History

Thomas Cole, Hudson River School of American Landscape Painting, Returns to Long Lake

Thomas Cole, founder of the Hudson River School of American landscape painting, visited Long Lake, NY in 1846. Cole was accompanied by his student, Benjamen McConkey from Ohio, Louis Legrand Noble, his pastor and eventual biographer from St. Luke’s Church in Catskill, N,Y, and the noted Adirondack guide, John Cheney. He produced many sketches of the area on this trip and completed at least two paintings of Long Lake in his studio after wards, though these paintings have been “lost” to the world of art history—in fact, Hudson River School scholars have doubted or ignored their existence, denying the locality of Long Lake a place on Cole’s artistic map and completely obscuring our place in the annals of our first great National school of art.

This September on Monday, the 28th, Matt DeLaMater, Research Fellow at the New York State Museum and doctoral student at SUNY Albany , will revisit Cole’s trip to Long Lake with slides of his drawings and paintings. DeLaMater, a summer resident, is trying to locate the paintings Cole produced of Long Lake, and restore formal recognition to the importance of Cole’s Adirondack visits.

Thomas Cole

Thomas Cole

Research on Cole has taken DeLaMater to Detroit Institute of Arts, the Albany Institute of History and Art, Cedar Grove, and Cole’s home in Catskill. NY. He hopes you will be able to assist him in identifying Long Lake locations from whence Cole sketched beaches, boats, rocks and trees, etc. as well as in helping to confirm the paintings in question.

The Long Lake Historical Society together with the CVW Long Lake Public Library are the sponsors of this event which will be held at 7:00 pm at the Long Lake Library. Admission is free, all are welcome.

Princeton University Cole Collection

Long Lake First View Thomas Cole

american-lake-scene-1844.jpg!Blog

Long Lake Historic Society Presents August 22nd

The Long Lake Historical Society Weekend kicks off on Friday, August 21st with an Annual Members Meeting at the Long Lake Town Hall at 4pm. On Saturday, August 22nd, join Long Lake Town Archivist Abbie Verner for a discussion of an intriguing international incident.

Was it an accident or murder?

Long Lake, NY Aug 10, 2015. Two Russians drowned in Long Lake, NY in 1925. On Saturday evening, August 22, 2015, 7:30 p.m., at the Long Lake Town Hall, the Long Lake Historical Society will present a program, It Happened in Long Lake.

The two men, Khurgin and Skliansky, were prominent Soviet citizens and active in the politics of Soviet Russia. The program outlines their backgrounds, their family information and the possible reason for their visit.
Admission is free. Contributions are welcome.

The Long Lake Historical Society was founded in 2008, and collects books, papers, maps, diaries, photographs and ephemera pertaining to the Town of Long Lake and its residents both year-round and seasonal.

Skilansky reviewing Red Army Cadets

Skilansky reviewing Red Army Cadets

Skliansky with mother and son.docx

Citizen Tait of Long Lake

The artist, Arthur Fitzgerald Tait, moved to Long Lake in the heart of the Adirondacks in 1874. Tait, his wife and her half-sister first resided in summer in an elaborate lean-to on South Pond near Long Lake, bathing and dining at Palmer’s House in Deerland. Later Tait purchased 100 acres and built a home on the west shore of Long Lake near the present-day bridge. Two of his sons were born in Long Lake. The Helms and Palmer families were close to the Tait family. Mrs. Helms helped deliver the Tait babies. Tait was considered a member of the Long Lake community and was appointed by the Town Board to serve on a committee to investigate allegations made against the Town Supervisor. Further investigation proved no wrongdoing by the accused and the matter was dropped.

Artist Arthur F. Tait 1877

On Friday evening August 17th, 2012 at 7:30 p.m., Caroline Welsh, Director Emerita of the Adirondack Museum will give a talk on Tait and his Adirondack paintings many of which were painted in the Long Lake vicinity. Long Lake Historical Society and the Town of Long Lake are sponsors of the annual “Historical Showcase” in the Long Lake Town Hall. After the lecture Mrs. Welsh will sign copies of her book “The Adirondack World of A. F. Tait” with contributions by Laura S. Rice and Katherine W. Baumgartner, and published by The Adirondack Museum. All are welcome to attend the lecture and to enjoy the Historical Society’s exhibit of farm, mining, trapping and carpentry equipment used by early families of Long Lake. Photographs of Long Lakers, both summer and year-rounders, who have served in the military will be on view. Information and photos of a nationally prominent Long Laker serving in the Obama administration will also be displayed.

On Saturday evening, August 18th, 2012 at 7:30 p.m., Chris Jennings Blumberg, Long Lake School Board member, will offer a program on the history of the Schools, Teachers and Students of Long Lake. The complete schedule of events follows:

Friday 8/17/12 – Exhibit opens at 6 p.m., Tait lecture at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday 8/18/12 – Exhibit and Historic Society Annual Meeting open at 1 p.m. and School lecture at 7:30 p.m.

