.liliffiffl liiii THE ...I STORY OF SARANAC HENRY W. RAYMOND CORNELL UNIVERSITY LIBRARY FROM Cornell University Library F 127F8 R26 Story of Saranac: a chapter in Adirondac oiin 3 1924 028 853 419 Cornell University Library The original of tiiis book is in tine Cornell University Library. There are no known copyright restrictions in the United States on the use of the text. http://www.archive.org/details/cu31924028853419 THE STORY OF SARANAC The Ice Palace at Night ^ The Story of Saranac A Chapter in Adirondack History BY HENRY W. RAYMOND THE GRAFTON PRESS Publishers New York Ul^lVElvCtTY f [uiRAfvY Copyright 1909, by The Gkaktox Tress ILLUSTRATIONS The Ice Palace at Night Frontispiece Peiskaret, War Chief of the Adirondack Indians 14 View of Lower Saranac from Bluff Island 15 Off Indian Point; Entrance to Saranac River 19 Saranac River Above the Village 22 " Falling Star," The Last of the Abenakis 27 Oseetah Lake, Saranac River 29 Eagle Island and the Lakes from "The Algonquin 33 Bloomingdale Road in Winter 36 Among the Islands 38 Along the Saranac River in Winter 43 Saranac Lake and River in 1890 44 View of Saranac Lake in 1907 48,49 Main Street and Riverside Inn in 1892 52 Martin's Old Hotel 53 The Baker Cottage, once the home of Stevenson 54 Saranac Lake and River in 1907 56 Main Street, Saranac Lake in 1895 58 The Berkeley, Main Street and Broadway 60 The Bank in Saranac Lake 61 Broadway, Saranac Lake 62 A Residence in Highland Park 63 The Ice Palace in 1906 64 Fish Creek 67 The Smith Camp 68 The Living Room of the Smith Camp 68 The Floyd Jones Camp 70 Interior of the Floyd Jones Camp 70 Along the Saranac River in Summer 75 PREFACE It might be asked why I wrote this little "book. I doubt if I could give an answer that would be en- tirely satisfactory to the reader. Primarily, I suppose it was my affection for, and interest in, the region of which it treats, that prompted me to study its history and development. As I have watched Saranac Lake grow, and change from a "wretched hamlet" into a thriving town, during the nearly twenty years that it has been my summer home, and as questions have been con- stantly asked about its origin and early history that had to go unanswered, I was anxious to find some answer to these questions. Perhaps too there was an impulse of gratitude toward a locality which gave to me — as it has to thousands of others — life and health and strength. Possibly there was a feeling that one of the love- liest spots in the North Woods should be known as something besides a sanatorium — of which much has been written by others — and its manifold beau- 8 Preface ties and natural attractions made more familiar to the Adirondack visitor. The general ignorance as to the Indian occupa- tion of, and visitations to, this part of the country, may have been another motive, and one vi^hich so interested me that I went into it more deeply than had been done by any other. Probably all these various reasons vi^ere combined and resulted in the production of the pages that follow, which, expanding beyond the limits of a magazine article, have been sent forth in this form in the hope that they will interest some of the thousands who make an annual pilgrimage to this part of the Adirondack wilderness. I do not claim originality for what I have writ- ten, only so far as pertains to the mode of presenta- tion. The facts have been gathered from scores of writers and pieced together to serve my purpose. No one has done this before and whether it was worth the trouble of doing it at all is for the reader to say. So far as possible I have endeavored to give due credit for what I have borrowed. Henry W. Raymond. The Story of Saranac The period of time was somewhere about the middle of the Seventeenth Gentry. The Pilgrim Fathers had made their settlenlents along a part of what is now the New England coast, and had perfected treaties with, or success- fully waged war against, the crafty Indians, who had forcibly opposed the advance into their pos- sessions, and had employed all^the wiles and arts known to the red man, to impede and stay the re- lentless onward march of the civilization brought to these shores by the mysterious white strangers from the unknown countries of the far East. Of Algonquin stock were these denizens of the coast — Abenakis, Micmacs, Narragansetts, Delawares and Mohegans — ^who shared with the Iroquois and the Hurons the hitherto undisputed possession of for- ests, mountains, lowlands and prairies, in the great continent over which they had roamed and wan- dered for centuries; coming from no man can yet say where — whose origin is one of those mysteries for which science can furnish no satisfactory solu- tion. The Micmac chieftain, a century later, voiced 10 The Story of Saranac the complaint of the Indian race, when, with true native eloquence, he said to Cornwalhs: "The land on which you sleep is mine; I sprung out of it as the grass does; I was born on it from sire to son; it is mine forever." So, too, up in the far North, when the French settled in Canada, it was upon lands occupied by the Algonquin Indians, or the "Adirondacks," as the members of this powerful nation were called by their hereditary enemies, the Iroquois. They were regarded, Wallace tells us, as "apt and dexterous in war and chase and most advanced in art, know- ledge and intelligence." Golden speaks of them as "excelling all others." Schoolcraft says that the term "Algonkins" was first employed as a generic word, by the French, applying it to the old Nippercinians, Osttawas, 'Montagnais and their congeners in the valley of the St. Lawrence. Their language was essentially the same as that of the coast Indians — the Dela- wares, and the Indians of the valleys of the Hudson and of the Connecticut. Between the Algonquins and the Iroquois — the latter better known in history perhaps as the Six Nations, from the six different tribes embraced in its organization, and claiming the southern bank of the St. Lawrence, the shores of Lakes Ontario and Erie and all western and central New York, The Story of Saranac 11 as their own — a fierce and bitter war had been waged for many years before the advent of the French emigrants. It is a matter of tradition that this war originated in a hunting party undertaken jointly by some young warriors of both nations. The Iroquois desired to test their skill with the bow and arrow first. To this the others objected, say- ing that they alone could kill enough for all. They were absent three days and returned empty-handed. The Iroquois, in their turn, went into the woods and came back loaded down with game, whereupon the proud Algonquins, stung to anger by their success, killed them all while they slept. A surren- der of the murderers being refused the Iroquois in- augurated a long, bloody war against the Algon- quin nation. Whatever the immediate cause, through the al- liance of the Algonquins with the French, the Iro- quois were beaten and driven back from the St. Lawrence into what is now the northern part of the State of New York, and this region became, through constant fighting, the "dark and bloody ground" of the old Indian traditions. In this new country the Iroquois found the Dutch settlers and, obtaining from them by trade and barter arms and ammunition, turned fiercely on their conquerors, so that in 1670 they completed their defeat and dispersion and remained sole and 12 The Story of Saranac undisputed mastei's of this great territory. Syl- vester says of them that they "were fierce and brave; germs of heroic virtues mingled with sav- age vices. They were the. terror of all surrounding tribes. The river Indians along the Hudson, fear- ing the very name of Mohawk, wilhngly paid them tribute." Of the remnant of the Algonquin nation, Wal- lace says: "The spirit of the few remaining was broken, and, in mortal terror, they sought a hiding place in the deepest solitudes of the New York wil- derness (called by them 'Conchsachrage' or the 'Dismal Wilderneiss') which had always been their favorite hunting ground. Here, goaded by deadly famine, and too weak and ambitionless to secure game, they subsisted for weeks on bark, buds and the roots of trees, even on the thongs of rawhides forming the network of their snowshoes. When thus reduced, the Iroquois called them in derision, 'Ha-de-ron-daks' — bark or tree eaters — from which the French dropped the 'H'. Thus per- ished," he adds, "this mighty nation, by the hand of the foe whom they had regarded with perfect con- tempt." Right here I may add, on the same authority, that the highlands of Conchsachrage were first called "Peruvian Mountains," by the early white settlers, who believed they were rich in mineral The Story of Saranac 13 treasures. Later they were