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The Winter Carnival, 1913

February 14, 2009
You Know What ...? By HOWARD RILEY

The Saranac lake Winter Carnival in 1913 was held from Jan. 28 to Jan. 30 and the main attraction was the "International Speed Skating Championships."

The information that follows was found in a copy of the Adirondack Daily Enterprise in the archives of the Adirondack Room of the Saranac Lake Free Library. That edition was 12 pages and a box on the front page next to the logo read: "City Circulation, Saranac Lake Alone, 1,500."

The parade was held the first day of carnival, led by the Saranac lake Business Men's Band followed by 34 floats. Fireworks were held every day with the greatest display called the Storming of the Ice Place the last day.

Article Photos

A float in the 1913 parade when a billy goat was nearly as big as a Shetland pony
(Photo courtesy of the Adirondack Room of the Saranac Lake Free Library)

Also the first day were skating races (local), hockey matches, children's fancy costume skating carnival and exhibitions of figure skating and acrobatic skating. Irving Brokaw, the U.S. Men's National Figure Champion was featured at the carnival and was to skate an exhibition with his partner, Miss Hallie Trombley.

The big skating championships were held over the next two days at Pontiac Bay (where the ice for the palace is cut today). Robert McLean, the Chicago amateur speed skating star, had just broken the quarter-mile record (38.5 seconds) at St. Paul, Minnesota on the previous Friday, which "is a fraction of a second faster than Edmund Lamy's record made at Cleveland in 1910."

Carnival Trains

"H. S. Hurd and F. L. Fairchild, the Carnival Committee on visitors, have closed negotiations with the Delaware & Hudson to run three special trains in and out of Saranac Lake the last day of Carnival. On account of the storming of the Ice Palace on Thursday night, a special train will leave Plattsburgh at 12:15 p.m., stopping at all stations and arriving in Saranac Lake at 2:30 o'clock, in time for the skating races at Pontiac Rink."

Prizes for decorations

"The committee on street decoration offer suggestions as to the street trimmings along the line of march. Evergreen trees will line the sides of the parade route. The trees should be from eight to ten feet in high and set at intervals of ten feet. Blocks of ice bored, in which to set trees, can be secured from the ice companies at small cost. Snow and ice figures for the front yards of residences are suggested also."

Keep your eye on your dog

"Special Value in Sitting-Out Coats. $24 Dogskin Coats at $18. Adirondack Hardware Company." "All the grocery stores will be closed from 2 until 5 o'clock p.m. on the three days of carnival."

"Grand Masquerade Ball Opera House, Wednesday Night, January 29. Tickets $1.00, extra ladies 50c. Positively no one allowed to dance unless in costume." I guess for 50c it was nice to bring a spare lady along in if it turns out your date is a bad dancer or tires easily.

(Above from front page advertisements)

Other page 1 news

The headline reads, On Hands and Knees to the Top of McIntyre- "George T. Ashley of AuSable Forks was in Saranac Lake today on his way home from making the ascent of Mount McIntyre of which the elevation is 5,112 feet. He found snowshoes of little assistance and reached the summit only after one severe fall and delay with the aid of ice creepers and ice picks. Mr. Ashley first tried to get to the summit on Saturday. He had to crawl over the ice, and received a fall of 200 yards, injuring his hip. He returned to Hunter Camp and remained until Monday, when he made the ascent, leaving the camp at 7:45 a.m. and reaching the summit at 10:17 a.m."

Ahtletic director hired

"Edwin H. W. Harlan was hired to take charge of the activities of the Saranac Lake Boys Club. The director is one of Princeton Universities best known athletes and is a nephew to Chief Justice Harlan of the United States Supreme Court.

"Mr. Harlan was a member of the Princeton Class of 1908. During his athletic career in college he was captain of the baseball team which for three consecutive seasons defeated Harvard and Yale, and was also half-back on the Princeton eleven for three years."



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