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Joan Lapham, Amy Bloom, Jessica Rubin, Sam Caldwell

Joan Lapham, Amy Bloom, Jessica Rubin, Sam Caldwell

Lake George Residents Take Leading in Building New Health Center for Planned Parenthood

By Anthony F. Hall

Friday, February 17, 2017

Planned Parenthood Mohawk Hudson serves an area larger than some small states. But when creating a campaign to help fund the construction of a new health center in Queensbury, it found its leadership team on Lake George.

Jessica Rubin and Sam Caldwell of Bolton Landing co-chair a Steering Committee that includes Sam’s parents, Ted and Jane Caldwell.

Joan and By Lapham, Fish Point summer residents, co-chair an Honorary Committee.

Among the new health center’s supporters are Lauren and Ken Parlin, Hague summer residents who hosted a benefit for the project in December. To a group representing all points on the lake, Ken Parlin made two announcements. First, that the Parlin family would make a sizeable donation in honor of Ken’s late grandmother, Glens Falls psychiatrist Maria Mintz.

And second, they would join with others to secure naming rights to a staff room that would honor another Hague resident, Sheri Delarm Ginn, who worked as a Planned Parenthood community educator before switching career tracks and opening a restaurant.

Co-ordinating these activities is Amy Bloom, a Director of Special Projects for Planned Parenthood Mohawk Hudson who has her own Lake George connections: she’s a fourth generation summer resident. Her great-grandparents began spending summers on Lake George in the 1940s, camping on Big Burnt Island before setttling in Basin Bay.

“I knew Lake George residents would be supportive of the new health center, since it will be in our back yard and serve our community,” said Bloom. “Still, I’ve been particularly impressed by how passionate that support is.”

According to Bloom, the new health center, which will be located near the SUNY Adirondack campus, is expected to see roughly 5,000 patients a year.

“We offer all kinds of preventative and primary care, and the new health center, with more rooms, more flexible space and better parking, will make this a much more user-friendly facility,” said Bloom.

Planned Parenthood currently occupies a converted house in downtown Glens Falls that has outlived its usefulness, said Bloom.

The Parlin family, donating to Planned Parenthood in honor of Dr. Maria Mintz

Bloom also acknowledged that many patients had become uncomfortable visiting the downtown clinic.

Although abortions are reported to constitute only a tiny fraction of the services offered by Planned Parenthood, patients of all kinds have been intimidated by the anti-abortion activists who operate nearby, some of whom have vowed to force Planned Parenthood to leave the area.

Jane Caldwell was among those who volunteered to work as a “Clinic Escort,” protecting patients from harassment as they entered or left the building.

“Jane has literally walked the walk when it comes to supporting our local Planned Parenthood; she has been a tireless advocate and volunteer,” said Jessica Rubin, who said that the first donation made to the campaign by Sam and her was in honor of Jane Caldwell.

Their donation, she said, “is an investment that ensures that our family’s values of acceptance, compassion, and respect are actively reflected in this special place.”

Sam Caldwell said, “While this is an unspeakably beautiful place to come of age, it can also be a difficult environment for young people struggling with personal issues. It’s important to us that everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, has a safe place where they are respected and can receive sound, nonjudgmental medical care. So we’re proud that Planned Parenthood is growing with the times, providing counseling and services for the LGBTQ community.”

Before moving to Glens Falls with her husband, Dr. Maxwell Mintz, and starting her psychiatric practice, Dr. Maria Mintz worked at the first Planned Parenthood clinic in the nation, the Margaret Sanger Bureau, Ken Parlin said.

His mother, Joan Parlin, noted that as a child, Maria Mintz hoped to become a veterinarian, “but her father said that no one would take their pets to a woman. So she became a physician. Apparently, people are less protective of their humans than they are of their animals.”

Female physicioans, however, were such a rarity that as a child in Glens Falls, she would be told, “Of course your mother’s not a doctor, she’s a hurse,” Joan Parlin said.

Maria Mintz “would be so honored to have a have her name on a counseling room in the new clinic,” Parlin said, adding that her mother was a supporter of women and girls not only as a physician but as a volunteer, working on behalf of several local organizations.

According to Amy Bloom, Planned Parenthood needs to raise more than $1 million to finance the reconstruction of the new health center, which is expected to open this spring.

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Henry M. Rowan. Photo courtesy of Lake George Land Conservancy

Henry M. Rowan. Photo courtesy of Lake George Land Conservancy

Henry Rowan, Lake Benefactor Who Led Effort to Preserve Undeveloped Shoreline and Slopes, Dies at 92

By Mirror Staff

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Henry M. Rowan, the Silver Bay resident whose generosity helped the Lake George Land Conservancy protect more than 1,000 acres of wilderness opposite the campus on Lake George’s east shore, died on December 9 in Bucks County, PA. He was 92.

