John Ernst has been chair of the Adirondack Park Agency for over a year now. I sat down with him and his wife Margot over the summer to see how his new role was going. We also talked about his deep family connection to the Adirondacks, which is how I learned that Ernst’s grandfather, a magician and the attorney for escape artist Harry Houdini, started the multi-generation treks to Elk Lake from New York City.
Here are the first two graphs of the story:
On a rainy day in June, John and Margot Ernst sat before a roaring fire in their second home in North Hudson. The four-bedroom contemporary house provides spectacular views of Elk Lake and distant High Peaks. On this day, the mountaintops were shrouded in clouds. The Ernsts stepped out on their stone terrace, pointing to the purple lupine that each year has spread down their hillside. A loon called in the mist.
Aside from the 1965 home and a waterfront resort the Ernsts operate down the road, the panorama was perhaps unchanged since John Ernst’s grandfather, Bernard Ernst, admired it over a century earlier. The president of the Society of American Magicians summered on nearby Clear Pond in the early 1900s. It was when Finch Pruyn timber company owned the land and operated hunting and fishing lodgings.
For those who’ve camped at Sharp Bridge Campground, the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the APA are seeking public comments on some proposed updates. Read more on those and how to submit comments, here.
Leaving you with a different view in the Adirondacks from the Lake Placid Olympic Museum. It’s a skate on stilts!
Photo at top: John Ernst, chairman of the Adirondack Park Agency, at his second home on Elk Lake. Photo by Carl Heilman II
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