Then and Now

This is a photograph of the Cedar River Flow Headquarters taken in 1954.  It was given to me by the current caretaker, Willard H. Weldon who lives on Cedar River Rd.  As best as I can tell the photo was taken from an area near where the handicap camping spot is now.  Wakely Dam would be  located to the left behind the buildings and trees. 

 This location was used as a base  for the Gordias H. P. Gould Paper Company's logging operation.  The Gould Paper company  began with the building of the mill on the Black and Moose Rivers at Lyons Falls in 1895.  From the looks of the area then it wouldn't appear that anyone cared too much about the aesthetic impact of the development.  I don't think they would be bothered by the trail runners either.

 The renovation of the Headquarters as a public access site was completed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC).  In addition to the obvious changes, the old wooden dam was rebuilt in 1967 which lowered the level of the flow by over three feet.  Remnants of the old dam can still be seen today on the river bed just below the dam. 

Cedar River Headquarters - 1954

Cedar River Headquarters - 2009


Willard Weldon has been a fixture in the Moose River Plains for many years.  He used to man the fire tower on Wakely Mountain.  "The Judge," now in his 90's spent his honeymoon at Wakely Dam and was a member of the CCC during the work on the Cedar River Headquarters. Along with Bob Hayes, and Jack (not in photo), I'd guess these guys have been living and camping in the area for a combined period of well over 200 years.  For the nearly 10 years I've been going to Wakely Dam I always make it a point to spend as much time as I can listening to their stories - they're living historians of the Adirondacks.


Willard Weldon of "Willard's Mansion" on Cedar River Road met his reward on Wednesday, July 14th, 2010 at 11:05AM after a short bout with pneumonia.  In accordance with his wishes, his ashes were spread under the oak tree he planted at Wakely Headquarters.   

Robert A. Hayes Sr., 69, of Cleveland, passed away Thursday, October 1, 2009, at University Hospital in Syracuse. Born in Glendale, CA, he had resided in Cleveland for the last 35 years. Bob retired in 1999 after 35 years of service as a truck driver for several area companies. Survivors include his wife of 25 years, the former Ethel L. Gale; two sons, Robert A. Jr. and Ronald (Kelly) Hayes; two daughters, Jean (John) Cook and Joan (Robert) Morrow; 14 grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; a sister, Kathy Hayes; and five step-children, Deborah (Brian) Confer, Clark Stowell, Sheryl (John) Whitney, Tamarah Stowell and Kathleen Toleson.