Now we come to the period that touches the memory of many still living on the Point. Extending from about 1870 to 1925, it could be termed the Sanford period, and was an era of transition.
Drurie S. Sanford of New York City appeared on the scene in 1870. His father was Dr. S.t. W. Sanford, a manufacturer of patent medicines in Long Island City, New York. Drurie Sanford became the proud owner of the largest island in Lake George on May 10, 1871 when he purchased the property from Amos and Eliza Hendryx of Queensbury, Warren County, for the very sizeable sum of $5000. At the time he was only about 26 years old. The deed describes the property as: "All that certain farm of Island, situate and lying in Lake George in the County of Warren, formerly rented to Ezekiel Irish." This Irish evidently occupied the farm at this time.
As we have mentioned previously, the island consisted of two lots, the northernmost of some 79 acres and the southern of about 21 acres, totaling 100 acres. The property proved to be, after his family, his greatest source of pleasure.
Drurie Sanford soon brought his bride to the Island and together they planned and directed the work of making it a property of woodland beauty. It was a long task but a most delightful one for both of them. Eventually there was a rock-bounded path completely encircling the island, and measuring about three miles in length. It closely followed the shore line, with rustic bridges over marshy places (where the great blue herons used to come) and connecting the small islands on the east side. Seats were built at convenient intervals and stone steps where they were needed. There was a fine grove of shag-bark hickory trees toward the southern end and some beautiful old beech trees near the west shore. On a sheltered bay on the east shore of the island the Sanfords built a boathouse and dock for small boats and a large dock further north at which the large Lake steamers could land.
In addition to their home, a two story affair, there was a music room, located in a small building in a grove of maples a short distance from the main house. This small building had two rooms, the second of which was a photographic darkroom. There was also a large barn and two or three farm houses for the farm help which the Sanfords employed. This quite extensive establishment also included a large ice house and several tool sheds. Some people think that Sanford may have overstepped the bounds of financial wisdom in setting up such a sizeable residence.
On July 1, 1874 Drurie Sanford saw fit to deed the island property to his brother, Clarence T. Sanford, who in turn on the same date conveyed it to Addie H. Sanford, wife of Drurie. The land remained in her name until she died in 1930.
The Sanford domain and the sphere of influence emanating from it gradually developed and was soon to extend across the narrow channel and to have a very definite effect on the Point. The Sanfords liked to refer to their property as the "Sanford Island", and included in this name not only Long and south islands but also several small isles on the eat side and Goose Island on the west side, near the middle. While these improvements were being made on the island, let us look at developments on the Point.
Major F. Smith had acquired "....all the undivided two-thirds part of Lot #3" (20 acres at the north end of the Point) in 1860. (2) In the mid 1870's four business men: Thomas S. Coolidge, Jonathan M. Coolidge and George W. Lee, all of Glens Falls, and Warren J. Smith, of Ticonderoga, set about acquiring land on the Point. They purchased all of Lot #5 from Major Smith, with the exception of a small point of land of less than an acre on the east side of the Point, which Smith wanted to retain for himself. Following this purchase the four business men bought the northern part of Lot #4, bringing their holdings to 40 acres.
The first post office in this vicinity was established at Joshua's Rock, in 1887, with Cynthia S. Stray as Postmistress. Joshua's Rock is an old landmark not far from the head of Dunham's Bay, and the office was located directly across the road from the present Mountainside Library. The neighborhood had needed a post office for quite awhile; the roads were very poor and by this time quite a large number of families had either permanent or summer homes within a radius of a mile or two.
In 1869 another passenger boat appeared on the lake. This was the GANOUSKIE (1869-85), which was smaller than the preceeding steamers, being only 72 feet long and 20 feet in beam.
She was given an Indian name that had been earlier applied to Northwest Bay. "She was an odd looking craft, stubby and ungraceful, and constructed entirely of wood with a single main deck. The GANOUSKIE was sturdy and well built, however, and proved economical in operation. Above forward, she carried a little pepper-box pilot house, and aft, a sort of observation cabin." (3) She was the first propeller-type steamboat on the Lake.
In 1877 the first HORICON (1877-1911) went into service. She was the first really large boat to be on the Lake, and measured 195 feet overall in length and 30 feet in beam. Her speed was about 20 miles an hour. On the tip of her foremast was perched an American bald eagle with outstretched wings, carved of wood with gilt leaf overlay.
The MINNEHAHA, previously mentioned, was not needed after the HORICON was built. The hull of the "Minnie" as she was known, was sold to Cyrus Butler, who owned a rustic hotel on Black Mountain Point. "Butler started a canal across the narrow neck of land between Red Rock and paradise Bays with the intention of putting the MINNEHAHA into Paradise Bay for hotel purposes. The cost was too great and he abandoned the project. He then moored the MINNEHAHA in a little bay on the northern side of black Mountain Point, where she remained for several years as a floating hotel. The MINNEHAHA later sank in the bay, her upper works were dismantled and her hull dynamited. On a clear day, the old timbers are still visible."
