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The Gardens of Basin Bay

The Gardens of Basin Bay

A Contemporary House Surrounded by Some of the Lake’s Most Spectacular Gardens Comes on the Market

By Mirror Staff

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Tom Abele calls it “a Gardener’s Home” for the morning light that rises and spreads across the lake to Basin Bay.

Over the years, the Capital District-based dentist and his wife have taken full advantage of that light to create some of the most carefully landscaped and cultivated grounds on Lake George.

Those gardens, plantings, pools and terraces will now serve the pleasure of some other family. The Abeles have put their house on the market.

Basin Bay has had a reputation as a “Lake George beauty spot” for more than a century.

The founders of the Lake George Yacht Club chose the bay as the site for their clubhouse in the 1880s in part for its views.

“From (the club house’s) broad and unique piazzas, guests and members can drink in as beautiful a view as there is to be found on the lake. To the eastward lies a long range of mountains, uprearing their lofty summits into heaven’s blue, and the most of the summer capped by clouds. The bright expanse of blue lake lies in the foreground, dotted in the summer season with multitudes of sailing crafts, steam yachts and row boats,” a Troy newspaper gushed at the time.

The club was disbanded and the building sold after only a few summers because of its distance from the community now known as Lake George Village – which, even then, was a part of its attraction in the eyes of some.

It certainly didn’t dissuade one of the lake’s first developers, John R. Loomis, from building here.

According to Bolton historian Kam Hoopes, Loomis built three homes for himself on Basin Bay: the Roost, on the mountain top above the bay, the Stone House, which survives today as Blue Water Manor and, on the site of the Abeles’ house, Camp 13.

All three bore the handiwork of Bolton stonemason Hiram Seaman. The massive fireplace at Blue Water Manor, says Hoopes, was a larger version of one built earlier at Camp 13.

Camp 13 was owned by George Morgan of Cleveland, Ohio, famous in his day as the owner of Morgan Litho, the nation’s pre-eminent printer of movie posters, but better known today as the father of Bill Morgan, the speedboat racer who revived Hacker-Craft.

After Camp 13 burned, the property was bought by the Abele family, which had been spending summers here for years and already owned the house on the adjacent lot.

The new house, where the Abeles live year-round, was built to accommodate their extended family.

“We’ve always appreciated it and have never taken it for granted,” said Abele.

The Abeles have not only made their home available to family and friends, but to the community as well.

They host Fresh Air Fund children every summer and even throw an annual party for all Fresh Air Fund kids and their host families who happen to be in the Lake George area.

Now, however, the Abeles feel the time has come for a smaller Lake George home.

The 10,000 square foot mansion was built in 2001 and consists of eight bedrooms, two self-sufficient apartments, a five bay garage, resort-quality outdoor dining and entertainment patios, a triple boathouse, docks and swimming areas. It sits on 1.8 acres of lake front.

The property is listed by the Sherwood Group for $5.9 million. For information, contact broker Lonnie Lawrence at 668-9500 or 361-0230.

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