camps, owned by Bert Salisbury of Syracuse, on the South Shore of Fourth Lake.  There were two camps with separate docks.  One summer while my brother Edson and I were one the first dock with Dad the Pickle Boat came.  It had to stop at the second dock, too so we were allowed to ride the short distance over.  It was quite a thrill for a ten or eleven year old boy.

Iím not sure when the first school building in Inlet was built but the one I attended was built in 1910.  The original building where my father started is still standing next to the newer 1910 building.  Many times Dad told of how when the new building was going up, the children of the time wrote their names on slips of paper which were placed in ink bottles and then buried in the foundation of the new school.  One of Dadís early teachers was Edith Norton.  She was an aunt to Ruth Murdock, wife of my Uncle Guy.  I started school in Inlet in September, 1936.  My first teacher was new that year and her name was Marchinou Cannon.  In those days Inlet Public School had three teachers for kindergarten through eighth grade.  Miss Cannon taught kindergarten, first and second grades.  My brother Edson started that same year, he in kindergarten and me in first Grade.  When we started our brother Evan was already in sixth grade and our sister Kathlyn in fifth.  The three years until Evan finished the eight grade was the only period of our school days that we four siblings went to the same school.  By the time I entered third grade Inlet had another new teacher, a local girl, named Ruth Roberts.  She was the daughter of Emmett and Florence Roberts and granddaughter of Inlet pioneer, Philo Wood.  Ruth later married Hugh Birmingham older brother of John Birmingham who had married my cousin Geraldine Kenwell in 1938.  A local man became school principal and sixth seventh and eighth grade teacher the same year I started.  He was John Rogers, son of another Inlet pioneer, Roy Rogers who by then owned the Neodak Hotel.  He taught through my sixth grade year which ended in June 1942.  Iím not sure of the timing but he did go into the Army as a commissioned officer.  On Thanksgiving Day, 1942 together with my parents brother Edson and sister Kathlyn I attended the of wedding John Rogers and Marchinou Cannon in Lyons Falls, NY. Seventh grade was my last full year attending Inlet Public School.  Miss Bertha Crowner was Principal and my teacher that year.

Ruth Roberts also served in the Waves, the womenís branch of the Navy, during the war.  Her brother Charles was the only Inlet service man to lose his life in the war.

I believe it was in the general election of 1937 that William (Billy) Patrick was elected Superintendent of Highways for the Town of Inlet.  As a result Dad was hired by him to drive the town snowplow.  Such jobs werenít protected in those days.  Billy was our next door neighbor by then and I believe he gave Dad the job as an election promise.  In the winter, there was only work when it snowed which even in the Central Adirondacks can sometime be days and days on end or days and days between storms.  I recall hearing Dad say one year that for one two week pay period in February that he only worked eight hours.  The truck Dad drove was a Walters Snow Fighter and I thought it was huge.  The wheels on it were taller than my brother Edson.  Of course he was only seven or eight at the time.  There was summer work for the truck, too.  One year the town repaved the Limekiln Lake Road and the crushed stone had to be hauled from railroad hopper cars in Thendara.  On one trip Dad stopped at our house and picked up Edson and I to ride with him for one of his trips.  It was quite a struggle for the two of us just climbing into the cab but also another thrill for a youngster.  We got to see how a conveyor belt is used to take the stone from the pit under the hopper up into the dump box of the truck and to feel the difference as to how the truck rode empty and full.

With the purchase of the first truck in 1939 Dad began finding work hauling trash to the town dump for local businesses and once he had the dump truck he was able to haul sand, gravel or any thing else could was best unloaded just by tipping the dump box..  It was in the summer of 1941 that Dad taught me how to drive.  I got my first lesson at the town dump when he was dumping a load of trash over the bank.  He backed the truck to the brink and raised the dump box.  He then climbed into the back of the truck to push stuff out.  I was still in the seat and he told me to pull the truck ahead a little.  He told me how to push in the clutch and put the transmission in first gear, then to let the clutch out slowly as I pressed on the accelerator.  On the third try after stalling the engine twice I managed to move the truck forward.  Not in the exact same manner he soon thereafter gave Edson his first lesson.  For the rest of that and the following summer, nearly every time we traveled the Limekiln Lake Road, Edson and I took turns doing the driving  Dad would stand on the running board with the drivers side door open so he could easily grab the steering wheel and slide into the drivers seat when he felt it was necessary.  By the time Dad owned a vehicle worthy of taking the New York road test for obtaining a drivers license I was out of high school and was on my fourth learners permit.  I did pass on my first try thanks, in part to my early training as an eleven year old.  Another childhood thrill worth remembering.