As to the aftermath of the GANOUSKIE: "The hull was sold *1886)....towed up the lake and moored along side of Big Burnt Island near the entrance to the narrows. For several years the old GANOUSKIE was maintained as a floating saloon for the sale of all kinds of wines, beers and liquors. Herbar-room contained an interesting exhibition, a large glass box full of rattlesnakes. It has been suggested that possible the box of rattlesnakes furnished an inducement to prospective customers to purchase their snakebite 'antidote' in case they might be bitten later." (4) A route map of the stops of the Lake steamers shows that regular stops were made there.
* * * * * * * * * *
Each summer found the Sanfords back at their beloved Long Island. There was constant activity as Drurie Sanford was not one to sit back when a project was completed. He would already have had another planned and ready to start on, but it was always toward the improvement of Long Island.
The 1880's found camp meetings and Chatauqua-like assemblies at their real height of popularity. There were none nearer to the lake than the one at Round Lake, and the idea of starting one in this section had been discussed a number of times, but nothing of a definite nature had been made public. Then in that sturdy old publication, Stoddard's Lake George Guide, of the year 1887 appeared this item: "The Lake George Assembly will occupy the north end of Long Island for a series of Chatauquaian camp meetings, beginning in July and continuing through the greater part of august. It is intended to make this a permanent affair if a sufficient interest is shown. The use of that section of the island having been granted by the owner, Dr. D.S. Sanford for that purpose."
The Island afforded a fine setting for such an organization. A dock sufficiently large for the Lake steamers to use and space plenty for a large auditorium would be required. Although the idea of having such a project on Long Island did not fit into the scheme of life as the Sanfords had planned it, there was apparently some motive which made it worthwhile for them to sacrifice their privacy. A possible explanation of this follows.
It is probable that Sanford discussed the camp meeting idea with the group of business men who owned the 40 acres on West Point, as Assembly Point was then called, and that he tried to sell them on the idea of using the Point for that project. But they did not appear to be convinced and held off making a decision. Sanford may have thought that if he let it be known that he was about to sponsor a camp meeting on long Island, the business men might decide that they stood a better chance to gain if it was on their land on the Point. We venture to make this guess; it will probably never be proved or disproved. However, it was not long before there was another announcement, this one stating that the site for the Lake George Assembly had been changed, and that it was to be on the point of land across the narrow channel from Long Island, on West Point, as it was then known.
The Coolidge, Coolidge, Lee and Smith group which we have mentioned and which owned 40 acres on West Point, gave Sanford a free hand in organizing the assembly and utilizing the 40 acres of land. One of the first things that he did was to change the name of the Point from its old name to Assembly Point.
The Point had been used by picnickers and campers for years, and before it could be used for camp meeting purposes a great deal of clearing up of the woods had to be done. Paths would have to be made, a temporary open air location cleared and fitted with seats for the services that would be held that summer, before a permanent structure could be erected. There was a dock on the grounds, but it was an old one, and a new one would have to be built. However the old dock had to be put into condition to serve for that summer as most of those attending services at the Point would come by boat. This old dock was located on the west side of the Point, at the end of the cross road, or between the Weiss and Brown cottages of today. (One of the unanswered questions is: why, when and by whom was this old, original dock built?)
Services were held from late July to around the end of August, and many attended. Others came just to see the new undertaking, but with the inadequate facilities and the small amount of time or publicity devoted to advertising the meetings, it could not possible have been a financially successful season. By the time September rolled around and the books were closed for the season, it was found that the cost of speakers alone was not met by nearly $1000, but "a friend helped us out", it was announced. But hopes still were high for a better season in 1889.
Before the next season opened there was much to be done to improve and enlarge the facilities for the crowds that were anticipated. First and foremost must be a building in which services could be held. It was erected in a clearing about 200 feet east of the present Lucas lot, and was an open sided structure, seating 200 or more persons, with room for many more around the sides. For this building, Dr. Sanford coined the name "Lectorium", and it is so referred to today. He defined this name as meaning "the place where the things good for the bodies, minds and souls of men are intelligently considered....the word fits the place as the bark fits the trees that stand roundabout."
It would be interesting to know, under what arrangements with the owners of the land Sanford may have been conducting the Assembly affairs. In a small pamphlet issued early in the summer of 1889 by the Lake George Assembly, lots on the Point were offered for sale. The grounds having been divided into a large number of building lots, containing from 1000 to 2500 square feet, the plots of land were offered for sale at prices ranging from $40 to $100 per lot. Purchasers were required to build on the land before July, 1890 and cottages must cost at least $500, with an upper limit of $2000. In July of that summer another L.G.A. leaflet stated that a "....fifty percent discount will be allowed on the heretofore stated prices of lots, to the first ten purchasers who will agree to build cottages this year...." Dr. Sanford and the L.G.A. might have been termed "agent on the premise" for the owners. However, no lots were sold that season.
