Alvah Dunning, Adirondack hermit

Alvah Dunning

Alvah Dunnning (1816-1902) was a Adirondacks Mountains (NY) guide skilled in tracking and hunting. He is unfortunately credited with exterminating the presence of wolves and moose in the Adirondacks.

Dunning was a fierce recluse, stereotypically cantankerous, temperamental, and hard to get along with, according to A History of the Adirondacks by Alfred L. Donaldson, published in 1921. Dunning disliked people, especially women and the wealthy urbanites who hired him as a guide and would not consume what they killed.

Dunning’s death is ironic: he stayed in a New York City home overnight while attending a trade show, and in his ignorance had blown out the bedroom gas lamp. He died of asphyxiation.