The Hotels of Hague, Warren County, New York

Hague, Warren Co., NY
The Hotels Of Hague

Date Last Updated: 10/02/2008

The tourist industry in Hague has always been brisk due to the overall beauty of the Adirondack mountains and the pristine waters of Lake George. Hague was front page news in the September 23, 1854 issue of Gleason's Pictorial (Vol. VII No. 12.- Whole No. 168). The article titled "COTTAGE NEAR HAGUE, LAKE GEORGE" starts by describing a "romantic spot on Lake George" (see transcription and images below).

The town's first link to the tourist industry may be the inclusion of its name on the 1828 map: The tourist's map of the state of New York, William Willams (NYPL Digital Gallery). This excerpt of the map shows the location of the town - indicated by the small O next to the name. The location seems to mark the approximate center of town at that time (keep in mind that in 1828 the town boundaries included a portion of what is now Horicon).

While the town was not formed until 1807 (as Rochester, then Hague in 1808), the area has been highlighted in history ever since Lord Abercrombie and 16,000 troops rested at Sabbath Day Point on their way to Ticonderoga. A 1755 map by Thomas Jefferys is one of the earliest references to the area on record. This map predates the march by Abercrombie in1758, the1759 march by General Amherst, and the many activities of Robert Rogers during that era. This excerpt shows Sabbath Day point as the only spot indicated on the west side of the lake, just above the "Narrows":


Excerpt: A Map of the Most Inhabited Part of New England, Thomas Jefferys, 1755
(Stony Brook University, University Libraries, The Map Collection)

Federal and state census records contain some of the earliest notes on proprietors in the hotel industry (more census details below): 

1850s and 1860s: Nathaniel Garfield, Charlotte Garfield: Inn Keeper, Hotel Keeper, Land Lady

1870s: Edwin Norton, John Wheeler, Alonzo Russell, Warren Russell, Joel W Rising: Boarding House Keeper, Hotel Keeper

1880: John Wheeler, Sarah Elethorpe, Joel W Rising, John McClenathan: Boarding House Keeper, Hotel Keeper  


In 1876, F. W. Bears & Co. published the County Atlas of Warren New York, From recent and actual Surveys and Records. The various town maps can be found at the Warren County, NY Records Storage Center & Archives website. The maps show the location of buildings and list the names of the property owners (when known). For Hague, it lists the following:

Phoenix Hotel, J. W. Rising, Proprietor (see the Hague P.O. inset - near the present town beach)

Bayview House, L. Bruce (see the Hague P.O. inset - just before "Holman Hill", south of the Phoenix Hotel)

Throughout the 1880s and 1890s a number of authors and publishers provided a valuable advertising service for the hotel industry. Like advertising today, the format and data varied from publication to publication. Typical data included hotel name, proprietor, occupancy, and rates. (See hotel advertising excerpts below.) The hotels and proprietors mentioned include:

Sabbath Day Point House       Samuel Westurn
Phoenix Hotel                         
Joel W. Rising, G. F. Marshall
Bay View House                       
Lyman Bruce
Trout House                            
John Wheeler, Charles H. Wheeler
Hillside House                        
John McClenathan
Island Harbor House              Albert C. Clifton

Daily rates typically were $1.50, with weekly rates ranging from $7.00 to $11.00. Meals were often advertised at 50 cents. The hotels could be reached by various combinations of trains, stages, and boats. The steamers making daily trips on Lake George stopping at all locations included the Horicon, Ganouskie, and Ticonderoga. 

This series of advertisements appeared in the The "D and H" Tourist Handbook (about 1890):


The Ticonderoga Sentinel contains numerous references for the early hotels and boarding houses in Hague. A quick search on NNYLN.net provides the following hotels and their earliest reference:

Phoenix -1875,
Trout House (aka Wheeler's Boarding House)- 1877
Hillside House - 1882,
Island Harbor Hotel - 1883
Rising House - 1887,
Uncas - 1896,
Silver Bay Hotel - 1896,
Sabbath Day Point House - 1897,
Lake Shore Mine Boarding House - 1901 and 1903
Duell Bros. (Graphite Boarding House) - 1902
Iroquois Hotel - 1902 and 1918.

