Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Inlet’s Neodak Lodge 1901-1958

At the August 2017 Inlet Historical Society’s Annual Membership Meeting at The Woods Inn, I presented a program about The Neodak Lodge. My research was augmented by Kathy Tortorello, Diane Tyrell and Marylou Arps, granddaughters of Roy and Emma Rogers, who generously provided me with Rogers family information and photographs. That program and its supporting content became the foundation for this history. Also, this is an updated version of the article printed afterwards in the Adirondack Express.

neodak lodge

What is the origin of the word Neodak? Three authorities use the term. Two indicate it as the first part of a Cayuga (Iroquois Nation) town name, Neodakheat, in western New York. The third considered the name as typical usage of Native American-sounding names in the Adirondacks, giving Nehasane Park and Neodak Lodge as examples.

A 1927 account about the New Neodak Hotel claimed that Native Americans in the distant past routinely landed at the Head of Fourth Lake and named it “Neodak”, meaning “good location” or “head of the lake.”  According to a 1941 report, sixteen Rochesterians representing the “Cayuga Tribe” made the “first” of planned annual pilgrimages to the burial ground of Chief Neodakis (?), “famous Adirondack tribal leader of the 18th century.”  Following a ceremony and a steak dinner, the group concluded festivities with an evening “indian circle” council fire, featuring stories, songs and “tribal games.”

Later, a traditional Neodak Lodge event would have a “chief Neodakis” meet the steak roast boat at an Eighth Lake location where a ceremony included the taking of a volunteer female guest as an “indian wife.”   Participants sang and danced around a large tree and the Neodak staff treated them to a wonderful feast. Then, wearing headdresses and paint on their faces, they returned on the Osprey to Sixth Lake Dam where they were transported to the Neodak.

The Neodak history begins in 1901 and ends September 1958, when owner John E. Rogers announced the closure of the Rogers family’s Neodak Lodge and offered the property to the Town of Inlet for a public park for $66,000. When the Town Board declined, Rogers assigned the property in November that year to Charles Vosburgh, a well-known Cortland auctioneer.  A few years later, the Town did accept an offer from the O’Hara family for another hotel’s tract, their Arrowhead Hotel property. This location has been transformed in the years since into today’s popular Arrowhead Park in the center of downtown Inlet, Hamilton County.

NEODAK LODGE’S LAND OWNERSHIP HISTORY

The Neodak Sublots 30 – 37, Great Lot 55 Fourth Lake

These were the sublots of the Neodak Lodge tract at its termination of operations. The timing of when the Neodak resort owners acquired these sublots relates to the hotel’s history timeline. I appreciate your patience with the following detailed descriptions of the slices of the land pie that became the Neodak Lodge property.

In a March 1889 purchase from the Permelia Munn Estate, James Galvin and his associates acquired 6000 acres of Moose River Tract Township 3 lands. They then subdivided their tract’s Limekiln, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Lakes shorelines into mostly 66-foot-wide lots to sell as camp and hotel lots. This association, originally The Fulton Chain Club, delegated James and Jennie Galvin as agents for its land conveyances for what was termed on maps as “The James Galvin Allotment.”  Consequently, the Galvins are listed on many Inlet land deeds.

Before the Neodak property was subdivided anew for the 1959 auction, Rogers’ sublots (from west to east along the Fourth Lake South Shoreline) were numbered on the Galvin Allotment Map as 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36 and 37.

To the west of these eight (30-37) sublots facing Fourth Lake was the neighboring Pratt Lot. This eighty-acre oblong lot met the lake’s shoreline at an easterly angle. The Pratt Lot became the location for the new Araho Hotel opened by Charles O’Hara in 1923, later acquired by Oscar and Hans Holl who renamed it Holls Inn. These hotels are discussed at length in my book, The Fulton Chain.

The Pratt Lot’s eastern line formed the rear line, bearing away from the shoreline, for each of the eight sublots. Consequently, each of the sublots, though similar in width, increased in length along the shoreline, sublot 30 being the shortest and sublot 37 the longest in size.

