It all started when…
The first Woodsmen’s Field Days was held in Old Forge, NY in 1948. Conducted to raise funds for the benefit of the Woodsmen’s Club founded by Rev. Frank A. Reed of Old Forge. The Woodsmen’s Club, still in existence today, is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping woods workers and maintain cemetery lots in several Adirondack Communities for woods-men and their families. The club also funds substantial scholarships to students attending Paul Smith’s College in Paul Smith’s, NY.
The fledging Field Day was a great success with over 1,300 attendees and a profit of $600. The profit was later used to further promote Woodsmen’s Club program in Old Forge, NY.
In 1949, because of the lack of adequate facilities in Old Forge, a decision was made to hold the annual Woodmen’s Field Days in Tupper Lake, NY. IT was held there for the next 13 years. Tupper Lake was fortunate in having dedicated men who promoted, produced and im-proved the Woodsmen’s Field Days for participants, exhibitors, and spectators. In 1962, the Woodsmen’s Field Days were moved to Boonville, NY (from Tupper Lake), with the under-standing that it would be sponsored every other year by the two north country communities. Boonville was chosen because of the excellent facilities available at the Boonville Oneida County Fairgrounds. Until 1971, the event was hosted by Tupper Lake and Boonville. However, in 1972, the Tupper Lake Chamber of Commerce found it impossible to sponsor the 25th Annual Field Days. On being notified of Tupper Lake’s decision, the Boonville Area Chamber of Commerce elected to sponsor the Field Days on an annual basis rather than let the Field Days lapse.
In 1979, the Tupper Lake Chamber of Commerce started a new event called “ Mountain Man Field Day”, which they sponsored for the next 4 years, eventually with help from local loggers.
In 1983, the Tupper Lake Woodsmen’s Association, Inc. was formed. They took over sponsorship of Woodsmen’s Days.
Officers in 1983:
Raymond S. North, President
Paul J. Mitchell, Treasurer
Joanne Wilber, Secretary
John J. Courtney
Harry J. Wilber
These initial, dedicated volunteers laid the ground work for what Woodsmen’s Days has grown to be: Tupper Lake’s signature event celebrating the communities heritage and history of being founded as a logging hub.