A series of posts as we look forward to the 100th Anniversary of ADKNY in 2023
We left off last time with the grand opening of the camp on Lake Sebago on April 17-18, 1926. At that time it was yet to be named Nawakwa.
To quote from the April 30, 1926 issue of The Trail Marker “Being a Bulletin issued every now and then by the Chairman of the NY Chapter Adirondack Mountain Club, Inc.” There actually was an Editor who put the publication together.
“The official opening took place on the following weekend of the 17th. Over fifty members were on hand to give their approval and voice their enthusiasm. No wonder! A great camp with its large living-dining room, its attractive open fireplace, its spacious kitchen, its comfortable sleeping quarters, its admirable view of the lake and surrounding country – no wonder!
Reservations – We must remind our members that reservations for accommodations should be made early, although ten beds will always be held until the Wednesday proceeding any weekend for late applicants. Already two weekends in May are filled to the quota of fifty-full capacity being sixty. The camp is so arranged that small groups can spend a few days or longer in one of the small cabins that is partitioned off for that purpose so that the main building need not be opened. Reservations for such use should be made early to Miss Antonia H. Froendt … for dates up to July 1st.
Lake Sebago – The lake is now undergoing its final construction work. The retaining wall is being filled in and the old road re-laid at a higher elevation. It will not be long before the lake can be raised to its final level. When it is, and even now, the attractions will be boating, swimming and fishing in season. Boats are being purchased and will be delivered about May 15th. The swimming will always be good as the beach slopes rapidly into deep water. There will be a crib for the non-swimmers and a float for the experts.
Lockers – Many have inquired about locker space, so that it has been definitely decided to purchase this needed equipment. The charge made for rental will be about $3.00 per year. Please let the Camp Committee know through Miss Froendt that you wish to be so accommodated.
Trails – Trails are being marked to and from the Camp. The new water-level route to Tuxedo is well marked with signs at the strategic corners. Other trails will be opened up in the near future and marked with ADK markers.
The $10 Assessment – Many have not been heard from in answer to the call for the $10 assessment, either through carelessness, procrastination, or because of lack of enthusiasm. To that last group, we say re-read page 1 of this bulletin and if that procedure does not stir you, spend a weekend at camp. Some of our members who rarely went to Blue Bird promise to return often to the new camp……..so will you, when you see it.
Act Now – So please save the administration a lot of extra work by coming across right away quick, otherwise we must hound you by personal letters and actual contact when we see you on a walk or at the camp. There can be no middle course. All must pay their share of ……We must be fair to those who have paid in of $1,300 to date. Sit down now and write your check to the order of the New York Chapter, ADK and mail it to the secretary, Miss Dorothy Roest …
P.S. Don’t wait to be invited to the new camp – just write in and say that you are coming. Except for the popular weekends, there will always be room.”
Harriman State Park was a busy place during this period. “The Palisades Interstate Park Commission was in the midst of acquiring the small hamlets including Queensboro, Pine Meadow, Johnsontown, and Sandyfield to create the Park. 2,200 people were settled in the area. As part of the 1910 donation of the Harriman Land, additional funds were donated to acquire private homesteads to enlarge the park. The PIPC was empowered with eminent domain to require homeowners to move. In the 1940’s park police lieutenant James Gazaway shared this reflection with his family, “The hardest thing I ever had to do was to remove those people from their land.” The original NY Chapter camp, Quannacut was on land purchased around 1918. It was formally Brooks House, home of Harvey Brooks. This home, barn and orchard became the Camp
At the same time our Camp was opening, areas of the new Harriman State Park were being reforested. The bare hills that had been clear-cut for lumber, charcoal and firewood for the local brickyards were replanted. Within 20 years, the denuded hills were alive with trees, shrubs, flowering plants and ferns. (1)
- Reference – Image of America – Harriman State Park, Ronnie Clark Coffey