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The Hunter’s Home: Robert Louis Stevenson and the Saranac Connection

End of an era

“The Bakers did not see much of their famous tenant, Robert Louis Stevenson. Mrs. Baker recalls mainly a gentleman who smoked many cigarettes, burning some famous scars in her mantelpiece, and a few infamous holes in her sheets. Mr. Baker saw more of him, as he built the fires and brought ...

Alfred L. Donaldson

Alfred Lee Donaldson became the son of a wealthy New York City banker when he was born there in 1866. Reminding some people what a spoiled rich kid is like, he got to do what he wanted. When Alfred was 15, that was to be a violinist. Such a pursuit would logically lead to spending time in ...

Back to Baker’s, Part IV

“Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Baker had five children, of whom only two are now living, Blanche and Bertha, comely young ladies of nineteen, who strikingly resemble each other and are pupils in the Plattsburgh Normal School” (now SUNY Plattsburgh). — Biographical Review, Essex and Clinton ...

Back to Baker’s, Part III

“To Blanche and Bertha Baker, from a profound admirer of them and their cats.” — Robert Louis Stevenson Such is the inscription inside a special copy of “A Child’s Garden of Verses” that came to our shores in a tea chest from England, bearing gifts for RLS to hand out at ...

Back to Baker’s, Part II

Andrew Baker had a farm, and on that farm, he set up big tents with 10-inch poles, 10 of them, making for a tent motel. He always waited until spring to do it, for 40 years, starting in 1867. If you were a city dweller back in the day, planning your next Adirondack getaway, you might have ...

Back to Baker’s, Part I

(This week begins a new section of this series which will feature the legacy of the Baker family and the formation of the Stevenson Society of America.) In the spring of 1852, Colonel Milote Baker, 46 years old, crossed the first bridge over a section of the Saranac River near some rapids. ...