Sublot 30

The earliest purchase of what became the Neodak property occurred in January 1895 when Frederick Kirch acquired sublot 30 from the Galvins and built one of the first Inlet camps on the South Shore of Fourth Lake. Three Kirch sisters married Inlet pioneering families: Archibald Delmarsh (Laura), Edwin Harwood (Minnie) and Frank Tiffany (Anna). Kirch, who married Frank Tiffany’s daughter Letty from a prior marriage, was the father of current (2021) Inlet Town historian Letty Kirch Haynes.

In June 1906, Kirch sold his rustic camp to John E. O’Hara, brother of the Arrowhead Hotel’s owner Charles A. O’Hara. John O’Hara sold sublot 30 to Royal W. Rogers in November 1927 who made it part of the Neodak Lodge complex.

Sublot 31

Alma M. Taylor of Syracuse purchased Sublot 31 from the Galvins on May 18, 1897. Alma sold this lot to Roy W. Rogers on April 13, 1905. Alma died on May 7, 1907. This was Rogers’ first acquisition of land that became The Neodak. If not built by Taylor, Rogers’ white cottage Rob Roy was built soon after the purchase.

Sublot 32

In August 1899, William Burton purchased sublot 32 from the Galvins for $200. William, partnering with his brother Robert, had built the Fred Hess steamer W.S. Webb, later sold with the other Crosby Transportation Company steamers to the Fulton Navigation Company in 1901 and renamed Uncas. Burton piloted steamers for the Fulton Navigation Company for several years.

In December 1899, Burton sold sublot 32 to Rome businessman James C. Pendill for $300. Pendill was superintendent of Rome’s Bingham Harness Company until his death. Ownership of sublots 32 and the adjacent 33 will change repeatedly over the next year.

Three months later in February 1900 Pendill sold a section of sublot 32 to Emma A. Binks for $750. Emma Binks was bookkeeper for Pendill’s company.

Since the dining room of Pendill’s cottage in sublot 33, purchased the prior year, extended into sublot 32, he retained the 12-foot-wide section that included the cottage section. Four months after acquiring the reduced sublot 32, Emma Binks married William A. Preston in June 1900.

Ownership of sublot 32 changed again. Emma Preston sold her sublot 32 portion back to Pendill in late November 1900 for $2000. In return, Pendill sold his sublot 33 including his 12-foot-wide cottage sublot 32 strip to Emma Preston, giving her ownership of sublot 33 and the entire Pendill Cottage.

After Pendill’s 1909 death, his widow Addie Collins Pendill and son Willoughby Pendill sold their portion of sublot 32 to Herman and Bertha Hart Williston in May 1912. A year later in August 1913, the Willistons sold the truncated sublot 32 to Frank E. Tiffany and Roy W. Rogers. In October that year, Tiffany sold his sublot 32 interest to Roy W. Rogers, who owned the adjacent sublot 31.

Sublot 33

In May 1899, James C. Pendill of Rome purchased sublot 33 from the Galvins and in December, mentioned above, acquired adjacent sublot 32 from William Burton. Pendill soon built a large cottage on the sublot 33, a section extending into sublot 32, also mentioned above.

When Pendill repurchased sublot 32 from Emma Preston in November 1900, he in return sold her his sublot 33 and included the 12-foot strip from sublot 32 for $4500.

Sublot 34

In October 1902, Emma Preston purchased sublot 34 from the Galvins. By this time, Camp Neodak had been in operation for little more than a year.

Sublots 35 and 36

In February 1909, Emma Preston purchased adjacent sublots 35 and 36 from the Galvins. She soon after sold a 16½’ wide strip from the easterly (left) side of sublot 36 to Frank Tiffany that adjoined his sublot 37 (see below). Tiffany wanted a forested land buffer between the hotel and his camp.