That season saw the building of four cottages on the west side of the Point, just to the north of the old dock to which we have referred. These cottages are still standing, although all have been greatly remodeled and modernized. The cottages, beginning with the southernmost one were: "Mirror Cottage, occupied by the family of W.K. Tippets (now the Rider cottage), "Bolton Cottage" (now the Harris cottage), the Horatio S. Sanford cottage, owned by the brother of Drurie Sanford (now the Guyer cottage), and the "Dove Cote", occupied by the Reverend George D. Hulst and family of Brooklyn, N.Y. (now the Winne cottage). The caretaker's cottage (as we know it today) was also built that year, with a barn close by to the west. Late that summer and early the next season Clarence T. Sanford built a cottage on the point of land where the Beale home is now located. It is probable that the caretaker's house was the first of those built during the summer of 1889. However the Smith cottage on the point of the same name was built prior to all those we have just mentioned, probably several years earlier.
An effort was made to attract campers to the Point that season. One advertisement stated that "....those camping on the grounds will be charged ten cents per day, per head." while another went on to say that "a small cottage now (July 1889) on the grounds will contain about twenty cots, for gentlemen, cots cost 25 cents per night."
That summer a lecture course was given with "popular" lectures three afternoons each week during the month of August. Religious services were held in the Lectorium each Sunday at 11 and 4 o'clock.
The Assembly grounds began to show the result of careful planning and much labor. "promenades" were laid out, with a Sunset Promenade along the west shore and a Sunrise Promenade along the east side. These walks were 10 feet wide and were laid out between the lake shore and the fronts of the few cottages then standing. One of the assembly rules was that: "Horses and vehicles are not allowed on them (the promenades) without special permission."
During the season of 1889 there had been a larger attendance at the services and lectures. More campers came to the Point but no one seemed interested in buying lots. Practically everyone came by water; some by Lake Steamer and some in small boats. Some rowed all the way from Caldwell (now Lake George Village). Ministers and lecturers frequently came from some distance, often Albany and beyond; the cost of bringing them there increased. There was need for a boarding house on the Assembly grounds and a new dock had to be built in the near future. The future of the Assembly was not bright since the past season had shown a deficit and there was a certainty of heavy expenses to be met before the next season began. Some new source of income had to be found.
After many talks and conferences, it seemed best to incorporate the Lake George Assembly. The papers of incorporation bear the date of June 30, 1890. The original directors and stockholders were Thomas S. Coolidge, Jonathan M. Coolidge, George W. Lee, Warren S. Smith and Drurie S. Sanford. (6) The capitalization figure was originally set at $15,000 but we understand that it was later increased to $25,000. Stock in the amount of 1500 shares was issued with a par value of $10 a share. The 40 acres of land were transferred to Lake George Assembly, Incorporated on June 30, 1890. This acreage, valued at $8000, extended from the Point itself, south to the stone wall to the rear of the caretaker's house, with the exception of about ½ acre on Smith Point. The shore line belonging to as trustees of the Assembly were Drurie S. Sanford, Clarence T. Sanford, and Horatio S. Sanford. Later we find a large increase in the list of stockholders of the corporation, which was to include the names of James Warren Harris, Minard G. Wood and Carl Frommell. (8)
As the season of 1890 approached a great deal of activity was seen on the Point, where a large, new dock was being completed. It was in the same location as the old one, between the Weiss and Brown cottages of today. With this new and larger dock, the HORICON and TICONDEROGA could land at the Point. These two new boats, the largest on the Lake, also carried mail, also an application was made by the Assembly to have a post office established. This was granted and the office opened on May 31, 1890 under the name of Lake George Assembly Post Office, with Warren P. Smith as the first postmaster. An item in the "Lake George Mirror" of that date mentions that "....a handsome new dock lodge was built to house the new post office".
In addition to the new post office, the much needed boarding house was opened that June (1890). It bore the rather inappropriate name of "The Brooklyn", and was under the management of William Frommell. The house was located on the east side of the Point, just outside the Assembly grounds, where the present road turns away from the Lake Shore (the Price property). The road in those days followed across the Point as it does now, but bore the name of Brooklyn Road. It provided an easy walk for the guests of the Brooklyn, to and from the new dock and post office. Another popular walk way to the lectorium by way of another road which ran from opposite the caretaker's house, north through the center of the Point to the Lectorium and on to the Point itself. Signs of this road have pretty much disappeared, although a few traces of it may be seen more or less following the power lines through the woods. In the 1920's it could be seen quite easily.
In those days the taking of pictures meant a heavy cumbersome camera, a tripod, and dry plates plus a long session of dark-room processing. We are most fortunate in having quite a number of old photographs taken by some members of the Sanford clan. Some are of the "promenades" on the Point; some show the Point itself before a dock was built, while others are of the early cottages in the process of building. Others show the early visitors enjoying themselves in various activities. These rare pictures are indeed a look into the past.
All was enthusiasm during that summer of 1890. Much had been planned, including this rather unusual project, as described in the "Lake George Mirror": "The Point is almost an island, and by another season will be one, as a canal has to be cut through the narrow isthmus connecting the
Point with the mainland." Apparently this work was actually started, inasmuch as for years the straight sides of the ten foot wide man-made waterway could easily be seen in the mud. This was on the bay side of the isthmus. We are familiar with the Point only from 1923, but at that time there was little dry land other than the roadway itself at this point. At average summer lake level the dry land width of the roadway was probably not over 15 feet. We can recall paddling a canoe completely around the Point, by carrying it those few feet across the roadway. The road itself was never cut because of the cost of building a bridge, which even for that short length would have been high and the money was certainly needed for more important things. We have talked with friends, who recall this narrow point on the road, before the days of the L.G.A. and even then it was known as the "canal" and while a rowboat could not be rowed through it, still some water was there and a boat could easily be pulled through it. This short-cut was used continually by fishermen who, coming from Dunhams Bay and farther south, wanted to get into Harris Bay.