“At night, when we look across the Lake from Silver Bay and see not a single light across the Lake, we can think of Hank and his lasting contribution to  the health and beauty of Lake George,” said Ken Parlin, a Silver Bay trustee.

The tract, now part of the Adirondack Forest Preserve, is named the Margaret Boyd Rowan Preserve in honor of Rowan’s mother, who first came to Lake George with her own father, a YMCA secretary, in the early 1900s.

According to the Lake George Land Conservancy, the $250,000 gift from Henry Rowan and his first wife, Betty Long Rowan, was a matching gift, later doubled, which encouraged others to join them. This led to the purchase of 168 acres on the east shore in 1990, followed in subsequent years by additional donations and more land protection.

“In celebration of his effort, the Lake George Land Conservancy bestowed on Henry Rowan a new award—now institutionalized as the Henry M. Rowan Conservation Award—our organization’s highest honor. In the years since then, Hank provided major support for the Conservancy, and truly had a hand in every one of our organization’s accomplishments,” said John Macionis, president of the Lake George Land Conservancy.

The Rowan family has contributed more than $2 million to the Lake George Land Conservancy’s protection efforts, the Conservancy said.

According to the Conservancy, naming the protected lands opposite Silver Bay in honor of Margaret Boyd Rowan was appropriate, since it was she who instilled within her son a real understanding of conservation in general and a love of Lake George in particular.

Divorced from her husband, a prominent obstretician, Margaret Boyd Rowan rented a cottage on the Lake and later purchased an adjacent, then-defunct camp, on Van Buren Bay in 1936, using lumber from the camp’s bunkhouses to build a cottage. She and her four children (and two other generations since then) have spent many happy summers there.

“At Lake George, where we summered every year, Mother took us for long walks through the woods; along the way, we were expected to name the genus of the trees, insects, shrubs, birds, and flowers around us,” Rowan recalled in his 1995 autobiography, The Fire Within.

Henry Rowan transmitted that passion for Lake George to his children and grandchildren, his daughter, Virginia Rowan Smith, once recalled.

“All of us have grown to love this magical lake,” said Smith. “How proud it makes me to look across the lake at that unspoiled land and know that our family has helped to assure that Lake George continues to be a timeless place.”

Rowan was born in Raphine, Virginia in 1923 and raised in Ridgewood, New Jersey. He was educated at Deerfield Academy, Williams College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

During World War II, he served in the Army Air Corps and was trained as a bomber pilot.

A few years after graduating from MIT, Henry and Betty Rowan founded a company they named Inductotherm to manufacture furnaces used in metal melting. Their first client was the US Mint.

“From that moment, Inductotherm was a force in the metallurgical industry. In 1958, the company’s sales passed $1 million for the first time, reaching nearly $1.4 million, a 65 percent increase over the previous year,” one obituary noted.

After 63 years, Inductotherm today is the leading manufacturer of high technology equipment for metal processing, worldwide.

“In many ways, of course, Hank Rowan was bigger than life. A brief note can only hint at his varied and extraordinary accomplishments. I think you would agree that Hank’s story is particularly American—he was a person of deep talent, endless persistence, and sweeping vision, who believed that anything was possible if you worked at it hard enough. Again and again throughout his life, Hank proved this belief to be true,” John Macionis said in a letter to Lake George Land Conservancy supporters, informing them of Rowan’s death.

Rowan is perhaps best known for his family’s $100 million gift to New Jersey’s Glassboro State College which was not limited to, but included his desire that it create an engineering program. At the time, it was the largest gift to a public institution of higher education in American history. The Board of Trustees voted to rename the college Rowan College in his honor; in 1997 it became known as Rowan University.

According to the university, which issued a statement upon Rowan’s death, “The donation helped the college grow from a small school with fewer than 10,000 students to the state’s second comprehensive public research university, with five campuses, more than 11 colleges and 16,100 students. The gift also helped grow the school’s assets from $787,000 to more than $177 million.”

Rowan University President Ali Houshmand said the school has lost a “champion of innovation and philanthropy.”

“Henry Rowan’s spirit will forever encourage our vision, animate our work and prompt us to make a difference in others’ lives,” Houshmand said.

Rowan was also known for his interest in aviation – he was inducted into the New Jersey Aviation Hall of Fame in 2012 – and in sailing.