 

Mike De Larm has assembled an impressive collection of postcards from Hague and surrounding areas. Postmarks on the cards are often in the very early 1900's. This card postmarked in 1903 shows The Iroquois, Trout House, Island Harbor House, and The Phoenix:


 

More cards from Mike's collection: 

Phoenix (about 1905)
Trout House (1907)
Hillside House (1906)
Island Harbor House (1908)
Rising House (1908)
Uncas (1911)
Silver Bay Hotel (1906)
Sabbath Day Point House (1907)
Duell Bros. (Graphite Boarding House) (1912)
Iroquois Hotel (about 1910)

Mike can be contacted at lakeview.antiques@yahoo.com.


From Lake George Reflections (by Frank Leonbruno):

Sabbath Day Point later became the site of the Sabbath Day Point House, operated for 57years (1899 to 1956) by the Carney family. It came into the Carney family's possession when Frank Carney, Sr., married Adele Westurn, niece of Samuel Westurn, who had first begun taking guests in 1860. Carney enlarged the hotel and built up the surrounding 500-acre farm.

From the family record of Robert K. Rand, great-great-grandson of Hiram Rand, Sr.:

RAND FAMILY OF HAGUE, NEW YORK

Hiram [Rand, Jr.] built a small hotel where the Catholic Church was constructed in 1923. Grace and Charles Renner operated the hotel about 1920. The Church cornerstone was laid in August 1923.


(The Rand Hotel circa 1922)

 

 


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From Gleason's Pictorial:
BOSTON, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 1854
Vol. VII No. 12.- Whole No. 168

COTTAGE NEAR HAGUE, LAKE GEORGE.
The picture we give below represents a romantic spot on Lake George. It has been frequently asserted, and with some degree of truth, that this country, great as it is in many respects, is yet sadly deficient in the elements of the picturesque, as compared with Europe. This is at least asserted by artists and travelers of taste, that our scenery is monotonous—our rural residences without much beauty—our peasant homes, like our peasant costumes, very deficient in that quality which the poet loves to describe, or the pencil of the artist to realize. Now in all this we are willing to admit there is some degree of truth, for this is as yet a new country, weighed in the scale of modern civilization and progress. We do not look for the “cloud-capped towers,” or “gorgeous palaces” of an elder land—no strong-built fortress or donjon-keep frowns over the passes of our rivers, as on the Rhine or arrowy (sic) Rhone. No Norman castle, Saxon stronghold, or baronial hall, stands amidst our fair forests; even the “moated grange” is a stranger amongst us; neither are our pleasant valleys adorned with ancient abbey or priory—nor will our farm houses and rustic habitations compare with the weather-stained, moss-covered, stone-built cottages of Devonshire or Cumberland. But as a set-off to all these apparent defects, we have more of Nature, pure and uncorrupt as she came from the hands of her Maker, and as yet little injured by the hands of man. Here nature appears to have been laid out on a grand and more gigantic scale than in petty Europe. And though there may not be so many minor beauties in a small space, yet is not either beauty, grandeur, or sublimity wanting, as, witness our mountains, and lakes, and noble forests—our rolling rivers, and resounding waterfalls! And have we not the picturesque ? differing in kind, and more rare it may be than in an older country; but who looking upon this sketch of a cottage “shanty” by the side of Lake George, but must feel that the picturesque is also with us. And as to Lake George itself, it is one of the most admirable sheets of water to be found in the whole world. Elevated some 240 feet above high water in the Hudson, it is surrounded by hills rising sometimes to mountains, and presents a pleasing variety of bold and beautiful forms, dotted with islands of every shape and size. The water is so transparent that the bottom may be seen at the distance of thirty or forty feet. Its unruffled surface reflects the images of the surrounding scenery with most charming effect, and enkindles the sentiment of pleasure in the beholder.

From the Ticonderoga Sentinel (NNYLN.net):
Jan. 9, 1875 [Hague]

A party of young people assembled at the Phoenix Hotel on New Year's Eve and "chased the glowing hours with flying feet" till morning.

From the Ticonderoga Sentinel (NNYLN.net):
FRIDAY MORNING, AUG. 31, 1877.

Hague. Aug. 29. ... John Wheeler's summer boarding house has been filled to overflowing this summer.

From the Ticonderoga Sentinel (NNYLN.net):
FRIDAY, JULY 7, 1882

Boarders are arriving at Hague, and the hotel and boarding house proprietors begin to look cheerful. The Phoenix has seven, the Hillside house has ten and the Trout house nine guests, and more expected every day. The rooms in the Hillside house and Trout house are all engaged for July.