known as Macomb Mountains, named after General Macomb. In 1842 Professor Emmons, then State geologist, designated them as "Adirondacks," and this title has since been adopted for the whole region, which, on early maps, was first called "Aracal" and then "Ir-o-coi-sia," or the land of the Iroquois. After their crushing defeat and dispersion by the Iroquois, the Algonquins no longer figured in his- tory as a nation; only as a scattered Canadian tribe, called by some the Ottawas. Tradition tells us that their great war chief, Pei- skaret, after his overwhelming defeat and when he realized that his beloved nation was practically an- nihilated and permanently expelled from the land it loved so well, made a final visit to the forests in which they had hunted abundant game and to the lakes in which they had been wont to display their skill as fishermen. Coming out from the dense woods on what is now known as "Indian Point" on Lower Saranac Lake, he stood motionless, contem- plating with unfeigned admiration the marvellous beauty of the scene before him. On the placid waters at his feet, he had often seen the frail bark canoes of his warriors moving noiselessly about in eager pursuit of the speckled beauties ; in the tower- ing forests they had displayed their skill with bow and arrow, in pursuit of moose, elk and deer; on Peiskaret, War Chief of the Adirondack Indians The Story of Saranac 15 the thickly clustered islands they had kindled their peaceful camp fires. And now the end had come. Outlaws and fugitives, a small remnant of a proud and mighty nation, they were fqrced to abandon to a hated foe all that had made life so dear to them View of Lower Saranac from Bluff Island and to their fathers before them. Peiskaret's heart was full of bitterness and grief, but his mien was as haughty as when, at the head of his redskins, he had seen the Iroquois braves fly before his victorious legions. With one mighty throw he cast his blood* stained tomahawk into the rippling waters, then turned and in a moment was lost to view in the 16 The Story of Saranac dark recesses of the woodland. And in the lake, at the spot where his tomahawk fell, rose a tiny- islet (Hatchet Island), a monument to a vanishing tribe that had once ^roamed here at will, undisputed masters of the "Dismal Wilderness." Time passed on and we come to the opening years of the nineteenth century. The Six Nations had been, after their defeat of the Algonquins, the dominant Indian race in the eastern part of the continent from the Hudson to Lake Erie, and of all, the Mohawks, as the oldest of the confederated tribes, were leaders in peace and war. With power came arrogance and pride. It was said that an old Mohawk sachem issued orders to tributary nations with the unquestioned authority of a Roman dictator, and that a single Mohawk warrior was enough to put to flight a hundred of the New England Indians. The powerful Dela- wares, when conquered by the Iroquois, were con- temptuously termed by them "Women," and Sir William Johnson in 1756, writes to the Lords of the Board of Trade : "I concluded this Treaty with taking off the Petticoat, or that invidious name of 'women,' from the Delaware Nation, which had been imposed on them by the Six Nations from the time they conquered them." In truth he held no sinecure, this English Com- missioner of Indian affairs, in maintaining intact The Story of Saranac 17 an alliance with his wards, for they were often un- ruly and keenly resentful of the steady progress of British dominion. The letters of Sir William are filled with accounts of innumerable councils held with the redmen and of their unvarying com- plaint of being deprived of their lands and their hunting grounds. At first the Iroquois carried on extensive hos- tiUties with the French, in which they met with "dis- astrous losses; then they, for a time, allied them- selves with the Dutch; finally entering into treaty bonds with the English — whom they quickly dis- cerned as destined to be the dominant power — and served them loyally all through the Revolutionary war. As thej'' had turned on the Algonquins and be- come their conquerors, so the victorious American colonists turned on their savage foes, who had left a trail of massacre, rapine and cruelty to mark their share in the struggle for independence. It was a final contest for mastery between the white man and the red, and the .white man won. In 1779 their power was broken by General Sullivan; eight- een of their most flourishing villages were burned, their cornfields and orchards cut down and no quarter given to the fighting men. The proud In- dian at last sued for peace and by treaties in 1784, 1789 and in 1796, the Indian title was extinguished 18 The Story of Saranac to the whole regioa between Lake Champlain and the St. Lawrence. A few of the Oneidas, Senecas, Cayugas, Onondagas and Mohawks remained on reservations in the regions that still bear their names, but the greater number, according to DeWitt Clin- ton, moved into Canada or migrated to the country west of the Mississippi, "The Indians," says Syl- vester, "left their famous hunting grounds in the Conchsachrage with great reluctance, and long after the Revolution, singly and in small bands, made annual visits to the wilderness, encountering at times the white trapper and hunter who also loved the woods ; nor did these chance encounters always have a peaceful ending." Here again tradition connects another great In- dian chieftain with Saranac, or, as it is called on the early French maps, by its Indian name of "Sa-la- sa-nac." Conquered but not subdued, the Mohawk war chief had begun his long journey to the home he had chosen at the head of Lake Ontario. As mem- ories of the happy days spent in the wild hunting grounds of his people were constantly with him, he determined to once more revisit these forests. With two or three companions he penetrated their depths. After many days of toilsome wandering they emerged from the woodland upon the shore of the same beautiful lake, and on the same rocky point, The Story of Saranac 19 where, a century and a half before, had stood the famed Algonquin warrior. In full war paint and equipment, as he had led his braves in many a hard won fight, stood Ta-yen-da-na-ga-^more widely known as Joseph Brant. Defiance of the Off Indian Point; Entrance to Saranac River victorious paleface was in his bearing, yet was there also the recognition of the fact that his people were beaten and scattered, and that he himself, an exile, must seek a home in what was to him an alien country. Did visions of the ruthless massacres at Springfield, and Cherry Valley, and Herldmer and Minisink in the Wyoming and along the Mohawk 20 The Story of Saranac valley, mirror themselves in the dark, deep waters that lay outspread before him? Did the cries of the gentle maidens, the innocent children and the suffering mothers, whom, with savage cries of fero- cious joy he had scalped and left to die in the ruins of their burning homes, echo in his ears, in the solemn stillness of the forest primeval? Who knows, but He, who, in the few remaining years of his life, made of this undaunted warrior and cruel hard-hearted savage, a missioner of peace and a teacher of that Gospel given to us by Him who was the Apostle of Peace, of gentleness and of self-sac- rifice. As Brant turned away from lake and stream and woodland, and covering his face with his blanket, that his comrades might not see the deep emotion of their chief, said farewell to the haunts he loved so dearly, he might well have anticipated the words of Drake: — Where is my home — my forest home? The proud land of my Sires? Where stands the wigwam of my pride? Where gleam the Council fires? Where are my fathers' hallowed graves? My friends so light and free? Gone, gone — forever from, my view! Great Spirit, can it he? There are scarcely any records of the Indian The Story of Saranac 21 ownership of this vast region and few traces of its occupation. Its area is three-quarters of that of Switzerland; it nearly approaches Wales in size and is considerably larger than the entire state of Connecticut. William C. Bryant wrote of it as a region "studded with the loveliest lakes in the world, where the mountains tower far above the loftiest of the Catskills . . . and though none of its peaks are as high as some of the White Mountains, their general elevation surpasses that of any range east of the Rockies." In a map of New York in Broadhead's History, dated about 1614, the entire region is designated as Ho-de-no-san-nee — that is the "Land of the People of the Long House." In a later map it is broadly marked as Ga-ne-a-ga-o-no-ga, or the "Land of the Mohawks." In a map published by Guy Johnson for Governor Tryon in 