From its beginning in the nineteenth century well into the twentieth the railroad steam engines thrilled American boys.  As I have written earlier, my uncle Don Murdock fulfilled his boyhood dreams by becoming a railroad engineer.  In the early fall of 1942 a Murdock cousin from Saginaw Michigan visited our family in Inlet.  She was Jessie Murdock Angeline, only child and daughter of Frank Murdock.  At the end of her stay with us Dad drove her to Uncle Donís in Carthage, NY.  While driving through Lyons Falls, we were delayed by a train at a grade crossing.  As he parked our car for the wait Dad remarked, ďWouldnít it be funny if Don was on that engineĒ.  When we got out of the car we got a closer look and sure enough he was.  Dad was able to attract his attention and Uncle Don motioned for us to come up to his cab.  Over the noise he was able to tell us that he was about to finish some yard shifting and had one more box car to move and invited us to join him  up there.  We saw how he pushed the car enough  to get it rolling onto the siding.  As soon as it cleared the switch a switchman on the ground threw the rail switch with a lever that allowed the locomotive to stay on the main track.  Our ride was perhaps as long as a hundred yards.  This without a doubt was the biggest thrill of my preteen years.

My first awareness that Inlet was once part of the Town Of Morehouse came in the early days of World War II.  My Dad had a need to get some kind of security clearance which required him to show a birth certificate.  It was then he learned that the official records had been lost many years ago in a fire where the Morehouse files were stored.  He started but never completed the procedure of obtaining affidavits from living persons who could attest to the date and place of his birth.  An interesting side light to this came twenty years later when he applied for Social Security benefits.  For proof of age he presented a daily diary that his father kept for 1911.  His last entry for May fifth was, ďMatteson is eleven years old todayĒ.  It was accepted.

High school for Inlet children meant going to the one at Raquette Lake.  My parents did not think this was a good choice and although they tried in the beginning with my brother Evan, they could not afford the tuition to send him to Old Forge.  He graduated from Raquette Lake High School in 1942 after only three years.  Not because he crammed four years into three but as an option the High School Administration gave he and my parents to keep him from quitting.  My sister had already completed her first two years at that time.  During the summer of 1942 Dad and Mom  made arrangements with a family in Manlius, NY for Kathlyn to stay with them so she could attend Manlius High School.  She earned room and board and a small allowance by helping them with a young child and some of the lighter house work.  Also in the fall of 1942 Dad once again found full time employment in Syracuse.  Thus my final year of growing up in Inlet began.  My Mother, brother Edson and I spent that winter alone with only weekend visits from Dad and holiday visits from brother Evan and sister Kathlyn.  In April 1943 my Grandfather Emrich became ill and was hospitalized in Binghamton, NY.  My Mother arranged to get down to see him.   She was able to leave with full confidence that my brother Edson and I would be able to take care of ourselves for the ten days that she was away.  We had some chickens at the time so we enjoyed living on eggs.  Since we lived nearly across the road from the school, Mom alerted our teacher to our situation and to send someone over if we werenít there on time.  This only happened once and we were getting ready when the person arrived.  Dad was home for the weekend in the middle of the period, also.  It was the last time Mom saw her father alive.

In the winter of 1942, the auditorium of the Gaiety Theater caved in from the weight of the snow on its roof.  The front of the building housing the lobby, projection room and stores survived with little or no damage.  As soon as the snow disappeared and weather permitted my brother and I began helping workman clean up the pile of rubble, pulling away pieces of lumber and stacking it clear of the floor.  When the floor was cleared the owner installed; a screen and sound system, set up chairs and reopened as an open air theater.   Movies were shown after dark and it didnít rain.  Later in the summer he obtained a large canvas which was stretched over a wire running over the center from the main building to the top of the screen back to front and to studding along the sides.  Movies could then be shown rain or not.  The rest of the cleanup continued for most of the summer.  For our efforts Edson and I were given free admission all summer and at the end summer, a little money.  I think it was $2.00 each.

My grandfather Emrich died in August 1943.  This time when my Mother left to attend his funeral, my sister was home so this time three of us remained at home.  Kathlyn was working part time as a telephone operator at the switchboard in Eagle Bay.  A woman named May Atkinson was the chief operator and she lived where the switchboard was located.  I think it was on a Sunday afternoon that she invited Kathlyn and my brother and me for dinner. I donít have any memory of what she served us but I do remember that while we were there Kathlyn showed Edson and I how a switchboard worked and even gave us each a chance to say ďNumber PleaseĒ.  It wasnít until the following summer though that I used a telephone for the first time.  By the end of the summer of 1943 Dad found an apartment for his family in Manlius, NY.  My sister left early enough to start her senior year on schedule.  She was able to stay with school friend until the rest of us got there.  About a week or two into the start of my eighth grade year Dad hired a van to come up to move out household belongs.  Dad rode with the driver and he arranged for Mom, Edson and I to ride with Kenneth Gilbert.  Ken was the son of Devine (pronounced Davene as in convene) and Vergie Gilbert.  The ride was uneventful except for one thing.  On the way Ken made a short stop in Boonville to visit his grandmother, Veneís mother.  I thought at the time what a wonderful thing to be nearly fifty years old and have a living grandmother.  I was a month short of fourteen and I never knew either of my grandmothers.

