Ann Cantwell
Historic Saranac Lake
Born: April 1923

Married: Thomas B. Cantwell

Children: Penny, Sue, Gale Plunket, Frances B., T. Barry, William W., Robert A., Edmond A.

Ann Cantwell, neé Winslow, was born in April of 1923. She grew up in Cherry Valley, New York, where she remembers visiting her grandparents and picking berries. She played competitive golf in many northern New York women’s leagues and was a runner up in the New York State Championship. She attended Sargent College at Boston University. Her success in the sport resulted in a New York Times article being written about her.

This article caught the eye of Thomas B . Cantwell in Saranac Lake, who wrote Ann and suggested applying for the job opening as a Physical Education instructor at the local school. Thomas was waiting for Ann when she came up on the train, and Ann says, “it was love at first sight”. Ann was 25 when she came to Saranac Lake in 1947, and she and Thomas were married in 1948.

Ann and Thomas bought 120 Forest Hill Avenue from his father, Francis B. Cantwell, and they built many subsequent additions. Ann had eight children within 12 years: Penny, Sue, Gale, Francis, Berry, Bill, Bob, and Ted (Edmond).  Ann talked about how difficult it was raising eight children, and how the older kids would often be given responsibility of the younger kids. They spent summers on Lower Saranac Lake canoeing, swimming, sailing, and water skiing. Her husband Thomas helped develop several ski areas in Saranac Lake and Ann remembers helping to build the Saranac Lake Civic Center . She says "I love animals, and I love people, and I love my family, and my grandchildren, and my great-grandchildren."

To listen to an interview with Ann, visit the Historic Saranac Lake Oral History Project website.