Posts Tagged ‘Great Camp Sagamore’

Saturday, August 26, 2023

Great Camp Sagamore shines bright in fundraising bash

great camp sagamore gala

On August 5, 2023, the stars aligned as a spirited crowd of nearly 170 individuals rallied together to champion the preservation of the National Historic Landmark and nonprofit, Great Camp Sagamore. Deep in one of the most remote areas of the Adirondack Park, near the hamlet of Raquette Lake, NY, this annual gala was more than just a gathering, it was a union of history, nature, and community. 

The journey to Great Camp Sagamore took attendees 4.2 miles up a winding dirt road to a secluded 17-acre haven adorned with 27 historic buildings in the middle of the Historic Great Camps Special Management Area. Tucked away on the shore of Sagamore Lake, surrounded by the vast Adirondack Forest Preserve, Great Camp Sagamore became for the evening a retreat from the bustling world. 

Over the weekend, participants who lodged on-site immersed themselves in a range of experiences: savory meals in the historic dining hall, exploring the surrounding natural beauty through hikes and canoeing, and enlightening historic tours of the property. Each moment was an opportunity to connect with Great Camp Sagamore’s essence. 

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Thursday, June 29, 2023

ADK Park: July 4 events on tap

Kids take part in games during a previous July 4 celebration in Long Lake.

Several Adirondack-area towns have announced an array of family-friendly festivities to celebrate the Fourth of July, ranging from craft fairs to concerts, kids’ games, guided history hikes, and much more. Please see a roundup of a few of these events below.

Friday, June 9, 2023

Historical Places Enrich our Adirondack Landscapes, Informing the Present and Future

Great Camp Sagamore

By Emily Martz, Executive Director, and Connor Williams, Historian, Great Camp Sagamore

Recently, Great Camp Sagamore was mentioned by Peter Baur’s recent article in which he discussed the value that comes from the various uses of lands and waters within the Adirondack Park. This healthy conversation began before the blue line of the Adirondack Park was drawn in 1892 and will continue for as long as the Park exists.

Great Camp Sagamore, a National Historic Landmark, is a nonprofit educational center devoted to historic preservation and life-long learning. Because of its former ownership by William West Durant and Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt, it is tempting to paint Great Camp Sagamore today as another retreat for only well-to-do and well-connected people “from away.” We think this is an error. 

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Thursday, May 25, 2023

Great Camp Sagamore’s Community Day set for June 11

Great Camp Sagamore

Raquette Lake, NY – Great Camp Sagamore is hosting Community Day on Sunday, June 11, 2023. Guests are welcome to gather for free self-guided walking tours throughout the day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and also for brunch in the camp’s historic Dining Hall from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. for a fee. Donations are encouraged. The Dining Hall will be available to visitors for brunch from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on a rolling basis and will be served buffet style by Sagamore’s culinary team led by Chef Annie Prizzi.

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Saturday, May 20, 2023

Thanks for everything, Robert!

man in brown shirt and baseball cap

By Emily Martz, Executive Director, Great Camp Sagamore

At Great Camp Sagamore, we believe that everyone should have the chance to experience the transformative powers of connecting and learning in the remote Adirondack mountains. For the last seven years, Great Camp Sagamore’s retiring Historian, Robert Engel, has been integral to this vision. As he retires, we ask you to join us in thanking Robert for his dedication to historic preservation and life-long learning, and for all that he has done to inspire staff and tens of thousands of visitors over the years.

For Robert’s first two seasons at Sagamore (2016 & 2017), he was camp’s sous chef. “Despite my History Museum Studies degree and 30+ years working in the field,” Robert says, “including as Director of the Rensselaer County Historical Society, my dream was to create the best restaurant in the Adirondacks. Great Camp Sagamore’s kitchen was practice for that. Then, I became the historian – phew!” We will miss Robert’s sense of humor rooted in his desire to help make everyone feel welcome.

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Friday, May 19, 2023

“I’m new at this, what’s your excuse?”

Guest playing tennis and ball boy, Sagamore Lodge, ca. 1913.

Guest playing tennis and ball boy, Sagamore Lodge, ca. 1913.

