My great grandfather, Watson (pictured below) along with his brothers Charles and Shep took over the Merrill House after their father's passing.One of my older cousins who knew my grandmother better than I, told me the tale as it had been told to her by our grandmother that Watson died of a broken heart. My great-grandmother, Frankie Davis Merrill died in 1918. Watson, not being able to live without the love of his life died a few months later. My grandmother was only about 15 at the time and was raised into adulthood by her older sister, Sadie, before she met and married my grandfather in 1924.
At any rate, while I know the life of a female Adirondack guide in the late 20th century was likely considerably different from that of the male guides of the late 19th and early 20th century Ms. LaBastille did befriend some of the older guides-- men in their 80s and 90s who were raised by guides themselves and shared with her the tales of a different era. Thus her books give me at least a glimpse of the lives of some of my ancestors.
But the book I long to read-- originally published in serial form in many Adirondack newspapers in the twenties and thirties, The Old Guide's Story written by my great great uncle Charles Merrill (my great grandfather's brother) those serials were compiled in book form in 1973 or 74 but that printing of The Old Guide's Story remained largely out of print (and thus quite expensive when able to find a copy) for over 30 years when a local history buff decided to re-publish the book. My parents & I actually helped him by contributing some family photos to him that had been left to us by my late grandmother.
My parents have copies of both the 1974 and 2006 printings. For some reason I never got around to reading the book in my 18+ years living under the same roof as my parents that is something I regret and hope to rectify soon.