Water carrier helps trace history of Deerland

This demijohn carrier was used to haul spring water to the cottages at Deerland Lodge on Long Lake.

This demijohn carrier was used to haul spring water to the cottages at Deerland Lodge on Long Lake. Photo courtesy of the Adirondack Museum

In September 2006, Everett Hollands, of Long Lake, donated this demijohn carrier to the Adirondack Museum. It is artifact No. 2006.41.1 in the museum’s collection (currently in storage).

The wooden boxes that housed the demijohns are 21.5 inches tall and 19 inches wide. The two wooden boards with handles are long enough, at 82.5 inches, so one person could carry the load in the front and one could carry it from the back. Each box features a removable lid and two wire handles, as they were originally separate objects. Inside, there are springs in the corners to hold the glass bottles in place. The long boards were nailed to the boxes by the owners, not the manufacturer. No demijohns were donated with the carrier.

The maker’s mark reads: “TRADEMARK REGISTERED / TWOPLEX / 1905 / REMOVABLE BOXED / DEMIJOHN / MADE UNDER THE PATENTS OF GEO. W. BANKER / FRED G. WHITE / [illegible] NEW YORK.” Curators estimate that the boxes date to between 1905 and 1920. “EAST BRANCH” is written on the top of one of the boxes.

Prior to the donation, the demijohn carrier was found underneath one of the buildings at the former Deerland Lodge, which was located at the southeastern shore of Long Lake. The donor owned the cottage.

The Deerland Lodge was located about 3 miles southwest of Hoss’s Country Corner on state routes 28N/30. The resort boasted a nine-hole golf course, two tennis courts and its own post office. After the business shut down in the 1950s, the land was subdivided and the buildings were sold off individually.

In an old brochure (date unknown), it states that the Deerland Lodge was owned by A.D. Brown and could accommodate about 100 guests. It sat on about 80 acres of land at the southern tip of Long Lake about 150 yards from the state highway. There was a main house and 11 cottages, “having from three to ten rooms, private and semi-private baths, hard woods floors and open fire places.”

(This story was originally published in “New York State’s Mountain Heritage: Adirondack Attic, Volume 5,” by Andy Flynn.)

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