“Henry Rowan was a skilled Starboat sailor, actively racing for more than 40 years, well into his 80’s,” recalled Donna Wotton of the Northern Lake George Yacht Club, Rowan’s home club.  “A fierce competitor, he won no fewer than 29 fleet championships, several Lake George Open regattas, and multiple 12th District Championships. He represented the Lake George Star Fleet in many North American and World Championships, finishing as high as 3rd in the 1975 North Americans and 15th in the World Championships against 100 of the best sailors in the world.” In 1990 he and his son-in-law competed in the Olympic trials in Florida.

Rowan was also a life-long supporter of Silver Bay YMCA.
“Henry Rowan was a man who, through his generous nature, had an impact on so many individuals and families in so many different ways, not only here at Silver Bay but also in so many other places. Many hear the call and share their blessings, but Henry is one who acted on that call and led from the front. His legacy is one that is a lesson for so many of us and one that will endure for many years to come. We were blessed and are blessed to have known him,” said Steve Tamm, Silver Bay’s executive director.

Jeff Killeen, the chairman of The Fund for Lake George, said Rowan “was an immensely generous philanthropist to Lake George — a place he treasured and loved with all his being. Henry uniquely personified the best values of “giving” from the heart. In an irreplaceable way, he will be deeply missed.

The Henry M. Rowan Family Foundation is a significant contributor to The Fund, underwriting investments in invasive species prevention and treatment,
salt reduction and water quality protection, said Jessica Rubin, The Fund’s director of development.

Rowan was pre-deceased by his wife Betty and two sons, Jimmy and David. He is survived by his second wife, Lee, his daughter, Virginia Rowan Smith and two grandchildren.

“Hank was determined to live his life making a difference. All the things we celebrate about Hank’s life had one common element—opening the doors of possibility for others. He encouraged his friends and neighbors to step up to lake protection by offering to match their donations. He transformed a regional teacher’s college into a national university,” wrote John Macionis.

Macionis continued, “There could never be a full accounting of the ways Henry Rowan has touched others, helping men and women to shape a better future for themselves. The reason we will never know the full measure of his life is that his example and legacy will live on, in generation after generation both at the lake, at Rowan University, and around the world.”

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Once More to the Lake

By Anthony F. Hall

Thursday, July 16, 2015

A Cabin in Hague May Be Your Ticket to the Past

If the sound of a fisherman’s two-stroke engine coming to life on a foggy morning, the nightly smell of wood smoke or being immersed in a cold lake are wonderful but buried memories, one of two cabins on northern Lake George, now offered by McDonald Real Estate Professionals, may be the alembic that awakens them.

Willie Bea McDonald, one of the firm’s founders, recently showed us the two cabins, both of which are located on Pine Cove Road in Hague.

(And if you can think of a more perfect address for an old fashioned cottage on a northern lake, let us know.)

The first is a kit built, two-bedroom log cabin, constructed in 1972, with a stone fireplace, knotty pine paneling and a screened porch.

The listed price is $339,000. The cabin is on the market because it has passed to a second generation who live too far away to make use of it, said McDonald.

It comes with rights to a private beach shared by five other families. The view is of Anthony’s Nose, an unspoiled eastern shore and a section of the lake relatively free of boat traffic, at least compared with Bolton Bay or the south basin.

“Hague lies somewhere between Bolton Landing and Gull Bay or Glenburnie, literally and figuratively,” said McDonald. “It appeals to people who want privacy, who don’t want the busyness of Bolton Landing, but who also want proximity to some amenities, like markets and restaurants.”

The cabin was constructed for year-round use and could be enlarged if desired, said McDonald.

The second cabin, farther down Pine Cove Road, has its own lake frontage, a dock and a mooring. Its owners are offering it for $770,000.

The cabin is sided with cedar shingles and it too has a stone fireplace and a screened porch, this one overlooking the lawn and a private lake view.

Both cabins could be served by a new municipal sewer system, said McDonald.

One of the advantages shared by both cabins is their proximity to Silver Bay, the hamlet of Hague and the Northern Lake George Yacht Club.

The Silver Bay YMCA offers family memberships that offer access to its recreational activities and facilities.

The Northern Lake George Yacht Club is known for its sailing programs and is currently accepting applications for memberships.

Hague is home to a gourmet market, an art gallery a home furnishings store and two of the best restaurants on Lake George: the Firehouse and the Uptown.

Both restaurants were featured last summer in an article in The New York Times about Silver Bay and Hague that argued, persuasively, that “deep within this corner of the Adirondacks, a kind of timelessness can still be found.”

“We watch sailboats zipping to and fro, swimmers lazily splashing at the beach. We walk through forests thick with birch, oak, hickory, pine,” wrote Bonnie Tsu, whose husband’s grandparents initiated a family tradition of summers at Silver Bay.

Cabins such as these two are becoming increasingly rare. Once they leave a family, they are likely to be razed and replaced with larger and grander houses, not always equally well suited to the landscape or to the traditional character of Lake George. Here’s a chance to enjoy one or perhaps two of them before they disappear altogether.

