Raquette Lake comes together each year to celebrate the founder of the Adirondack Great Camp style, William W. Durant. Durant Days not only celebrates the history of the Adirondack architectural form, but brings people to the area that was the birthplace of the Great Camp design.
Event Organizer Donna Pohl says, “Beverly Bridger of Great Camp Sagamore and I started this event 14 years ago as a way to gain attention for the National Historic Landmarks of Raquette Lake. One of the crowning jewels during Durant Days is the opportunity for a guided tour of Camp Pine Knot.” » Continue Reading.
Visionary small business owners, community leaders, and regional arts and cultural non-profits will share how their work is building communities and local economies at the Adirondack North Country Association’s 55th annual meeting Sept. 23, 2010, at Great Camp Sagamore.
Locally as well as nationally, the arts mean business. The Adirondack North Country’s arts and culture nonprofits make up a $21 million industry – one that supports 506 full-time equivalent jobs and generates $2.4 million in local and state government revenue, according to a survey done by Americans for the Arts. Nonprofit arts and culture organizations leverage a remarkable $8.1 million in additional spending by arts and culture audiences — spending that pumps vital revenue into local restaurants, hotels, retail stores, and other businesses in the region. And this does not include the impact of for-profit craft and art businesses. In the 14-county Adirondack North Country region, the for-profit small business crafts industry generates an estimated additional $8 million in revenues every year, according to ANCA’s Artisan Program Coordinator Nadia Korths.
The panelists represent a variety of interests and come from all corners of the region: Mary Ann Evans, owner, Mare’s Wares, Ogdensburg; Lynn Mishalanie, creator of Utica Monday Nite; Alice Recore, president and CEO of Mountain Lake PBS, Plattsburgh Jesse Cottrell, Associate Director of Salem Art Works, and others will speak to making the arts an economic powerhouse.
ANCA’s upcoming book, “Experiencing Traditions, Foods and Cultures in the 14-County Adirondack North Country” will be highlighted as well. In conjunction with this exciting new project, ANCA asks participants to post photos, videos, statistics, and anecdotal stories describing how your business or organization harnesses the economic engine of culture, arts or history in your community. E-mail content to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The daylong meeting costs $22 to attend, which includes lunch and stunning scenic views in a historic retreat, designed and constructed by William West Durant in 1897. For more information about ANCA and to register for the meeting at Great Camp Sagamore, visit ANCA’s website at www.adirondack.org.
June is birding month in the Adirondacks of Northern New York and avid ornithologists can enjoy the pristine wilderness habitats of several species of birds during one of the many birding events and festivals this spring.
At Great Camp Sagamore, two adventure programs featuring Boreal Birds of the Adirondacks will take place May 25-28 and June 10-13. Space is extremely limited – only 15 people are accepted per program and reservations are required. See and hear the boreal birds (gray jay, white- throated sparrow, black-backed and Northern three-toed woodpeckers, boreal chickadee, etc.) that make their home in and breed in the Adirondacks. Lectures, slide shows and bird-call lessons will prepare you for field trips to two New York State “Important Birding Areas.” $439 per person for this three-night, four-day program. » Continue Reading.
The Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts–The Arts Center in Blue Mountain Lake is hosting Out in the Adirondacks at Great Camp Sagamore, August 21st – 23rd. According to the Arts Center this will be the first event of its kind–a destination weekend in the beautiful Adirondack Mountains for the “out” population and their supporters that celebrates the diversity of the human experience. The weekend includes a concert by singer/songwriter Catie Curtis, a one-man comedic show by actor/comedian Steve Hayes, an old-fashioned square dance, open mic, and more. The family-friendly lodging, food, and entertainment package will cost $249. According to their website, the Arts Center is revitalizing its mission established over forty-two years. The Center was the first community arts center in the Adirondack Park.
US Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne announced yesterday that Great Camp Uncas on Mohegan Lake has been selected as a National Historic Landmark.
Camp Uncas is located a few miles south of the hamlet of Raquette Lake, in the Town of Long Lake, Hamilton County. It is close to the geographic center of the 9,300-square mile Adirondack Park. The camp was built by William West Durant, pre-eminent architect and builder of the Park’s most famous and well-preserve great camps (including the adjacent Great Camp Sagamore, also an Historic Landmark and open to the public for day trips and overnight stays). The designation of Great Camp Uncas marks the third building in the tiny hamlet of Raquette Lake to be awarded National Landmark status. The other two are Great Camp Sagamore and Great Camp Pine Knot, all built by Durant.
Great Camps are compounds of buildings meant as a self-contained (often self-sustaining) seasonal retreat for a wealthy family, mimicking a tiny rural village. Great camp architecture reached its peak around the dawn of 20th Century, as the industrial magnates of the Gilded Age were spending their fortunes on ways to escape the crowded and polluted cites of the Northeast. Each building served a separate purpose, with dining halls, libraries, game rooms, blacksmith shops, boathouses, carriage houses, barns, farms, guest quarters, servants quarters and lounges.
Many great camps fell into disrepair as the wealthy owners passed away or lost their fortunes in the Great Depression. Some were later purchased by scout groups and other institutions that had the means to keep them in order.
Perhaps the two most important features of Durant’s great camps are his use of the landscape to conceal the buildings from view until you are right next to them, and his use of whole logs, rock and bark to create a rustic look that matched the landscape but also provided great comfort within. It was a combination of the American log cabin and the opulent European ski chalet. The style has been widely emulated, serving as the prototype for nearly every major lodge and administrative structure built by the National Park Service, including Yellowstone Lodge in Montana.
While Durant built Great Camp Uncas for himself, he was forced to sell it to pay his debts. New owner J. P. Morgan used it as a wilderness retreat for many years.
For the past 30 years, visitors to Great Camp Sagamore have been given tours of Uncas as well. More than 20 group tours came through just this past summer. Uncas and Sagamore have each hosted the Adirondack Council’s Annual Forever Wild Dinner and Conservationist of the Year Award celebration. This year, Uncas hosted the Adirondack Architectural Heritage organization’s annual meeting as well.
The Sagamore and Uncas roads are designated bike trails, surrounded by Adirondack Forest Preserve lands.
Here is an excerpt from today’s Department of the Interior news release announcing the new designation for Great Camp Uncas:
* Camp Uncas was developed 1893 to 1895 on Mohegan Lake in what is now the Adirondack Forest Preserve.
* Camp Uncas is one of the best examples of Adirondack camp architecture, which was designed for leisure. It is of exceptional historical and architectural significance as the first Adirondack camp to be planned as a single unit by William West Durant, widely recognized as one of the most important innovators of the property type.
* At Camp Uncas, Durant developed the camp as a single cohesive unit: a “compound plan” for camps that provided for an array of separate buildings, all subordinate to the natural setting. Camp Uncas was built as an ensemble from start to finish.
* The Adirondack camp had a strong and lasting influence on the design of rustic buildings developed for national and state park systems in the 20th century.
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