From the Ticonderoga Sentinel (NNYLN.net):
FRIDAY, APRIL 27, 1883.

The Island Harbor House, Hague. A. C. Clifton, proprietor, will be open May 17.

From the Ticonderoga Sentinel (NNYLN.net):
TICONDEROGA, N. Y., MAY 20, 1887

B. A. Rising of Hague was in town Tuesday. Mr. Rising opens the Rising House the first of next month. The house will afford a charming residence for summer visitors, as it is in the midst of delightful scenery, pleasant drives, and fine fishing.

From the Ticonderoga Sentinel (NNYLN.net):
THURSDAY, JULY 2, 1896

Hotel Uncas, Silver Bay, Smith Sexton, proprietor, was formally opened by a ball on Thursday evening of last week. About 30 couple were present. All speak in the highest terms of Smith's ability as a host. Hubert's orchestra furnished the music.

From the Ticonderoga Sentinel (NNYLN.net):
THURSDAY, JULY 30,1896

The number of summer guests at the hotels at Hague are as follows:
    The Hillside, John McClanathan, proprietor, 35;
    Trout House, Charles Wheeler, proprietor, 40;
    Rising House, B. A. Rising, proprietor 35;
    Phoenix, G. F. Marshal proprietor, 14;
    Island Harbor-House, B. A. Clifton, proprietor, 28;
    Hotel Uncas at Silver Bay, Smith Sexton, proprietor,
            is a new house and as yet has but a limited number of guests;
    J. J. Wilson at Silver Bay has about 30 guests.

From the Ticonderoga Sentinel (NNYLN.net):
THURSDAY, JUNE 17, 1897.

June 16, ... The guests are beginning to arrive at the Sabbath Day Point House.

From the Ticonderoga Sentinel (NNYLN.net):
THURSDAY, APRIL 11,1901.

Miss Ida Hayford has gone to Hague to work in the boarding house at the Lake Shore mine.

From the Ticonderoga Sentinel (NNYLN.net):
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 27, 1902.

DUELL BROTHERS OF GRAPHITE BURNED OUT. Store, Boarding House and Post Office Goes up in Smoke. The large -wooden building at Graphite in which the Duell brothers con ducted a general merchandise business and boarding house under the firm name of Duell Bros., and owned by them, was destroyed by fire last Friday morning, Fred Duell, A member of the firm, was in Troy at the time attending the mercantile exposition and was notified of his loss by telegraph, the fire was discovered about 8 o'clock in the morning and an immediate alarm soon brought a large crowd to the scene. Everything that the limited means at hand would permit was done to save some of the goods, but the rapidity with which they spread prevented the taking out of any thing. In fact, on account of the almost incredible rapidity with which they spread, the disaster narrowly escaped being a holocaust, the Duell family living in the building just getting out in time to save their lives. The loss in merchandise, post office appurtenances and furniture, though large, is partially covered by insurance, though the value of the establishment or the amount of insurance carried we cannot accurately ascertain. The fire started in the store, but the cause is unknown.

From the Ticonderoga Sentinel (NNYLN.net):
THURSDAY JULY 24, 1902

The Hague Regatta ... [15th annual]
The prizes will be given to the winners at the regatta ball, which will be held at the Hotel Iroquois in the evening.

From the Ticonderoga Sentinel (NNYLN.net):
THURSDAY JANUARY 26, 1903.

A farewell ball was given at the Lake Shore mine boarding house Friday night, quite number of people from here being in attendance.

From the Ticonderoga Sentinel (NNYLN.net):
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 26, 1918

HAGUE HOTEL MAN INCREASES HIS HOLDINGS
Richard J. Bolton, for many years as proprietor of the Trout house, one of the best known of Lake George hotel men, has increased holdings in the beautiful lake resort by the purchase of the Iroquois hotel, which adjoins the Trout House. The Iroquois, located on a two-acre lot, was purchased by Mr. Bolton from Mrs. Caroline M. Edwards and contains fifty rooms. It will be used by the new owner as an annex to the Trout House and will give him one of the finest hotel properties on Lake George.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Federal and state census records:

In 1850 the Federal Census started to list all members of each household and their occupations (NY started with its 1855 census). The 1850 Federal Census for Hague lists Nathaniel Garfield [1793 - 1853] as having the occupation of "Inn Keeper". His wife Charlotte [Harwood] Garfield is listed in the 1855 NY State Census as "Hotel Keeper".

