June 2, 1895
Samuel Dunning, the veteran Adirondack guide, died at his New Russia home, Elizabethtown, Essex county, Tuesday of last week, in his eighty-third year. He was born in Ticonderoga in September, 1813,but had resided in Elizabethtown since he was a boy.

He was well known, as is evidenced by the fact that his picture, representing him as the pioneer Adirondack guide, was on exhibition at the World's Columbian Exposition in 1893.

His remains were buried in the New Russia cemetery Thursday afternoon. He is survived by his widow, Cynthia, and several children.

Samuel Dunning, Pioneer Adirondack Guide

Samuel Dunning was born in historic Ticonderoga" in September, 1813, but came to New Russia to reside when a mere boy. He was the pioneer Adirondack guide, being one of those iron moulded men, over six feet in height and powerfully built and who in the days of his prime knew no hardships. He was a contemporary of such men as John Cheney, the elder Moodys, Smith Beede and William B. Nye. He was three years the senior of "Old Mountain Phelps" and just two years older than Mitchel Sabattis, the Indian guide whom he first met at Saranac Lake in 1843.

Mr. Dunning was well acquainted around St. Regis Lake long before "Paul" Smith ever cast a shadow in that now famous region. Mr. Dunning acted as guide for James Freeman Clarke when he was at the zenith of his fame and came to the Adirondacks to recuperate overtaxed powers. He met "Adirondack" Murray when he came into the Adirondacks the first time and in after years often aided that famous writer in enjoying camp life.

When George Thomas, the Philadelphia millionaire banker, accidentally shot himself through the leg with a revolver, it was Samuel Dunning who rowed the wounded man down the Raquette River and the great, hearted financier gave him credit for saving his life.

He also acted as guide for Verplanck Colvin when he first commenced surveying in the Adirondacks. That Samuel Dunning was famed far and near as a guide is evidenced by the fact that his picture, representing him as the veteran Adirondack guide, was on exhibition at the World's Columbian Exposition at Chicago in 1893.

He was a man who had associated with many of the great men of the present century and had spent a large amount of time among the grand things of nature and had observed much in the silence of her solitude.. He was, as we said above, "The Veteran Of Veterans" and fully deserves to be recognized as such.

Mr. Dunning died June 2, 1895, in the 83d year of his age, the end coming at his New Russia home.

John Q's Obit
Adirondack Enterprise Monday February 25, 1924

Veteran Adirondack Guide Dies at Hospital Here.
John Foster spent entire life in Adirondack Forests.

John Foster aged 66, popular Adirondack Guide, died at the General Hospital here on Saturday morning following an illness caused by diabetes from which he had suffered for some time past.

Funeral services were held at two thirty o'clock this afternoon from the Methodist Church. Interment will be at Pine Ridge Cemetery.

Mr. Foster has spent his entire life-time in and near Saranac Lake and is well known in this vicinity, having followed his occupation as a guide and woodsman for many years in various parts of this section of the Adirondacks. His skills as a woodsman and love of the Adirondacks won him admiration from peers and clients alike.

He left seven children: Mae, Benton, Ernest, Melvin, Herbert, Etheline, and Bessie. He is also survived by several Grandchildren.


Verplanck Colvin of Albany, famous as a surveyor far and near, died May 28th at a Troy hospital, having been ill three years. He was 73 years old. Back in the 70s Verplanck Colvin was a familiar figure in this section. He superintended a survey of the Adirondacks, some of his assistants in doing that work having been the late Daniel Lynch of Minerva, the late George H. James of Elizabethtown and George H. Glidden and David J. Seckington, also of E town.

The Elizabethtown men named went up Mt. Hurricane with tent, signal material, etc., when the first signal was erected on that wind swept height over 4 0 years ago.

Deceased shot a panther which was mounted and is still on exhibition in the State Capitol. He resurveyed a portion of Tappan's line, the late Samuel Dunning and his son Douglas having acted as ax-men, and erected signals on various Adirondack peaks. An Adirondack peak, Colvin, was named after him.

Elizabethtown Post - June 10, 1920