Long Lake Archives Receives Major Gift

More than 1000 postcard images of Long Lake views, buildings, boats, hotels etc. on 12 disks arrived at the Long Lake Archives Building this week. Lorrie Hosley of Hoss’s Country Corner collected the postcards and loaned them to Hilary (Guy) LeBlanc for copying onto disks so the images could be part of the Town’s collection. Some are unique and rare picture postcards dating all the way back to 1905.

One example is this picture of the Sagamore Hotel dining room annex. A rare find, it shows an attractive dining area with lots of sunshine coming through a multitude of windows, overlooking Long Lake.

Another, shows campers at the reopening of Camp Onondaga in 1946. They are posed on the beach displaying their woodcraft projects: a bedside table, a bookcase and two
kayak-shaped boats.

The Long Lake West railroad station is pictured which must have been taken before 1908 as the great forest fire of 1908 destroyed the town. Another exciting find was a postcard dated September 18, 1908 written by someone’s Cousin Addie. She complains that it is “awfully hot and dry….it never was so dry and smoky.” Nine days later the railroad station, hotel, school, electric light powerhouse, 2 blacksmith shops, an icehouse, a residence, office and a dozen cottages were all gone. A rescue train from Tupper Lake carried the 75 residents to safety.

The dining room of the old Cobble Stone Inn taken in 1929 is a painful reminder of the day the Blarney Stone (its new name) burned down. That happened just a few years ago. Almost everyone in this town, and summer visitors as well, had dined and had a few drinks at the Cobblestone/Blarney Stone over the years.

Another remnant of the past is shown in the next picture. This dinosaur of downhill skiing, the infamous Rope Tow, carried Long Lake children up the old Sabattis golf course hill and even a few adults made it to the top.

Thanks to Lorrie Hosley for giving us this peek into Long Lake’s past. Hilary (Guy) LeBlanc, retired Conservation Officer, volunteers for the Town of Long Lake Archives. Over the years he has produced more that 100 disks containing almost 25000 images.

Contact:
Abbie Verner, Archivist
Town of Long Lake
Box 42
Long Lake, NY 12847
518-624-5374
llarchives@frontiernet.net

Long Lake History Lesson. All About Endion

LONG LAKE HISTORICAL SOCIETY NEWSLETTER
February 27, 2012

A large crowd assembled Monday afternoon in the Community Room of the Wesleyan Church to listen to Tom Bissell expound on his beloved Endion.

He started off by declaring he lived on Lot 79 of the Totten and Crossfield Township 21. Most of the Town of Long Lake is in Township 21. Totten and Crossfield, mariners from NYC, made a deal to buy 1 million acres from the Indians. The deal became final after getting permission from the British government and in 1772 the land was surveyed into great lots ½ mile wide and 5/8 miles long. Tom emphasized how lucky Long Lake was because our land was surveyed whereas the land in Raquette Lake was not, and they’re still trying to figure out who owns what.

Endion, Tom explained, was 82 acres. The rest of the great lot is in the lake. The acreage here was settled early because like the Kickerville Road and Big Brook area, the land was flat and more suitable for farming. Tom’s grandmother, Lena Talbot Bissell, together with her husband, James Bissell (they were married in 1879) and Andrew Fisher bought the property from Robert Shaw, the Renaissance man of Long Lake (he doctored, he lawyered, managed investments, ran a store, the town and the Wesleyan Church). James was an accomplished carpenter and cabinet maker, and Andrew was a builder. He built St. Henry’s church and also built in Deerland.

The original hotel building was in the Queen Anne style, later additions changed the original design.

Endion 1893

Endion in 1893.

Frederick Durant, a relative of William West Durant, built the Prospect House in Blue Mountain Lake in 1882. He advised Lena to purchase Endion in 1887. Technically, Andrew Fisher bought the 82 acre property for $12,000 and Durant held a mortgage of $300. Tom added an aside here, regarding the timing of the purchase of Endion. “The flush toilet had been invented by the time Endion was built, so unlike the Prospect House, there was no need for a two-story outhouse.”

Endion was named Endion in 1894. Supposedly Frederick Remington learned that “Endion” meant “Home.” It was aid that he learned the word from an Indian he met on a canoe trip in Canada. Tom later learned that Remington’s residence was also named Endion.

We next heard about Clayton Cole who owned Lot 78 just south of Endion. At that time it was common to set fire to the woods to improve the blueberry crop. Harney, one of the hermits on the lake was known to have burned three mountains. Canned blueberries were essential to the winter diet of Long Lakers since there were no grocery stores to provide the settlers with fruit or vegetables during the cold months. Lena Bissell bought out Mr. Cole in 1903,when two of his fires came too close to Endion.

Cole had a son, Sylvestor, known to everyone as Vet Cole. In 1938 in his old age, he lost his home to a fire.. Neighbors all chipped in and built him a new home with new furnishings. One neighbor stopped in to take a look and found the bathtub in the new home filled with coal up to the top. Apparently, keeping warm was more important than keeping clean.

