Kay Flickinger Dockstader


Kay Flickinger Dockstader


As part of Union College’s commitment to the celebration of Women’s History Month, we proudly tell the story of Katherine ‘Kay’ Flickinger Dockstader, an outdoors enthusiast, hiker, skier, amateur photographer, and former GE employee. Born in Schenectady in 1910, she was a world-wide traveler who had a lifelong fascination with the Adirondacks. As a member of the Schenectady Chapter of Adirondack Mountain Club (ADK) as well as the YMCA/YWCA’s Otyokwa Club, she regularly took weekend hiking trips, often in the High Peaks. After summiting Allen Mountain on September 7, 1946, she became the 41st member of the 46er Club. At the organization’s first meeting, she was appointed Secretary. By 1958 she had climbed all High Peaks twice. Kay was also the first woman to ascend Mt. Iroquois on skis.
“I think climbing the 46 is a delightful game,” Flickinger told a Times Union reporter in 1970, “and I’m anxious to see more girls get out this winter.”
Following numerous snowshoeing and cross-country ski trips in the Adirondacks, Kay was appointed to the ADK Winter Activities Committee in February of 1948. By regularly guiding trips and organizing events, she helped to create greater opportunities for future generations of hikers to experience the Adirondacks during winter.
The Adirondack Research Library at the Kelly Adirondack Center of Union College holds over 700 of Kay’s photographs and negatives in the Kay Flickinger Dockstader Papers (ARL 048). Each photograph, taken while on the trail, is complete with rich information written on the back accompanied by other materials in the collection such as trail notes, diaries, hiking club yearbooks, maps, and guides to the Adirondacks. Materials from the collection are featured in this exhibit. We hope that you will enjoy these objects and appreciate the rich legacy Kay left all those who continue to explore the Adirondacks.
Special thanks to my colleagues for their generous input and help for this exhibition: India Spartz, Margie Amodeo, Jen Goodwin, Frances Maloy and Julie Lohnes. I would also like to thank Erik Roy, Julia Roy, and Karin Gottlieb for their generous donation of the materials featured in this exhibit.
-Matthew Golebiewski, Project Archivist, Adirondack Research Library


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