04Sep

The Adirondack Inn expands

In a reference dated July 22nd 1911 a review by the columnist T.E. Fitzgerald who resided in Daytona Florida visited the Sacandaga Park. The information that follows is from his experience in the park that summer:

A summer resort as ideally picturesque as Daytona. The altitude of Sacandaga Park is about 1500 ft. in other words it’s 1500 feet nearer the celestial regions than Daytona.
The place is ideally picturesque and situated at the foot of the Adirondack mountains about a 6 hour ride from NYC.

The Park and almost everything about it is owned by the FJ&G railroad which runs from Fonda a station on the NY Central and Hudson River Lines to this place, a distance of about 25 Miles.
You know most small railroads-or rather most short railroad lines -for they are all the same width-may have inefficiencies, but this particular short line maintains a train service that the Florida East Coast System might well emulate.

In addition to operating the steam system from Fonda to Northville a station one mile north of Sacandaga Park the FJ&G operates a number of trolley lines through this section of NY.
Sacandaga Park was evidently created or rather discovered by the railroad company for the purposes of creating business. It carries many thousands of visitors here during the summer season.
I used the word “discovered” in preference to “created” because the beautiful surroundings of this place, much like Daytona was favored, are in many respects just as Nature left them-although the almighty dollar has been freely spent to improve the handy work of the Creator of the Universe.
Sacandaga Park is a place , and not a town, for all the business places are located in one building: this building has the depot, post office, postcard and candy stand and a retreat where other what-not’s are sold..

Scattered throughout the park are a few other stands but their numbers are limited. You can buy whatever you need however, and that is about all you want. The principal hotel of the resort is the Adirondack Inn conducted by C.O. Chamberlin of the Palmetto at Daytona, and it may be said without any intent flatters that Mr. Chamberlin used exceedingly good taste in selecting two such picturesque locations as Daytona and this place for his resort business.

The Inn is a good sized hotel perfectly appointed and faces the park proper. Although the grounds at the hotel are as beautiful as the ones in the park would care to behold. Flower gardens and beautiful lawns abound on all sides and they are scrupulously cared for by gardeners.
The railroad company provides a band that furnishes music while the orchestra gives concerts on the veranda thrice daily.

All through the hotel grounds are rustic seating and the park, rustic seats are plentiful and one can sit in the invigorating shade and whiff the scent of pine hemlock and balsam to the hearts content.
Columnists note: TE Fitzgerald may have been hired by this particular newspaper to travel to areas and write reviews on the places he visited. At the end of this reference he mentions he’s off to the Elks convention in Atlantic City. Whether paid to make these excursions or maybe he developed the writing as something of a hobby after going to these places is unknown.
By 1926, the towns of Daytona, Daytona Beach, and Sea breeze were consolidated to make the City of Daytona Beach.

Daytona in 1911, the year of Fitzgerald visit , was barely starting to catch on as Florida’s main growth didn’t start until the 1920’s.

The park faces for a mile along the Sacandaga River which affords an ideal place for fresh water bathing. Adjoining the hotel is an excellent golf course and one of the holes in the course is known as “McClaren’s Misery”
This miserable name came about in this way:
One summer D. McClaren, formerly a winter resident of Daytona Beach, was here and succeeded at breaking several sticks at this hole and impregnating the atmosphere with a sulpheric hue, so in his honor the hole was thus christened.

Ordinarily summer resorts of small dimensions are rather monotonous places, but somehow or other the Sacandaga Park seems to be a little different and has such a varied combination of diversions that one can hardly feel anything but contented-the sojourner can bathe, golf, canoe, ride, drive, motor, play tennis, fish, hunt, or just loaf and listen to music.

If you get tired of these they have a very cool sub terrain retreat called “Trellis Grill” This is a popular nook, but in the language of Mr. Post of Grape nuts fame “there is a reason’
Down in the park is a miniature Coney Island where they have shooting galleries, bowling alleys, loop the loops, shoot the shoots, and a few other things. Round an about the historic peaks of the Adirondack Mountains, while on a clear day, the Catskills are visible 75 miles away. This resort is situated on the route of the noted Empire Tours and many automobile parties visit and then motor up through the valleys of the Adirondacks.

The nearest town is Northville of about 1000 population located just north of here and is the northern terminus of the railroad. It is considerable of lumber manufacturing town seems to be the outfitting point for camping parties in the mountains.

Sixteen miles south of here is Gloversville, which as the name might imply, is the center of the glove industry in New York State; nearby is Johnstown, another little city where with metropolitan ideas. Amsterdam is not too far way and is the Mecca of many motoring parties in this section.

The other day I chanced to meet Harmon D. Swits of Schenectady who was here for the day with a party of friends. Another acquaintance who is sojourning here is J.B. Gardiner of Amsterdam.
Mr. Gardiner and his family made their initial visit to Daytona last winter and were so enraptured with the beauties of the “Queen Resort of Florida” that were planning on becoming regular winter visitors.

Next week I’ll tell you a little something about the Elk’s convention at Atlantic City and some of the things about the Atlantic City Proper

Writers note: The reference to the Trellis Grill may have been a speakeasy. Although Prohibition and gambling were yet to be a large movement; folks in these days eluded to certain places that would be of interest to others who enjoyed gambling and spirits.

Many thanks to Don Williams’ ,a fellow columnist, for expressing his enjoyment of reading this fledgling column in a local paper last Sunday . Williams is an author of many books that explore Adirondack and area history.

by Lorraine Frasier

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