The Best of the Adirondack Tales

By W.H.H. Murray
Edited by Randall S. Beach
Introduction by Randall S. Beach

Subjects: New York/regional, Fiction, General Interest, Folklore
Series: New York Classics, Excelsior Editions
Imprint: Excelsior Editions
Hardcover : 9781438490557, 185 pages, November 2022
Paperback : 9781438490540, 185 pages, November 2022

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Table of contents

Randall Beach

1. Sleeping in the Woods

2. The Freemasonry of Outdoor Life

3. Jack-Shooting in a Foggy Night

4. The Story That the Keg Told Me

5. Queen of the Snow

6. Henry Herbert’s Thanksgiving

7. The Ball

8. How John Norton the Trapper Kept His Christmas

9. Camping

The best of W.H.H. Murray’s 19th century Adirondack stories, selected by Murray’s biographer and great, great grandson, Randall S. Beach


William Henry Harrison Murray ("Adirondack Murray") is known as the father of the outdoor movement in America and the modern vacation. A passionate advocate for the wilderness and, specifically, the Adirondacks in New York State, Murray was the author of numerous books from the 1860s until his death in the early twentieth century. Many of his books and short stories focused on the Adirondacks and the importance of human interaction with nature. For the first time, The Best of the Adirondack Tales gathers his best and most beloved stories, drawn from many sources and selected by Murray's biographer and great-great grandson, Randall S. Beach. Among the favorites included: "The Freemasonry of Outdoor Life," "Jack Shooting in a Foggy Night," "The Story that the Keg Told Me," "Henry Herbert's Thanksgiving," and "How John Norton the Trapper Kept His Christmas."

W. H. H. Murray (1848–1904) was a Boston preacher who memorialized the Adirondack region through his colorful stories. Randall S. Beach, the great-great grandson of Murray, is an attorney with the law firm of Whiteman Osterman and Hanna LLP in Albany, New York. He is the author of A Passionate Life: W. H. H. Murray, from Preacher to Progressive, also published by SUNY Press.


"The Best of the Adirondack Tales brings the works of Murray, whose work has generally found an audience in regional studies, to a much larger readership … his down-to-earth style and storytelling are compelling and transport readers quickly into the nineteenth-century Adirondacks and all they have to offer." — H-Net Reviews (H-Environment)