Almanack Contributor Ginger Henry Kuenzel

Ginger Henry Kuenzel, a fourth-generation Hague resident, is a journalist, editor and author. She lived and worked in Munich, Germany, for 20 years and later in Boston and New York, before returning to the Adirondacks full-time. Ginger served on the Hague Town Board and is currently on the board of the Lake George Association. Her book Downtown is a collection of hilarious tales from a fictional Adirondack town. She also co-authored Lake George Reflections, island history and lore, as well as Stewards of the Water, profiles of past and present stewards of Lake George.


Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Outboard Racing on Lake George

three men and a vintage boat

A 1950s race boat returns to its home waters

To understand the history of outboard racing in Hague on northern Lake George, we need to go back to the early days of the Lake George Regatta Association (LGRA), an organization founded in Hague in 1880 and originally called the Hague Rowing Club. The name was a misnomer as they also hosted diving, swimming, and canoeing competitions, along with inboard regattas, attracting competitors mainly from Hague and Bolton.

My grandfather competed regularly in his inboard race boats as did his older son, my Uncle Bob. They both did well, but were no match for Count Casimir Mankowski, who won the Gold Cup in 1913 at Alexandria Bay in his boat Ankle Deep, earning the right for the LGRA to host the 1914 race on Lake George. In 1933, George Reis won the Gold Cup with his boat El Lagarto, returning the race to Lake George, where he also won the Cup in 1934 and 1935.

My dad, Jack Henry, was too young to race the powerful, expensive inboards during those early years. But with a father and older brother who spent their summers tuning, repairing, and racing boats, it was pretty much predestined that he would also develop a passion for boats and speed. But with the advent of the Depression, the LGRA disbanded, and Dad never got to race.

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Monday, December 19, 2022

Lessons from Santa and St. Nikolaus   

st nicholas

Back in the 1980s, when I was living in Munich with my German husband, our two young sons would start asking around the end of November each year if we were going to celebrate Christmas the American way or German-style that year. With a very American mother (where tradition is concerned) and a German dad, they experienced the traditions of both countries.

Most years, we took a vote. I always feared that “German-style” would win since it offers the obvious advantage of allowing them to open all their presents on Christmas Eve rather than having to wait until the next morning. I felt the need each year to hold a lengthy oratory about the excitement of hanging the stockings by the chimney with care, setting out cookies and milk for Santa, listening all night for the prancing and pawing of reindeer hoofs and creeping down the stairs while the house was still dark to get a peek at Santa. 

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Sunday, December 4, 2022

Christmas in Hague

holidays in hague In Hague, our Christmas celebrations are a tad unusual. We kick off the season with a dog parade the first weekend of December, with prizes awarded for the best-dressed dog. The canines and their owners promenade up the only road in town, arriving at the Community Center, where Santa is on hand to hand out presents to the dogs – oh, yes, and to any children who might be around. But since this is becoming more and more of a retirement community, there aren’t that many wee ones in town anymore. 

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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Working together to protect Lake George

Photo by Ginger Henry Kuenzel
Keeping Lake George clean and clear 
for generations to come

The water of Lake George is rated as drinking water quality, which is no small feat for a lake of this size and with such heavy usage. The water remains clean and clear for several reasons. We have no industry or commercial agriculture on the shores, and the many springs on the lake’s bottom constantly feed it with clean water. Lake George is also unique in that it has its own state regulatory body, the Lake George Park Commission (LGPC), created in 1988 to protect the lake and safeguard the people who use it. 

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