LAKE PLACID -Working for Adirondack Community Trust at the Heaven Hill Farm in Lake Placid is the perfect fit for Andrea Grout.
Her job as ACT's programs officer allows Grout to contribute to the community in a positive way, which she enjoys doing, and to have an office view of a mountain range named after her distant relative.
Grout has been at ACT for seven years now, following a stint at the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake. At the museum, she worked in the marketing and membership departments, then as special events coordinator.
Adirondack Community Trust programs officer Andrea Grout stands in a field on Heaven Hill Farm. In the background is the McIntyre Mountain Range, named after Archibald McIntyre, a distant relative of hers.
ACT is a nonprofit community foundation that provides a bridge between charitable donors and their recipients. ACT collects donor's funds, pools them together and invests them. The income from these grants is then distributed them to nonprofit organizations that offer the money through grants and scholarships.
Since it was founded in 1997, ACT has awarded nearly $20 million in grants and scholarships.
As programs officer, Grout helps manage all the grant and scholarship programs.
"It really is a good connection for me to be able to be a part of a foundation that does so many different things on so many different levels in the community," said Grout, who is also a landscape painter. "The type of giving that we do and that donors do through ACT, it touches lots of different facets of the community, down to an individual scholarship level to community convenings and grant making.
"... In the big picture, the work we're doing is transformational in a lot of ways."
One of the benefits of working for ACT is that its offices are on the Heaven Hill Farm property, owned by the nonprofit Henry Uihlein II and Mildred Uihlein Foundation. Once owned by the Uihlein family, the farm was home to a purebred Jersey cattle herd, a maple syrup operation and a seed potato farm.
The cattle herd is no longer around, and the maple and potato operations were long ago donated to Cornell University. What does remain are the picturesque fields and forests, which provide a nice foreground to the High Peaks rising up in the background.
Those mountains include the McIntyre Range, which consists of Wright, Algonquin, Boundary and Iroquois peaks. The McIntyres were named for Grout's great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather, Archibald McIntyre.
A native of Scotland, McIntyre was one of the founders of the Elba Iron and Steel Manufacturing Company, a mining company, that was based in the Lake Placid region in the early 1800s. A state assemblyman and state comptroller from the Albany area, McIntyre later helped found the Adirondac Iron and Steel Company, later known as the MacIntyre Iron Company, that mined in the Tahawus area, starting in the mid-1800s.
The company was responsible for the village of Adirondac being settled in 1826 in the town of Newcomb. Adirondac, also known as Tahawus, is no longer around, but some remnants, such as houses and blast furnaces, do remain.
Much of MacIntyre's mining work was done with his son-n-law David Henderson, who later died when a gun went off accidently. Calamity Pond and Brook in the High Peaks got their names as a result of the unfortunate accident.
Growing up in Gouverneur, Grout said she didn't really have much of an attachment to her family's Adirondack history. However, after working the Adirondack Museum, that interest grew.
"It's pretty cool. The more that I learn about my family history, the more connected I feel here," Grout said. "It's one of the things that sort of makes me want to stay here and be really excited to raise my child here."
Grout said her generation is the first to live in the Lake Placid area since McIntyre. She moved to the area in about 1990, about the time she graduated from SUNY Plattsburgh.
Now two of her three sisters and her father Don, a geologist, live in Lake Placid, too.
"This is a pretty amazing place to be, and we're really lucky to be able to live in this gorgeous place," Grout said.