Those were the days of flowery language and lengthy descriptions, as is shown in this quotation: "The grounds (of the Assembly) are diversified by shady groves, cozy retreats and lovers nooks. A forestwalk extends the length of the 'island' on both sides." (The writer was evidently counting on the "canal" being cut through).
The new dock fulfilled its purpose well, in fact maybe too well. A quotation from the "Lake George Mirror" of that summer explains what we mean; "Altho it is not proposed to make an excursion ground of Assembly Point, yet the management recently opened the grounds to a picnic party of 428 persons." Excursionists had created such a problem at the Sagamore Hotel grounds that in 1888 the Steamboat Company purchased Fourteen Mile Island for the sole purpose of providing a place where these one-day trippers could picnic. Probably the trustees of the Assembly watched this influx of picnickers with a bit of apprehension. It is possible that this incident may have prompted the drawing up of the rules and Regulations which were posted around the grounds that summer. Through the kindness of a friend we are able to quote these rules. They help to give us a greater awareness of the atmosphere that existed in and around Assembly Point in those days.
The thirteen rules were as follows:
1. All persons are forbidden to cut or in any way deface or injure the trees or shrubbery.
2. The peeling of bark from birch trees is forbidden.
3. The cutting and marking of names or initials on trees, summer houses or rustic seats is forbidden.
4. Do not disfigure the summer houses or rustic seats by picking or removing the bark there-from.
5. The sale of malt or spiritous liquors is positively prohibited, and it is expected that visitors will not bring them to the grounds, as
6. Disorderliness, intoxication, profanity, vulgarity or rowdyism will not be permitted on the grounds. Those guilty of either will be regarded as trespassers and treated accordingly.
7. The use of firearms is also forbidden.
8. Parties wishing to camp must obtain special permission and designation of location at the office of the L.G.A.; must be particularly careful of fires, must keep their tents and surroundings neat; must further conform to these rules, and any further requirements of the superintendent of the grounds.
9. It is expected the Sabbath day will be respected and that there will be a complete suspension of all games, sports and practices usually allowed on the grounds.
10. As much of Assembly Point is under cultivation, it is expected that there will be no trampling of flower-beds or gardens, or through grain or high grass; and there must be no interference with the fruit orchards.
11. As far as possible all persons are requested to use the paths and roads as now laid out except in those places where it is an open common.
12. These rules have been formulated by the L.G.A. for the comfort, convenience and interest of all well-meaning persons (both resident and transient), who have occasion to avail themselves of the privileges conferred; but
13. Any person violating these regulations, or acting in a disorderly manner, or guilty of practices tending to interfere with the pleasures and comfort of persons using the property, will be considered as trespassers and treated as such. We sincerely hope that we may never have to resort to such extremity, but shall if occasion requires.
T.S. Coolidge George W. Lee Carl Frommell
J.M. Coolidge James W. Harris Lake George Assembly
Warren T. Smith Minard G. Wood by D.S. Sanford
Mention has been made in a previous chapter to the two large lake steamers which stopped daily at the Assembly with passengers and mail. During the summer a new boat appeared on the lake. Built at the head of Van Warner Bay in 1890, it was a good sized boat measuring 90 feet in length, with a passenger capacity of 250 persons. Its speed was 12 miles an hour. But most amazing was the name given to the craft: "LGA". It is gratifying to learn that the next season the owners had changed the name to "Island Queen".
The Sanfords found that the crowds which came to the Assembly to hear the lectures soon overflowed on to Long Island. There were always a certain number of inquisitive visitors who would row from the Point over to the island. To protect their privacy, Drurie Sanford posted placards around his island. We have one of those old signs which reads:
During the Sanford ownership of the islands, the state of New York was eyeing South Island and finally brought the matter before the Courts, planing that it was separate island and as such did not belong to the owner of Long Island. Sanford won the case, relating that when he brought his bride to the Island, he carried her across to South Island, and did so without wetting his feet, by means of stepping from rock to rock. We wonder why the state did not produce the French Mountain Tract map of 1811, which was an official survey map and shows that the two islands were not connected at that date.
By August (1890) the season was in full swing and we read that ".... The first hop of the season was given at the Brooklyn and it continued until the larks notes told of the approach of another day." Also we see that the Clarence T. Sanford cottage had been started the preceding season, was nearing completion and had been given the name of "Ravenswood". It faced on "Sunrise Promenade" and had a fine view of Harris Bay and the vista to the north. A society editor of the day noted that ".... the progressive euchre party given recently at Ravenwsood to the guests of the 'Brooklyn' was enjoyable."
Located at the north end of Assembly Point was a studio "....where an artist - R.W. Remington had on sale a collection of magnificent paintings."
