Werrenrath Camp owners seek to add landmark to national register

During his time spent on the island, Werrenrath hosted several guests, including movie stars Joan Crawford and Clark Gable. Eleanor Roosevelt also visited the island as one of the more memorable guests. The former First Lady made headlines in the New York Times in 1934 when the boat she was traveling in on Chazy Lake ran out of gas and drifted onto the rocks. She and the party she was boating with were reportedly aided by local fishermen.

In his retirement, Werrenrath hosted guests of a different sort as he hosted a music camp for several summers, becoming a familiar fixture in the North Country.

The property fell into disrepair in the years that followed Werrenrath's death in 1953, until it was renovated in the late 1980s. In 1992, the camp was purchased by another famous figure. Actress Brooke Shields bought the property while in her mid-20s, owning it until 2001, when it was purchased by the Brewers.

The Brewers, who had vacation for several years on the east end of Long Island, came about the property when performing a simple search on the Internet for Adirondack waterfront properties.

"This house was the first one that popped up," Brewer recalled.

The couple was able to meet Shields prior to the closing on the house, said Brewer. The actress was also gracious enough to invite them to see her perform in the Broadway production of Cabaret in New York City, he said.

"We went down and saw the show and she invited us to her dressing room after," said Brewer. "She's a lovely, lovely person and wonderful to do business with."

While the Brewers call Werrenrath Camp their home six months out of the year, Shields didn't get much use of it during the nine years she owned it, he said.

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