POTTERSVILLE The North Country has lost one of its beloved characters. Forrest Jones, 91, died Saturday, Sept. 1, 2007, at his home.
Forrest was born on Landon Hill in Pottersville, and died at his home there as well.
Forrest has been a very important part of this community for as long as I can remember, said Chester Supervisor Fred Monroe. He did many things for the town and came up with a lot of great ideas.
Monroe said that Forrest helped create the logo for the towns bicentennial celebration and came to Monroe when he was facing re-election several years ago with large signs to help with his campaign.
Forrest completed his formal training as a commercial illustrator in 1939 and enlisted in the Army in 1941, where he served in the Ordnance Division during the Battle of the Bulge. He created many pen and ink sketches of Normandy during his service which he used in historic presentations back home over the years.
On Dec. 12, 1942, Forrest married Elizabeth Ward in Darlington, Md., returning to the Adirondacks in 1947 with her and his family.
In 1952, he established the Adirondack Art Studio to provide commercial art services to the emerging Adirondack hospitality industry and theme parks, including Frontier Town, Natural Stone Bridge and Caves, Storytown, Animal Land, Indian Village, Mount Defiance and Enchanted Forest. His artwork for other local business included the original pen and ink architectural illustrations depicting many Lincoln Logs home designs.
Retired Natural Stone Bridge and Caves owner Ed Beckler said Forrest did much of the advertising work for the venue.
He made hundreds of birdhouses and mailboxes for us, Beckler said. Our slogan at the time was Something to chirp about, and we used a bluebird in our logo. Beckler said that the birdhouses and mailboxes were distributed throughout the Adirondack Park and some lasted for decades, although once the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) was created, the birdhouses became illegal.
They said we couldnt advertise off our property, Beckler said.
Both Beckler and Forrest were opposed to the newly formed APA and put together a campaign that went national.
We borrowed some animal skins and arranged for some UPI photographers to come up to the caves, Beckler said. Forrest made the sign for us and when he delivered it, we talked him into getting dressed in the animal skins and we gave him a club. The two men, in caveman garb, posed by a bonfire in the caves, with Forrests sign of protest that read, Back to the Caves, our last resort.
Forrest designed and painted the "Christmas Card" that accompanied the 1964 National Christmas Tree from Landon Hill to the White House. He created another Christmas card for the City of Glens Falls for the 1969 National Christmas Tree.
He did a lot of work for Frontiertown, Beckler said. He even set up a print shop with his son, Jimmy, and they printed wanted posters for customers.
Forrest was a member of the VFW and the American Legion Post No. 964 in Chestertown, serving for many years as Post Chaplain in the Legion. A charter member of the Pottersville Volunteer Fire Company, he held the office of Secretary in the company for 44 years.
Always interested in education, Forrest was elected to the Pottersville Central School Board of Education in 1950, and served continuously for 20 years, all but one as board president.
Forrest belonged to the North Warren Chamber of Commerce for over 40 years, serving many years on its Board of Directors and was honored as VIP by the Chamber for the year 1972. He was an honorary member of the Chestertown Rotary Club.
He served as a member of the town of Chester Zoning Board of Appeals and was a member of the Health Center Advisory Committee for the Chester-Horicon Health Center of the Hudson Headwaters Health Network. He received an award as the Contributing Senior for Warren County for 2004.
He was a member of the Pottersville United Methodist Church for 60 years, and served terms as Lay Leader, Trustee and member of the Administrative Board.
He had that old school politeness and was truly a gentleman, Monroe said. Well miss him.