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Tahawus: The National Lead Years

January 12, 2020 | 1:30 pm

Don Seauvageau

In September 1941, the last and most successful mining era at the Hudson headwaters began. The MacIntyre Iron Company sold their remaining interest in the old iron mine to National Lead Company. The mine would reopen not for iron but ilmenite, a form of titanium ore. World War II had caused a shortage of this ore, which is needed to manufacture titanium dioxide, a vital material used in paints and other military material. NL Industries, as it was later known, continued operations until November 1989, more than doubling the years of the first mining company at the site, Adirondack Iron and Steel.

Don Seauvageau is a year-round resident of Blue Mountain Lake. A former engineer for General Electric, he is enjoying an active retirement living in the Adirondacks and traveling the world. An avid paddler, he was the 39th person to earn the Adirondack Mountain Club Paddle Pursuit patch. He has visited all the towns and villages within the Blue Line. Don’s first visit to the Adirondacks was in the mid-1980s. As a manager for NL Industries (the former National Lead Company) he was allowed to stay at the Foote Cottage on the Tahawus mine site. He has been fascinated with the history of the area ever since, and has authored several articles about the Adirondacks.