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Turning Back the Pages 6-26-10

Lives lost in Lake George's deep waters

On May 31, Stephen T. Canaday, 49, Albany drowned after a 15-foot canoe in which he was in was allegedly hit by a passing motor boat's wake and capsized near Sun Castle Resort. He was not wearing a life jacket.

Only nine days later, June 9, Peter Snyder, 63, Troy, was riding in a kayak near Long Island and he drowned after a boat hit him broadside and the collision broke his neck.

These recent drownings have sent me searching through my historical scrapbooks to gather details on incidents in which the waters of Lake George have claimed lives.

Since the Ice Age, the cold waters of this deep, 30-mile-long lake have changed little, and they've seemingly remained hostile to humans over the centuries, as the lake has claimed the lives of countless men and woman who have ventured out on the pristine waters.

Long before the first Europeans landed on this continent, the Iroquois Native Americans, along with the Lenape and Algonquins, dating back to 1100 A.D., were among the first humans to call New York home.

We can only guess how many of those mighty Native American warriors died in warfare and sunk to the bottom of what we now call Lake George. One of the recorded conflicts was the French and Indian War - quite a bloodbath for both Indians and soldiers.

I'll offer readers a glimpse of a few lives that have been lost since then in the waters of Lake George.

A yellowed newspaper clipping told the sad story of Norman H. Bryan, 39, Ticonderoga who lost his life in Lake George around Aug. 7, 1946. On a peaceful evening, Bryan and two of his buddies, James Russell and Francis Phillips, were in a boat fishing opposite Hague when he stood up in the little craft and apparently lost his balance, causing the boat to rock and then overturn.

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