By Robert Engel

Great Camp Sagamore’s Historian from 2017 – May, 2023

Margaret Emerson Vanderbilt loved to compete. She also expected her guests at Sagamore to engage each other on the field of battle, be it croquet, tennis, or canoe racing. As a guest of Margaret’s, you didn’t have to win but you did have to play. Did the actress Gene Tierney and the business magnate Howard Hughes confront one another on Sagamore’s tennis court? Sure they did, maybe. Did General George Marshall play Madame Chiang Kai-Shek in a croquet match on the Main Lodge lawn while discussing the fate of the world? Why not?

Competition was Margaret’s way of drawing people together. The idea was that if you met someone new at Sagamore and then spent the day either teamed together, or competing against one another, you would have plenty to talk about at dinner.

The best part was that famous guests did not need to discuss the work that made them famous. They could instead talk about missed wickets and sizzling backhands. At Sagamore, they had the rare opportunity to feel and act unaffected by their fame. How wonderful.

There’s a favorite moment near the end of the history tour at Great Camp Sagamore. The guide has led his or her group out of the Playhouse, where Margaret’s guests might have competed at pool, ping pong, dancing, and martini mixing, not necessarily in that order. Now, at the closed entrance of the last building on the tour, the guide will recap Sagamore’s gaming traditions as they ask first-time visitors to guess the function of the building they are about to enter. Does anybody know?

That’s right, the Vanderbilts bowled.

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Sunday, March 26, 2023

Tale of Two Sagamores lecture set for April 7

Great Camp Sagamore & The Sagamore Resort

Great Camp Sagamore & The Sagamore Resort join together to invite you to an evening lecture highlighting the history of both of these Adirondack icons. All are welcome to gather on Friday, April 7 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. for a Tale of Two Sagamores lecture at the Sagamore Resort Conference Center in Bolton Landing, NY.

Historian and author Bill Gates will speak about the rich history of The Sagamore, one of the Adirondack’s most iconic resorts. Robert Engel, historian of Great Camp Sagamore, will share the fascinating history of one of the first Great Camps in the Adirondacks. Both speakers will provide insight into the history and significance of these two Adirondack icons.

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Monday, January 16, 2023

Snow Days at Great Camp Sagamore set for Jan. 21, Feb. 25

Great Camp Sagamore

Raquette Lake, NY – All are invited to join in for a day full of sledding, ice skating, snow croquet and campfires at upcoming Snow Days at Great Camp Sagamore on January 21, 2023 and February 25, 2023 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Guided cross-country skiing sessions will also be available at 10 a.m. as well as guided snow shoe hikes at 1 p.m. Chili, coffee, tea and hot chocolate will be served starting at noon and will continue as long as supply lasts. Year-round Raquette Lake Residents, Great Camp Sagamore members, and children under five are free; General Admission is $5.

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Thursday, January 5, 2023

Recreation Highlight: Camp Sagamore Trail System

sagamore trailsWithin the 47,000-acre Blue Ridge Wilderness lies the Camp Sagamore Trail System. Located near and around the grounds of Great Camp Sagamore, a registered National Historic Landmark and one of few Adirondack Great Camps still in existence today, this trail system provides an immersive nature experience.

The system consists of four interconnected trails. At 3.8 miles, the Sagamore Lake Trail is the longest, looping around the shores of Sagamore Lake and briefly passing the camp itself. Though the trails are not part of the historic Great Camp Sagamore complex, reminders of the Gilded Age can still be found in the surrounding woods. Along the Powerhouse Trail lies the remnants of an old gatehouse and a powerhouse that once used natural water energy to create electricity for Great Camp Sagamore. Please use caution around these historic sites and help preserve these landmarks by leaving what you find for others to enjoy.

Trailhead Locations:
All trailheads can be found on Sagamore Road in Inlet, NY. Turn onto Sagamore Road off Route 28 in Raquette Lake. The first trailhead will be for the Cascades Trail, the next for the Powerhouse Trail; you can find parking for the Sagamore Lake Trail just before the Great Camp itself. (N 43.771987°; W 74.637854°).

DEC photo

Monday, August 15, 2022

BikeADK: New trails in Elizabethtown, rides/events planned for August-October

In the August edition of the Adirondack Gearzette, a monthly newsletter presented by BikeADK. Doug Haney of Bike Adirondacks offered a detailed recap of this year’s Weekender at Paul Smith’s College, a preview of a new singletrack network in Elizabethtown, and teased a few biking events slated for the fall season.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Raquette Lake: Great Camp Sagamore offers guided history hikes

Hiking enthusiasts of all ages and abilities are encouraged to take advantage of a unique opportunity to embark on an educational guided hike where participants will venture into the great outdoors at Great Camp Sagamore and learn about the area’s rich history.