Vet had a guideboat and he would row up and down the lake trolling for fish and often stopped for a meal at Endion. One day he stopped and Tom’s mother (not Lena) invited him for a meal. Vet agreed and took a seat on the porch step (outside the building). Mrs. Bissell carried out a plate of food and had to lean down to hand Vet the food. Glancing up at her face, Vet pronounced, “Mrs. Bissell, you’ve lost your looks.” Tactfulness as with cleanliness was not Vet’s strong point. Mrs. Bissell didn’t seem to mind as she was the one who told the story, according to Tom.

Vet Cole with fish c 1920


Vet Cole with fish c. 1920

In 1904, Tom’s grandfather James, moved to Newcomb leaving Lena, their son Talbot, and daughter, Louise, and Andrew Fisher at Endion. Tom found a penciled note years later when he was renovating the dining room in his home. It read “Wish I were dead, my troubles are great.” But, there were no details in the note regarding what kind of troubles he was talking about although, his wife, Lena, claimed that he was a big drinker. Later that same year, Andrew Fisher died. According to Tom, James Bissell got some of his Newcomb friends together and they came over to Long Lake and had a “horning” to celebrate Andrew Fisher’s death.

Tom’s father, Talbot Bissell was born in 1888, his sister Louise was born in 1893. Talbot went to the Deerland School and later to the prep school, Lawrence Academy, in Groton, MA. Lawrence Academy is where he met Alice Williams, his wife-to-be. She was visiting her sister who was married to the headmaster. Now everyone knows how a young woman from Charleston, South Carolina met a young man from the Adirondacks. They had two sons, Talbot, Jr. and Tom. Talbot, Sr. died in 1941, Talbot Jr. (Tally) served in the Pacific during WWII. Tom’s mother and eventually Tom continued to operate Endion. The property had been left in a trust in order to protect Sister, Tom’s aunt, who had had polio and meningitis when a child. Thanks to one of Endion’s visitors, Walter Saul, the trust was broken so that Tom and his mother could deal appropriately with the property. The Saul family had been guests at Endion for years. Eventually, there were so many children and grandchildren there was not enough room for them at Endion so they bought Forked Pine, a camp, down the lake near Round Island.

Lena Talbot Bissell

Lena Talbot Bissell 1863-1926

The hotel only had about 8 or 9 bedrooms, as Lena had decided to build cottages instead of adding on to the main house.

The 1890s until WWI were very profitable for the hotels in Long Lake. The 20s were also profitable but the thirties were a disaster, economically speaking, because of the great depression. It was a major accomplishment if one was able to keep one’s property. After WWII, the automobile made the Adirondacks very accessible and the old way of staying in one hotel or resort for a month or the entire summer ended. The main building at Endion was torn down after WWII and the Bissells, Jane and Tom, rented their cottages until the mid 1960s when Tom decided to sell the cottages. Many of the families who had been coming to Endion for years jumped at the chance to have their own cottage.

Log Cabin at Endion

This is just a brief summary of Tom’s talk. Here’s a picture of Endion as it looks today. This is a hand hewn log cabin built by Tom circa 20 years ago. It is located on the site of the hotel, next to Tom and Jane’s home.

Long Lake Historical Society
P. O. Box 201
Long Lake, NY 12847
518-624-5374
llarchives@frontiernet.net

LONG LAKE ARCHIVES ACQUIRES LARGE COLLECTION OF PHOTOS

Long Lake, NY – Copies of Sutton family photographs have been added to the Long Lake Archives Collection, thanks to Patty Sutton Tokarz. Her father, Duane Sutton, who died in 2005, was an inveterate photographer throughout his life. He served on the USS Springfield at the end of World War II and Sutton photographed the ship at sea from all angles reminiscent of Charles Sheeler’s paintings (see below). He also photographed the crew at work at their various jobs mopping the deck and getting a haircut.

USS Springfield - photo by Duane Sutton

He photographed everyday occurrences in the Adirondacks such as shoveling snow off roofs in the winter, lumbering operations, driving the school bus. Also part of the collection are Sutton ancestors including the picture of his mother Angeline.

Angeline Sutton

Photos of his grandfather, Willard Sutton, a guide and his father, Clint, who was also a guide, contractor and a lumberman are present. There is also an account of a fishing trip on the Raquette River with Clint Sutton as guide. 1000 images is a rough estimate of the number of photographs.

Sutton took many pictures of his various trucks, his cars and in his younger days, his girl friends. A few have been identified . . . Nellie Staves and Mary Wilson as young women.

Sutton also photographed unique occurrences as the arduous journey by road (not railroad track) of the Belmont private Pullman car, the “Oriental”, to the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake.

The photos have been copied onto discs by Hilary LeBlanc who has been instrumental in preserving most of the photographs on discs for the Archive’s collection. As soon as the photos are cataloged, it is planned that some will be featured in the Historical Showcase in the summer at the Long Lake Town Hall. All in all, the Sutton Collection is a wonderful addition to the Long Lake archives and thanks are due both Patty Tokarz and Hilary LeBlanc for making this project possible.

Long Lake