A three-day event celebrating Great Camp architecture will provide a variety of opportunities to get a behind-the-scenes tours of great camps in and around Raquette Lake. A boat cruise aboard the W.W. Durant and community events are scheduled to take place Friday through Sunday, August 4-6, 2017.
Durant Days kicks off on Friday with a tribute to William West Durant aboard the W.W. Durant during a luncheon and tours of great camps along Raquette Lake. The Durant will make a stop at historic Camp Pine Knot. For reservations, call Raquette Lake Navigation at (315) 354-5532.
On Saturday, August 5th, Wide Variety, Jersey’s Premier A Cappella Group will be performing. Doors open at the Raquette Lake School starting at 1:30 pm and the performance begins at 2 pm, admission is free, donations appreciated. This concert is co-sponsored by the Long Lake Parks and Recreation Department and the Central Adirondacks Association.
Music continues at 4 pm on the Raquette Lake Village Green with Jamie Sutliff and Eric Peter performing a free benefit concert. The proceeds will be used to produce the original short film “Dance of the Wood Nymph.” This art film will feature classical interpretive dance set to an original music score by Michael Hartigan of the Vermont String Quartet and starring UCLA Dance Major, Iris Feldman. The project comes on the heels of Jamie Sutliff’s 2016 win for Best Screenplay at the Utah film awards.
On Saturday evening, The Raquette Lake Boat Parade begins at 7 pm. Registration forms will be available at Burke’s and Bird’s Marina. Prizes will be awarded to first place winners in each boat category along with a Best in Show. The 2017 theme is “From The Forest.” Call Pat (315) 354-4070 for more info or to register. Saturday’s festivities wrap up with a fireworks show at dusk.
On Sunday, half-priced tours of Great Camp Sagamore will be offered at 10 am. At 2 pm a water taxi service to and from St. Hubert’s Isle in Raquette Lake depart from the village dock for the annual ecumenical vespers service at the Episcopal Church of the Good Sheperd at 3 pm. Erected by developer William West Durant in 1880, the church was built to serve the owners, guests and employees of the great camps that Durant was having built in the area.
Great camp architecture refers to the lavish family compounds built in the latter half of the nineteenth century. These camps were summer homes for the wealthy, where they could relax, host or attend parties, and enjoy the wilderness. The architecture was characterized by the use of logs and indigenous stone, shingled roofs with broad overhangs and porches. The style of the great camps was influenced by the British Arts and Crafts Movement and the related American Craftsman style as well as by Swiss chalet design. William West Durant, an early developer of the camps, was familiar with all three styles and adapted his designs to local materials and the skills of the craftsmen.
Photos from above: W. W. Durant; and Raquette Lake Boat Parade Mystery Machine, provided.