Great Camp Sagamore once had a farm, a 100,000-gallon covered reservoir, and a hydroelectric powerhouse, all hidden away in the surrounding forest. These historic structures were located conveniently close by for the workers who operated them, but hidden from view for the Vanderbilt’s distinguished guests.

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Sunday, May 22, 2022

Save the Date: Great Camp Sagamore’s Annual Gala & Benefit for Historic Preservation on Aug. 6

Great Camp Sagamore staff are excited to welcome the community back, in-person, on August 6, 2022 for their Annual Gala & Benefit for Historic Preservation. Join the festivities for an evening of great food, exciting live & silent auctions, and even better company in the heart of Forever Wild.

This year staff are celebrating the many dedicated members of the community – visitors, volunteers, donors, artisans, musicians, and local business owners and residents – who keep Great Camp Sagamore the treasured place it has been for 125 years.

Stay the Weekend:

Enjoy more time at camp! Join in from August 5-7, 2022 for Gala weekend programming. Weekend packages will include lodging and meals for Friday & Saturday. Gather with friends and enjoy special activities on Friday night, including music and gourmet s’mores around the campfire, a picnic lunch on Saturday, and many other activities before the Gala & Benefit.

Weekend packages do not include Gala & Benefit Dinner tickets for Saturday night. Lodging availability is limited and reserved on a first-come-basis. Booking information will be available on the Great Camp Sagamore webpage soon.
Consider Becoming an Event Sponsor:
Sponsorships allow  Great Camp Sagamore staff to continue providing quality, diverse programming that serves and uplifts a wide range of people, while maintaining reasonable prices and increasing scholarships amid rising costs. Deciding to sponsor this annual celebration also provides you with tangible benefits, which can be found through this link.
Great Camp Sagamore opens to the public on Memorial Day Weekend, May 27.
Find more information about Great Camp Sagamore here:
Photo at top: A previous Great Camp Sagamore Annual Gala & Benefit for Historic Preservation. Photo courtesy of Great Camp Sagamore.

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Digging into Native Americans’ history in the Adirondacks

native american pottery shards

A young boy on my tour last year asked a simple question, “were there Indians here?” With nowhere else to go, I repeated the worn-out line that Native American people used the Adirondacks as hunting grounds. It was an unsatisfying response, for both of us. As Sagamore’s historian, I knew as much as that kid about 98% of the area’s human timeline.

I quickly found a small but growing body of research on Native American history in central and northern New York State. I also learned that these topics, this knowledge, is not new. From my perspective, I could dig into books and articles about the academic pursuit of knowledge. But, Native Americans have been telling their own stories from the beginning. To properly answer that boy’s question, Sagamore needs to welcome the perspectives of the people about whom we’re speaking.

The Eurocentric university-based perspective and the Native American oral history perspective are often presented in concert, each welcoming the other. I reached out to John Fadden at the Six Nations Iroquois Cultural Center in Onchiota, New York. John’s father Ray Fadden and his family, who lived in the Mohawk community of Akwesasne, opened the center in 1954 so that the general public “may acquire the knowledge needed to better understand the history, culture, contemporary realities, and the potential future of Native Nations.” The center remains northern New York’s leading source for discovering a variety of perspectives on Indigenous people.

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Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Great Camp Sagamore Gears Up for 2021 Season

Seasonal staff, (from left) Maddie, Katie, Amalia, Sophie, Randy, and Anna, are ready to welcome YOU to camp!

Great Camp Sagamore is open for the 2021 summer and fall season, with many exciting programs and workshops lined up. The season got off to a lively start in mid-June with the Roots & Branches Endowed Music Workshop and Women’s Fly Fishing. Offering nearly two dozen arts, educational and outdoors-themed getaways with lodging and meals included, Great Camp Sagamore has something for everyone.

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Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Cornell Brook Trout Conservation Field Day

brook trout swimming in water

A Brook Trout Conservation Field day presented by Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Hamilton and Herkimer Associations will be held on June 4-5 in collaboration with Trout Power and Great Camp Sagamore. The Field Day invites all to come to learn about the tremendous strides in research and conservation practices that are helping to restore the heritage strains of brook trout that were once abundant throughout the Adirondacks.

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