famous names were followed by hosts of lesser known vacationers, and
by 1879 there was an explosion of visitors to the wilderness. Within two years enormous hotels stood on the shores of Blue Mountain Lake serving more
than 1,000 overnight guests. There were lines of
stages leaving daily from Merwin's
Blue Mountain House, the
House established 1877 on Prospect Point) with wall
tents and John Holland's first
Blue Mountain Lake House.
Lobby Blue Mountain House
Raquette Lake never was
overrun with huge hotels on its shores. The smaller hostelries blended
into the wilderness without disturbing the peace and solitude sought by many
escaping the summer heat of the cities - Ed Bennett's
Under the Hemlocks
Long Point (1880),
Ike Kenwell's early
Raquette Lake House
on what is now Tioga Point and
Forked Lake House (1877).
Blue Mountain Lake House
made the rounds on Raquette Lake and the
on Blue Mountain, Eagle and Utowana Lakes. According to Nessmuk's
Letters, even as early as
walked across the Marion River Carry to meet the steamer
on the other side.
Horse-drawn carts carried their baggage. Stoddard recounts even earlier
adventurers carrying their guide boats from one landing to the other, often
stopping at Bassett's Carry Inn midway between the two.
CHURCH OF THE GOOD
During the second week of August 1880,
Washington Sears) heard "the sound as of one who drives nails into resonant
boards" as he paddled his small 10-foot canoe
from First Lake, searching for Ed Bennett's hotel on Long Point. And discovered our church
under construction - which was dedicated just four weeks later on 12 September.
Good Shepherd more
I live, it turned out to be a new church in the course of erection on an
"Just where the congregation is to come from I can not say, but
preachers are plenty enough here in the summer, and perhaps it is well that
they should have a regular house of worship somewhere in the woods in order
to keep their hands in while doing the wilderness...."
Blue Mountain Lake
by Frederic Durant
Prospect Point Cottages
This class of clientele
(Julliard, Guggenheim, Woolworth) accounts for the fact that
in 1882 the first hotel in the world to have
electric light in all 300 rooms, thanks to Thomas Edison himself, was on Prospect Point in Blue Mountain Lake.
And another first for the
was serving ice cream with dinner each evening.
was built by Frederic
Durant (nephew of Dr. Thomas Durant) on the site of the three-story Ordway
House, also known as the American
1877-1880. Frederic purchased Ordway
House from the owners in 1879 and ran it the final
year. In 1881 he added it to the rear of his new six-story hotel which had
its grand opening in 1882. Prospect
House could sleep 500 and also boasted the first
steam elevator, using Edison's electric dynamo.
1901-1902 Prospect House,
under new ownership, was briefly known as the
in an attempt to restore
bygone glory. Many of the photos are from publicity generated during those
Frederic also built Camp Cedars on Forked
Lake, which was in the same twin-towered style as his brother Charles Durant's
Camp Fairview on Osprey Island on Raquette Lake. The design also reappeared
in Echo Camp in 1882-83, leading Craig Gilborn (Durant:
The Fortunes and Woodland Camps of a Family in the Adirondacks,
Sylvan Beach, NY: North Country Books, 1981) to surmise all three camps used the
same architectural plans.