Sublots 33 34 35 36 Continued/Combined

Emma Preston’s financial affairs dovetailed after her husband’s death in November 1909. Mortgages for her sublot purchases were foreclosed. First, the Rome Savings Bank acquired sublots 34, 35, and her 36 interests for $3700 in an auction held at The Wood Hotel on April 4, 1914. Then, a month later at another auction held at the Wood Hotel May 8, her sister Sarah Binks Fuller foreclosed on another mortgage executed earlier with Emma Preston and Sarah Fuller acquired sublot 33 and the 12-foot strip in sublot 32, Pendill’s former cottage lands, for $2700.

In September 1918, Sarah and her husband William Fuller sold these lands to Roy Rogers. In August 1919, the former Pendill cottage burns.

A month after acquiring sublots 34, 35 and 36, the Rome Savings Bank signed a “land contract” in May 1915 with Philo Wood (owner of The Wood hotel, now the Woods Inn). Philo Wood then assigned this contract to his son Charles in December that year. The Bank dissolved this contract when it sold the three sublots to Charles Wood in September 1917. Shortly before his death in 1920, Charles sold these sublots 34, 35 36 containing The Wood annex (a.k.a. The Neodak) to Roy Rogers in October 1919. 

Rogers now owned sublots 31 to 35 and most of 36. He owned The Neodak hotel, but the smaller Camp Neodak, the former Pendill cottage, was in ruins from the August fire.

Sublot 37

In May 1899, Frank E. Tiffany purchased sublot 37 from the Galvins and built a camp. Tiffany later served as Inlet’s first elected Town Supervisor, then a County Judge, started a real estate business (today’s Burkhard Evans) and was an investment advisor to James’ widow Ms. Jennie Galvin and other prominent Inlet insurance customers.

In April 1942, Roy Rogers acquired sublot 37 from Frank Tiffany’s heirs: son Lansing and daughter, Letty Mae Tiffany Kirch, and their spouses Magdelene Kopp Tiffany and Frederick Kirch, respectively.

NEODAK LODGE HISTORY, ITS NAMES

Camp Neodak – The Preston Years

On his sublot 33 newly acquired from the Galvins, James Pendill in 1899 built “a handsome and convenient cottage…”. It was to have “a piazza on three sides of the camp, the interior will be finished in North Carolina pine, with an American plate glass window in front. A.L. and E.A. Lamb and James Soper of Rome were among the workmen. The cottage will be completed about July 15.” However, part of this cottage extended into William Burton’s adjacent sublot 32. Burton then sold his lot to Pendill for a higher price than he paid the Galvins.

William A. Preston (Dec. 4, 1865 – November 18, 1909), born in Sangerfield NY, was a chief clerk for the New York Central Railroad Division that provided New York City to Syracuse service. He held this position for the last decade of his twenty-year career that ended around 1900. In June that year, William married Emma A. Binks (May 1871 – August 31, 1937) of Rome, NY. They later had a son Alfred Binks Preston (Sept. 27, 1907-Aug. 8, 1982).

William and Emma Preston now engaged in the hotel business.

At the beginning of 1900, Emma Preston’s Rome supervisor James Pendill sold her his sublot 32, excluding the strip occupied by his cottage “dining room”. In November that year, Emma Preston sold this truncated sublot back to Pendill ($2000) and Pendill sold his sublot 33 to Preston ($4500), including the cottage portion from sublot 32. The Prestons now owned the Pendill cottage.

The Prestons renamed the Pendill Cottage Camp Neodak and opened it for the season in the summer of 1901. A picture of the cottage with this name on it I believe is the cottage on page 8 of Letty Haynes’ Memories of Inlet, where she shows photos of three stages of Neodak’s history. Its ads featured “new furnishings, large airy rooms, a first-class table” and a promise of good fishing.

On October 13, 1902, Emma Binks Preston acquired sublot 34 from the Galvins. William and Emma Preston added to Camp Neodak with “the erection of a four-story building containing 25 sleeping rooms, bathrooms and a large amusement hall. Pure spring running water in both (new building and former Pendill) camps. The house is lighted by acetylene gas, and new and substantial furnishings make it one of the finest camps on the lake.”  Camp Neodak was now the two-building operation seen in postcards and travel photo books.

neodak

The Prestons provided guided hikes to Limekiln Lake and other local attractions. In April 1902, the Prestons added new boats for their livery purchased from Parsons & Co. in Old Forge. A year later in August 1903, William purchased a gasoline launch from the John E. Roberts company in Old Forge.  Over the next two years, the Prestons’ Camp Neodak grew in popularity and clientele as well.