1771, the Adirondack country has no marks and a note says: "The Boun- dary of New York not being closed this part of the country still belongs to the Mohawks." Twenty- five years later, in a map showing Macomb's pur- chase of 3,600,000 acres (for eight pence an acre) a tract six miles square is specified as reserved for the St. Regis Indians and an agreement was made that if this tract was not applied to the use of the In- dians it should be deemed a part of the original con- tract of sale. 22 The Story of Saranac This reservation of the St. Regis Indians, who are descendants of the Iroquois, is in Franklin County, New York, on the Canadian boundary hne. Grin- nell gives their number as 1,154 some ten years ago and says that, although they have some good farm- ing land, most of them have given up farming and Saranac River Above the Village support themselves by making and selling baskets. It is members of this tribe that generally visit Sar- anac Lake and Lake Placid during the summer months. But few of the mountains had, or have preserved, Indian names. Mt. Marcy was called "Tahawus" The Story of Saranac 23 —"He splits the sky"; Mclntyre, "Henoga"— "Home of the Thunderer"; Seward, "Onkorla"— "The Great Eye" ; and Whiteface, which derives its modern name from the white appearance of a shde caused by an avalanche which swept down its west- ern slope in 1804 — " Wahopartenie" ; but Nipple- top, Golden, Mt. Emmons, Pharaoh, Adams, Dix, Santanoni, Snowy, Rugged and the others of the more than five hundred elevations that merit the des- ignation of "mountaiins," have lost their Indian names — if they ever had any — and are known only by their modern appellations. So, too, of the many streams and rivers, that find their devious ways over rocks, through deep gorges and 'neath the shadows of the darkest forests, to the St. Lawrence, the Hudson and Lake Champlain, only a few — the Secondaga, Saranac, Oswegatchie, Chateaugay and possibly the St. Regis — give any reminiscent idea of the original navigators, who threaded through this country in their birch boats, upon their waters. Equally true is this of the hun- dreds of lakes and ponds, of which I recall but the Saranacs that still retain the names given them by the aborigines. I am glad to note, however, that there is a grow- ing tendency either to restore the Indian names, or to give new ones from the picturesque vocabulary of the original inhabitants of the North Woods. 24 The Story of Saranac Perhaps Dr. Webb may be regarded as the pioneer in this movement, when he re-christened Round Lake (not Middle Saranac, which is still known by that name) , "Lake Kushaqua," and gave to his own vast domain the title, "Ne-ha-sa-ne." Others have followed his example and what was so long called "Lonesome Pond" is now "Lake Kiwassa" — an In- dian God of Love — and "Miller's Pond," has be- come "Lake Oseetah." In connection with this matter of the re-adoption of Indian names, Mr. Alfred L. Donaldson, a stu- dent of the Indian legends and of the history of this region, says, in an article in The Bohemian, refer- ring to the view from the summit of Ampersand Mountain : "To look down upon the vast areas of a once primeval wilderness spread in panorama at one's feet ; to see the glinting sapphire of lakes and rivers set deep in the soft chrysophase of undulating woodland ; to re-people the far-flung vistas with the Indian of yore, cleaving the waterways to the tune of rhythmic paddles or tuning the silence of the for- est to the muted impact of their feet ; and then to be forced to transcribe the vision in terms of a local landshark or of the rustic dullard, is to touch fresh paint on a nomenclature that should be twined with legendary ivy. The Indians with all their faults, had the childish imaginativeness of a primitive people, the inherent poetrjr of savageness, the super- The Story of Saranac 25 stitions that are rhythmic. In dethroning the king of the wilderness it seems a pity that the conquerors should have kept so few relics of his gorgeous throne-room." Of settlements we can trace hut two. At what is now known as North Elba, was an Indian village, which, until the latter part of the eighteenth cen- tury, was the summer camping ground of a band of Adirondacks. About 1760, Captain Robert Rogers, at the head of a company of rangers — who were employed by Sir William Johnson, as he says, "to scour the woods," and "were promised one shil- ling a day with eighteen pence to the sergeant, which I regard as reasonable," — attacked and to- tally destroyed this village, in the absence of the warriors. On their return the latter pursued and gave battle on the Boquet River, with disastrous results to the attacking party. The other village was at what is now called "In- dian Carry," between the Raquette River and Up- per Saranac Lake, and near the Twin Spectacle Ponds. A hundred years ago the Saranac Indians, possibly a sub-tribe of the Mohawks, had a settle- ment here and on an eminence is a mound-like seat where their chief was wont to maintain a vigilant outlook for an approaching enemy. In the solid rock, not so very long ago, was pointed out the alleged imprint of an Indian moccasin, and bits of 26 The Story of Saranac potteiy and arrowheads have been excavated that would seem to indicate an Indian burying ground at this place. The picture of an Indian woman, for which I am indebted to, Mr. Harding, is that of "Falling Star," the last living descendant, so far as known, of the original Algonquin Indians who made this section of the Adirondacks their hunting grounds. "FalHng Star" is an Abenaki, or, as Brinton spells it, Abnaki, one of the many tribes belonging to the Algonquin nation, like the Micmacs, Crees, Chip- peways, etc., and their last home was near Three Rivers, in Canada. In 1780, there were only one hundi'ed and fifty members of this tribe left. "Fall- ing Star" sold baskets for a time, then went to New York where she was a prominent feature in the Adirondack Camp at the sportsmen's show a few years ago. Since then she has made a living by posing as an Indian model for different artists. A few, Indian legends have come down to us: When the Mohawks occupied, or controlled, the Adirondack region, they were at one time ruled by a sachem called Ho-ha-do-ra, whose wife was named Mo-ne-ta. She had two sons, one of whom was taken captive in a contest M'ith the Algonquins. The other, unable to resist his mother's plaintive appeals, undertook to rescue his brother and set out alone on his perilous enterprise. While anx- "Falling Star," The Last of the Abenakis 28 The Story of Saranac iously awaiting his return, Mo-ne-ta passed the days in ceaseless vigil on the summit of a lofty rock, on the border of the lake. At last her devotion vi^as rewarded by the safe return of both sons, and her tears of joy in welcoming them, falling upon the rock, were turned to diamonds, glistening in the sunlight on the surface of her elevated watch tower, which was thereafter known to the Indians as "Dia- mond Rock." Another legend pertains to the so-called "Lov- ers' Leap" on Lake Canandaigua. The Senecas and Algonquins ^>vere relentless enemies and during one of their incessant wars, a young chief of the latter tribe was taken prisoner. The daughter of the Seneca sachem lost her heart to the captured foe, brought him food and not only aided him to escape but accompanied him on his journey to rejoin his tribe. They were at once followed by a band of Senecas, headed by the father of the eloping maiden. Mistaking the trail the fugitives suddenly found themselves on the edge of a high precipice from which their pursuers blocked their escape. The girl appealed to her father for pardon and for safety, but, as that would only be granted on condition that she forsake her lover, both plunged from the rock and were killed. The place is known as "Lov- ers' Leap" to this day. In an article in The Bohemian magazine, Mr. The Story of Saranac 29 A. L. Donaldson has very pleasantly narrated some legends connected with Lakes Kiwassa and Oseetah. His legend of Oseetah rock, from which the lake derives its name, is so charmingly told in verse, that I quote it in full: Oseetah Lake, Saranac River OSEETAH. AN INDIAN LEGEND. Back from the' wars in the forest, Wayotah, the Sun, is returning To his Lake of the Clustered Stars, where the fires of welcome are burning, While mutely his moccasined feet the miles of the moun- tains are spurning. 