For more information, contact Willie Bea McDonald at McDonald Real Estate Professionals, Bolton Landing, at (518) 644-2015.

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Game On!

By Anthony F. Hall

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

 How Rick Tamlyn and Chuck Lioi Found Their Bigger Game. And Why They’re Bringing it Home to Silver Bay.

Rick Tamlyn and Chuck Lioi live a quiet life in Hague, enjoying the company of their friends, neighbors and family and appreciating their privileged access to small town life.

Their other life is in Los Angeles, where they built successful careers in the entertainment industry.

It was while Rick was working as an actor and Chuck as a producer that the couple found their “bigger game.”

What’s the Bigger Game?

“Bigger does not mean larger,” Tamlyn explains.  “Most of us get caught up in making a living; once we’ve achieved that, many of us  find we’re bored.  The Bigger Game asks, ‘how do we make a life that’s worth living?’ We’re here to express something, to put  something into the world that matters. We want to be able to reach the end of life and say, ‘that was great,’ not, ‘I wish I had done more.’  That’s playing the Bigger Game.”

The Bigger Game has produced books and videos,  coaching sessions and motivational retreats, as well as workshops for corporations, churches and not-for-profit organizations.  Tamlyn has even pitched it as a television series, with promising results.

But, Tamlyn says,  “it wanted to be an event.”

And so,  from June 11 through June 14,  the Bigger Game will be the focus of  a four-day series of  talks and workshops at Silver Bay called The Bigger Game Expo.

“Our speakers are all Big Game players themselves:  Elizabeth Gilbert, Lee Woodruff and the Beekman Boys, among many others, not all of them  famous, but all equally inspiring,”  said Tamlyn.

If the first expo, produced in 2013, is any indication, scores of people from around the world will travel to Lake George to learn how they can play their bigger game.

And have fun, Chuck Lioi emphasizes. The weekend includes cocktail and dessert receptions, dinners and a cruise aboard the Mohican.

“It’s TED  talk meets the Ellen Show,  especially the opening session. That will be an entertaining as well as a learning experience. Remember, we’re Hollywood,” said Lioi.

Anyone who lives within the Lake George basin is invited to attend the opening session at no charge, the two organizers have announced.

According to Tamlyn, “We live here, we love it here, and we wanted to engage the community. So we thought we’d create something free for the entire area.”

“Expect the unexpected,” said Lioi.

As Tamlyn explains, bringing the Bigger Game Expo is  itself  an effort to support the community.

“There’s so much going on at Silver Bay and on northern Lake George, and we want to keep the conversation and the energy going,” said Tamlyn.

“We’re a new Silver Bay player, but we want to be a part of it,” Tamlyn continued.  “We want the world to see Silver Bay, to showcase it and, if possible, to raise its profile.”

Tamlyn first fell in love with Silver Bay when he was 11 years old and had travelled to the conference center with his family to visit his older brother Bruce, who was working as an Emp at the time.

Chuck Lioi and Rick Tamlyn

(Bruce Tamlyn is now Silver Bay’s chaplain, a post he’s held since 1995.)

Early in their relationship, Rick invited Chuck to Silver Bay.

“I didn’t know it was a test,” said Chuck. “But I passed it, because my reaction was ‘Wow! Where am I? This is breathtaking.’”

Creating the Bigger Game has been Tamlyn’s own Bigger Game, he explains.

“Life is always guiding us,  if we listen. I felt called to something grand and the Game found me,” he said. “Of course I didn’t know how you created something like this and I was scared.  But the truth is,  if you’re doing something that you already know how to do, then you’re not playing your bigger game.”

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The House that Harry and Elizabeth Watrous Built

By Anthony F. Hall

Friday, October 17, 2014

Possibly with the help of Sanford White

Any architectural or historical tour of Northern Lake George would have to begin with Ruah, the Bed and Breakfast in Hague.

“There’s nothing like it; it’s stately, grand architecture. I’ve always thought it was among the most beautiful buildings in Hague, and what’s remarkable is that it’s never been changed. It remains as beautiful as ever,” said Sally Rypkema, the town historian.

Judy and Peter Foster, long-time summer residents of the lake, purchased the house in 1985 and turned it into a Bed and Breakfast twenty years ago.

“When we decided to move to the lake year-round, we had to think about what we could do, what kind of business we could run. A friend said, ‘do what you’re doing already: entertaining guests. But now, instead of just showing up, we’ll pay you.’ So that’s how we came to open a B&B,” said Judy Foster.