Some of the businesses that I remember in the main part of town are:  The Wood Hotel, Maryís Gift Shop, Deckers Liquor Store, Harry H. Hallís grocery, The Arrow Head Hotel, The Parquet Hotel and Restaurant, The Inlet Post Office, The Inlet Garage operated by Delos Smith, Walt Rosaís, The Red and White Store operated by Dewey Rudd, Kalilís Grocery operated by Nontella Kalil, The Grand Union Store which only opened for summer months, Trotters Restaurant, Inlet Supply Company, The Jack and Jill Gift Shop, The Gaiety Theater, Gilsonís Drug Store and the Inlet Toggery.  Most of these businesses were seasonal, only operating during the summer months.  When Harold Scott retired from flying, he bought the Trotter place which had been closed for years and reopened it and ran it as Scottís Restaurant for many years.  This happened after we moved away.  Joe Payne lived just to the west of us and ran a gas station in front of his home.  He had a candy counter and young people today would be amazed of the choices one had just to spend a penny back then.  You could by a twelve ounce bottle of soda for a nickel  I remember when he built a garage next to the station which he later converted into a grocery store.  The William Breen family lived across the road from us in the Blakeman house.  They moved away before we did and Clint Schaller later moved in there.  To the east was first the Otho Cole family.  When they moved away, Billy Patrick moved in with his family.  There were no more houses on the north side of Route 28 for more than a quarter mile, then came my Grandfatherís little cottage and my Uncle Guyís house.  After the Blakeman house going east was the old mill house and next Albert Urganís.  Albert ran an ice house.  Before we moved away Hollis and Adelaide Ross had moved in and taken over the ice house and delivery business.  Hollis delivered our ice in the summers.  Adelaide was the oldest daughter of Dominic Fredette.

I must include two other places that stand out in my memory.  One was the out door ice hockey rink and the other is the toboggan slide.  Inlet did have a semi-pro hockey team in the early thirties.  To this day I have never seen a live hockey game but I do remember watching my Uncle Guy and Aunt Ruth skate under lights at the rink when I was very small.  This was on the north side of Route 28 just over the hill past the Wood Hotel towards Eagle Bay.  There is a vacant building on or near the site today which was built and operated as a bar and restaurant called the Syracusan for several years.  The toboggan slide was across the road at the top of the hill back towards town.  The best way that I can describe it is that it towered just off the highway and the initial slope looked like the down side of the first hill of a wooden roller coaster, running at a much lesser angle all the way to the Fourth Lake shore.  The run would be iced in the winter and riders could ride their toboggans well out on the ice.  I never saw it in actual use as a going attraction but in the winter of 1936-37 I did watch my brothers and sister take a slide down under Dadís watchful eye.  He felt it was too soon after my accident to allow me to ride with them.  There is a State public boat launching site in the same area today.

I have tried my best to list these memories as close as possible in chronological order but there is one that runs through all my years in Inlet and continues until this day.  It is this:  during all their living years there was a closeness among my Father and his siblings that has lived on completely through my generation among the Murdock cousins and to a lesser degree into the next.  It was great growing up with two aunts and one uncle living in the same town.  I always looked forward to visiting the aunts, for either one of them most always had a fresh baked cookie or home made donut to offer and on birthdays a coin, usually a quarter.  Visiting Uncle Guy was an opportunity to play with cousins Ralph and Bill.  Dad and Uncle Guy both played the guitar and it was fun to listen to them when they got together.  Uncle Guy had a tremendous ear for music and could play any instrument he made up his mind he wanted to.  When there was a piano available he would play any song requested.  In the latter thirties he took up the accordion and with some other local musicians he and Dad began an orchestra for playing for square dancing.  They called themselves The Barkeaters.  The only times I got to see and hear them at a dance was at functions for church activities.  I remember too that our church, The Church of The Lakes sponsored in 1938 and 1939 at the Community Hall in Inlet and one at Big Moose Chapel sometime in that same time frame.  Their most regular gig that I remember was for Frank Tiech at The Old Trading Post in Eagle Bay.  Other band members were Herman Williston, Harold Scott from Inlet and Stubby Weedmark from Old Forge.  There were others but I canít recall the names.  In the late forties and early fifties Uncle Guy was playing again every Saturday night at Loomisí  in Inlet.

When I began working at a bank in 1950 and friends found out that I grew up in Inlet they would ask me why I ever left.  My answer was that I had no choice in the matter but I did realize that it was an economic necessity.  Because Inlet was primarily a summer resort area, year round work was very scarce.  Dad used to say there was only three seasons there, July, August and winter.  I would not trade those childhood days for a life any where else on earth.  I have many times in my adult life said ďOur family wasnít hurt by the depression.  We were already poor.Ē  That is only true by economic measures for there are many other ways for measuring riches.

Chittenango, New York
Friday, July 06, 2001

*From notes by Don A. C. Murdock Written in his later years.


Last Updated: Wednesday, 14-May-2008 13:17:51 PDT
Copyright © 2000:  Donald Murdock