30 The Story of Saranac Sweet is the praise and the prattle, the gentle confusion of meeting, Proud is the Chief of his people and touched by the warmth of their greeting. Keen is his eye as the eagle's, and nervous and quick in its roaming. Searches the uplifted faces for one he had wished at his homing — For one who is standing aloof in the grateful gloom of the gloaming. OsEETAH, called Bird of the Wigwams, watching apart frorn the thronging, Engirdles the Chieftain she loves with hopeless yet pas- sionate longing ; Well knowing her love, if returned, his vow to another is wronging. After the rout and the revel, the hero goes quietly creep- ing. Out where the marvellous moonlight in misty mosaics is sleeping ; Lighting a lane for the lover to gloom where Oseetah is weeping. Soon all the silences sylvan are stiri-ed with the stress of his wooing: Prankly he tells of his passion that long has been secretly brewings Madly he pleads for this new love, and mocks at the old love's undoing. T'he Story of Saranac 31 Firm is the mind of the maiden and steeled to Wayotah's entreating — Pearing an old love discarded may mean but a new one as fleeting. "Better the grave and quiescence," whispers her heart thru its beating. Quickly she turns from her lover, whose passion to anger is flaring, Darts to the dense of the forest, deft as a doe and un- caring, Seeking the shelter of darkness that yields to her swift- ness and daring. Then, with the spring of the panther, he plunges alert to the hounding. Trailing the track of her whiteness, that, wraith-like, seems winged in its bounding, Down thru the woods to the lake-side where plashment of waters is sounding. Trembling aghast on a rock ledge that gives a sheer pause to the trailing. Searching the face of the waters, he stands, with pressed lips that are paling, ■Grasping the glimness before him that turns all his passion to wailing. Back to the village he wanders and tells of Oseetah's sad ending, Pacing the anger of men with tears of the womenfolk blending, 32 The Story of Saranac Bowing his head in despair at the thought of his deed beyond mending. Early next day all the villagers tramp thru the trail to the clearing, Chanting the dirge for the dead while over the precipice peering They gaze at the merciless water with deep superstition and fearing. Lo ! a strange wonder confronts them, a miracle sweetly uplooming. For there on the face of the waters beautiful lilies are blooming. Flowers embossed on the grave that was bare at Oseetah's entombing. What may this mean.? they inquire of the Medicine-man full of learning, Who tells them the soul of the maid to earth in these forms is returning; Lilies of white are her pureness, the lilies of yellow her yearning. Early each morn they will open, like beautiful thoughts to the thinking. And bask in the light of the Sun till he dips to his westerly sinking. And then as he goes they will close, like dreams that are dreamt and are shrinking. The Story of Saranac 33 Another legend that Mr. Donaldson tells may be legend or it may be history, it matters not which, as the line is not always very sharply drawn between the two. As it pertains to Lower Saranac Lake I am going to give its substance. He tells us that - -r -^^ . '-^^ " . ' - - "ilia 1^ 1 .4 '" "; '.^.^ ■vli^--' m^ W. jM Itt iiti^ -iteiiii 'fl^^ .!W m~ TW _ 'n -■■■ v; „ ..■r . ,- ^i<m. Eagle Island and the Lakes from "The Algonquin" Upper Saranac — "the Lake of the Silver Sky" — was the one on which the Indians first made settle- ment. The different tribes around it lived in peace and friendly rivalry. A chief of one of these tribes or clans, named "The Eagle," mys- teriously disappeared and the chief of another divi- sion of the tribe named "The Wolf" was for some 34 The Story of Saranac unassigned reason accused of his murder. Angered at the charge, yet not strong enough to resent it in the usual Indian manner, "The Wolf" moved away with his braves and established a settlement on Lower Saranac — "The Lake of the Clustered Stars." Years after, "The Eagle," now an old man, reappeared and told the story of his unac- countable disappearance. While out hunting in the woods he had mistaken the trail and fallen into a ravine and while lying there helpless had been captured by some Canadian trappers. From them he had finally made his escape and returned to die among his own people. He made his abode on the largest of the islands in the lake, and to it was given his name, and it is still known to all residents and visitors as "Eagle Island." In some places in the woods the regular beaten trails, used by the redmen in their hunting expedi- tions, are said still to exist and to be followed by hunters to-day, but, with the few exceptions to which I have alluded, all traces of the centuries of Indian occupation have gone — effaced from the re- cesses of the wilderness as effectively as he himself has become but a tradition in the hunting grounds of his people. A great writer thus sums up his char- acteristics : — ' "Man, the occupant of the soil, was wild as the savage scene, in harmony with the rude nature by which he was The Story of Saranac 35 surrounded; a vagrant over the continent, in constant warfare with his fellow-man ; the bark of the birch his canoe ; strips of shells his ornaments, his records and his coin ; the roots of the forest among his resources for food ; his knowledge in architecture surpassed both in strength and durability by the skill of the beaver ; verdant saplings the beams of his house ; branches and the rind of trees his roof ; the drift of forest leaves his couch ; his religion the adoration of nature; disputing with the wolves and ibears the lordship of the soil and dividing with the squirrel the wild fruits with which the universal woodlands abounded." The passing of the Indian from the land of the great Avilderness was marked by the advent of the white hunter and trapper — the hardy baclcwoods- man — "clad in hunting shirt and deerskin leggings, armed with rifle, powder horn and pouch for shot and bullets, a hatchet and a hunting knife," seeking new fields in which to gratify his love of outdoor life, his passion for sport in woods, rivers and lakes and also the maintenance of a precarious ex- istence by the barter of furs and pelt for the neces- saries of life. There were colonies of beaver in the rivers; moose,* bear and deer in the forests, with foxes and other game in abundance. A huge red fox was the theme of the Indian story of the "Vam- pire," the scene of which was laid in the North Woods. *See note at end. 36 The Story of Saranac Peter Sabattis, a noted Indian trapper, camped on St. Peter's Rock on Lower St. Regis, and was— as also the aged half-breed hunter, St. Germain, at Lake Clear— famous as a guide for the earliest visitors. Dr. Van Dyke speaks of "one-eyed Enos, Bloomingdale Koad in Winter the last and laziest of the Saranac Indians" as a "real Adirondack guide." C. D. Warner cites old Orson Phelps as a type of "primitive man," who emigrated from Vermont about 1828; a woodsman, trapper, fisherman and hunter, with a passionate love of forest and mountain, the explorer of Marcy, to the summit of which he made a trail that others The Story of Saranac 37 might enjoy the noble view. "Soap is a thing I h' ain't no kinder use for," was one of his expres- sions in emphasizing his preference for a woods- man's hfe. "Bill" Smith, sometimes called the "Giant Hermit of the Adirondacks," built his cabin six miles from Bloomingdale, fifty-seven years ago, and, in his early days, was famous as a hunter. "Nat" Foster was another of the first hunters and trappers who made the Adirondacks their home. The fascination of an outdoor life was not easily overcome. The historian Headley tells of meeting an Indian eighty-two years old, once a renowned hunter, who refused to accompany his tribe to their new home and, with his daughter as his sole com- panion, houseless and homeless, carrying on his bowed shoulders his bark canoe, lived a wandering life in the woods. Among these wild scenes of nature roamed the French writer Chateaubriand, and, in his "Genie du Christianisme," he illustrated the beauties of Christianity by the charms of the wild exuberance of nature's gifts, among which he had wandered in the forests of the new world. The heroine of his best romance was Atala, an Indian maiden. It was in this inaccessible region that Joseph Bonaparte built a beautiful hunting lodge in which, it was said, he proposed to entertain his brother, the fallen 38 The Story of Saranac Emperor, before the allied Powers made him sov- ereign of the little island of Elba. Men of science had made some investigations of these mountains in the first half of the last century. Redfield and Emmons had measured Marcy, St. Among the Islands ' Anthony and other heights, before Professor Far- rand Benedict, of the University of Vermont, made his barometric observations in 1839. Men of wealth — like Gililland on Boquet River, Herreshoff on Morse, Arthur Noble on East Can- ada Creek and Watson on Independence — had each The Story of Saranac 39 attempted to found great landed estates, but all had failed. Perhaps the chief reason for their failure is simply given in the "History of the Six Nations" by David Cusick, a Tuscarora Indian, when he said : — "This country was never inhabited by any kind of people in the winter season; the snow fell so deep it was supposed that this country would always re- main a wilderness." A wintry season that began in October and ended in May was not attractive as a permanent residence. For the instruction of the amateur sportsman, in search of venison steaks or antlered heads, I venture to interpolate here a prescription given by this same Indian writer as essential to success in deer hunting. That it will become popular is unhkely ; that it was generally followed — Credat Judceus Apella! "When a person intends to hunt a deer, he pro- cures a medicine and vomits twice daily, for twelve days, after which he procures some pine or cedar boughs and boils them in a clay kettle and after removal from the fire he takes a blanket and covers himself over with it to sweat. Then he is ready to hunt." The probability is that after following out this heroic treatment the would-be hunter would have httle stomach left for deer. There is one element in man's nature that rises superior to any and all conditions of climate, and 40 The Story of Saranac that is the commercial instinct. It defies the heat of the tropics and the cold of the Arctic zone; it carries him into the jungle and over cloud sur- mounting peaks ; it pierces mountains with tunnels, delves deep into the bowels of the earth and bridges raging waters ; calls into action all the resources of the scientist and takes no account of the value of human life in the attainment of its results. It was this desire for gain that led to the early settlements in the north woods and although the ironmaster and the lumberman faced no great dangers in their efforts, both encountered unanticipated hardships and had to contend with many difficulties, in their pioneer work. Mr. Colvin says that "since the first settlement of New York there have been constant endeavors made to clear and cultivate the Adirondack wilder- ness. The crumbling buildings here and there upon its margin and along its roadsides, far into its depths, are the records of wasted effort, squandered capital and ruin." The discovery of vast beds of magnetic iron ore in different sections of the Adirondacks, was the first impulse given to the estabUshment of com- munities in this region. In 1803, iron ore was first taken from a bed near the Chateaugay River. In 1810, Mclntyre started the North Elba iron works. In 1827, a company of capitalists bought extensive The Story of Saranac 41 tracts of land and established the village of Adiron- dack in Macomb County, and started mines and iron works at the headwaters of the Hudson, on Lake Sandford, and along the outflowing river. These plants were many times increased in size and when one point was worked out another was built up. For some years, however, they have been practically abandoned, so that, so far as I know, the only active working establishments today are those at Lyon Mountain and at Mineville near Port Henry. According to the State geologist, the de- posits at Mineville, with a. record of twenty-five million tons, stand first as regards their richness of metal and can be expected to yield at least as great a quantity in the future. As to the Macomb County mines the report of the State geological survey for 1908, prepared by D. H. Newland, speaks of these deposits as finding few or no parallels in respect to magnitude, in the Eastern United States, and he adds that "they have recently been acquired by capitalists who are preparing to build a railroad to the locality and to enter upon extensive mining operations." Undoubtedly this industry will re- vive again and on an extended scale, for Winchell and other geologists tell us that iron ore exists in great abundance all through this region. The dif- ficulties of transportation and the cost of mining among the rugged rocks where iron is found, have, 42 The Story of Saranac so far, deterred monied men from undertaking any further similar enterprises. The axe of the lumberman was the next agent of civilization to penetrate the wooded depths of the Adirondack wilderness. The huntsmen were not slow to discover that the axe furnished a more reliable means of subsistence than the rifle, and in the long winter months the sound of falling trees re- sounded throughout the woods, and the destruction of the forests proceeded with unflagging zeal until the strong arm of the State interfered — by the Constitution of 1894, in which the cutting of tim- ber or the sale or exchange of lands already re- served for public uses, was forbidden — and thus curbed the ardor of those to whom the monarch of the woods meant only so many feet of timber or so much material for the pulp mill. Along the lines of transportation — railroads, rivers and wagon trails — are still seen the evidences of the widespread ravages of the destroying lumberman, and it is only away from the line of travel and in the heart of the north woods, that the tourist, the pleasure seeker, the sportsman or the invalid, can enjoy the majestic beauty, the solemn grandeur, the awe- inspiring quiet of this wonderful combination of forest, mountain and of lake. Rev. Dr. Murray said that an American artist travehng in Switzer- land, wrote home that, "having traveled over all The Story of Saranac 43 Switzerland arid the Rhine and Rhone regions, he had not met any scenery which, judged from a purely artistic point of view, combined so many beauties in connection with such grandeur, as the lakes, mountains and forests of the Adirondack region presented to the gazer's eye." Along the Saranac River in Winter In winter the lumberman lived in the woods, hewing down the trees and sledding them to the shores of the Saranac or Ausable where the spring freshets bore them swiftly onward to the sawmills, to Plattsburg and to Lake Champlain. These hardy workers became as well versed in the mys- 44 The Story of Saranac teries of woodcraft as the Indian and acquired the varied knowledge essential to independent life in the forest far from the haunts of man. In the spring and summer they turned the woodlore thus acquired to their advantage by acting as guides Saranac Lake and River in 1890 to the amateur sportsmen and pleasure seekers, for whom, in fast increasing numbers, the Adiron- dacks was becoming a sort of Mecca and an annual resort. To the lumbermen, the guides, the seekers after nature's choicest offerings in a realm where she still held undisputed sway, and later to the invalid, The Story of Saranac 45 to whom the balsamic properties of this region meant life and health and strength, is due the found- ing and the growth of its one large settlement, whose history is but little known, although, in view of its location and surroundings, it is today a mar- vel of enterprise and a wonder as a city built up in the wilderness. In 1840, the Adirondack region, that is, the in- ■ ft terior, was almost as unknown as the interior of Africa. There were few huts or houses and few visitors. All traveling was done by means of boats of small size and light build, rowed by a single guide and made so slight that the craft could be carried on his shoulders from pond to pond and stream to stream. Lumbering old-fashioned stages ran from Ausable, Plattsburg, Keeseville and one or two other points, bringing the traveler to the few inns or taverns, where guides were taken and embarkation made in boats for further journeyings, or to chosen camping points. Paul (Pol) Smith's on Lower St. Regis was the termination of one of these stage routes ; Hough's on Upper Saranac, and later Bartlett's, were objective poipts for the hunters; but the best known, perhaps, of these woodland hostelries was Martin's on Lower Saranac, or, as it is also called, "Lake of the Clustered Stars." Before Martin's was built, in 1850, Blood's Hotel, in Harrietstown, as the present Saranac Lake vil- 46 The Story of Saranac lage was then called, had a good reputation as a stopping place. Martin's was advertised as a point of departure for stages "dailj^ and tri-weekly for ApoUos (Pol) Smith's, Hough's, North Elba, Keene, etc.," and, for the benefit of lady guests presumably, it was added, "a fine croquet ground is connected with the premises." I must acknowledge my indebtedness for many of my facts, in connection with the settlement of Harrietstown and its development into the flourish- ing town of Saranac Lake, to a short historical sketch, written by John Harding, the genial and enterprising former president of the town