Ruah owners Peter and Judy Foster

The house was completed in 1907 for two artists, Harry Watrous and his wife, Elizabeth Nichols Watrous, both prominent in their day.

Harry Watrous was secretary of the National Academy of Design from 1898 to 1920 and served as its president in 1933.

“Elizabeth Watrous was actually the more interesting artist, attempting a kind of early modernism,” said Richard Stout, a contemporary artist living in Hague.

She was a founder of the Pen and Brush Club, which in 1918 was deeded a summer studio and hostel in Hague by another artist, Harriet S. Phillips. Today it is a private home, situated on a hill overlooking the lake, and also of architectural and historical interest.

Dining room at Ruah

The Watrous house replaced a rustic building which the couple had erected on the property, one of several they built in Hague.

“Mrs. Watrous wanted something grander,” said Judy Foster. “Harry Watrous was known for his antics, so he held a wrecking party. Every guest was given a crowbar.”

Local legend has it that Sanford White, the famous architect, had something to do with the design of the house.

“That’s not outside the realm of possibility,” said Sally Rypekema. “It has elements in common with other houses attributed to White. White was a friend of the Watrouses, and he was known to sketch designs for friends without charging them or making notes for the firm’s records. On the other hand, the house lacks some of White’s signatures, such as a grand staircase. Elizabeth Watrous certainly had a hand in its design; it resembles other houses they built. She was all about wide, open porches, one of Ruah’s most prominent features.”

Somewhere underneath layers of wallpaper is a mural by Watrous, said Peter Foster.

Several paintings by Robert Melvin Decker, a Lake George friend and contemporary of Harry Watrous, which were collected by Peter Foster’s late father and which now hang on the walls of Ruah, are similar in style to Watrous’ own work.

As prominent at the time as Watrous himself, Decker has also slipped into obscurity.

According to Richard Stout, these once famous artists were, in a sense, victims of history, trapped between tradition and modernist revolution that would erupt in the United States with the Armory Show of 1913.

“They were searching for something new and fresh but did not know how to get there,” said Stout, who frequently lectures on the history of art.  “They also had to make a living and the American public that bought their work dictated certain limitations on what they could do.”

If Harry Watrous no longer commands attention as an artist, he retains a certain amount of fame, at least locally, as the creator of the Hague monster.

For those who are unfamiliar with the tale of how the monster came to be, here’s a 1963 account by the Lake George Mirror’s editor at the time, Art Knight:

 “The critter was born as the result of a wager between Harry W. Watrous, a former president of the Lake George Association, and Colonel Edward Mann, editor of the New York social gossip sheet, Town Topics. The bet was who would land the largest trout.

       “The Colonel, it seems, contrived to produce a trout that weighed about 40 pounds, but it was made of wood which Mr. Watrous promptly suspected and detected. Turning his own wizardry to wood, Mr. Watrous fashioned a fearsome marine monstrosity from a pine log, artfully splotched with paint and sporting two bulging green eyes. Rigged to a rope, anchor and pulley system, which was manipulated from his boathouse, Mr. Watrous could make the dreadful dragon surface and submerge at will.

       “One evening as Col. Mann rowed homeward along the Hague shore in the gathering dusk, up popped the serpent. There were conflicting accounts as to what happened between that fateful moment and the Colonel’s dripping arrival at his cottage door. Mr. Watrous claimed the poor fellow screamed like a banshee, knelt to pray, flung himself overboard and thrashed ashore. The colonel insisted he maintained his dignity, though momentarily startled, and stumbled into the drink because he stepped on a shadow he mistook for his dock.

       “Probably the most celebrated performance of the serpent occurred when it loomed up in the fading twilight and paralyzed a pair of honeymooners in a canoe. The startled couple capsized their canoe, the gasping groom lit out for an island nearby leaving gallantry to the fish and deserting his shrieking bride to the mercy of the monster. When his bristling bride finally reached the shore she thanked the monster for showing her groom was also a monster whereupon she bustled away and got a divorce.”

According to the Fosters, Watrous manipulated the monster from a rock below Ruah.

Ruah is now for sale and the Fosters expect that it will return to its former use as a private home.

But according to Lonnie Lawrence, the Sherwood Group realtor representing the property, the house’s commercial potential shouldn’t be overlooked.

“Owning a B & B is a great way to get a piece of lake relatively inexpensively. The Fosters have not developed the portion of the property’s lakefront, which is still available for docks. It has its own private beach, which could be retained strictly for the use of the owners,” said Lawrence.

Until the house is sold, the Fosters will continue to operate Ruah as northern Lake George’s most elegant inn.

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Real Estate: A Former Rectory, Ripe for Conversion to a Summer Home

By Mirror Staff

Monday, July 23, 2012

Of all the vacation homes on the market, this may be the most unusual: a fomer Roman Catholic rectory.