When fall came and things were being closed for the season of 1890, there was evident disappointment among the stock-holders and trustees at the continued financial losses of the corporation. Fair-sized crowds were in attendance at week ends but the L.G.A. was still running in the red. Extracts from a letter written by Dr. Sanford to Seneca Ray Stoddard, editor of the Lake George Guide, state: "The Lake George Assembly....is now nothing more or less than the lake George Klub, and is managed by and for it membership....(now Sanford breaks forth with his K.K.K. phrases)....Assembly Point is marvelous...well adapted for a Kottage Kolony Klub or Kotented Kongenial Kottagers." etc., etc. His series of couplets were to grow to fantastic proportions. However he still had not sold even a single lot on the Point.
As the summer of 1891 drew near the trustees took every opportunity to let it be known that the "Lake George Assembly is not a camp meeting association or anything like it. Neither are the grounds a public excursion park." These grounds were in fine shape and the Promenades were ready for the promenaders. The post office was ready for a big business from the visitors. The "Brooklyn"....had....added a 13 room cottage" and soon was doing a good business (the place could now accommodate about 50 guests). The summer cottages near the big dock were being improved, and the "Dove Cote." stated a society column, "....had been enlarged, the piazza extended around the north and south sides and a Queen Anne chimney added....".
Dr. Sanford and his family did not arrive until August that year, but his brother Clarence was Resident Manager and had returned early to his new cottage, "Ravenswood".
The Sunday services at the Lectorium were well attended, and a different minister usually was asked for each Sunday. During the week a variety of entertainment, including such programs as "Saturday August 8th, mirth, magic and mystery, by Ransom and Robertson, celebrated conjurors and slight-of-hand performers" were offered. On another day there was a "Mystificationist and an Artist on Tumblers, Sleigh Bells, etc.", while still another was listed as "F. Manning Skinner, Esq. will deliver his famous humorous lecture "Corncob vs. Corncob" in three parts in character costume, changing his outfit for each part."
The steamer ISLAND QUEEN was bringing folks from other parts of the Lake and placards telling of these services and lectures had been posted at the various landings. The results of this advertising were most encouraging.
Those letter jingles that Sanford so enjoyed composing must have been contagious. An advertisement of the "Brooklyn" that September read in this amazing manner:
"Really restful Rest Right Royally
Realized. Rational refreshing repose
amid romantic, refined, relaxing
recuperation, at remarkable reduced
It seems to have been the custom at that time to have a display of fireworks in honor of house guests at the cottages. Today this seems rather strange as do other customs of the day. However the display of fireworks was one of the more picturesque of their practices.
We find that the old well on the Point was causing speculation in 1891 just as it is doing today. In that day the old well was thought to have been sunk "Two score years" earlier. We do not know the basis for their speculation that the well dated back to the 1850's. We have stated that there was probably a farm on the Point as early as 1840. The old well is located on lot #3 and James Ripley was in possession of this property until 1848. At that time he sold it to Gideon Crandall, who held it for only two years, when he sold it to Henry Crandall. James Ripley may have been responsible for the old well; such a well, such a short distance from the waters of the lake could only have been for year round use. Probably this gives us the site of the first permanent house on the Point. Whoever may have occupied it enjoyed the same lovely view of the Kayaderosseras range across the Lake that we do today.
In August of that year (1891) there was a "Floating pageant of magnificent beauty" in the form of a parade of decorated boats which followed the shoreline of the Lake for miles. "The Island Queen headed the procession (previously the LGA), "The River", owned by Wm. Noble of the Fort William Henry Hotel was a bower of youth and beauty. The lines of the steamer were completely hidden under a mass of white and gold drapery to represent Cleopatra's Barge....it moved in grandeur along the emerald shores. On the after deck was a large throne on which reclined the Egyptian Queen attended by fair nymphs...the Fanita, the flagship of Vice Commander Simpson, had hanging on the upper deck, nearly 400 fairy lamps."
"The cottagers on the shore responded nobly. L.G.A. was brilliant with a host of Chinese lanterns and every fifty feet along the shore were red fires blazing as the yachts sped by. It was a red-letter day and night for Lake George. Thousands of people came to the Lake to attend this grandest, most brilliant, most beautiful festival ever given in this country."
Every effort was being made that summer to sell building lots. It was announced that there would be no "cheap portable camp-meeting cottages, which it was proposed to build by the score. There will be fewer restrictions in the deeds than were at first contemplated...Lots are for sale to approved purchasers only...."
Sixteen more rules and regulations were added late that season to the thirteen already mentioned. We have one of the original placards on which these rules are given. These are so interesting that we reproduce them here in their entirety.
"Rules, Regulations, Restrictions in force within the limits of the Lake George Assembly, and are in addition to the 13 rules, in force all over Assembly Point.
1. The steamboat dock roads, paths and promenades, as well as the entire lake frontage of the Lake George Assembly, are private property. All persons are welcome to their free use, provided they conform to the rules, regulations and restrictions governing the property.
2. Children are not permitted on the dock or dangerous points on the lake front, unless accompanied by parents or guardians.
3. The Lectorium can be used only for such purposes as meet the approval of the
resident manager, and must not be used by children as a playground.
