Sunday, September 2, 2018

Newcomb Exhibits Marking Camp Santanoni’s 125th Year

robery pruynA new exhibit at the Newcomb Historical Museum, The Pruyns of Camp Santanoni, focuses on the nearly 13,000 acres of the Santanoni Preserve and the family that founded Great Camp Santanoni on Newcomb Lake.

Begun in 1892 by Albany banker Robert C. Pruyn, and his artistic and wilderness-loving wife Anna Williams Pruyn, the main camp was sufficiently completed for its first official party of family and friends in 1893. In the years that followed, R.C. and Anna hosted many more events, raised a family of four, taught their 10 grandchildren to love the Adirondacks, and relished famous spring fishing parties with 16 guests who often stayed for two weeks. For years the closure of each summer season was marked by an October hunting trip reserved for nine Albany gentlemen who celebrated Robert Pruyn’s birthday.

Santanoni Fish caught in 1910In recognition of the 125 years that the camp has stood at Newcomb Lake and its mountainous surroundings, the Newcomb Historical Museum has planned a two-year celebration.

In 2019, with a new exhibit entitled Behind The Scenes At Camp Santanoni: The Pruyn Years And After, the museum will turn its attention to the employees whose service made the preserve a productive farm as well as a comfortable seasonal home for its owners.

For both exhibits, visitors will have the chance to see extensive collections of photographs and artifacts donated by Susan Pruyn King, the only surviving Pruyn grandchild, and the Tummins and Vroman families, longstanding residents of Newcomb.

Exhibit hours are Monday-Friday, 12-5; Saturday 10-5, and closed Sunday. The current exhibit will be open through September and October.

For more information, contact the Newcomb Historical Museum at (518) 582-2274.

Photos of Robert C. Pruyn and fish caught in 1910 at Camp Santanoni.

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5 Responses

  1. Bruce Van Deuson says:

    This reminded me of the story about little Douglas Legg who became separated from his family while at Santanoni in 1971. He was never found. Myself and another leader took several boys from our scout troop up there for a weekend to help search.

    Several theories exist about what happened to him, the most likely, at least in my mind, is that he went through a bog and drowned. While we were searching out on a shaky beaver meadow, one of our search team went through a thin spot up to his armpits and had to be pulled out.

  2. Karen Smith says:

    Thanks for remembering the employees.
    The Young Adult Conservation Corps (YACC) spent a few years keeping snow off the roofs of this great camp (1978-1979). Jim Sullivan was our boss (DEC). We lived in the servant’s quarters (gate house) and took snowmobiles in daily to spend day after day shoveling. Then the feds sent in their guys to learn how to use snow machines in case of a terrorist attack at the 1980 Olympics.

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