Located in Hague, next to a Catholic church where services have been discontinued in all but the summer months, the four bedroom, red brick house is for sale at a listing price of  $249,000.

The Catholic diocese in Albany is selling the house, which sits  on a four tenths of an acre lot, said Nancy Jefts, a realtor with Davies-Davies.

“We listed the house in January, and there’s been some interest since then, but we think that will really pick up now that summer’s here,” said Jefts.

According to Jefts, the house’s advantage as a vacation home lies in the fact that it’s within walking distance of the Hague Town Beach and boat launch.

Restaurants, shops, the community center, and the Hague Market are even closer, said Jefts.

But what truly distinguishes this house from other houses available within lakeshore hamlets is the construction, Jefts said.

“The house is incredibly solid and well-built,” said Jefts. “The costs of constructing it today would be astronomical.”

Realtor Nancy Jefts

According to Jefts, records state the house was built in 1950, but the architectural style, interior layout, room dimensions and details suggest a house of much earlier vintage.

“It’s reminiscent of houses built in Glens Falls in the 1920s,” said Jefts.

The ground floor consists of a kitchen, which looks as though it was last remodeled in the 1950s, a dining room and den separated by glass French doors, a living room and access to a winterized porch,.

An open stair case leads to the four bedrooms. The master bedroom contains its own bathroom (and a safe, where offertory receipts were kept),  as does a small bedroom reserved for the priests’ housekeeper.  A suite of two bedrooms share a half-bath.

Upstairs details include transoms above the doors, a floor to ceiling, built-in linen closet and high ceilings that make even the smaller bedrooms feel spacious.

The house carries with it some deed restrictions which anyone shopping for a vacation home may think unusual, but will not find surprising, given the house was once a Catholic rectory. The house cannot be used as an abortion clinic, an adult bookstore, a theater showing x-rated films or a topless bar.

For more information, contact Nancy Jefts at Davies-Davies and Associates at 656-9068.

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Happy Times

Happy Times

Remembering Lake George Racer, Boat Builder Bill Morgan

By Anthony F. Hall

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Bill Morgan, the individual most responsible for reviving wooden speedboat building in North America, died in Glens Falls on February 21. He was 84.

Best known for re-animating the Hacker-Craft brand, whose boats he manufactured in Silver Bay, Morgan also restored or built replicas of more than twenty Gold Cup racers of the 1930s, including “Happy Times,” a replica of George Reis’s El Lagarto.

“Those beautiful, slender race boats were in my background long enough to make an impression,” Morgan once told the Mirror.

Raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Morgan spent his summers on Lake George,  where he was  able to view the Gold Cup races of the 1930s from his front yard.

“He was always interested in engines; that’s all he ever talked about,” recalled Jane Kiernan Gabriels, a friend of Morgan’s since their summers as children on Lake George.

(Apparently, Bill had no interest in joining the family business, Morgan Lithograph Co., which was founded in 1864. By the 1920s, the company was the nation’s foremost printer of movie posters.)

George Reis, whose El Lagarto had brought the races to Lake George in 1934, was a friend of Morgan’s family, and “his stories furthered my interest,” Morgan said in 2000.

After attending Williams College (where, according to Gabriels, he was a champion swimmer) and serving in the Navy, Morgan himself became a racer, competing in Gold Cup, President’s and National Sweepstakes races, as well as in the Silver Cup, Canadian National and in a World Championship, compiling an impressive record of victories.

After building his own inboard racing boats, Morgan said in 2000,  “I got to the point where I wanted to build replicas of boats that were no longer around.”

El Lagarto was donated to the Adirondack Museum in 1969, and after several trips to the museum to take measurements, Morgan completed Happy Times in 1971.

“El Lagarto was the best Gold Cup boat in its time, and Happy Times is its duplicate,” Morgan told the Mirror in 1971. “Like El Lagarto, my boat with the five steps has the same distinctive leap which enabled the original to clear itself from the water and run a little faster than its competition.”

Asked by the Mirror if he intended to enter Happy Times in races, Morgan replied, “No, but I’ll let her out and just see who we pass.”

Morgan went on to build “ten or twelve replicas – one each of the nicest boats,” he said.

That number includes Delphine IV, a replica of the 1932 Gold Cup winner designed by George Crouch for Horace Dodge, and Hotsy Totsy, a replica of the Purdy-built two-time Gold Cup.

Morgan also bought and restored the Californian, which competed in the Gold Cup races of 1930, 31 and 32; Miss Detroit VII, a Gar Wood boat which won the 150 mile Sweepstakes in 1924 and 1925; Miss Los Angeles, which competed in the 1929 Gold Cup races; and Miss Canada III, which competed in the 1939 Gold Cup Race.

