Friday, July 5, 2024

Lake George Celebrates Charles R. Wood Day/65th Anniversary of Gaslight Village, July 12

Lake George's Gaslight Village magnet

Lake George, NY – The community of Lake George is proud to announce a special celebration honoring Charles R. Wood, the visionary known as the father of the American theme park, on July 12. This event marks the 65th anniversary of the iconic Gaslight Village, a cherished part of Lake George’s history. The community celebration will be held at Charles R. Wood Park / Festival Commons, beginning at 11 a.m.

The celebration will feature the unveiling of a plaque bearing Mr. Wood’s likeness, commemorating his contributions to the theme park industry and his lasting impact on the Lake George region. Each attendee will receive a commemorative magnet featuring the Gaslight Village logo as a keepsake. Special guests at the event include current Mayor Ray Perry, Bobbie Wages and Charlene Wood, daughters of Charles Wood along with other devoted fans of Gaslight Village.

Event Details:

Date: July 12, 2024
Location: Charles R. Wood Park / Festival Commons, Lake George, NY
Time: 11 a.m.
Special Unveiling: Plaque with Charles R. Wood’s facial likeness
Commemorative Gift: Gaslight Village logo magnet
Note: The general public is invited to share stories and photos of Gaslight Village here.

For more information, please contact the Village of Lake George at (518) 668-5771 or the Lake George Regional Chamber of Commerce, at 518) 668-5755.

Photo at top provided by the Lake George Regional Chamber of Commerce.

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3 Responses

  1. louis curth says:

    The remains of Charles R. Wood’s first “Gaslight Village” in Pottersville were shut down, but still noticeable, that summer when I worked as a teenage helper for room and board and a few bucks in my weekly paycheck.

    It was during the late 1950s and I worked six days a week, with an afternoon swim break, for two families who operated this latter day version of Under-The-Maples at Echo Lake. All the family members, the hired help like me, and a number of boarders (mostly highway construction workers) werel put up in the main house, and we all ate our meals together, boarding house style, around the big table in the dining room.

    In addition to renting rooms and cottages, the families operated a roadside diner called “The White Kitchen” situated beside Rt. #9, the main travel route before the Northway was built. On most days, local kids would gather to swim in Echo Lake and hang out at the White Kitchen along with tourists, and occasional visitors from “Word of Life”.

    Walking among the fading signs and decaying facades of the original Gaslight Village, and gazing at the shelfs of glass mugs and scatteredblue flyers hawking Gaslight Village entertainment to be had there are some of my memories of that place. I’m glad that Charlie was finally able to make his dream come true in Lake George.

  2. Layla Zito says:

    I am so proud to be the creator of this event for Mr. Wood. Gaslight Village and Storytown U.S.A. were a major part of my life growing up. With all the wonderful memories they created for me and my family. I wanted so much to give back in some way to the man that made it all possible. Thank you, Charles R. Wood and family!!! May we celebrate the legacy of Mr. Wood for many years to come. Happy 65th birthday to the memory of Gaslight Village too. It was the happiest place on earth. All are welcome to check out my Gaslight Village Tribute Page and share any memories they may have. Open “rain or shine” for your continuous entertainment!

  3. louis curth says:

    Layla Zito’s July 12th event honoring Charles Wood’s creation of Gaslight Village and Storytown U.S.A. will stir fond memories among local residents and visitors alike. Their love of the Adirondacks was enhanced by the creative genius of post WW II entrepreneurs including Charles Wood, Arto Monaco (Land of Make Believe), Arthur Bensen (Frontier Town), the Pell family (Fort Ticonderoga) and many, many others.

    Their ideas filled a niche for wholesome and fun destinations catering to growing numbers of newly mobile young families who began touring America’s scenic places by car in the 1950s. Tourism was also popularized by creative ads like; “See the USA in your Chevrolet” and many others.

    Another chapter in the rich history of the Adirondacks and its many forms of hospitality had begun.

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