4. Brooklyn Road, leading to the dock, is the only present wagon road; the Sunrise and
Sunset and other promenades cannot be used for horses and vehicles, except by special permission.
5. Those driving to the grounds will leave their horses at or near the stable; the hitching
of horses to trees is forbidden; horses and cattle are not permitted to run at large
anywhere within the limits.
6. No tree or shrub can be trimmed or removed except by order of the resident manager.
Cottagers have, of course, full control of all trees and shrubs within their own lot lines.
7. It is forbidden to have over five gallons of kerosene in any cottage at any one time;
matches and all other combustible material must be kept in safe places.
8. Every cottage must be supplied with two galvanized; or otherwise rust-less iron, watertight cans, with cover, holding about 20 gallons each, in which shall be put all garbage, swill and other house slops, and shall be kept near the back of the house; and which shall be removed and emptied at some specially designated and prepared place, and returned as often as shall be required by the resident manager of the L.G.A.; the charge for which work to be borne by the cottagers, shall at least cover the reasonable cost of said services.
9. No slops, swill, or other noxious, decaying or fermenting thing, (liquid or solid) shall be thrown upon any part of the grounds, public or private.
10. A charge of $3.00 per year will be made against each cottage, by the foreman of the grounds, who will make at least a weekly inspection of them during the period of non-occupancy, and will notify the owner if address is left with him, in event of anything going amiss or needing attention; but assumes no greater responsibility than a careful oversight.
11. The foreman will charge ten cents each for the delivery of all trunks, barrels or readily portable boxes; and five cents each for valises, satchels, packages, etc., deliverable by hand; he will also deliver ice, in quantities of not less than 15 pounds daily, at the rate of forty-five cents per hundred weight.
12. Cottage owners wishing for special row-boat landings, will have a location designated at which, at their own expense, suitable portable landings may be placed, but these are subject to the approval of, as well as under the control of the Lake George Assembly, and although they cannot be marked or held as private, yet it is reasonably expected that everyone will recognize their courtesy rights to the use of them; landings at the foot of streets or promenades may be used by anybody, subject however to the rules.
13. Parties wishing for workman, horses or materials, will be furnished at reasonable rates, on application to the foreman.
14. No baggage, freight, or express packages to be removed from the dock until all charges thereon are paid.
15. The store will be in charge of the foreman and all accounts must be settled weekly.
16. Persons having complaints to make, against anything that is remediable by the L.G.A. will please do so in writing, to the resident manager.
Dated Sept. 14th 1891
By order of the Trustees
C.T. Sanford, Resident Manager
D.S. Sanford, President
What a vivid contrast this set of rules provides for making a comparison between life on the Point today and yester-year - only 65 years ago!
An amusing item from a column of late that season tells us that "Tha annual ball at the Brooklyn was not only an assemblage of brilliant people but a pleasant dancing party as well. About everybody at this end of the lake was present. The festive hours were whiled away by music, mirth, feasting and dancing."
With the coming of Labor Day, all services and lectures came to an end for the 1891 season. The summer's end found the lot situation exactly as it was at the beginning, even though there had been advertisements in the Glens Falls, Ticonderoga, Whitehall, Troy and other local newspapers, telling of the building sites being offered for sale. The trustees were doing their best but their best was not enough to sell lots - at least in the Assembly grounds.
With the opening of the '92 season we find that Dr. Sanford had taken over as Postmaster, which position he held until 1915. We have seen some of his old post office records, which were carefully kept, with here and there a notation such as: "Furious storm prevented the Horicon from landing to take mail 3 to 4:30P.M." The stamp sales at the little post office fluctuated from one cent to one dollar or more per day as did the value of the cancellations. These old postal records also give us the names of the box renters: besides the three Sanford brothers there were C.D. Hulst (who occupied "Dove Cote" cottage), Rosetta Harris (widow of James Warren Harris) who died in 1891), Carl Frommell (owner of the "Brooklyn"), Ira Brayton (a long time resident), W.H. Tippetts (who occupied "Mirror Cottage and edited the Lake George Mirror), M.G. Wood (whose family had been on the Point for a great many years and who at one time had owned all of Lot #5), and Frank Waite.
The season of 1893 was much like the preceding. There was talk of having a telegraph office at the Point but apparently it did not materialize. The Sunday services as well as the lecture courses began with the last Sunday in July and continued through the first Sunday in September.
There was another poster used around the L.G.A. grounds that summer which tells us of there having been tennis courts. This would indicate that there was a considerable amount of cleared ground on the Point at that time. We are fortunate in owning one of those old posters which reads as follows:
There was need for a free library in the vicinity. Edward Eggleston of Joshua's Rock, a well known author of that day (The Hoosier Schoolmaster) was one of a group sponsoring the project, as was Minard Wood, a stockholder in the L.G.A. There was need for money as well as for books for the library and a garden party was planned to further the project. Minard Wood had a launch, the MINNIE (through the kindness of a friend we have a picture of the craft) of about 30 feet in length, which he offered for use at the garden party. The boat was used to bring people from far and near to the party. In the Mountainside Library today is one of the old posters advertising the Garden Party:
It is items such as this that help us to form a picture of life as it was in those days.