“It would have been a crime to let them go,” Morgan said. “They are a part of our history… the Californian was in rough shape. Canada III-we rescued her days before she was about to be bulldozed. She was stripped of her deck for use as a fishing boat. Detroit VII was a basket case.”

Morgan’s replicas and restorations took first place awards in nearly every antique and classic boat show in the Northeast.

He donated his personal collection of Gold Cup raceboats – as well as a rare 1923 Gold Cup Packard engine and volumes of archival material about the boats – to the Antique Boat Museum in Clayton, New York.

In the 1980s, Morgan assisted the Wolgin family, which had recently acquired the Sagamore hotel, with the construction of an excursion boat.

“Bill was a friend, so we went to him for advice, and he became the project’s shepard,” said Ike Wolgin.

The 70-ft boat, which was built on Green Island, was launched in 1985. At the suggestion of Marian Wolgin, the boat was named “The Morgan,” in honor of Bill.

Bill Morgan

In 2004, Morgan made arrangements to sell Hacker-craft and his Silver Bay boat yard to another former speedboat racer, Lynn Wagemann.

The company was purchased in 2011 by investor George Badcock, who became the company’s president.

“We at the Hacker Boat Company would not have the honor today of building Hacker-Craft without Bill,” said Badcock. “Everyone at the Hacker Boat Company has a responsibility to keep the Hacker-Craft brand vibrant as a testament and memorial to Bill’s life’s work.”

Morgan was married to Jean Eckert of Albany, New York and later to the late Patricia Robinson of Marblehead, Massachusetts.  There were no children from either marriage.

He is survived by his sister, Mary Burry of Cleveland, and two nieces, Marilyn Hitchcock of Chagrin Falls, Ohio and Susan Phillips of Williamsburg, Virginia.

Morgan was a member of the Lake George Club, the Fort Orange Club and a Director of the Antique and Classic Boat Society (International).

“With his passing, Bill Morgan leaves behind a multitude of friends and fans who honor and revere his many and diverse lasting contributions to boating, especially wooden boating and racing, on a level of excellence which may never again be equaled, much less surpassed,” attorney David Morris said in a statement announcing Morgan’s death.

Memorial services are scheduled for late May or early June.

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Dr. Stuart Kelley

Dr. Stuart Kelley

Mission Accomplished: Stuart Kelley Completes Swim for the Cycle

By Mirror Staff

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

On February 6, Dr. Stuart Kelley became the first person to have swum in Lake George at least once every calendar day–leap year included.

The swim completing the cycle, witnessed by several friends of Kelley’s as well as his wife Melissa, took place at Silver Bay’s Slim Point on a fortuitously, unseasonably, warm day.

The temperature of the lake was 38 degrees – less bracing than the 6-degree lake Kelley has dived into in the past, but cold enough to deter any bystanders from joining him.

“Swimming in Lake George every calendar date of the year has required some determination, some logistical planning, and some strong support from my wife, Melissa,” said Kelley.  “Lake George is spectacularly beautiful in any season, and I’ve enjoyed each and every swim I’ve taken in the Queen of American Lakes.”

Kelley’s swim for the cycle began on New Year’s Eve, 1991. “The New Year’s swim was the start of it. After that, I decided to make certain that I swam in Lake George at least once a month, no matter what the temperature,” said Kelley, a summer resident of Hague.

“We had to make special trips from our home in Virginia, even in April, when the appeal of Lake George is not especially evident,” said Kelley’s wife Melissa.

Having achieved his goal of being in the lake every month of the year, Kelley grew more ambitious, rather than resting on his laurels. Hence the drive to become the first person to have swum in the lake every day of the year.

“It got out of hand,” Kelley concedes, speaking of his quest.

“What’s pushing me?” he asks. “I can’t explain it. Call it obsessive compulsive behavior.”

A retired staff physicist for the Department of Defense, whose hobbies include restoring antique clocks, antique electric fans and early outboard motors,  Kelley is nothing if not exacting.

For instance, he has a precise definition of what constitutes a swim, as opposed to a dip:

“You have to be buoyant, moving on your own power, completing a minimum of two or three strokes with kicking,” he says.

After the lake freezes over, he finds open water to complete his swims.

“More often than not, I’m swimming with the ducks,” he says.

Dr. Stuart Kelley and friends lakeside after the final swim

Completing the cycle at Silver Bay was especially important to Kelley, since Silver Bay is where he met his wife and where his mother visited in the 1920s, starting a family tradition of summers on Lake George, one that’s now in its fourth generation.

