Photograph courtesy of Adirondack Experience, the Museum on Blue Mountain Lake
This cyanotype of two gentlemen picnicking atop Panther Mountain was captured almost 130 years ago by Grotus Reising. Panther, near Tupper Lake, a short scramble with extraordinary summit views of the Seward Range, was, as it is today, a favorite among folks looking for a quick up and down.
Reising, who grew up on a farm in Wilmurt, in Herkimer County, was custodian of the Morehouse Lake Club for sports looking to hunt and fish, and later became a guide. He knew the southwestern Adirondack terrain inside and out and often photographed life in lumber camps as well as Adirondack characters doing their thing. Reising must also have known the importance of a silent summit, of showing reverence for the landscape. In this image there’s a sizable pack basket as well as a picnic basket that must have been laden with a hefty spread. What’s missing is Reising’s Edison phonograph and stacks of records. According to Sally Svenson in her new book Adirondack Photographers, 1850–1950, Reising developed a sideline as a disc jockey, carrying his Edison just about everywhere.
IF YOU GO: The trail to Panther Mountain’s summit is 0.6 mile, with an elevation gain of 780 feet. From the intersection of Routes 3 and 30 in Tupper Lake, follow 3/30 toward Saranac Lake. Where the two routes split, continue on Route 3 toward Saranac Lake. Drive 1.6 miles. Parking will be on the right next to Panther Pond. Panther Mountain’s trailhead is across the road.