The Antlers in 1898
Click Here for 1912 Antlers Brochure – photography by Seneca Ray Stoddard
Constable or Sand Point 1840 – 1885
Since 1840 Constable or Sand Point has provided accommodation for visitors to the Adirondacks, beginning with William Constable and his two brothers. William had purchased the property, originally part of the John Brown Tract, from Farrand Benedict.
From an 1855 visit: “The first shelters or camps were what we would call lean-tos, with balsam and hemlock branches to sleep on, the ladies’ camp a bit removed from the gentlemen’s.” 1 There was a dining shanty, another shelter for the guides, and the champagne was chilled in the spring.
In 1856, “Everyone slept in their clothes, bathed in the lake and depended upon local game and speckled trout for sustenance. And, at the close of a four-week stay, delighted in the light from bonfires….” 2 Bonfires were set on the end of each point and island in view – likely Strawberry, Osprey and St. Hubert’s.
The Antlers 1887 – 1920
In 1885 Charles H. Bennett (1845-1915) purchased the property from the Constable brothers and built the Antlers into “the first of the luxury camps” with a world-wide reputation. He travelled throughout Europe, copying recipes from famous chefs which he delighted in preparing for his guests. The Antlers had its own post office, which Bennett ran until his death. His sister continued until 1920 when she sold the property.
The boys and girls camps were established in 1922. The boys camp soon moved across the lake to Wood’s Point while the Antlers property still houses the Raquette Lake Girls Club. Both are now known as the Raquette Lake Camps. Other portions of the property were purchased by a corporation and run as a hotel again.
Antlers Motel 1958 – 1963
Don and Betty Langham purchased the casino, the terrace cottages and another cottage in 1958 and ran them as the Antler’s Motel until 1963.
Fay worked there the summers of 1959 and 1960, with tips earning just over $500 from July through Labor Day – 12 hours a day with no days off, but great tips from all the camp parents. And afternoons were free for swimming from Sand Point as others had done so many years ago. Fay even swam the half-mile to St. Hubert’s – there were very few motor boats then.
SUNY Cortland 1965 – present
1Durant, Kenneth, editor, Guide-Boat Days and Ways, Blue Mountain Lake, NY: Adirondack Museum, 1963. p101
2Racket, Bob, article in Knickerbocker Magazine, 1856, quoted in Kenneth Durant’s Guide-Boat Days and Ways, Blue Mountain Lake, NY: Adirondack Museum, 1963. p104
Graytone photos #4-8 Courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division,
Detroit Publishing Company Collection – Used with permission.
Jackson, William Henry. 1902-1920. Touring Turn-of-the-Century America.
In Detroit Publishing Company Collection from the Library of Congress, 1880-1920.
[Online] Available HTTP: http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/f?detr:0:./temp/~ammem_4uQr:. [August 15, 1999]