The 1860 Federal Census lists H. H. Garfield as "Hotel Keeper" and his mother, Charlotte, as "Land Lady". The 1865 NY Census did not list any "hotel keepers".

Edwin Norton, John Wheeler [1816 - 1885], Alonzo Russell (aged 42), and Alonzo's son, Warren Russell, aged 22, were listed as "Hotel Keeper" in the 1870 Federal Census. In the 1875 NY Census, John Wheeler  was listed as "Boarding House Keeper" and Joel W Rising was listed as "Hotel Keeper".

The 1880 Federal Census lists John Wheeler [1816 - 1885] as "Boarding House Keeper". Sarah [Bryan] Elethorpe is also listed as "Boarding House Keeper" in 1880 (several persons are listed as "miner" in this household). Joel W Rising and John McClenathan are listed as "Hotel Keeper" in 1880.

 

 

 

Hotel Advertising Excerpts:

From The Adirondacks: Illustrated. by S. R. Stoddard, 1881 (Cornell University Library New York State Historical Literature):

Page xii, Hotels; Lake George Houses; (town, hotel, proprietor, occupancy, rates, page in "Lake George Illustrated"):

Sabbath Day Point - House, S. Westurn, 24, $7-10w.; $1.50d.; 50c m.; p.114
Hague - Phoenix Hotel, Joel Rising, 50, p 116
             Trout House, John Wheeler, 35, $7w.; $1 d.;   50c m.; p.117
             Hillside House, John McClanathan, 40, $7-10w.; $1.50d.; 50c m.; p.116

...

The "H0RIC0N" (Capt. C. P. Russell) and "GANOUSKIE" (Capt. J. H. Manville) are owned by the same company (Champlain Transportation Company), and double Lake George daily each way.

 

From the Attractions of Lake George And Vicinity, C. H. Possons, 1885 (Cornell University Library New York State Historical Literature):

                        Hotels of Lake George,
WITH THEIR POSTOFFICE ADDRESSES AND CAPACITY FOR ACCOMMODATION OF GUESTS:

Sabbath Day Point House        24        Sabbath Day Point.
Phoenix Hotel                          50        Hague 
Bay View House                       20        ''
Trout House                             35        ''
Hillside House                          40        ''

...

HAGUE. Here are four hotels: Phoenix Hotel, with accommodations for fifty guests; Bay House, twenty guests; Trout House, thirty-five guests; Hillside House, forty guests. Steaming on from Hague we pass Cook's Island and then Friend's Point, where two scouting parties, belonging to the same force, once met, and in the darkness of the night came near firing on each other. Two miles from Hague on the east shore, will be seen Anthony's Nose, a bold and lofty hill, with rocks jutting out into the Lake. The old saint has a numerous nose, as there are three other places in the state that bear his name-one on the Hudson, and two others on the Mohawk. - Here is the deepest water of the Lake. Two miles farther. on the west side, is Roger's Slide. This is a steep, smooth precipice of naked rock, inclining at a sharp angle in the face of the mountain. It forms a prominent object from the Lake. At the foot of the slide the water is quite deep. It received its present name, it is alleged, from the fact that Rogers the Ranger was once surprised here by Indians, and made his escape on the ice, the Indians supposing he slid down the bill, His luggage only went down the precipice, Rogers himself descending through less dangerous ravines.

From The "D and H" Tourist Handbook and Chateau Gay to the Heart of the Adirondacks, Saratoga, and lakes George and Champlain, by H. Wilbur Hayes, (approx. 1890, Cornell University Library New York State Historical Literature):

List of Summer Hotels and Boarding Houses.
Name of House, Landlord, Capacity, Rates per Day, Rates Per Week

    Hague, N. Y.
Hillside House                John McClanathan    35    1.50    8 to 10
Island Harbor House      A. C. Clifton             25    1.50    8 to 10
Trout House                   C. H. Wheeler          30    1.50    7 to  8

...

The shores of Lake George are dotted with beautiful hotels, and the magnificent steamers Horicon and Ticonderoga, of the Lake George Steamboat Company, make two round trips daily, touching at all landings.

 

 

©2006, Bruce De Larm. These records are protected by copyright laws
and may not be copied or reproduced without permission.

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