LG tourism — June 1888

Maury Thompson
3 min readApr 13, 2022


Quick discovery of a late-night fire at the Fort William Henry Hotel at Lake George on June 9, 1888 kept the hotel from destruction.

The fire of undetermined origin broke out in the linen room on hotel’s second floor, next to a sleeping room for female employees.

“One of the young women was awakened by the crackling of the flame which were consuming the woodwork about the door. The alarm was given, and a bucket brigade was pressed into service,” The Morning Star of Glens Falls reported on June 12, 1888.

The structure was only lightly damaged.

“The discovery of the blaze was timely. Had the fire gained any considerable headway, there being no adequate system of protection, the hope of saving the house would have been very slight.”

The season proceeded as planned, with a new feature at the hotel.

“While passing through the Fort William Henry Hotel grounds from the village to the depot yesterday, I noticed that sentries were posted at both entrances,” a Morning Star columnist wrote on June 28. ”I made some inquiry as to the purpose of their outposts, and was instructed that their duty was to keep excursionists off the grounds. It appears that picnic parties have made a practice of monopolizing the piazza, lawn and paths, much to the annoyance of guests of the house.”

Elsewhere in the vicinity, a renovation project at the Hotel Marion included a new water system and new boiler.

The Queen of American lakes was looking eternally youthful, according to the columnist.

“Lake George is clothed in her loveliest garbs today. And this proposition is not a platitude. It may savor of age, and yet it never had more force than at present.”

In other June 1888 Lake George tourism news collected from northern New York historic newspapers:

  • On June 13, Walter Brown left employment at The Morning Star to take a summer job as a bell hop at the Hotel Marion in Lake George.
  • The Crosbyside Hotel “bus,” a horse-drawn vehicle that transported multiple passengers, had been “remodeled and handsomely decorated” by carriage maker Nelson LaSalle of Glens Falls.
  • L.T. Cooke of Whitehall opened the Maple Grove House at Huletts Landing for the season, The Morning Star reported on June 15.
  • Harry E. Tidmarsh of Sandy Hill left to spend the summer working as clerk Horicon Lodge.
  • The steamer Ticonderoga was scheduled to begin its regular trips on June 18, as day-trip tourism was ramping up.
  • “Six carloads of excursionists from Albany yesterday visited Lake George and recreated on Fourteen Mile Island,” The Morning Star reported on June 20.
  • A. Kinney, a fish dealer from Fort Edward, made sales calls at Lake George hotels on June 21.
  • The Sagamore at Bolton Landing was set to “formally” open for the season on June 23, but had guests before then.
  • Professor E.O. Sylvester, of the Glens Falls Commercial College, was set to leave for Lake George the last week of June to work for the summer as a clerk at the Fort George Hotel.
  • Joubert & White carriage makers of Glens Falls constructed a buckboard wagon for H.J. Pelkey of Lake George to add to his livery vehicle fleet, The Morning Star reported on June 25, 1888.

“It will seat twelve persons and is intended for two to four horses.”

  • On June 25, The Morning Star reported on occupancy at hotels and boarding houses at Katskill Bay.

The Katskill House and Mayflower Cottage had six boarders each; Trout Pavilion and East Lake George House, two boarders each; Albin House, four; and Grove House, five.

Elsewhere in the Lake George basin, The Marion House was set to open June 27, but the opening was delayed to June 28.

  • S.D. Brown, who had been working as a salesman at The Rochester Clothing Co. store in Glens Falls, returned to Lake George for the summer to work as clerk at the Central House, a hotel that his father owned and operated.
  • James Buchanan Henry, nephew of President Buchanan, and family arrived to spend the season at Lake George.
  • Reporters in Glens Falls were watching all the summer residents pass through on their way to Lake George.

“D.S. Sanford, the philanthropic owner of Long Island, passed through Glens Falls yesterday on his way to his island home,” The Morning Star reported on June 30,

“Col. W.J. Price’s coachmen, carriages and paraphernalia passed through Glens Falls yesterday on their way to Col. Price’s summer home at Lake George.”

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Maury Thompson

Freelance history writer and documentary film producer from Ticonderoga, NY