Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Teen pens book about Lake George’s Dome Island

Lake George's Dome Island

History buffs, help is on the way! 

I am eager to promote a book that has just been published, about Dome Island at Lake George, by Noah Chirnomas, a young man from New Jersey. About two years ago, the then sixteen-year-old contacted me (way down here in North Carolina) to see if I might be willing to help him write a book about John Apperson, Dome Island and Lake George. I am so glad I said “yes!”

dome island bookcoverThe book, entitled Dome Island – Forever Wild at Lake George, fills in for the reader many interesting details about what motivated John Apperson to try and protect and preserve the island, often referred to as the centerpiece of Lake George. He certainly did a good job of quoting me, Apperson’s great niece, but he also wove into his narrative many wonderful anecdotes from other “experts,” such as Peter White, Roger Summerhayes, Henry Caldwell, Bill Gates, Al Breisch and John Newkirk. And, he did a good job of locating wonderful photographs and letters from the Adirondack Research Library (Margie Amadeo) and the Bolton Museum (Lisa Hall). If this had been an assignment from a high school history teacher, he would most certainly have gotten an A++…

What is even more remarkable, however, is the way Noah has captured the zeal and enthusiasm that motivated a young engineer working at GE, to spend every weekend camping in the islands at Lake George, and recruit hundreds of others to come along for the fun. And, as Noah explains, Apperson and his friends began to identify certain problems that threatened the beautiful islands, and soon they began figuring out how to help.  The cast of characters, according to Noah’s careful reporting, included wealthy summer residents (William K. Bixby), scientists at GE (Irving Langmuir), leading politicians (Al Smith and Franklin D. Roosevelt), youth organizations (Campfire Girls and Boy Scouts), and members of Apperson’s own family (nephews John and Jim Apperson). Everyone had a role to play!

Many bookstores throughout the region are deciding to carry this delightful book, and copies will surely inspire families to vacation at Lake George, rent a canoe, and paddle out to see Dome Island, in all its majestic beauty. I personally am hoping that other budding young historians will ask me to share with them more of the stories I have collected and preserved. Maybe Noah’s book will help me find a publisher for some of my manuscripts, and a good home for all of my archives. 

Dome provides important lessons about environmental history, and should inspire all of us.  Just think about what it took to protect the island, despite the constant threats of developers, logging, erosion, and fires.  What did it take to find an organization (The Nature Conservancy) willing to agree on setting up a Memorial Sanctuary, the first of its kind, with a deed of trust? Let’s hope that a new generation of hikers and outdoor enthusiasts will be inspired to join in efforts to combat climate change, or perhaps fight to save an endangered species. There are so many good causes out there!

Noah is planning to be at Lake George again this August, and I feel sure he’ll persuade many of the local stores to carry his book. I appreciate this opportunity to promote it here.  You may send the author an email:


Related Stories

Ellen Apperson Brown is working to preserve and publish materials from John S. Apperson Jr.'s papers in the Adirondack Research Library at Union College.

She also maintains Apperson Associates, a website designed as an introduction to the life and accomplishments of John Apperson.

2 Responses

  1. James M Schaefer says:

    Hurrah Ellen …. and Noah! Sounds like we are all in for a treat. A treat made possible by virtue of yet another Apperson’s gift for preservation, that of preserving letters, photos and related documents of the past, What’s more, you took pains to provide user-friendly digital access to Appy’s treasure trove. How else could a budding enthusiast, like Noah, find his way to the why and how of Dome Island and its special place in the heartbeat of Lake George? It has got to be in your DNA. Well done.

  2. wesley devoe says:

    Camped for many years near Dome Island

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