The following article is the result of my own digging into New York's Adirondack mining.
First, a little genealogy... Walter Waldron, of the Waldron of North Creek, was born in 1856. He was the youngest son of Daniel Waldron and his wife Asenath (Hill) Waldron and, of course, Walter was a direct descendant of Resolved Waldron of New Amsterdam. Walter was married to Etta Roblee. Pictured left is Walter with his grandson, Howdie Waldron.
Like most early Adirondack settlers Walter was a farmer, but clearly Walter's passion was mining garnet in the Adirondacks.
Mining has been going on for centuries in the Adirondack mountains of New York, yet the seed for mining garnet around North Creek in Warren County, New York, seems to have been hand carried to New York City in the mid 1800s by a mysterious Adirondack man. And I've begun to wonder if that man could have been Daniel Waldron (b. 1812, d. 1871). A portrait of Daniel Waldron is below. Daniel had an uncle and several cousins living in the New York City area.
From what I've learned, Henry Hudson Barton (destined to become founder of the Barton Mines) was a young clerk in a NYC jewelry store when, about 1850, someone from the Adirondack region tried to sell garnet stones to the jeweler, who thought the stone imperfect for his jewelry and turned him down. Decades later, the memory of this store encounter stuck with Henry Hudson Barton, but the innovative Barton had a new idea and ultimately ground up garnet stone would be used for a superior sandpaper. A new technology seems to have spawned out of the tiny seed planted in the mind of Mr. Barton.
According to an account by Vernon J. Burns written in 1976, Walter Waldron of North Creek picked garnet by hand methods at a number of pits on Casey Mountain in Hamilton County New York beginning in the year 1890. This was the same year that his youngest son Jesse J. Waldron (this author's grandfather) was born. Waldron must have been picking at an early age and I suspect that he might have been acquainted with Henry Hudson Barton who had founded the first garnet mine in the Adirondacks in 1878. Later Mr. Barton bought Gore Mountain in 1887.
Walter Waldron continued to mine until about 1921. He died in 1925 at the age of 69, yet mining and a connection to the Barton Mines had by then been planted deep within the North Country Waldron. Several Waldron men worked in the mining industry throughout the years. His sons, Jesse and Elmer worked at the mines. In more recent times, Howard W. Waldron, (Howdie) a life-long resident of North Creek and one of Walter's grandsons, (Howard passing at age 92 in 2012) had retired in 1983 as Plant Manager after 39 years of employment. A photo of Howard Waldron as a baby seated upon his grandfather, Walter's lap is posted.(author Gloria Waldron Hukle)