Expanding hotel operations, the Prestons in 1905 leased the Eagle Bay Hotel on the North Shore of Fourth Lake across the lake from Camp Neodak. The Eagle Bay Hotel had opened in 1897. In 1904, hotel owners Dwight Sperry and William Glenn managed the hotel after having a series of proprietors since its opening. Until his death in 1909, William Preston was proprietor of The Eagle Bay Hotel while Emma operated The Neodak, renamed in 1908.

camp neodak

Roy Rogers temporarily managed the Neodak’s boathouse for the Prestons. Rogers testified at the Chester Gillette murder trial in 1906. He spoke about his renting a canoe to Gillette with a yoke for carrying it to Seventh Lake. Rogers’1964 obituary noted he was one of the last surviving trial witnesses.

With the success of their Neodak and the Eagle Bay Hotel operations, Emma Preston then expanded the Neodak grounds with the purchase of sublots 35 and 36 in February 1909.

The Prestons’ personal management of two popular Fourth Lake hotels ended when, after suffering a month-long illness in Eagle Bay near the end of the 1909 season, William died on November 18. This left Emma Preston with not only a young child, Alfred born 1907, but also a heavily mortgaged hotel she owned and another under a lease she inherited. She began advertising The Neodak for sale in February 1910.

Emma personally managed the Eagle Bay Hotel from 1910 to 1913 when its owners leased it to Charles O’Hara for the 1914 season. Charles O’Hara’s The Arrowhead had burned in September 1913 and then he tried in vain to purchase the Eagle Bay Hotel. He decided to build The New Arrowhead which opened in June 1916.

While operating the Eagle Bay Hotel, Emma hired short-term managers for The Neodak.

As William’s condition worsened during the summer of 1909, Emma hired Jennie Babcock Risley to operate The Neodak that season. While Risley’s name was in the ad, she may have co-managed the property with her husband, Orson Crosby Risley.

George H. Allen managed The Neodak for the 1910 season. Allen had been proprietor of the Albion House in Orleans County for 17 years. He operated The Neodak one season, left and later died in 1913.

Roy W. Rogers, the boathouse superintendent, agreed to manage The Neodak for the 1911 season. Beginning at the end of 1911, Emma Preston would repeatedly ask Frank Tiffany to persuade Rogers to buy The Neodak. Rogers chose not to renew his Neodak lease for a second year.

For the 1912 season, Emma signed a lease with Ms. Grace E. Van Sinden, a wealthy investor from New York City who at the end of that season could not decide whether to purchase The Neodak, called Camp Neodak again, or the Pratt Camp next door. Emma again urged Tiffany to interest Rogers who she preferred over Ms. Van Sinden. Tiffany preferred Van Sinden because he felt she attracted “a good class of people and kept a very quiet orderly house.” Tiffany’s camp in sublot 37 was near the hotel grounds.

With the hotel properties now renamed Camp Neodak, Ms. Bion (Margaret) H. Kent of Constableville operated the resort for the 1913 season. Until the death of her husband Bion, Margaret and he had operated Forest Lodge at Honnedaga Lake in the Adirondack League Club preserve. Bion Kent had died there in September 1902.

Two mortgage foreclosures forced Emma Preston to lose her Camp Neodak properties. The first was to her sister Sarah Binks Fuller ($2700) for sublot 33 (former Pendill cottage) in March 1914. The second occurred a month later. In April 1914, another foreclosure auction resulted in sublots 34, 35 and most of 36 – excepting a 16 ½ wide strip sold to Frank Tiffany in 1909 – being acquired by the Rome Savings Bank ($3700).

At this time, the Neodak properties ownership were again separated, one part being the original Camp Neodak (Pendill) cottage now owned by William and Sarah Fuller, and the other larger The Neodak building tract owned by the Rome Savings Bank.

