Some of the cabins at BeechwoodLocation:  Northwest shore of Upper Saranac Lake

Other names: Colgate Camp

Year built: c. 1910

Other information: Camp Beechwood was the camp of Sidney M. Colgate.  He bought the land in 1896 and camped in canvas tents, later adding tent platforms and then solid walls.  Later, cabins replaced the tents.  The family stayed on the lake all summer, while Mr. Colgate stayed in the city, coming to camp by sleeper car.   The family gave the camp to Colgate University as a retreat in 1953.

There are a dozen cabins, and the camp is open to students, faculty, staff and alumni of the college during a nine-week summer season.  It can accommodate up to forty guests.  It serves as a conference center outside of the camping season.


  • Upper Saranac Lake Association Yearlook, 1998

New York Times, August 24, 1902


Many Well - Known People in Their Camps

Special to The New York Times. WAWBEEK, N. Y., Aug. 23—

 …Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Richards, the Misses Richards, Austin Colgate, George Agness, Miss M. L. Parmlee, and Mr. and Mrs. Sidney M. Colgate of New York, who are at Camp Beechwood the Adirondack home of Mr. and Mrs. S. M. Colgate, are frequent visitors at Hotel Wawbeek


Ogdensburg Republican-Journal, May 23, 1929


Franklin County Grand Jury Indicts, Mary Fitzhugh Thomas for Grand Larceny, First, and Arson

MALONE, N.Y., May 22.--(AP)

—Mary Fitzhugh Thomas, who claimed, to be a sister-in-law of Cecil, Viscount of Chelwood, England, was indicted today by a Franklin county grand jury on charges of grand larceny, first degree, and arson, second degree.

Counsel for Miss Thomas, who is at liberty in bail of $10,000, said she was in St. Luke's hospital, New York city.

She was arrested by state troopers at Katonah on a warrant charging her with obtaining $5,000 under false pretenses from Major Dawson, a chauffeur at Saranac Inn. In the fall of 1928 she rented Beechwood Inn on upper Saranac Lake from Sidney Colgate and the arson indictment was handed up in connection with the burning of several camps on the Colgate property during the time she occupied it.

Adirondack Daily Enterprise, January 11, 1966

Colgate Group Probes Lake Conditions


Ten Colgate University students, one from as far away as Uganda, Africa are currently studying the physical properties of ice and snow on Upper Saranac Lake during one of the most snowless of Adirondack winters.

The group is roughing it under simulated arctic conditions and if their eventual area of employment is McMurdo Sound or Greenland they will meet the challenge utilizing information and techniques learned at the Colgate University camp.

The arctic and antarctic must be considered potential livable areas in light of the growing population of the globe. With the proper application of scientific principles, snow and ice, now considered by most as mortal enemies of man, could be converted to wide general usage.

The students spend half a day in the classroom and the remainder of the day in the field, familiarizing themselves with weather instruments, gauges and proven methods of determining bulk porosity, properties of natural occurring snow, compressive weight of snow grains, heat processing of snow to gain strength and other related subjects.

Much of what is being learned is of military importance.

Landing requirements of various aircraft in permanently frozen geographical areas must be determined by laboratory tests pinpointing contact pressures of the air and land vehicles called upon to utilize the snow covered wastes.

The faculty has also inaugurated some experimental tests on the Upper Saranac ice. Daily borings are made on snow covered ice and on adjacent quadrants to measure the rate of freezing, A system of stakes has been laid out with a transit level to determine if the ice tends to drop at the center of a large body of water in saucer-like fashion as winter progresses towards the vernal equinox.

The bearded students will be in residence at the Colgate Camp for three weeks and will then move on to Montreal for the closing phase of the research study which is sponsored jointly by Colgate and by the Arctic Institute of North America represented here by Richard H. Ragle, its chief glaciology scientist.

The research team also includes Stephen O. Wilson, Colgate University geography instructor, Philip Upton of the Arctic Institute and Rene Ramsier of the Cold Regions Research and Engineering laboratory of the U. S. Army.

Lake Placid News, September 9, 1992

Geologists to meet

HAMILTON -- Colgate University's geology department will be host to the 64th annual New York State Geological Association meeting, to be held at two sites Sept. 18-20.

Two field trips focusing on Adirondack geology will be run from the Colgate camp at Upper Saranac Lake on Saturday and Sunday. Field trips from the university in Hamilton will focus on stratigraphy, paleoenvironments, groundwater, glacial ecology and evaporites, with leaders from Colgate and other institutions.


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