Hague Historical Society to present 'Early Hotels'

HAGUE - The Hague Historical Society has finished its "Early Hotels in Hague" project to be presented to the public on June 22.

The research committee includes Pam Bresett, Jerry Crammond, Enid Engler, Gale Halm, Chris Ianson, Anne Johns, Pat McDonough, Pam Peterson, Sally DeLarm Rypkema, Nancy Wotton Scarzello, Judy Schultz and Judy Stock.

"Each new finding added to the existing body of historical information reflects another dimension of what life was like in Hague's heyday of the hotels," Ianson said. "Affluent city ladies and gents returned year after year to spend summers in Hague's hotels and boarding houses. Artist Robert Melvin Decker came to work in his studio on Holman Hill, and at least one con-artist came too-Colonel Mann, who claimed Waltonian Island as his own and who published ruinous gossip about 'all the best people' in his newspaper, Town Topics. He was so notorious a character that his life inspired Cynthia Peale to write a murder mystery-fictional of course, setting the hero in Boston instead of Hague, but you'll recognize him instantly in her novel, The Death of Colonel Mann."

Of the popular early hotels in Hague at the turn of the century-Sabbath Day Point House, Mohican House, Garfield's-Phoenix-Beachside, Hillside House, The Wheeler House, The Iroquois Hotel, The Rising House, and Island Harbor House-four others still operate as resorts in 2010.

Of those, Hotel Uncas is now Northern Lake George Resort. J.J. Wilson's Hotel became absorbed by Silver Bay YMCA of the Adirondacks. R.J. Bolton's Trout House became the Trout House Village Resort. Locust Inn still goes by the same name but it's up for sale.

"Some of the people of Hague still remember the early hotel days-some had jobs there," Ianson said. "They told us some of their stories-Jim and Pat DeLarm, Art Belden, Inza Jordon, Julia Middleton, George and Ida May, Helen Belden, Dulcie Palmer and former Hague Town Supervisor Dick Bolton, to name a few.

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