Welcome to the archives of Transitions, a collection of the weekly historic columns written by former town and village historian Bill Frenette for the Tupper Lake Free Press in Tupper Lake NY. 

The articles feature stories about life in the Adirondack Mountains. They describe a remarkable history and cross-section of the colorful people and places that make up the Adirondack communities and represent the enduring passion and love of the author
for this area.


Transitions  - The Collection of William C. Frenette

The Transition articles are numbered chronologically by the date the article was featured in the Tupper Lake Free Press. In the Table of Contents are keywords to assist in referencing the topics.  There is also a search program that allows the user to search by Transitions  No. or keywords.

Articles from 1996 to 2007 will be posted to this site on an on-going basis, so please keep coming back to see additional titles.



Bill Frenette, Tupper Lake Historian and Outdoorsman

William C. Frenette was an avid outdoorsman who spent his life hiking, paddling, and skiing in virtually ever corner of his beloved Adirondack Mountains. Bill spent his working career in the local family business — Frenette Bros. Beer Distributors and Tupper Lake Coca-Cola Bottling Company, but the likeliest place to find him was in the woods.

Bill was more comfortable in the mountains than nearly anywhere - he was an early 46er (designation given to those who climb all 46 mountains in the state that measure over 4000 feet – he climbed all of them in both summer and winter), but his real love was being in the remote lakes and ponds that make up the Adirondacks. He spent many an hour pouring over maps and determining routes into some of these wild places and he was the go-to person for anyone looking for information on how to find a remote pond or an unmarked trail. Chances are he had been there many times and he always delighted in sharing his knowledge and lore about the woods and waterways of the areas.
A consummate competitor, Bill was seen on more starting lines (and more award podiums) than most anyone around. He was a formidable athlete – whether competing in local running, ski, and canoe races or in the prestigious Coureur de Bois ski marathon- a grueling 180 kilometer held annually from Montreal to Quebec, Canada that included an overnight in the wilderness.

Bill was actively involved in organizing Sugarloaf Ski Hill, the region’s first downhill ski area and served as the Big Tupper Ski Patrol founding chief and an early member of the Search and Rescue Team. He volunteered in many local sporting events and served as a teacher and mentor to many local youngsters.

Bill was a founding trustee of the Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks in Tupper Lake, a board member of the Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake, NY and served on the board of the Friends of Mount Arab, a local not-for-profit organization created to save the fire tower and preserve the trails on the mountain.

Bill served as the historian for the Town and Village of Tupper Lake from 1995 - 2007. It was in this role that he shared his love of the people and surroundings with hundreds of readers. He died at his Tupper Lake home at the age of 80.

Listed here are some related links. If you have a link you want to list on our site please email info@tltransitions.com and feel free to link TLtransitions.com to your site.

Adirondack Park Visitor Interpretive Centers
Adirondack Museum
Mark Bowie Photography     
Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks         
Tupper Lake Free Press                  
Tupper Lake Chamber of Commerce
Long Lake Tourism
Saranac Lake Chamber of Commerce
Friends of Mt Arab
Adirondack Medical Center
Raquette River Outfitters 



Email us at info@tltransitions.com

Email Tupper Lake Free Press at tlfreepress@yahoo.com

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Articles posted and site maintained by Pam Frenette

Photo Credits:
Guideboat Row by Mark Bowie / Bio page
Morning Mist by Ray Cronk / Home Page