A series of posts as we look forward to the 100th Anniversary of ADKNY in 2023
The NY Chapter, ADK moves from subleasing Camp Blue Bird to having a camp of our own. To quote from Ira Ayers’ “A History”:
“During the summer of 1925, while working for the Camp Department of the Park, Miss Jolliffe, the Superintendent of Camps, asked me if the New York Chapter would like to have a camp on the new Lake Sebago. Elevation 778 feet. My reply was a positive “yes” but that the official offer should be made direct to the Chapter Council. This was done and the offer was immediately accepted officially.
The first big question that required an answer was where should it be located. A committee consisting of A.T. Shorey, Adolph Sippe and a third was appointed to recommend the site. The location selected by this committee was in the birch grove on the east side and near the upper end of the north arm.
This provoked a storm of protests. In those days almost everyone rode to Sloatsburg or Tuxedo and walked in. The protestors wanted a location on the west side of the lake and on deep water. Herbert Hauptmann, Walter Shannon and myself and others walked down from Blue Bird on numerous occasions to scout the area. We pressured the Council to select the present site which appears to us to have been the best. The site was officially selected by the Chapter and Frank J. Oliver met J.J. Tamsen, the Superintendent of Construction, and the location was official with the Park.
Before any definite action could be taken it was necessary to decide on what the capacity of the camp should be. The Camp Committee had many loud and active sessions discussing this point. Some were very strong for a capacity of about 25. Others wanted a much larger capacity to provide for growth and expansion, and also to provide income sufficient to pay the rent. The final decision was a capacity of 60. Now we were in a position to tell the Park the desired dimensions and number of cabins, and also to make the appropriate plans for the necessary equipment to be purchased. From our experience at Blue Bird, it was decided to have all the sleeping quarters out and away from the main building. Also, it was thought best to have the buildings somewhat removed from the shoreline.
I met Mr. Tamsen at the site and selected the locations of the main building, the five cabins and the dock. The sixth cabin was added in 1929. The dock was located on deep water and also where it would be clearly visible from the porch. Mr. Tamsen then made his plans for the construction which we requested to be completed by April 1, 1926. The chimney and fireplace were completed before the winter set in. All the equipment and supplies were trucked in over the ice and up the old road from the canoe dock. Also the coal range, the small folding tables and the pump and water line from the lake was brought in at the same time. These items were purchased from the Park. Of course there was no road in to camp at that time.”
1925 was a busy year for the NY Chapter and the Adirondack Mountain Club. Our Chapter had been established two years earlier. The Albany Chapter was the first Chapter to be established only three years earlier. A vote was taken to amend the ADK Constitution to address the division of members’ dues between the parent club and the chapters to provide the chapters with the necessary finances to support their local activities. Members of the NY Chapter withheld payment of their dues to support this cause. One incentive for the main club to support this was their interest in forming additional chapters. The new financial arrangement would encourage regions throughout New York State to create chapters and thus increase the membership of the ADK.
The attached photos are from Walter Weaver’s photo album generously contributed by his son, Geoff Weaver. The photographer: Herb Hauptmann.