About this time the stockholders of the L.G.A. reluctantly came to the conclusion that another dock must be built and this time at the one and only logical location, at the far north end of the Point. It seems most unlikely that this expensive decision would have been made without the insistance of the Steamboat Company. The dock built only five years earlier was in an exposed location. With a strong southwest, west, or northwest wind it was difficult to land the large Lake steamers, which now measure just under 200 feet in length. There was constant danger of their being blown ashore when attempting a landing in a wind.
The new dock was completed in the spring of 1895. The post office was moved to a new location that same season, close to the new dock, where it was located in the early '20's as some of us can remember so well. An item in the Mirror that summer reads: "The new pier on the extreme end of Assembly Point is crowded with fishermen, fisherboys and fishergirls nowadays....some of the bass taken there weighed 4 and 5 pounds."
That summer (1895) Horatio S. Sanford sold his naptha launch "Gladys". It was shipped to Buzzards Bay, in Massachusetts, where it was used by President Grover Cleveland for fishing. Horatio Sanford then bought another boat, a 50 footer, which he named the "Oneita." That summer there was still another new boat at the Point, the "Mirror" owned by W.H. Tippetts of Mirror cottage. While we are discussing boats, let us quote from the Lake George Mirror of July 1895:
Up to that time there were no cottages south of the L.G.A. grounds on the west side of the Point (that is, south of the former dock). The first house to be built was that of James H. Bain, which was located about 200 feet south of the L.G.A. boundary line on land purchased from Rosetta Harris. The Harris farm and apple orchard extended as far north as the L.G.A. line - a stone wall which can still be made out. There was a private lane extending south to the Bain cottage, from the Brooklyn Road (the cross road). On the east side of this property was the apple orchard. After the turn of the century two other cottages were built, just to the south of the Bain place. First of these was the summer place of Dr. Grismer, followed by that of Dr. T.G. Thompson. Both men were Methodist ministers.
From a society column of August, 1895 we learn that: "The Horatio S. Sanford cottage was crowded last Monday with Assembly Pointers and islanders. The dining room was the scene of a fusillade of soap bubbles. Each guest was provided with a pipe and as the numbers were called the holder of the numbered pipe did his or her level best to blow a bubble and then waft it across the room to hit a package suspended by a line. If the bubble hit one of the packages it was delivered to the fortunate blower....there was dancing and the party broke up wishing the couple a hundred returns of the wedding anniversary." The Horatio Sanford cottage is now the property of Dr. Guyer.
People seemed to have good times at the Point in those days but they were not inclined to buy building lots, that is, lots within the Assembly grounds. They were just beginning to sell, as we have mentioned, to the south of the L.G.A., probably because of the less stringent restrictions. Rosetta Harris had her farm and orchard but had wisely left building lots along the lake shore on the west side of the Point. These lots were unusually well wooded and were most desirable building lots. The same seems to have held true in the case of the land of old Amos Wood. Most, if not all of this property, was held by Minard Wood in the 1890's
During the summer of 1895 the Assembly activities drew large numbers. The Sunday services were particularly well attended. It has been told us by one who could recall those early days that visitors would sometimes wait to see the Sanford family from Long Island arrive at the Point on a Sunday morning for services. Led by Mrs. Sanford in a stiff black silk dress and aglow with jewelry, quite the "grand lady", followed by the doctor and their two daughters, they would proceed from their boat to the Lectorium.
Quite probably this season (1895) marked the high in L.G.A.'s attendance. While there are no records available, indications are that from 1895 on there was a lossening of interest, and even more important, of revenue. It was to be only a matter of time until the stockholders would become so discouraged that they would discontinue the Lectorium services. Confronted for so many years with a deficit, one can hardly blame them. The project had eight seasons in which to succeed, likewise the plan to sell building lots had failed completely. Time was running out.
Apparently the Sunday services were continued through the season of 1897 although some think that they were discontinued a year earlier.
With the conclusion of the Assembly services and activities, came the closing of the "Brooklyn". However there were apparently enough cottagers in the half dozen summer places on the L.G.A. grounds, and elsewhere on the Point, together with the campers, to warrant the continuance of the post office.
No cottages had been built on the Assembly grounds since the original group of which we have written, and as a matter of fact, none were built until 1915 when W. Harold Adamson built his place. But others had been erected here and there to the south of the grounds. To mention a few on the Point in the early 1900's: Brayton, Thiessen, Thompson, Grismer, Sisson, Noyes, Fielding, Knox and Howe (this does not attempt to be a complete list).
The steamboats were doing a larger business each year. The two largest steamers ever to sail on the Lake were the SAGAMORE, 223 feet in length, and the HORICON (II), 230 feet. These were put into service in 1902 and 1911 respectively; both carried mail and made stops at the Assembly Point dock twice daily.
In 1911 the late Lester Lockhart of Hudson Falls built the cottage just to the south of the Assembly grounds on the west side of the Point. The place is now occupied by the Weiss family.
In 1914 the real estate firm of Adamson and Bayle Company, of Glens Falls, laid out the Assembly grounds in building lots and acting as agents offered them for sale to the public.
