Monday, May 20, 2024

Cole’s Point owner, Matthew Hamill, hopes to leave positive mark on Cranberry Lake

Matthew Hamill

Adirondack Almanack contributor, Susan Sweeney Smith, who has written stories about Cranberry Lake, has shared a series of profiles highlighting Cranberry Lake community leaders. These profiles were originally published on the Cranberry Blog. Check out the Cranberry Blog here, and please enjoy Susan’s sixth submission, a profile on Matthew Hamill below.

What brought your family to Cranberry Lake, when and why?

I have come to Cranberry Lake virtually every summer of my life. My great grandparents bought our camp in 1920 and we now have sixth-generation family members coming each summer.

Cranberry Lake

Do you have any great family stories to share?

I grew up hearing stories of dances on our camp porch, my grandfather cranking the Victrola to provide music. Costume parties by candlelight. My grandparents seeing the fire at the Indian Mountain Club, rushing over to help, only to find the water tower had been largely drained. The list goes on and on.

Where do you call home here?

My family and I own Cole’s Point, near the south end of the lake.

Home on a lake

Hamill’s home on Crown Point in Cranberry Lake.

What do you love about Cranberry Lake?

The tranquility and natural beauty of being here; sitting on the dock listening to loons calling and watching bald eagles soar over Buck Island is always special. It’s also a place where family and friends can reconnect each summer.

What do you see as our community assets?

A shared commitment to finding solutions to the challenges that, in one way or another, vex us all. There are countless individuals who want to find ways to make the Cranberry Lake region economically vibrant and more of an Adirondack destination, while preserving the history that makes the area unique.

children stand on a dock at a lake

Hamill children.

What do you see as our community challenges?

Coping with the impact of business closures and the difficulty of developing viable business opportunities (along with the needed investors) to jump start our local economy.

Who or what inspires you here?

All the people who commit themselves, day after day, to building and sustaining our community.

candlelit dinner

What are your best memories?

Learning to fly fish with my father and grandfather along Six Mile Creek, catching my first trout. Sailboat races. Playing Capture the Flag on Chair Rock Island. Family dinners around a candlelit table.

What do you hope for the future?

As the old saying goes, that we leave this place in better shape than we found it.

All photos provided by the author.

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Susan Sweeney Smith grew up in Peru, NY and is a 28 year resident of Cranberry Lake. She raised kids and donkeys and dogs and cats in the hamlet. During her professional career she worked in philanthropy and community relations for North Country Public Radio, SUNY Potsdam and supported a host of smaller nfp’s in the region with their philanthropic projects. Today, she’s a community volunteer who believes in Cranberry Lake magic. You can find her writing at

2 Responses

  1. Mike Spotswood says:

    Hello Susan, what a wonderful story. I can’t believe it has been 60 years since I played capture the flag. Memories are such a treasure. Mike Spotswood Cup of Joe Radio

  2. Susan Sweeney Smith says:

    Love this!

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