How "Finding True North" came to be

After living in this remarkable corner of the Adirondacks for over 35 years, I began the project of writing the history of this place and the origins of the Bartlett Carry Club. For several years, I researched . . . personal archives, intriguing artifacts on the property when we arrived, boxes in the basement, scrapbooks under beds, fascinating treasures in the Saranac Lake Free Library Adirondack Room. I interviewed people, many of whom are now no longer with us. I am grateful to have found them when I did.

Then I started writing what I thought would be “just” the history of this place. Where to start? Others far more knowledgeable than I had published volumes of Adirondack history going back to the 1700s, and this wasn't my focus. I began with the arrival of Virgil and Caroline Bartlett in 1854, since without them, I would not be here.

For months and months, I wrote of the history of this place. That was all. In the process, I wanted my readers to experience the story more intimately. I invented a character, Priscilla Tucker, who traveled to Bartlett's back in the mid-to-late 1800s. I took her on adventures imagined, but based on facts.

Then one day, I realized she was me! Possibly, that was the day I realized this book was my story as well as the history, that I had actually been a part of the history since 1968. I also knew I wanted my reader to experience the past based more on facts than on imagined events. On that day, I took over as narrator and began the weaving of two tales: one -  of the people and events beginning in 1854 with Virgil and Caroline Bartlett, and two -  of Jay and I arriving in 1968 to renovate the Bartlett Carry Club and figuring out how to survive on 1,000 acres with 37 buildings and a crumbling dam.