Chance's Restaurant, 1935, later the site of the Blue Gentian. Adirondack Daily Enterprise, October 20, 2001 Chance's was a restaurant owned by Florence Chance next to the Berkeley house in 1934; the owners declared bankruptcy in 1937 1 and the space became the Blue Gentian in 1938. The building was owned by Walter Sagendorf.

Lake Placid News, JULY 20, 1934

Fire at Berkeley Square

An overheated stove in Chance's restaurant started a blaze that spread into the partitions of the building owned by Walter Sagendorf at 90 Main street, Saranac Lake, Wednesday morning and gave the fire department a stubborn battle for over an hour.

The fire department received a call from Chance's restaurant stating that they were having trouble with the stove. The small pumping engine was dispatched to the scene and quickly extinguished a blaze behind the stove and cleared the kitchen of smoke. The first intimation that the firemen had that the blaze had gone up the partition was when the sprinkler system in Mr. Sagendorf's apartment overhead broke and water came dripping down through the floors of the building.

Smoke poured from upper windows, and even through the brick wall. A box alarm brought the rest of the department and Chief Fred Conrad. They chopped holes in the wall to get at the smoldering blaze and extinguished it with the booster line.

Chance's restaurant sustained considerable damage.

The box, from the heart of Saranac Lake's business district, attracted a large crowd and traffic jammed up in Berkeley square although the police department kept vehicles on the move and prevented the spectators from hampering the department.


1. Ausable Forks Record-Post, September 9, 1937