“My parents were school teachers in New Jersey, and they began bringing my brother and me to Lake George when we were quite young. We stayed at Rogers Rock, Trout House Village and Silver Bay before they found this property,” Kelley says in his living room, whose windows overlook Pudding Island.

Kelley attended Union College as an undergraduate and received a PhD in Solid State Physics from the University of Delaware. Both he and Melissa worked as Emps at Silver Bay.

“What’s intriguing are the number of Emps we knew who are still friends of ours, including a number of couples who, like us met at Silver Bay and are still married,” remarks Melissa, who worked as a travel agent while Stuart was at the Department of Defense and they were raising their two children.

If there’s a quality that Kelley admires, it is, he says, perseverance, and that trait has characterized his work as a scientist – he’s published more than sixty papers on physics, chemistry, mathematics, optics, and oceanography, as well as his athletic pursuits.  In addition to swimming for the cycle, he is, for instance, a marathon runner and an Adirondack 46er.

Now that he’s completed his goal of swimming in Lake George every day of the calendar year, Kelley has had a chance to reflect upon his accomplishment.

“I treasure most my memory of those swims when it was snowing softly and quietly, with other sounds muffled and distant.  Numb toes and ice on my glasses are small prices to pay for being immersed in Lake George’s silky waters in winter,” said Kelley. “Setting such a goal and achieving it is one of life’s pleasures.  By the way, these swims have provided an icebreaking conversational topic at cocktail parties.  An unfortunate consequence of achieving my goal is that now I’ll be expected to devise some new jaw-dropping challenge.”

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Sally and Jim Rypkema

Sally and Jim Rypkema

Hague Keeps its Market, the Oldest in the Adirondacks

By Anthony F. Hall

Monday, December 5, 2011

As a fifth generation resident of Hague, it’s not surprising that Sally DeLarm Rypkema considered saving the Hague Market a civic priority.

Established in 1900, it’s said to be the oldest continuously operated general store in the Adirondacks, and for most of its history, it has served as an informal community center, a place where people meet as well as shop.

But Rypkema has ties to the Hague Market stronger than even her oldest neighbors’.  She worked there. When she was five years old.

“For the first six years of my life, my family lived next door, at the dairy, and the market’s owners, Bob and Ada Hoyt, who had no children of their own, seemed happy to have me around. They even gave me a job – selling penny candy to the other kids,” said Rykema.

When Art Seitz put the market up for sale several years ago, Rypkema and her husband Jim considered purchasing it, but the timing wasn’t right.

Jim continued to work with his family’s business in New Jersey and Sally opened Juniper Design and Goods, a home furnishings shop and interior design firm, which is also located on Hague’s Main Street.

The Hague Market

The decision by Doug and Sharon Zeyak to sell the market earlier this year presented them with a second chance to own the market, as well as an opportunity to aid the town.

“The town needs the market, in a big way,” said Rypkema. “It’s nice to be able to run to a local market. And this market was once the center of Hague. Everybody came in to chat about what was going on. We wanted to be certain that Hague would always have that.”

According to Jim Rypekema, the market will re-open within the next two months.

Since the couple purchased the market, “There’s been a lot of excitement, which is very encouraging” said Jim. “People are pleased to see that the building has been repainted.”

Much of his time has been spent renovating the market’s commercial space and upstairs apartment.

“Structurally, we’re not changing anything, and we’re keeping as many of the details as possible, such as the tin ceiling and the hardwood floors. We want a traditional country store,” said Jim.

While the store will stock staples, its line of offerings “will evolve, as we learn more about what people need and want,” said Jim.

“I want to offer more of what I would want as a shopper, such as organic foods and local cheeses,” said Sally.

When Sally Rypkema was growing up, the store was named the Hague Supermarket. She and Jim are giving some thought to calling their store the New Hague Market.

But they realize that it will probably always be known as the Hague Market. And that will be fine with them. After all, their only goal is to ensure that Hague will always have a market to call its own.

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Hacker-Craft in Premiere Catalogue of Luxury Gifts

By Mirror Staff

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Among the high-end items offered by Neiman Marcus in its annual Christmas catalogue is a custom designed Hacker-Craft from Lake George.

“All of us are thrilled to have a Hacker-Craft selected for the Christmas Book”, said George Badcock, President & CEO of the Hacker Boat Company, which is headquartered in Silver Bay.

Explaining the Dallas, Texas department store’s decision to include Hacker in its Christmas catalogue, spokeswoman Ginger Reeder said  “We look for the best. If we’re looking for a speedboat, we have to find the best on the market.”

The Hacker-Craft offered in the Christmas Book was designed especially for Neiman Marcus and sells for $250,000.  For every speedboat sold, Neiman Marcus will make a $3,000 donation to the Double H Ranch in Lake Luzerne.

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