Warren County Historical Society Presents …

The Digital Version * * * “REWIND”

March 16, 2013

The Island Harbor House Destroyed by Fire

      The Ticonderoga Sentinel of September 28, 1933, had this tale to tell:

Island Harbor House at Hague Completely Razed By Flames Early Today”

      “The Island House at Hague, one of the most picturesque and famous hotels on Lake George, was completely destroyed by fire shortly before four o’clock this morning. The flames were first discovered in the main hotel building, and they spread with such rapidity that the North and Middle guest cottages, directly across the state highway, were also enveloped and totally razed. A short circuit is believed to have started the blaze.”

      “The fire is believed to have originated in the lobby of the hotel building, and the flames were first discovered by Mrs. Myron Graves, wife of the assistant manager. The Graves occupy a cottage about 75 yards from the hotel building. She awakened her husband, and they rushed to the doomed building, where they aroused Mrs. M. P. Clifton, owner and proprietor of the property; her son, Bernard, Jr., Miss Claire Igoe, teacher in the Hague schools who boarded at the hotel, and a waitress, Miss Geneva Dannan, all of whom were asleep on the second floor of the wooden structure. With the main stairway to the lobby floor blocked by flames, they escaped down a fire escape in their night clothes a few minutes before their rooms were swept by the spreading flames. Their personal belongings were lost, as there was insufficient time to remove anything from the three razed buildings.”

Island Harbor House

      “Because of defective telephone communication – probably due to wires destroyed by the fire – the Ticonderoga fire department was unaware of the blaze until a resident of Hague rushed here in an automobile. Apparatus was immediately dispatched to the scene, and through the efforts of the local firemen, the docks, boathouses and other guests’ and servants’ cottages were saved.”

      “The Island Harbor House was built in 1883 by Albert Clifton of Hague. Following his death, the ownership and management passed on to his son, Bernard, who died a few years ago. Since that time his wife has been active in the management of the hotel, which has long been one of the most popular resorts on the lake, patronized each year by hundreds of guests, principally from New York City, Albany, and other cities in the Capital District.”

The fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the Island Harbor House was observed August ninth, when a special program was arranged to celebrate the occasion.”


Island Harbor House 1908 – Postcard


© March 12 2013, Warren County Historical Society.

Article courtesy of Hague Historical Society.


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