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October 15, 2012

A Hague Treasure

The Phoenix Hotel, photo Seneca Ray Stoddard.

         Seneca Ray Stoddard, a pioneering Adirondack photographer, did a great deal of his early work on Lake George.  As would be expected, he spent an abundance of his time in the environs of Caldwell and Bolton Landing, but happily he also reached the shores of Hague and left us a legacy of photographic images of that community.

Stoddard wrote in his 18th edition, 1888 “Lake George Illustrated and Lake Champlain”:  “Hague is situated on a broad, sweeping bay, at the west side of the lake, 28 miles from its head.  The general character of its scenery is peaceful, lacking the grandeur of the Narrows, but here the artist will find plenty of matter for study in the great variety of foliage, lichens and mosses, the many-colored rocks, the rugged islands and the peaceful elms, where slender branches droop and sway like the weeping willow, the like of which is seen nowhere on the lake.

          “Good bass fishing is found nearby, and two fine trout brooks render the place attractive to those who throw the fly, while the shore, all the way back to Sabbath Day Point, is considered good hunting ground.  A walk up the valley road, north of the house, gives a number of the most charming bits of scenery imaginable.”

           He writes of four hotels, — the Phoenix, the Hillside, the Trout House, and Island Harbor.  Of the Phoenix (shown as photographed by Stoddard) he writes: “The Phoenix House is the large, white 3-story building seen a little way north of the steamboat landing.  The house can accommodate fifty, comfortably.  A level, grassy lawn stretches from the house out to sandy beach along the water front.  A new proprietor will greet old friends here, in the person of K. A. Miller, assisted by C. B. Pease, a thoroughly efficient and experienced hotelman, as manager.  The house has been newly furnished throughout, and is bright and clean as a new button.  The beds are first class; the table exceptionally nice and inviting.”

           The Phoenix sat on the property that is today an empty lot across from the Town Park and in its later incarnations was the Beachside and the home of The Cave, a favorite watering hole of many folks who probably still remember it!

Placed by Hague Historical Society

          The Hague Historical Society recently placed an historic marker at the site of the Phoenix Hotel. Gathering for the ceremony were historical society members, community members and representatives from several families who were owners of the various businesses on the site.

Article courtesy of Patricia McDonough, president of Hague Historical Society

© October 15 2012, Warren County Historical Society.

Photos supplied by author.


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