Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Adirondack Family Activities: Rustic Riders at St Williams

My family has never gone to St. William’s on Long Point. I am aware of its special programming and always think that I have a full summer to attend just one of the free Thursday events. As we travel around hiking, swimming and eating our way through the Adirondack Park, suddenly the end of the summer looms and only one more special event is scheduled to take place on Long Point.

I get an e-mail reminder from Lisa Meissner of the acoustic group, Rustic Riders. Lisa and her husband Klauss will be performing at St. Williams on Long Point in Raquette Lake on August 23, 7:00 p.m.

The Rustic Riders will be breaking out with some of their new songs and old favorites during the August 23 performance. There will be two other special events as part of the St. William’s on Long Point Thursday series, though the August 30 and October 6 events will be held at the Raquette Lake School on Route 28.

In 1889 William West Durant established the town of Durant on a peninsula that was water-accessible only. Located on the southeastern part of Raquette Lake, W.W. Durant’s town soon included a general store and post office. Originally a Catholic Church, St. William’s was completed in 1890. The town of Durant changed its name to Raquette Lake and relocated to its present site due to its more convenient location to the railroad coming from New York City.  In the late 1930s the rectory in Raquette Lake burned and the new St. William’s was built in town. St William’s on Long Point began offering mass mostly during the summer season.

St. William’s evolved from a functioning church to summer retreat center for Franciscan Friars to its final not-for-profit, nondenominational status in 1993. A year later, events were introduced to bring public awareness to the historic site through the free Thursday evening programs. On the National Register of Historic Places, St. William’s currently accommodates overnight guests for weddings, groups or retreats in its water-access only property.

As with all the St. Williams Thursday events, this one is free and open to the public. Reservations (315-354-4265) are required for the boat transportation, which leaves from the Raquette Lake town dock. The boat leaves at 6:00 pm and returns at 8:30 pm. In cases of severe weather, events are relocated to the Raquette Lake School. I hope to see you there.

Photo of St. William’s Catholic Church courtesy St. William’s on Long Point

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Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities guidebook series, Adirondack Family Time. She writes about ways to foster imaginative play through fun-filled events and activities in the Adirondack region.

From her home in Saranac Lake, Diane also writes a weekly family-oriented newspaper column for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise and keeps her own blog Adirondack Family Time. Her writing and photography has appeared in numerous newspapers, magazines, marketing companies and advertising agencies.

She even finds time to assist her husband with Adirondack Expeditions guiding families and young adults in the High Peaks.

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