The Neodak – The Wood Family Years 

James A. Bailey was a prominent Rome realtor and had been the first president of the Rome Savings Bank. The Bank assigned the selling of The Neodak to Bailey who promptly advertised it in early 1915. Another ad for the sale or lease of Camp Neodak, by Sarah Fuller’s husband William T. Fuller was the smaller, former Pendill cottage next door.

In June 1915, a news report indicated that Wood Hotel owner Philo C. Wood had “purchased” The Neodak from the Rome Savings Bank. Wood’s connection was a lease-purchase “land contract;” no deed was recorded during this period for a property transfer. Wood then jointly advertised both The Wood and The Neodak in ads. The Neodak was often referred to as The Wood Annex.

philo wood

From 1915 to 1919, Philo Wood advertised The Neodak with him as the owner and manager. In 1917, the Rome Savings Bank sold The Neodak to Charles N. Wood, Philo’s son. This deed refers to a “land contract” dated May 15, 1915 that Philo assigned to Charles seven months later. With this 1917 sale, that contract was considered “surrendered” to the Bank. In 1919, Philo Wood advertised his son’s hotel under his name as The Neodak and continued the joint operation with The Wood. Confusing to me and prospective customers, Woods’ ads alternated the names Camp Neodak and the Neodak for the same hotel.

Mentioned above. Sarah Fuller and her husband William had sold sublot 33, which contained Pendill Cottage, to Roy Rogers in September 1918. In June, Roy Rogers advertised the Pendill Cottage as Camp Neodak. On August 17, 1919, Camp Neodak (Pendill Cottage) on Rogers’ sublot 33 burned. The report of the fire recalled that Camp Neodak was “not a large resort but catered to people who returned year after year.” An offshore southwest wind saved the “large Wood Annex” (The Neodak) from flames. Rogers was able to save much of his furniture and equipment.

In October 1919, Charles and his wife Cecile sold the The Neodak properties, sublots 34, 35, and the larger portion of 36 to Roy Rogers ($6000). With this transaction, Philo Wood dissolved his connection with the “Wood annex” on the property. Charles Wood died in an automobile accident the following year. Roy Rogers now owned sublots 31 to 36, including both The Neodak and the destroyed Camp Neodak site.

The New Neodak – The Rogers Years

Royal Woolworth Rogers (October 24, 1881 – October 25, 1964) was born in the Town of Greig, a son of John Robert and Jane Sarah Jones Rogers. In 1892, the Rogers family lived in Turin where he and his family are interred. In 1903, he married Emma Fairchild (January 29, 1879 – January 1, 1961), member of a pioneer Lewis County family. Incidentally, Emma’s twin sister Ella married Roy’s brother William a year later. The sisters’ parents were Fellus and Emma Plumb Fairchild. John and Emma had three children: Beatrice Rogers Terwilliger (1905-1963), Ella Rogers Moran (1907-1994) and John Rogers (1910-1974).

the rogers

Rogers’1964 obituary indicates he had been a guide and connected with both Cedar Island Camp and the Eagle Bay Hotel. Roy and Emma Rogers were neighbors of Frank Tiffany on the South Shore of Fourth Lake in the 1905 (porter), 1910 (laborer) and 1915 (guide) censuses. I have mentioned his being superintendent of the Camp Neodak boathouse in 1906 and proprietor for that hotel in 1911. Both he and his wife Emma testified at the Gillette trial.

After the 1919 fire that destroyed his “Camp Neodak” cottage, Rogers enlarged the surviving Neodak building to the size we find in post-1920 images. According to his 1920 ads, The Neodak was now The New Neodak and was “bigger than ever.” It featured the addition of “15 extra sleeping rooms and a larger dining room that now has the capacity of 50 guests. The New Neodak is another ‘sunset’ camp with beautiful grounds.”

