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