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Name-dropping at Paul Smith’s

October 27, 2012
By HOWARD RILEY , Adirondack Daily Enterprise

The Enterprise in 1899 carried a long (2500 word) feature story about the upcoming summer season at Paul Smith's Hotel and about camps on Upper St. Regis Lake and Upper Saranac.

The story leads off with this quote from W. H. H. Murray:

"But what may we say of the Adirondacks, That Venice of the woods, Whose highways are rivers, whose paths are streams and whose carriages are boats?"

Article Photos

Paul Smith’s Hotel in the 1880s shows other out buildings.
(Photo courtesy of the Adirondack Room of the Saranac Lake Free Library?— 81.1084)

The unnamed reporter goes on to say, "no great flight of imagination is required to believe that Mr. Murray, when writing the above lines, had fresh in his mind the region of the famous Paul Smith resort."

Great regional history here as written 113 years ago in The Enterprise:

"Thirty-five years ago, [which would have been 1864], Paul Smith, a hitherto unknown guide and fisherman erected himself a little, unpretentious camp upon the shores of Lower St. Regis Lake. The ground upon which this camp was built lies at one end of that marvelous water journey of which Blue Mountain Pond is the other extremity.

"As time went on the name of Paul Smith became a household word and such men as Phineas T. Barnum, the veteran circus owner, W. Steward Webb, ex-Governor Levi P. Morton, the Vanderbilts and Rockefellers and hundreds of others equally as well known soon became identified among the guests of the growing resort."


Cottage residents

[The story tells of the many cottages built adjacent to the main hotel building and the summer people who lease them.]

"Cottage No. 10, a neat little white cottage with high, rapidly sloping roofs and broad verandas, has been leased by Dr. E. L. Trudeau and he and his family will soon occupy this, their summer home.

"William G. Rockefeller, the millionaire sugar and oil magnate has leased Cottage No. 12. Mr. Rockefeller recently underwent an operation for appendicitis and, it is said, will be among the season's visitors. No doubt the balmy air and natural beauty of this section will materially assist nature in the work of recuperation.

"Cottage No. 13, adjoins the Rockefeller cottage and will be occupied this year by Roswell P. Miller, a well known western railway man, whose residence is Chicago.

"Another western millionaire, who will be found here this summer, is P. C. Moffit of St. Louis, Missouri. He has engaged Cottage No. 8 and he and his family will arrive in a few days.

"Others leasing cottage for the summer are C. C. Glover of Washington, D.C., A. J. Milbank and E. H. Faulkner of New York City."


Other lakes, other camps

"Across the lake are found the camps of R. W. Stuart, Mrs. N. F. McCormick, Mrs. T. H. Garritt, Mrs. M. C. Ewing, and C. B. Mitchell. John Seely Ward also owns a Coulter camp near which is found the George H. Earle and E. H. Coate's camps. Whitelaw Reid also owns a summer place here.

'Spitfire Lake has summer places owned by L. Bayard Smith, William M. McAlpin, Vilas Beckwith, H. L. and J. S. Hotchkiss, O. J. and C. F. R. Drake, Dr. T. F. French, Mrs. E. C. Brooks and others.

"Mrs. Mary B. Barber, Mr. F. Bianchi, Mr. S. V. Hoffman and Mr. E. H. Faulkner are the only persons now owning camps on Lower Saranac although it is expected that a number of new ones will be erected shortly.

"On Osgood Pond are found each year in their camps, Basil B. Gordon and family, who have spent one or two seasons in Saranac Lake, also Mr. J. B. Cranford, in 'Camp Lou' and Mrs. Gideon Lee.

"Among the guests already booked for the McCollum's Hotel, the site where Amile Comstock McCollum hewed down some trees and built a log home in 1858, are Arthur F. Rice, secretary of the League of American Sportsmen, Hugh DeHaven, the well-known wire manufacturer of Brooklyn, H. F. Stevens, a cotton goods manufacture of New York and G. W. Rice, of New Hartford, N.Y., president of the town in which he resides.

"Not far from McCollumn's to the right of the road leading to Paul Smith's, F. H. Parker, President of the New York Exchange Bank owns a very fine preserve of about 650 acres. This place is known as 'Forestmere' and by reasons of stringent enforcement of private rules fish and game are multiplying rapidly."

The story describes improvements to the Paul Smith's Hotel the previous winter including "the installation of a new electric lighting plant from which 3,000 incandescent and 200 arc lights will be operated."


The information in this column came from Enterprise clippings in the archives of the Adirondack Room of the Saranac Lake Free Library.



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