Adirondack gold Pages
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Schroon Lake 1804 - 2004

The Town of Schroon has the distinction of being named either for French nobility or a native American princess. The true origin of the name, which first appeared on maps in the later 18th Century, is lost in history. The river and lake that dissect the town were once simply called the East Branch of the Hudson River.

The towns of the Champlain Valley were peopled a good 100 years before the first settlers, some veterans of the American Revolution, began trickling up into the Adirondack Mountains. Schroon's pioneers made their living lumbering and tanning, sending their products downstream on the Schroon and the Hudson Rivers. They cleared land, established small farms, and built grist mills, schools and meeting houses. They opened small taverns where teamsters and their horses could rest during the arduous journey into the central and northern Adirondacks. In time lumbering became the dominant business, with seemingly limitless hills full of marketable trees that could be cut and sent down to the mills of Warrensburg and Glens Falls. Steamboats were commissioned to ply Schroon Lake, dragging huge booms of logs south to the lower Schroon River.

Starr Platt, member of a family that established many roots in the region, was commissioned to lay out the Great Northern Turnpike from Sandy Hill (Hudson Falls) to Keeseville. The wagon path already existed in the Schroon Valley, a natural corridor through which Route 9 and the Adirondack Northway were later built.

Schroon attracted the wealthy and adventurous from its beginnings, and Col. Andrew Ireland bought Isabella (now Word of Life Island) in the 1850's with the plan of establishing a manor house there. But it was not until 1872, when the Adirondack Railroad was completed to Riparius, that large numbers of tourists could arrive. Stagecoaches with teams of horses carried them to Pottersville, where they boarded the steamboats for a trip to the newly-constructed hotels along the lake shore.

In the late 19th and early 20th Centuries Schroon was a magnet for moneyed New Yorkers, many from the worlds of classical music and the Broadway Theater. The Seagle Music Colony, which continues today, was founded. Summer camps for boys and girls opened and thrived. The dignified old hotels were succeeded by the popular Scaroon Manor, which promoted romance and marriage among the guests. But the Great Depression and World War II put a damper on tourism. The town fathers and mothers recognized Schroon's exceptional beauty and knew that a large lake-front park, a Boathouse that could be converted for concerts, an old-time movie theater and the Seagle Music Colony could all contribute to a revival of tourism. With help from the Adirondack Northway, completed in 1967, the tourist business thrives today.

Schroon's year-round population live, as in many cases their ancestors did, in Alder Meadow, Charley Hill, the East Shore, Hoffman, Loch Muller, Paradox, Severance, Schroon Village, South Schroon and other regions. Our neighbors in North Hudson are an integral part of the community. Seasonal visitors and second home owners become old friends and neighbors, and are welcomed back each year.

The natural world excels in Schroon Lake. The mountains, lakes and streams together with the forests and marshes are at the center of life in this town. Hunting, fishing, birding, boating, swimming, snowmobiling and hiking thrive, as do photography and painting. Sometimes we do battle with nature, as during blizzards, floods, blow-downs and mud season. Sometimes we glimpse a spotted fawn, a slippery mink or a soaring hawk, and our awe of nature is strengthened.

The Town of Schroon has many strengths. They can be found by watching young soccer players or art students at the schools, visiting the churches, attending concerts and going in the stores and offices. They can be appreciated by watching Schroon's people working, talking, playing. They can be sensed by living through the brief but spectacular fall, the cold and active winter, the thawing and budding spring, and the beautiful and busy summer. Those who pause, breathe the air deeply and look around should sense the history and spirit of this unique Adirondack town.

This information was provided by the Schroon Lake Chamber of Commerce


Regional Information
- Crown Point Telephone History
- Crown Point History
- Penfield Homestead
- First Congregational Church of Crown Point

Area Histories
- Lake Champlain History
- The War of 1812
- Ticonderoga 1804 - 2004
- Schroon Lake 1804 - 2004
- Town of Moriah

Area Places of Interest
- Lake Champlain Bikeways
- Lake Champlain Birding Trail
- Fishing in the Adirondacks
- Adirondack Sport Fishing
- Lake Champlain Maritime Museum
- Continuing Education

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