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Kay Flickinger Dockstader papers

Identifier: ARL-048

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of photographs, journal entries, trail notes, Otyokwa Club yearbooks, maps, and ephemera from her travels, predominantly in the Adirondacks. Biographical materials include diaries, articles, retirement album copies, correspondence, and a growth chart. These are supplemented by loose trail notes written during hikes as well as news clippings of topical interest. The bulk of the collection consists of photographs and negatives taken during hikes, often as part of outings organized through hiking and social clubs. Consisting mainly of 2 x 3 inch contact prints, they document many hikes in the Adirondack High Peaks as well as other areas in the American Northeast. Otykowa materials include yearbooks, newsletters, calendars, and prints documenting social life. The yearbooks provide context for many photographs.Maps and pamphlets consist of USGS, DEC, and other professional cartographic materials used for hiking, often with hand written notes. A number of commercial and tourism materials are also included. Miscellaneous records include copies of articles, printed materials, hand written accounts of trips, correspondence, badges, and other items. Main correspondents include A. Dench (Woodland Trail Walkers), Bill Hentschel, J. Tansley (“Bud”) Hohmann, Eleanor Coutent, Katherine Flickinger, Nelson Gildersleeve, I. Langmuir, L.H. Lynn, G.S. Martin, Jr., J.A. Reeves, C.M. Rhoades, Ruth Tallmadge, V.J. Schaefer, and C.G. Suits.


  • Creation: 1865 - 1995
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1910 - 1995


Conditions Governing Access

Open for research.

Biographical Note

Kay was born in Schenectady in 1910 to Maude Hodgon and John Tressler Flickinger, an engineer at General Electric. Along with their primary residence at 25 Ray Street in Niskayuna, the family owned a summer home, known as Shew House, on Sacandaga Lake. After graduating from Syracuse University with a degree in English, Kay worked her way from lab assistant to research technical editor with General Electric at Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory in Niskayuna. During her 38 years with the company, Kay took regular weekend hiking trips into the Adirondacks and Catskills with the Schenectady chapter of the ADK and YMCA's Oty-okwa club. By all accounts, Kay was filled with a child-like awe and enthusiasm for the natural world. She would talk continuously, even on the most strenuous hikes, exalting in the views and educating her fellow hikers about the flora and fauna along the way. While strenuous mountains on hikes, she took many photographs. Finishing with Allen Mountain on September 7, 1946, she became 46er number 41 and at the first meeting of the 46ers organization was named secretary. By 1958 she had climbed all Adirondack high peaks twice. The first edition of ADK, The 46ers, included a chapter by Kay entitled "Climbing on Snow and Ice." Adirondack magazines also published her articles on the 46ers and winter hiking gear. During the 1950s and 1960s she taught winter hiking and climbing skills to ADK Winter Mountain School classes. Her hiking and skiing experiences, along with her study of the Adirondacks (she would often use her lunch hour to visit a rare book store in Schenectady), made her a passionate and effective advocate for environmental issues as well. Kay was the first woman to climb Mt. Iroqois on skis. "I think climbing the 46 is a delightful game," she told a Times Union reporter in 1970, "and I'm anxious to see more girls get out in winter." After marrying Clayton "Dock" Dockstader in 1971, the two travelled the world visiting six continents over the years. Other than their travel, the Dockstaders lived a simple life in Galway allowing them, on their passing, to endow the Dockstader Charitable Trust which funds the work of non-profit organizations in Galway. Over the course of her life, Kay also purchased 5 properties totaling 138 acres in Providence which have now been donated to the Saratoga PLAN for preservation and trails, making the land available to the public. She passed away in 1995.


14 Boxes

4.11 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials



The papers of Kay Flickinger Dockstader measure 4.11 cubic feet with the bulk of materials dating from 1910-1995. The collection consists of photographs, journal entries, trail notes, Otyokwa Club yearbooks, maps, and ephemera from her travels, predominantly in the Adirondacks.


The collection is arranged as 5 series. Records are generally arranged by material type and chronologically thereafter.

Series 1: Diaries, Trail Notes, News Clippings, 1910-1986.

Series 2: Photographs and Negatives, 1930-1964.

Series 3: Otyokwa Club, 1931-1963.

Series 4: Maps and Phamplets, 1910-1960.

Series 5: Miscellaneous, 1927-1995.

Custodial History

Donated by Erik and Julia Roy, November 2006 and March and July 2007. Additional materials donated by Karin Gottlieb in 2018-2019.

On April 22, 2011, Protect the Adirondacks! placed the collection on permanent loan with Union College.

Guide to the Kay Flickinger Dockstader papers
Matthew Golebiewski
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English
Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Repository Details

Part of the Adirondack Research Library Repository

897 St. David's Lane
Niskayuna NY 12309