The expanded hotel’s architectural style retained that of the former “The Neodak.”  On the site of the former Pendill cottage, he built a court for tennis and shuffleboard. On the new hotel’s right-side Rogers located the large dining room. The main hotel now had five stories with verandas circling the structure and facing the shore. By the shoreline, he built a new, larger boathouse topped by a second-floor casino. Casinos were usually apart from lodging where orchestras offered music for dancing. Here, hotels could also provide other types of entertainment such as motion pictures and receptions.

Rogers, as did other Adirondack hoteliers of that time, included the term “restricted” on hotel ads. In 1921, two Jewish men sued Rogers. Arriving with reservations, they soon learned from Rogers he only served “gentiles.” They were not satisfied by his offer to find them accommodations elsewhere. In a long 1927 article about the benefits and features of a New Neodak stay, he claimed “we have never entertained Hebrews.” He included this in his printed pamphlet “Something about the Neodak.”

This was an era when some prospective customers would not lodge with Jews; however wrong it was, hotel restrictions may have been a business decision. Consumptives in the late 19th Century formerly sought the Adirondack climate for the “cure.” After the turn of the Century, these patients were soon also restricted from most hotels.

Rogers helped promote Inlet as a venue for winter sports such as hockey matches (1932) and in summer provided guests with guided hikes to Limekiln Lake and a nearby geological attraction, Split Rock. He was a director of the Old Forge Electric Company. Rogers served as a superintendent of the Inlet Highway Department, a trustee for the Inlet Common School and an elected Town Board member. Rogers was also a charter member for both the Inlet Volunteer Hose Company and the new Inlet Golf Club. In November 1932, he testified in Albany against a plan to send Inlet’s high school students to Raquette Lake instead of Old Forge when questions arose about available seating room at the latter location.

Rogers’ hotel advertised ready access by automobile from the recently opened South Shore Road and the Old Forge-Eagle Bay Highway. The Fulton Navigation Company steamers still provided water service from Old Forge, Eagle Bay, and Inlet until the company dissolved around 1929.

In July 1933, Rogers leased the restored steamer Clearwater for a moonlight cruise for guests; the trip ended prematurely when it struck a submerged log. No lives were lost though some hysteria among the 125 guests occurred when the steamer’s whistle was repeatedly blown. Other boats arrived on the scene and evacuated the passengers. At the time of the boating incident, the Rogers dropped the “new” and advertised the hotel as The Neodak and later in the 1930s as The Neodak Lodge.

That same month, July 1933, Roy Rogers transferred the Neodak properties to his wife Emma and son John.

John E. Rogers worked at the hotel in the 1930s. In 1936, he received a Bachelor of Science, Hotel Administration School, from Cornell. The notice about the degree also described him as a manager of the New Neodak and his connections with Higby Camp and Hotel Utica. He first appears as New Neodak’s proprietor in 1938 ads.

As an elder of Inlet’s Church of the Lakes, John performed marriages occasionally at Neodak Lodge. In 1942, he enlisted in the Army and was discharged in 1946 as a major. John was principal of the Inlet Common School from 1936 until his enlistment and had married one of the school’s teachers, Marty Cannon Rogers (September 9, 1912 – January 23, 1991).

During the war, John earned, in addition to three battle stars, a Bronze Star Medal in connection with the spring 1945 Allied campaigns in Belgium and Germany. The latter report stated that, in addition to his father’s hotel, John had been assistant manager at Clarendon and Osceola-Grammatin Hotels in Daytona FL, and now would be manager of New Hartford’s The Webwood restaurant.

In 1949, a fire threatened the Neodak Lodge but destroyed an adjoining three-stall garage with upstairs sleeping quarters for seasonal employees. Two housed vehicles were also lost. Fire fighters from Inlet, Eagle Bay and Old Forge fought the fire while simultaneously spraying the hotel building to prevent flames from spreading to that structure.

In the early 1940s, Roy Rogers added housekeeping cottages near the hotel. In 1940, the Walla Walla Room cocktail lounge added at the rear of the hotel building became part of the adult entertainment. By 1950, John and his wife were considered owners of the Neodak Lodge. John managed the “Queen of the Adirondacks” beauty contests, part of the annual Firemens Fair.