Most of the lots on the lake had a frontage of 100 feet and were priced at from $600 to $1000. Sales were a little slow at first but gradually picked up, culminating with the sale, by the L.G.A. of the last lot in 1940. The L.G.A. Corporation was then dissolved after more than fifty years of existence.
We are advised by the New York Telephone Company that the first telephone service was installed on the Point in 1913. From the Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation we learned that the first current line was put in sometime in the late 1920's.
Dr. Sanford relinquished his position as postmaster in 1915, after 18 years at those duties. He was followed by Samual J. Sample, who was "caretaker" on the Point at that time. Sample held the position as postmaster for two years when he was succeeded by Charles S. Ellsworth who was postmaster until 1926.
In the meantime the name of the office was officially changed from Lake George Assembly post office to Assembly Point post office. This change is recorded as being made on September 15, 1924. The position of postmaster continued to be held by the current "caretaker" on the Point. The postmasters in turn were:
Albert W. Hammond, 1926
Edward L. Maranville, 1929
Floyd E. Stevens, 1930
Kenneth C. Maranville, 1933
In August 1923 a memorial service was held at the Point on the death of President Harding.
Dr. Sanford died about 1926. He was a real gentleman and fine citizen whose influence on the Point will long be remembered. Mrs. Sanford died in 1930. The property at the Lake had been in her name since 1874; in her will of April 18, 1927 she left Long Island and South Island to her two daughters, Mrs. Jennie McCrea Dube and Mrs. Lillian W.S. Sanford Balmer. For some years after the death of Mrs. Sanford the old home on Long Island was occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Dube.
The state of New York had wanted the two islands for sometime; it was planned to use them for recreational purposes and to divide them up into campsites as had been done in the Narrows. Finally in 1945 Mrs. Dube and Mrs. Balmer agreed to sell the two islands - Long and South - to the State. The reported price was $30,000.
Until the early 1930's the road from Lake George village to the Point had hardly been worthy of that name. At about that time it was completely rebuilt. This was the cause of the final discontinuance on June 15, 1935 of the post office at the Point and of the beginning of mail service from the Village by rural free delivery, rather than by lake steamers. Two years later the old post office building, together with the attached store, were destroyed by fire.
In August 1939 the owners of L.G.A. shore property formed an association - Otyokwa, Incorporated - and purchased the 69 "inside lots" from the L.G.A. Corporation. This was a most wise safeguard since even then ideas and plans were being made, that if carried out, would not have been for the good of the Point as a whole. (9)
Since the 1930's with the advent of new roads, the Point has inevitably been brought closer and closer to civilization, and what invariably accompanies it. However on the whole we feel that the Point has stood the impact well - certainly far better than Lake George Village.
We have recorded in greater or lesser detail the history of the Point and the Island through the past two centuries. We wonder what its history will be through the next two hundred years. At least the glorious sunsets will be the same.
(1) Deed recorded at Lake George, N.Y., Book 23, p. 477.
(2) Ibid, Book 5, p. 10.
(3) The Steamboats of Lake George, Albany, 1932
(5) Lake George, Lake Champlain and Saratoga, S. R. Stoddard, Glens Falls, 1894
(6) Glens Falls Post-Star, April 10, 1941
(8) Information from Mrs. W. Harold Adamson, December 31, 1954
(9) Glens Falls Post-Star, April 10, 1941
The following bibliography is by no means a complete one. We list here only our main sources of printed data. Research among original manuscripts and records was far more important than the information obtained from other sources.
Brayton, Asa W., Lake George Old and New, etc. Glens Falls, New York 1891
DeCosta, B.F., Events at Lake George, New York, New York, 1868
DeCosta, B.F., Notes on the History of Fort George, New York, New York, 1871
Flick, Alexander C., Loyalism in New York New York, New York, 1901
Hill, William H., Old Fort Edward
Holden, A. W., History of the Town of Queensbury Albany, New York, 1874
Hoyt, E., Indian Wars Greenfield, Massachusetts, 1824
Hyde, Louis E., History of Glens Falls, etc. Glens Falls, New York, 1936
Lamb, Wallace E., The Lake Champlain and Lake George Valleys New York, New York, 1940
Marvin, Henry, History of Lake George New York, New York, 1853
O'Callaghan, E.B. editor, Documentary History of the State of New York Albany,
New York, 1949
Parman, Francis, Historic Handbook of the Northern Tour Boston; Massachusetts, 1885
Reid, W. Max, Lake George and Lake Champlain New York, New York, 1910
Ridpath, John C., History of the United States New York, New York, 1879
Ritchie, William A., Pre-Iroquoin Cultures Albany, New York
Smith, H.P., History of Warren County Syracuse, New York, 1885
Stoddard, S.R., Lake George guidebooks, Glens Falls, New York, various dates, 1873 to 1904
Stene, William L., History of Washington County
Van Do Water, F.F., Lake George and Lake Champlain New York, New York, 1946
Wallace, Harriet, The Salem Book 1896
New York Colonial Manuscripts Indorsed Land Papers 1860
The Lake George Mirror, published weekly from July 4 until Labor Day, various dates
Dictionary of American Biography
The Steamboats of Lake George - 1817 to 1932 Albany, New York, 1932 1790 First U.S. Census, New York State