and now president of its board of trade, in the Northern New Yorker, one of the local papers; and to Dr. E. R. Baldwin, for many years Dr. Trudeau's leading assistant. The whole world owes to Dr. Trudeau a debt of gratitude which it never can repay ; of his labors and skill the sanatorium is a lasting monu- ment, and the flourishing settlement under the pro- tecting heights of Pisgah and Baker, his debtor, for its marvellous growth and substantial prosperity. In 1819, the first permanent settler built his home in the eastern end of what is now known as "Saranac Lake." His name was Jacob Moody, a name, through his descendants, well known through- out the North Woods, and here in the year of his coming, was born his son Cortez, to whom belongs View of Saranac in 1907 The Story of Saranac 51 the distinction of being the first white child that came into the world in this wilderness. Moody's occupation was hunting, fishing and guiding, with a little farming thrown in as a diversion, but as Hard- ing says, "Adirondack farming, then as now, yield- ed more mortgages and rocks than hay, grain or potatoes." Four or five years later came Captain Pliny Miller from Albany, a soldier in the war of 1812, who bought three hundred acres of land upon which the principal part of the village is built. He erected the dam and sawmill on the Saranac River, and opposite the latter, where now stands the River- side Inn, was his residence. The place soon be- came the centre of vast lumbering interests, the headquarters for the lumbermen of that district, and the starting point of the spring drive of logs down the stream to Plattsburg. Miller's grandson opened the first store, which, we are told, was a great convenience to the settlers, as they had been obliged to send to Bloomingdale and Ausable for all their provisions and even for their clothing, of which the rigorous Adirondack winters required an abundant supply. The little place at this time consisted of the sawmill. Miller's store, which contained the postoffice. Blood's Ho- tel and the Berkeley — two small structures — and a dozen or so huts or rude frame houses belonging to the lumbermen and to the guides. 52 The Story of Saranac In 1849, W. F. Martin leased the home of Cap- tain Miller and converted it into a hotel, for the better accommodation of the sportsmen. Two years later, despite the protests of his fellow towns- men, who regarded him as visionary and reckless, Main Street and Riverside Inn in 1892 he erected, at the foot of the beautiful lake, a mile or more outside the village, a two-stoiy frame build- ing which was the nucleus of the famous "Mar- tin's," the headquarters not only for hunters, fish- ermen and campers but for the scientists and others who were attracted to the lake region by its wild grandeur and wondei-ful rock formations. The Story of Saranac 53 V- C. Bartlett and Colonel Milote Baker were the next settlers of note, who established themselves here in 1851, Bartlett leasing Miller's old home in the village, vacated by Martin. lie started a stage line direct to Keeseville, then the only en- Martin's Old Hotel trance to that part of the wilderness, by a long, rough road of sixty miles. Here he lived for three years, and, in 1855, penetrating into the wilder and less known portion of the woods, settled on what was then called "Bartlett's Carry," between Round Lake and Upper Saranac, and in his somewhat primitive quarters, catered principally to the wants 54 The Story of Saranac of the nomadic sportsman. What was once "Bart- lett's," and is still called by that name, by the older guides and visitors, is now owned by the Saranac club. Milote Baker built the house still . standing on The Baker Cottage, once the home of Stevenson the river's bank, on the outskirts of the village, at Baker's Bridge, where, several years later (1888), lived Robert Louis Stevenson, "railing against the climate," says Hamilton Mabie, "and nursing a big wood fire with much picturesque and miniatory language." The attractions of the Adirondacks as a resort The Story of Saranac 55 for the pleasure seeker and the tourist were inter- estingly portrayed by the Rev. Dr. Murray. He first came into the mountains in 1867, and said of Martin's that it was, "the best point for starting into the woods, and my usual point. Here is found some of the sublimest scenery in the world and the Saranac guides are surpassed by none." Many of the latter, doubtless, would eniunerate their quali- fications as did one, of whom was asked the ques- tion: "Are you a capable guide?" "Sure," was the prompt response, "I'll do the shooting, bring home the game and let you say you did — and lick any- body that says you didn't do it." In 1874, Dr. E. L. Trudeau came to Saranac Lake a victim of tuberculosis, and supposedly under a death sentence. He made the little hamlet famous as a health resort, which is the key to its present prosperity. "With a courage as intrepid as Ney's," said Hamilton Mabie, in The Outlook, of April 28, 1906, "he has accomplished a work which puts him in the front rank of scientists in his field, and has rendered a sei-vice to his generation which places him among the foremost public men of America." Thirty years ago Saranac Lake was still a primi- tive settlement, giving no signs of that rapid de- velopment which has marked its history during the past fifteen years. 56 The Story of Saranac In 1877, William Shakespeare, Esq., a lawyer of Philadelphia, was led to visit the place and in a book called "Exiles in the Adirondacks," pubhshed by him for private circulation only, gives his im- pressions of Saranac Lake as he saw it. His de- Saranac Lake and River in 1907 scription is picturesque and probably accurate as to the conditions at that time, so I may be pardoned for quoting it here. "The miserable hamlet of Saranac Lake — its present name twice changed from that of Baker's and Harrietstown — consists of about fifty or sixty log and frame houses, and has a population of The Story of Saranac 57 three or four hundred. It is in a deep basin, with hills on every side, and on the main branch of the Saranac River. It is nearly forty miles from the ter- minus of the branch railroad from Plattsburg to Ausable and is reached by a daily stage. It is also a telegraph station. ... It has two country stores with the usual heterogeneous assortment of coarse dry-goods, boots and shoes, groceries, hardware and quack medicines. An old rickety sawmill sup- plies the place and neighborhood with building ma- terials and a steam mill occasionally makes shingles and clapboards. There is a small grist-mill, and one shoemaker, but no tailor. The barber of the place is a peripatetic on crutches, going from house to house, or room to room, on call, in the discharge of his tonsorial duties, and doing the main headwork of the community. To the everlasting honor of Saranac Lake it must be said that it has ho law- yers or newspaper editors. . . . One good doctor of medicine Saranac Lake perforce has during the winter, the intrepid and heroic Trudeau, who for some years has here sought to regain his shattered health and has not sought it in vain, despite the wretched, lonely environments. . . . Saranac Lake has one flourishing tavern, whose landlord, it is needless to say, is the richest man in the place, and who, publican and sinner that he is, gave us the choice of a half acre lot on which to erect our 58 The Story of Saranac church (Episcopal). A traditional blacksmith shop and two large boarding houses complete the list of our attractions." I will add to this account by saying, what Mr. Shakespeare forgot to men- tion, that the first school house was opened in 1838, Main Street, Saranac Lake in 1895 and this was supplemented in 1843 by another, when there were twelve pupils in one, and nineteen in the other. Now note the changes from Mr. Shakespeare's picture within the last twenty-seven years. In 1880, he fixed the population at "three to four hundred." In a decade it reached 768. In 1892, The Story of Saranac 59 when the village was incorporated, the number was 1,161; in 1900, 2,594; in 1906, 4,000, and in 1908, the total exceeds 6,000, of whom perhaps one-sixth are invalids, seeking the shelter and comforts of the town for the winter months after being scattered throughout the region in summer^ In 1888, the Chateaugay railroad, the first rail- way into the Adirondacks, and built by the Chat- eaugay Iron Ore Company, extended its narrow gauge to Saranac Lake. A few years later the New York Central put in a spur from its Montreal line at Lake Clear. Then the Delaware and Hud- son railroad purchased the Chateaugay, made it standard gauge, and the two roads united in the building of a large, handsome and convenient sta- tion. The