The Adirondack Mountains are located in the north of the state of New York. On its steep mountain slopes the Adirondack red spruce grows, providing the very best quality tonewood in the world for making tops for guitars. Adirondack is harder than all other spruce wood and gives the sound more volume and expression and a longer sustain. Adirondack is worth gold for guitars, but real gold was found literally in the Adirondack Mountains; a special and partly macabre story. In the 17th century, the state of New York was still Dutch colonial possession and this area was called the New Netherlands. In 1643, Governor Willem Kieft became angry with the Wappinger Indians who did not want to pay their taxes. For punishment, he had his army massacring 120 Wappinger Indians. Men, women and children were slaughtered bloodthirsty in the night of February 25 with knives and swords. In response to this atrocity, the surrounding Indian tribes united against the Dutch and in the ensuing fighting another 1500 Indians were killed. The struggle between the Dutch and Indians lasted until 1645 when, after long negotiations, the peace was signed in Rensellaerswijck (now Rensselaer and Albany). As usual, the Indians painted their faces with bright colours for the ceremony. Kieft saw this and asked what substance they had used for the yellow colour. The Indians then gave him two nuggets of gold. When asked from where they got this, they pointed to the Adirondack mountains. In 1646 Governor Kieft sent a number of gold samples with an English ship to England, but the ship never reached its destination. In 1647 he decided to personally accompany a second shipment of gold samples, including sitemaps, to the Netherlands. In September 1647 the ship ‘The Princess’ sank in the waters near Wales. The gold samples, maps and the cruel colonial governor may have been confiscated by the deep ocean forever. The gold search in the Adirondack Mountains continued until the beginning of the 20th century. And at this very moment we are still looking there for gold, but then for that other gold: Adirondack tonewood. Tone wood that is used by Homestead for every guitar we build and only in its highest grade: AAA. Source: “The search for Adirondack Gold”, Ron Johnson, New York 2004, pp. 17-21; and: Wikipedia under “Kieft’s War”. The story of Kieft and the Native Americans is recorded in 1650 by Adriaen van der Donck, the Schout (Bailiff) of Fort Orange in Rensellaerswijck.