Born: August 2, 1901

Died: December 4, 1958

Married: Edna Holmes

Charles Holmes was a stagecraft artist and a tuberculosis patient.  He taught  weaving at the Study and Craft Guild.  In 1956 he was chairman of the Adirondack Mountain Club.

The Guild News, April 1943.

An excerpt from COTTAGE CALLS 

. . .  We took time out to run upstairs to say hello to Charles Holmes, whom we had missed from his usual Sunday evening haunt. Mr. Holmes is really only a temporary patient at the cottage, at the present time, as he is recovering from an operation. But Mrs. Schreiner still considers him one of the "family." He was formerly a teacher of weaving at the Guild, and before coming here was a scenic designer and connected with the Russian Art Theatre in New York. He is also a commercial artist of repute. and some of his pen and ink sketches are in the Encyclopedia Brittanica. . . . 

For the complete article, see 29 Church Street.

Adirondack Daily Enterprise, January 3, 1953

Our Town

By Eddie Vogt

Like a friend of mine happened to mention the other day that Charles Holmes was a “conchologist,” and probably the only one in Saranac Lake. Inasmuch as I had no idea what it meant, and ever on the thirst for knowledge, (sic) I contacted Charlie to see whether he wanted the fact printed—or denied. Well, it turned out that it means a person who makes a study of shells, and he has been doing it for about 25 years.

Seems he started one summer when he was visiting friends down at Breezy Point, near the Rockaways. Lying on the sands, after a swim, he was attracted by the amount of shells of all colors which covered the beach— and noticed that each one had a small hole in it. He collected a quantity and when he returned to the city he visited the library and read up on them. He learned that there were ever so many species and just where each one was plentiful. He also found out what the reason for the holes was. (The little insect, or whatever they are, bore holes through the shells to eat one another. I think that makes them cannibalistic, but you'd better check before you give odds.)

Well, when Charles' friend heard that he was interested in shells, they started sending him different species from here and abroad, and before he knew it he was really in the shell collecting business. He has found some here on the shores of Moody Pond and Lake Flower. However they are not very large or very colorful. He thinks the best examples come from Japan and the South Pacific. Mr. Holmes is considering having a display of his collection in the free library in the near future, which I think is a good idea, and he would like to know if anyone else hereabouts is interested in this hobby.

Adirondack Daily Enterprise, January 25, 1955

Instructor Holmes Back At S. L. Guild

Good news at the Saranac Lake Rehabilitation Guild as its Winter term got underway this month is that Charles Holmes, weaving instructor in the Arts and Crafts Department, has returned after an illness which has kept him away from the loom several years.

In point of service, Mr. Holmes is one of the oldest members of the Guild staff. He joined the organization in 1941 after recovering from an illness of several years duration—a break in his health which brought him to Saranac Lake from New York City. The next six years saw the instructor teaching a heavy schedule as he imparted his knowledge of the ancient weaving art to hundreds of students who jammed his workshop at Guild House. It was his extraordinary devotion to teaching the precise art that was partly responsible for a recurrence of his illness which saw him forced to take a leave of absence in 1947. He recovered in time to again start teaching in 1949, but a serious set-back soon found Holmes dropping all activities to effect a complete recovery which involved surgery.

Mr. Holmes, however, is a hard man to keep down, and Jan. 3, 1955, again saw the artist among his precious looms, this time at Prescott House, sitting among his students as he once more led them through the mysterious mechanism of shuttles, warps and woofs—a seemingly intricate process which rewards the patient weaver with a sense of accomplishment as beautiful drapes, suitings, rugs, napkins and a host of useful fabrics take shape on the loom.

Students in the Guild weaving courses are fortunate for in Mr. Holmes, they have an instructor of the old school, so to speak, who does not look upon the teaching of the weaving as a duty to be performed but rather it has become a passion to which he is deeply devoted.

As happens to many individuals, Mr. Holmes stumbled upon his loom career in an accidental manner. During the financially stringent '30s he was drawing a living as a commercial, artist. His wife, Edna, a registered nurse, meanwhile had a selected list of patients whom she attended, and a mistake on the part of one of her patient's husbands started Mr. Holmes on the first leg of his career. Requested to bring his wife a suitcase of clothing that she had neatly packed at home for the occasion, the husband grabbed a suitcase from the closet which contained samples of fabrics which his wife had woven as a hobby. Mrs. Holmes admired the work and the patient suggested that her husband, being an artist, might be interested in looking at the fabrics also. As Mr. Holmes puts it he was, to the extent that he began studying the art at adult weaving classes sponsored at that time by the New York City Board of Education under the direction of nationally known Berta Frey.

However, 1936 found Mr. Holmes in Saranac Lake for his health and upon recovery it was only a matter of time before he was teaching at the Guild.

Mr. Holmes’ return brings to the Guild once more an experienced competent instructor in what he terms one of the most satisfying of the arts, a hobby which pays off in satisfying accomplishments with the more advanced in a position to derive an income from their efforts should they wish to do so.

At the moment Mr. Holmes' instruction periods are from 10 a.m. to noon on Fridays and Saturdays at Prescott House. Surrounded by 15 looms and miles of thread, the instructor puts his students through a series of shuttling paces which finds the loom, thread and student cooperating to produce fabrics, the beauty of which, Mr. Holmes admits, often amazes himself.

Adirondack Daily Enterprise, December 4, 1958

 Charles Holmes Dies Suddenly In S.L.

Charles Holmes died suddenly at 8 o'clock this morning. He was born on August 2, 1901 in Princeton, New Jersey, the son of Elmer and Helen Cox Holmes. He was a stagecraft artist.

Mr. Holmes is survived by his wife, the former Edna Miller. They were married in Bethlehem, Pa., on February 22, 1927, and came to Saranac Lake in 1936.

The body will repose at the Fortune Funeral Home. A service is tentatively set for 2 p.m. Saturday with the Rev. Reginald But officiating.

His remains will be sent to Troy for cremation. Mr. Holmes was a member of the Adirondack Mountain Club.