Recently I visited my favorite upstate retreat – Lake George. It’s truly a special place. Thomas Jefferson thought so too…
On May 31, 1791, Thomas Jefferson wrote in a letter to his daughter, “Lake George is without comparison, the most beautiful water I ever saw; formed by a contour of mountains into a basin… finely interspersed with islands, its water limpid as crystal, and the mountain sides covered with rich groves… down to the water-edge: here and there precipices of rock to checker the scene and save it from monotony.” - wikipedia.org
Matt and I camp at Rogers Rock at least once a summer. Every time we drive up 9N I’m jumping out of my seat, pointing out the vintage 50’s and 60’s signage with ridiculous excitement! By day, I’m a graphic designer and what designer doesn’t love retro typography? This time around, I’ve documented it.
The history of Lake George is intriguing:
Situated on the rail line halfway between New York City and Montreal, Lake George attracted the era’s rich and famous by the late 19th and early 20th century. Tourists from across North America and Europe flocked to Lake George and the surrounding majestic Adirondack Mountains. By the turn of the 19th century, Lake George was equaled only by Newport, Bar Harbor, Maine, Saratoga Springs and the Hamptons as a summer enclave for America’s aristocracy. - wikipedia.org
But things change…
With the new economic climate and the introduction of income tax, the mansions of Millionaire’s Row had begun to become unaffordable by the 1930s. By the 1950s, with the advent of affordable auto and air travel, Lake George became more attractive to the growing middle class and less so to the “jet set”. Most of the mansions of Millionaire’s Row were torn down or turned into hotels and restaurants. Among the surviving remnants are The Sagamore, as well as three Millionaire’s Row “cottages”: Melody Manor, Sun Castle (Erlowest) and Green Harbor Mansion. Read More.
If you want to escape the city this fall, I suggest taking a drive to Lake George. Get off I87 at Glens Falls, drive slow and enjoy the trip back in time. I recommend staying in a cabin around Bolton Landing or near Hague for quiet lodging. Alternatively you can stay in the village of LG if you prefer being in the mix. Along 9N you’ll see several NYS hiking trails, fishing access points, antique shops, mini golf/arcades, and of course plenty of places to get some grub. Enjoy!