In April 1947, Roy Rogers acquired a group of rustic camps adjacent to the Arrowhead Hotel property. When Hess Inn was purchased from Fred Hess by William and Charles Mosher in October 1896, his brother-in-law Albert Boshart built owners’ cabins by the shoreline next door for Moshier’s family. Moshier later renamed this hotel The Arrowhead when Fred Hess opened Hess Camp next door in 1898. Boshart acquired this owners’ camps section in 1904 when he purchased The Arrowhead from Moshier’s trustee. In 1947, Boshart’s heirs (he died in 1939) sold Rogers this tract. In the early 1950s, Rogers included “The Birches Colony” in his Neodak Lodge ads as housekeeping cottages. The Birches remained with the Rogers family descendants until 2021.

According to a 1950s Neodak Lodge pamphlet, a guest’s suggested itinerary included a steak roast after a ride on the Osprey (Bus Bird) on Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Lakes (Monday); a baseball game with guests from another hotel (Tuesday) and a libation at the Walla Walla Room to say goodbye at the end of the stay (Saturday). The pamphlet shows three rental cottages named “Little,” “Riggswam” and “Rogeree.”  In the photo, John and Marty Rogers on the bow, Bus Bird pilot and chief Neodakis, black shirt in background.

neodak

The 1958 season was the last for the hotel. In its later years, John Rogers turned management of the hotel over to his sister Ella Rogers Moran. Among activities for guests were masquerades where participants dressed according to selected themes such as shipwreck survivors, hula dancers and even babies.

Mentioned earlier, after the Rogers’ failed offer of the property to the Town of Inlet as a park, Charles Vosburgh auctioned the hotel property in November 1958. For purposes of this auction and to attract additional purchasers for camp lots, sublots 30-37 were subdivided further into 12 parcels. The notice for the scheduled June 6, 1959 auction gave the hotel’s contents and 12 land parcels described as Neodak Lodge, boathouse/casino, five cottages, employee dorm, four-stall garage and three lots.

Charles J. Mullen, Cortland attorney and Commander of City Post 489 American Legion, purchased the hotel building’s section. Mullen’s plans called for development of the properties into a site for modern housekeeping cottages or subdivide it for “choice” home sites. The hotel building itself was to be demolished and the Legion would transport salvageable lumber and equipment to Cortland for its new clambake and picnic area on Port Watson Street.  Part of the Baslin Mountain Camp building on Parkhurst Road at Limekiln Lake came from wood salvaged from the Neodak Lodge. Remaining materials were destroyed with a controlled burn on site, attracting many spectators.

Today the Tiffany Camp, Fred Kirch’s rustic camp (“Camp Little Flower”), Rogers’ “Rob Roy” and the boathouse structures are private camps still standing on the former Neodak property. Photographs for this article came from the Goodsell Museum, the Hamilton County Historian, the Inlet Historical Society, and the Rogers family.

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Since the early 1980s when Charles Herr purchased a camp in Inlet he has been interested in the history of the Fulton Chain region of the Adirondacks. He has been contributing history articles about the times and people of the Fulton Chain, covering transportation, steamboats, hotels and most importantly, the people to the Weekly Adirondack of Old Forge since November 2006. His ambition is to uncover local and regional Fulton Chain history about people and events prior to 1930 and little covered in the histories of the region. He is the president of the Inlet Historical Society and presents summer programs on Inlet history at the Town Hall in Arrowhead Park in Inlet, NY. His book, The Fulton Chain-Early Settlement, Roads, Steamboats, Railroads and Hotels, was published in May 2017. More information is available at www.facebook.com/herrstory . During 2023, Herr was appointed Inlet Town Historian.


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4 Responses

  1. LeRoy Hogan says:

    Cool!

  2. Prissy Lee says:

    How can I subscribe to this newsletter? Is it only online? Thanks, Prissy Lee, Brookfield, CT

  3. Santo Tomaino says:

    It’s a shame when you loose a beautiful building to a fire. When its destroyed just to make room for other development that’s even worse.

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