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Huntington metal dump reveals a rare find

Cleanup crew digs out ‘Adirondack’ toilet base

Historic land use decisions are often considered unwise by contemporary standards. That was the case with the metal dump at Huntington Wildlife Forest at ESF's Newcomb campus.

A legacy of generations past, this quarter-acre plot was used as a repository for metal and related debris. As an institution committed to good stewardship of the land, the Adirondack Ecological Center staff recognized its responsibility to lead by example and clean up the dump.

Work-release crews from the Moriah Shock Incarceration Program (MSIP) spent 225 man-hours over seven days hauling bottles, cans, wire bales, hot water heaters, 55-gallon drums, guardrails and parts of old automobiles to recycling dumpsters at the town of Newcomb transfer station.

While most of the material was of no particular interest, one item caught the attention of the AEC staff: a porcelain toilet base with "Adirondack" written in the glaze. A call to Doreen Alessi at the Adirondack Museum revealed that after plumbing moved indoors, several companies manufactured lines of products with that name. The museum did not have an example, so the AEC formally donated the toilet, once again proving one person's trash is another's treasure.

The AEC staff hopes to maintain the partnership with MSIP, which provides life and leadership skills for inmates while helping with the maintenance and management of Huntington Wildlife Forest.