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Guest Contributors...

Charles Barney

America's Historic Lakes Contribution:
The Charles Barney Collection- Fort Montgomery Images

Charles Barney
Note from the publisher: It is with a heavy heart that we let you know that our friend Charlie Barney passed away in February, 2012. He will be missed.

The late Charles H Barney practiced hospital pharmacy in critical care settings for 29 years - in a burn treatment center, and, for 20 years, at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo NY. He graduated from the University of Buffalo in 1977 and lived in East Amherst, NY. He married his wife Laurie Campbell Barney and had two children, Andrew and Caitlin. He was a photographer, a horseback rider, a nascent military historian, and to his family’s chagrin, an enthusiastic herpetologist.

He spent the first 10 years of his life in Dannemora, NY where his father, also Charles, was a Corrections Officer at Clinton State Prison. In 1963 he moved to Rouses Point, NY when his father passed away. He was no stranger to the Village, since both sides of his family have resided in the area for many generations. He considers Rouses Point home, where his father grew up, graduating from Rouses Point high school in 1932.

The senior Mr. Barney graduated from The New York State Police School in 1933 and was a police officer for the Delaware and Hudson Railroad and the Village of Rouses Point. He enlisted in the Army before the U.S. entered WWII. He left the Army after the War as a Captain in the Corps of Military Police, returning home to the North Country. He had served at many bases throughout the United States prior to the U.S. entry in the War and then in Europe in the Ardennes, the Battle of the Bulge, and, for a number of years, in post-war Germany.

The younger Charles claimed a passion for the history of the North Country and also, of WWII.. He maintained an extensive collection of books, maps, and photographs of the Rouses Point area and the European Theatre of WW II. Fortunately, Captain Barney left behind an extensive collection of photographs and newspaper articles from his travels and life in Rouses Point in the 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s. The story of Fort Montgomery was well-documented in his photos and recollections of Village life. No visit to Rouses Point was complete without Captain Barney taking his young son to the remains of the Fort.

The parade ground had been the focal point of many family picnics and evening walks. It’s nearly incorrupt structure was a magnet for him and his young friends in the 20s and 30s, documented in pictorial records. In the early 60s, when his son became old enough, the younger Charles could not contain his excitement when he knew a trip to the Fort was to take place. He knew he was going to observe and participate in “target practice”. Captain Barney would bring his Colt .38 Police Special and, if no one was at the Fort, he would set up targets on the earthen walls and proceed to put on a demonstration of considerable accuracy, holding the revolver in one hand with his other arm and hand on his hip – the firing stance favored by the Army. There are photos of him at the Fort, using the Military Police textbook stance. This is the first public forum to let it be known, the younger Charles was always allowed to fire a few shots.

There are many opinions regarding the Fort’s demolition. Captain Barney’s was not neutral or unspoken. He felt that the 1936 demolition of the Fort was demoralizing to the close-knit Village community, where he was laid to rest.

 

Publisher note: Charlie Barney's wonderful photos can be found on the pages of America's Historic Lakes and in our Fort Montgomery books. We're very pleased to be able to share these very special images with the world. [JPM]


"...a superb job of researching and writing...
the effort alone in gathering these rare photographs and interpreting the ruins is remarkable."

Dr. Russell P. Bellico
- Historian/Author
"Sails and Steam in the Mountains: A Maritime and Military History of Lake George and Lake Champlain"

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