Bloated Toe Enterprises (aka Bloated Toe Publishing, BTE Web Design, The North Country Store) was started in 2004 by author Lawrence P. (Larry) Gooley and his wife/partner, Jill Jones, both North Country natives (the story behind our funny name appears below). Larry has had a lifelong passion for history and writing. He published his first book, A History of the Altona Flat Rock, in 1980. Soon after, he began conducting interviews and research for a book about the mining town of Lyon Mountain, New York. However, life’s responsibilities delayed publication of this second book.
Larry and Jill explored various publishing options before they decided to start their own publishing business and do the work themselves. The book, Lyon Mountain: The Tragedy of a Mining Town, was published in late 2004. Since then, Larry has been a prolific writer, releasing several more books on topics including Lyon Mountain, The Battle of Plattsburgh, Churubusco, Chazy soccer, Oliver Lamora vs. William Rockefeller, serial killer Robert F. Garrow, Dannemora, bootlegging, and many others (see all Larry’s books). In addition, Larry has written many historical articles for Adirondack Almanack and New York Almanack.
After experiencing the many perks and pitfalls of self-publishing, Larry and Jill wished to help other aspiring authors realize their dreams. They began offering their publishing services to others in 2005 and have since published books for North Country authors and organizations including Richard B. Frost, Robert M. Garrow, Gordie Little, Speedy Arnold, Lorraine Duvall, and the Historical Society of Whitehall (see all our books).
The North Country Store
Besides helping authors publish their books, Larry and Jill also wanted to help North Country authors, artists, and entrepreneurs sell their goods. This desire led to the opening of The North Country Store in 2007. Our online store offers a variety of unique books, music, and other items produced right here in the North Country/Adirondack region.
Why “Bloated Toe”?
Larry and Jill, the founders of Bloated Toe Enterprises and The North Country Store, have hiked, biked, climbed, and canoed throughout the Adirondacks. The credit for the unusual name goes to Jill’s funky sense of humor.
One particular mountain-climbing trip took them to Owl’s Head Lookout, a rocky knob facing directly up the northeast slopes of Giant Mountain. Upon reaching the summit, they did their rituals: remove hiking boots and socks; snack excessively; and lie back and enjoy the great view. Then they put their socks and boots back on, grabbed their packs, and headed down the trail and back towards the car.
While descending the easier slopes, Larry noticed that his left foot in particular was very uncomfortable. There was quite a lot of pain, and the hiking boot seemed unusually tight. Loosening the laces helped very little, and as they continued their hike, Larry told Jill of the problem.
Asking for details, she was told that every step hurt. He added that, from all of the black fly and mosquito bites his bare feet had endured at the summit (he is one of those unfortunate bug magnets), Larry had a bloated toe.
Jill’s immediate response … sympathy? Concern? Assistance?
No. Turning around quickly and pointing at Larry, she just blurted out …”Hey! That’s what we can call our company!”
So they did.