incorporated village occupied an area a mile square. Dr. Trudeau was its first president. The amount allowed to the village authorities for nec- essary expenses, the first year, was $500; in 1907, $22,000 was collected in taxes. The real and per- sonal estate in 1892 was valued at $136,000; in 1906, at $1,542,350. In 1893, the board of sewer and water commis- sioners put in a complete sewerage system at a cost of $75,000. Three and a half miles of iron pipe, re^ quiring an expenditure of $150,000, was laid to bring water to the village from McKenzie Lake, 60 The Story of Saranac "fed by springs, in whose watershed there is not a human habitation, surrounded by State forest land and protected by the stringent rules of the State board of health, prohibiting boating on or bathing in its waters, or any camping on its shores." The Berkeley, Main Street and Broadway An appropriation of $75,000 was made last year, (1908), for re-paving and re-surfacing the streets. The work was begun in September, and it is in- tended to have good roads throughout the town — ■ an example that might be profitably followed by many places much larger in size, wealthier in re- sources, and scores of years its senior in age. The Story of Saranac 61 An extensive electric light plant has taken the location on the river formerly occupied by the old pioneer sawmill. There are two thriving banks and a trust company is talked of. Two newspapers give the news of the place and of the other settle- The Bank in Saranac Lake ments in the woods; several lawyers would compel Mr. Shakespeare to withdraw his expressions of gratitude for their non-existence; the talent and excellent taste of many architects living here has been recognized by the wealthy owners of "camps," cottages and more pretentious buildings not only in this immediate region, but even in distant places. 62 The Story of Saranac Your mail is delivered at your door, and you can talk to your wife or broker, in any part of the country, over one telephone system, and get an an- swer over another. Trolley wires may at any time make the city man feel thoroughly at home, and Broadway, Saranac Lake not only will he be electrically transported through the streets of this "wretched hamlet," but in the same manner he may be conveyed to the shores of Lake Champlain — if he sits still long enough and the plans of the promoters are carried into effect! The business streets of Saranac Lake are lined with large, handsome stores, of brick and stone, as The Story of Saranac 63 abundantly supplied with all required commodities as are the mercantile establishments in large cities — and at about the same figures. Scores of attractive and substantial houses will be found all through the residence portion of the town, while in the new A Residence in Highland Park and beautifully located Highland Park, on the hillside, off the Bloomingdale road, are fine homes that would attract attention anywhere. Five churches furnish food for the souls of men, and a free public library gives sustenance to the mind, while the High school takes care of one thousand pupils, and thus meets the present educa- 64 The Story of Saranac tional requirements of the towns-people. Twenty years ago Dr. Trudeau built here the first labora- tory in the United States for original researches in tubercidosis. This little mountain town is one of the healthiest The Ice Palace in 1906 places in the country, the total mortality, according to Dr. McClellan, the health ofiicer, being about 11.82 per 1,000. In ten years there had been twenty cases of diphtheria, three of small pox and occasional ones of scarlet fever and measles, and not a death from any of these diseases. It is of course understood that these statistics do not apply The Story of Saranac 65 to those who are brought to Saranac Lake already ill, dr to sanatorium patients. It is not my purpose to write of the wonderfully successful cottage sanatorium, the first of its kind in this country, founded in 1885, by Dr. Trudeau, on the side of Mt. Pisgah "with Whiteface and Marcy and their kindred peaks against the horizon and the river flowing through the heart of the land- scape." Its wonderful work is well known through- out the land. "Stony Wold" on Lake Kushaqua, for working girls and children; St. Gabriel's, near Paul Smith's, and the State Sanatorium at Ray Brook, are more recent institutions, on the same general plan as to treatment and for the same pur- pose, while the attractive reception hospital in Sara- nac Lake is an adjunct to or complement of the Adirondack sanatorium. It is in the winter months, when "it is all a fairy- land of supreme enchantment" that Saranac Lake is seen in gayest mood. Beginning in 1898, the Pon- tiac club has given an ice carnival every other year, which has attracted visitors from different parts of the United States and from Canada. In no other place in North America, so far as I know, since Montreal has given it up, is there built an elaborate ice palace, whose walls are sometimes found still standing as late as the month of May. The most expert skaters in the country come here 66 The Story of Saranac to match their skill and to take part in the ice races ; hockey games are open to all comers and fleet horses are daily seen on the race course laid out upon the frozen waters of the lake. There are parades with numerous descriptive floats, extended electric illu- minations and elaborate fireworks; the days are filled with social entertainments, and innumerable sleighs with their heavily fur clad occupants glide swiftly in all directions, "on fun and pleasure bent." And all this life and animation in the town in the heart of the wilderness which but a few years ago consisted of "half a dozen houses and a small hotel." So, with all its varied attractions — its gaiety and life in the cold months and the beauty of its surroundings in summer; the enterprise and ac- tivity of its citizens and its steady growth and de- velopment, together with the peculiar charm of its winter social life — ^it is no wonder that the poet, Thomas Bailey Aldrich, who lived here for three years, in a letter to James Russell Lowell, should have said of Saranac Lake: "When all is said there is a charm in the place. There is something in the air to heal the heart of sorrow." The greatest natural attraction of the place and the magnet that draws to it a multitude of pleasure seekers in the summer months, is the beautiful lake, studded with half a hundred romantic islands of all shapes and sizes, from Eagle Island to Little The Story of Saranac 67 Gull Rock ; its rugged shores indented by numerous bays and distinguished by countless promontories; "whose waters quaflf the light of heaven," while the in-flowing and out -going river invites the oarsman and canoeist to paddle 'neath the shade of its forest Fish Creek archways. "Fish Creek" winds its tortuous course through the sombre woods, "in which the fantastic forms of withered limbs that have been blasted and riven by lightning, contrast strangely with the ver- dant freshness of the younger growth of branches." Few tragedies are hidden in the depth of these waters — so placid and so beautiful in sunshine, so The Smith Camp The Living Room of The Smith Camp The Story of Saranac 69 rough and terrible in tempest. To see a storm coming up over the lake, the angry clouds reflected in the darkened mirror below, flecked with white- caps by the driving wind and the glare of the light- ning flash, followed by the thunder's roll, echoed through the suiTOunding mountains, is a sight of appalling grandeur never to be forgotten and equalled only by the unrivalled cloud paintings of a succeeding sunset. I have often witnessed a sud- den wind storm bow low the mighty forest trees as though they were so many feathers, rushing over the water, its course marked by the foam of angry waves, with a roaring accompaniment like a con- tinuous discharge of heavy artillery, yet leaving behind, as it passed away, a wood and water scene of unsurpassing beauty, colored with the richest tints of an undimmed sun. Around the lower end of this sylvan lake are many beautiful "camps" as they are called in the language of the woods — a term which gives no idea of their durability of construction, picturesque ap- pearance and luxurious outfittings. Among the most elaborate, as well as the most recent of these "camps," are those belonging to Mr. Smith and to Mr. Floyd Jones. The latter particularly is a model of artistic beauty in perfect harmony with its forest surroundings. The late Senator Mark Hanna's attractive bungalow and pretty boat The Floyd Jones Camp Interior of the Floyd Jones Camp The Story of Saranac 71 house was for some time his son's simimer home, and near by is the "camp" where Mark Twain spent two seasons. The Limburger Camp is built of stone and, with its beautiful grounds, seems somewhat of an anomaly in the Adirondacks. Fur- ther up the lake, on the western shore, "KnoUwood" with its six picturesque Swiss chalets and central casino and boathouse combined, planted right in the midst of and almost hidden by the dense forest, is tasteful and original both in its design and in its execution. All the "camps," and the two summer hotels, are located at the lower end of the lake, while the upper end is as wild and practically untouched by the hand of man as in the days when the Indian skimmed its waters in his bark canoe. But a short distance away, at the foot of rocky Ampersand, lies Ampersand Pond — "most lovely in its isolation, most bewitching in its loveliness." Here, where in olden time the magicians of the Sar- anac Indians are said to have held their mystic rites for raising the spirits of the dead, was built bj^ Martin what was known as the "Philosophers' Camp" where Emerson, Lowell, Judge Hoar, Dr. Howe, Stillman, Binney and Agassiz, sought that rest and peace and re-invigoration found in close association with the works of nature. In The Century for August, 1893, W. J. Still- man gives a most interesting history of this brainy 72 The Story of Saranac camping party and its daily life in the woods — a story told at length by Emerson in his poem, "The Adirondacks," which Stillman calls "the most Ho- meric and Hellenic of all nature poems ever writ- ten." Their first camp, in 1858, was at FoUanshee Pond, a small lake of the Raquette Chain, and was called by Lowell "Camp Maple." Of their journey to this place, Emerson says: "Next morn we swept with oars the Saranac With skies of benediction, to Round Lake, Where all the sacred mountains drew around us Pleased with these grand companions, we glide on, Instead of flowers, crowned with a wreath of hills. We made our distance wider, boat from boat, As each would hear the oracle alone. By the bright moon the gay flotilla slid Through files of flags that gleamed like bayonets, On through the Upper Saranac, and up Pere Raquette stream, to a small tortuous pass Winding through grassy shallows in and out. Two creeping miles of rushes, pads and sponge To Follansbee water and the Lake of Loons." Here the summer was passed with so much real pleasure and happiness that: "We planned That we should build, hard by, a spacious lodge,; And how we should come hither, with our sons Hereafter." The Story of Saranac 73 Mr. Stillman has certainly drawn a most attrac- tive picture of these great brainy men enjojdng their vacation, like school boys, in their Adiron- dack camp. At first the philosophic Emerson, al- though he had brought a rifle, could not be persuad- ed to join in the hunting, but, after Lowell had killed his deer, Emerson caught the fever and tried night-hunting. When the guide had brought him within easy rifle shot however, he could not decide to shoot, and his companion had to secure the cove- ted vension. Emerson could not understand why he did not seem to be able to see the quarry and said: "I must kill a deer before we go, even if the guide has to hold him by the tail." He never realized the gratification of his desires. In the mornings Agassiz and Wyman, aided by Howe and Holmes : "Dissected the slain deer, weighed the trout's brain, Captured the lizard, salamander, shrew, Crab, mice, snail, minnow and moth." Lowell, Judge Hoar, Stillman and sometimes Emerson, hunted and fished: "All day we swept the Lake, searched every cove Watching when the loud dogs should drive in deer, Or whipping its rough surface for a trout; Or bathers, diving from the rock at noon. 74 The Story of Saranac At the close of this first summer a permanent camp and meeting place was selected at Ampersand Pond, which became known throughout the region as "Philosophers' Camp," and this was continued until the outbreak of the Civil war. Referring to the "Philosophers' Camp," or "Ad- irondack Club," as he calls it, Dr. Henry Van Dyke says: "In 1878, when I spent three, weeks at Am- persand, the cabin was in ruins, and surrounded by an almost impenetrable growth of bushes. The only "philosophers" to be seen were a family of what the guides; quaintly call "quill pigs." [Shades of Emerson, Agassiz, Lowell, Hoar and the other worthies who hallowed this spot, pardon the genial Doctor for this descent from the sublime.] The roof had fallen to the ground; raspberry bushes thrust themselves through the yawning crevices be- tween the logs ; and in front of the sunken door-sill lay a rusty, broken iron stove, like a dismantled altar on which the fire had gone out forever." Of the rugged mountain which dominates this pond. Dr. Van Dyke says, in his chapter on "Am- persand" in "Little Rivers": "It has been my good luck to climb many of the peaks of the Adirondacks — Dix, The Dial, Hurricane, The Giant of the Val- ley, Marcy, and Whiteface — but I do not think the outlook from any of them is so wonderful and lovely as that from little Ampersand." Dr. W. W. Ely, The Story of Saranac 75 of Rochester, a sportsman and lover of the Adiron- dacks, was the first to blaze a trail up Ampersand Mountain. The glory of the forest is at its height as the Along the Saranac River in Summer summer passes away. Then comes what Whittier •calls : "Nature's holocaust Burned gold and crimson over all the hills, The sacramental mystery of the woods." No country can compare with ours in richness of its autumn scenery. The mountains of the eastern Tvorld are not so thickly wooded and cannot there- 76 The Story of Saranac foi'e exhibit such a mass of foUage. Stand on a hill above "Salaranac," overlooking the vast wilder- ness, at this season, and marvel at the striking beauty of the scene before you. The maples, a mass of red, blaze like fire among the evergreens, while the j^ellow of the beeches, the purple of the black ash and cherry are interspersed throughout by the magic touch of Him, revealed in Nature and by Nature, as the Great Artist whom man. His own creation, can only imitate; never rival. So ends my story of the region I love so well ; where for nearly a score of years I have found new life and renewed my health and strength. And to my readers, as my endorsement, I quote the words of the poet Longfellow: "If thou art worn and hard beset With sorrows, that thou wouldst forget; If thou wouldst read a lesson that will keep Thy heart from fainting and thy soul from sleep, Go to the woods and hills ! No tears Dim the sweet look that Nature wears." NOTE. Moose in the Adieondacks I have heard many times considerable discussion as to the game of the North Woods, and as to the existence or non-existence, now or at any time, of any numlier of moose. I find in The Century for January 1894! an inter- esting article, by Madison Grant, on "The Vanishing Moose and its Extermination in the Adirondacks." As bearing on this matter I will quote a few passages from it. Mr. Grant says : — "So complete has been the disappear- ance of moose that one actually hears people question the fact that they ever lived in the Adirondacks, where forty years ago they were well-known. . . . Twenty years ago (1874!) the wolves all vanished from the North Woods in one season, without any known cause, and the similar disappearance of moose from the same region is the strangest incident in the natural history of New York. Before the advent of the white hunter, the moose are believed to have exceeded in number the deer in that beau- tiful country. . . . There are • still many Moose rivers, creeks, lakes, and ponds. . . . The country south of Mud Lake was their headquarters long after they had vanished from the surrounding region. . . . The Adirondacks were the hunting grounds of the Six Nations and of the Cana- dian Indians for their winter supply of moose-meat and the bones of many a dusky warrior, slain in the savage 78 The Story of Saranac combats between the rival tribes, lie under the pines and spruces by the lakes he loved so well. . . . The year 1861 appears to have been that of the final disappearance of the moose, although Verplanck Colvin asserts that 1863 is more correct. In the autumn of 1861 a cow moose was killed on the east inlet of Raquette Lake (by a guide named Palmer) 'the last known native of his race in New York State.' The father of Reuben Reynolds, a Saranac guide, told of killing a bull moose which was mired in Fish Creek on Lower Saranac. In October, 1866, a young bull was shot on Long Lake, but he was undoubtedly one of several turned loose by a Game Club near Lake Placid. . . . There is no doubt but that the moose could be re- stored to its former haunts in the Adirondacks with very little intelligent outlay."