Echo Camp was constructed during 1882 and 1883 by Charles H. Blanchard and Thomas Wallace for Connecticut businessman (and future governor 1887-1889) Phineas Chapman Lounsbury (1844-1925). He and his family summered on Raquette Lake until his death.
His brother George (1838-1904), a former Episcopalian priest, was also the governor of Connecticut, from 1899-1901.
Echo is the only camp with a twin-towered main lodge still standing on or near Raquette Lake. The other two were Charles Durant’s Camp Fairview on Osprey Island (1879-c1922) and his brother Frederic Durant’s Camp Cedars on Forked Lake (1880-1950).2
An outstanding feature of Echo is the name of the camp spelled out with small branches and twigs on the center railing. The design followed the style of what is now known as the traditional Adirondack Great Camp with the kitchen area and dining room in separate buildings, away from the main lodge and sleeping quarters.
Governor Phineas Lounsbury’s daughter, Mrs. Griffith, often requested the presence of the esteemed Anthony Evans for her Sunday evening musicales. He was the brother of Dr. Evans of Tioga Point and was the organist on St. Hubert’s for many years, known for his singing of Welsh hymns.3
In 1945 the abandoned property was “discovered” and then purchased by Frances “Skipper” Clough who developed a well known girls camp that continued through 1987.4 There are photos and wonderful memories on this
Adirondack Museum page.
My parents were particularly drawn to Echo Camp, especially my mother, due to the similarities to Twin Fir Camp in the Laurentian Mountains north of Montreal, run by Jean’s mother. Gingie Pope (through Skipper) graciously allowed two of my nieces to attend Echo the summer of 1984 after their mother was left paralyzed in an auto accident. We are eternally grateful.
For almost 40 years the Echo Camp choir provided the music each Sunday for the Raquette Lake Chapel in the village as well as over 20 years for the Annual Vespers service on St. Hubert’s, beginning in 1959. Skipper passed away in 2003 at the age of 97.
The property is once again a private retreat. Echo Camp was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1986.
1 Craig Gilborn, Durant: The Fortunes and Woodland Camps of a Family in the Adirondacks, (Sylvan Beach, New York: North Country Books, 1981), 54.
2 Gilborn, 50.
3 William Wessels, “The Story of the Twin Churches,” Trailmarker, July-August 1962.
4 Email from Skipper’s son to webmaster May 2003.