by Charles Herr
OLD FORGE. At the upper end of the “Fawn’s” voyage, a “carry-all” stage takes incoming visitors on to the new and handsome Forge House [built in 1871, burned in 1924], a mile distant, which overlooks First Lake. This hotel is conducted by Messrs. Alger & Kitts [succeeded Joseph Harvey], and is one of the most attractive places in the woods.
It stands near the site of the old iron works, where nearly a century ago an abortive attempt was made to establish an industry [Herreshoff, 1819].
The old hammer and other relics of this venture lie in the grass near the house.
This and Arnold’s[originally Herreshoff’s Manor], not far away, are the oldest places of entertainment [probably the only] in the Brown Tract.
At Old Forge the State Trout Hatchery is located.
From this source a million young trout have been placed annually in the surrounding lakes for some years, thus insuring splendid fishing in the season.
A telephone line connects Old Forge with the outer world, and messages are delivered (as well as regular mails, twice daily) by steamboat at all points as far as the Hess Camp at the head of Fourth Lake.
AN EVENING VOYAGE. After supper at the Forge House the speedy steam-yacht “Fulton” Capt. Sheppard, leaves for the camps above.
This voyage of two hours in the fading light of day is invested with charms altogether its own.
The hastening yacht courses in turn through lake and channel, touching now and then at landings where jolly parties of sojourners are gathered about ruddy fires built in front of the log structures, called in local parlance the “camps.”
There are three camps on First Lake, one on Second Lake, three on Third Lake, and about twenty-seven on Fourth Lake.
The majority of these are private, but a sufficient number are public to accommodate a considerable amount of transient patronage.
The “Fulton” completes her voyage near the head of Fourth Lake. Hess Camp when completed will be the terminal.
A grand view of the lake and its cordon of mountains may be enjoyed from this place.
Cedar Island Camp is one of the most attractive points in the Adirondacks.
It is maintained as a public camp, having abundant room for guests, an excellent table, first-class boat-livery, a ten-pin alley, and other means of diversion.
Mr. Augur, the manager, is a hotel man of experience.
DISTANCES. The following table of distances may be found of service to the reader:
Travel distances from Port Leyden to various destinations are as follows…
To Old Forge: 24 miles
To 2nd Lake: 27 miles
To 3rd Lake: 29 miles
To 4th Lake: 31 miles
To 5th Lake: 36 miles
To 6th Lake: 37 miles
To 7th Lake: 38 miles
To 8th Lake: 42 miles
The distance from Boonville is about two miles in excess of these figures.
Near the head of Fourth Lake the waters of the lakes above pour down through the outlet.
About two miles of this shore of Fourth Lake upon each side of the outlet is owned by the Fulton Chain Club, and embraces much of the best water-front upon this lake, being elevated, well-wooded, and commanding a magnificent view.
This is destined to become a highly popular stretch for private camps.
Just at the outlet Mr. Fred Hess, one of the best known woodsmen, and the superintendent of the Fulton Chain Club’s property, has his home and is building a hotel, the lumber for its construction being sawn close at hand at his new mill [built in 1890 on land bought from the club] upon the outlet between Fifth and Sixth Lakes.
The new hotel will closely resemble the popular Antler’s upon Raquette Lake, and will afford a delightful forest home for not only sportsmen but their families [Finished around 1893, was actually a log structure according to Grady and Gerster, burned in September 1896 according to Gerster, rebuilt as Hess Inn by Boshart and Moshier in 1897, later renamed The Arrowhead].
Continued next time…