The First United Methodist Church traces its history to 1839, when circuit-preacher Samuel Smith held meetings on various Sundays [in private homes] in Saranac Lake, North Elba, Bloomingdale, Franklin Falls, Union Falls, Merrillsville, Vermontville and West Harrietstown. People came from all over to these meetings — some in boats, some with ox-team and some just plain walking. In 1840 there were about 75 members in the church.

According to the "Harrietstown" chapter of Frederick Joel Seaver's 1918 History of Franklin County, page 391, the first organized effort to build a church occurred about 1876 and was non-sectarian. "This society was called 'The People's Church,' and its trustees were Van Buren Miller, William F. Martin, Orlando Blood, Robert Smith and A. Fitch O'Brien. Though a lot was purchased for a church building, no pastor appears ever to have been employed, and the movement was abandoned in 1880, after the Methodists and Episcopalians had organized. The church lot was reconveyed to the grantor, and it is difficult now [c. 1918] to find anyone in the village who remembers that such an undertaking ever had existence."

Church of St. Luke, the Beloved Physician - Episcopal, Saranac Lake St. John's in the Wilderness Episcopal Church (seasonal) - Paul Smiths
First United Methodist Church, Saranac Lake First Presbyterian Church of Saranac Lake

The second St. Bernard's Church (burned & replaced)

- Catholic, Saranac Lake

Seventh Day Adventist Church (new building) - Saranac Lake
Saranac Lake Baptist Church, relocated to Broadway St. Regis Presbyterian Church (closed) - Keese Mills
Jewish Community Center (closed; torn down) - Saranac Lake Chapel Island (seasonal) - Upper Saranac Lake
St. John's in The Wilderness of Lake Clear—Catholic Lake Clear Presbyterian Church
Saint Gabriel the Archangel Catholic Church (closed), Gabriels Church of the Assumption - Gabriels - Catholic

Other churches, past and present, not pictured here include:

Former Sanatorium Chapels:

Summer Chapels:

Catholic Churches:

See also: Adirondack Mission

Adirondack Daily Enterprise, January 17, 1948

In the Churches

Services at St. Paul’s Catholic church, Boomingdale, are:

First Sunday — Mass at 9 and 11 a.m.
Sunday—Mass at 11 a. m.

First Friday—Mass at 7:30 a.m
Confessions every Sunday before Mass and from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m., on Saturday before the first Sunday.

The Rev. Patrick O. Thompson, pastor.


Services at the Methodist church, Bloomingdale, are:

10:00 a. m.—Church school.
11:00 a.m.—Morning Worship, with sermon.
2:00 p. m. — Afternoon worship and church school in Vermontville.
Each evening, 7:30 p.m. Evangalist services with Miss Marjean Bennett as speaker.

The Rev. Milo Barnard, pastor.


Services at the Church of the Assumption, Gabriels, are:

Saturday before the first Sunday, 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. — Confessions.
Sunday Mass at 9 a. m. — Confessions before the Mass.

The Rev. Patrick O. Thompson, pastor.


Services at the Church of St. John’s of the Wilderness, Lake Clear.

Holy Days, 9:00 a. m. — Mass.
9 and ,11 a. m.Mass.
Rev. E. A. Gallagher, pastor.


Services at the New York State hospital at Ray Brook:

9:00 a.m. — Mass.

Rev. Joseph Blais, chaplain.


Services at St Gabriel’s Church, Paul Smiths are:

Sunday, 9 and 11 a. m. — Mass.
Holy Days, 11 a. m. — Mass.

Rev. E. A. Gallagher, pastor.


Services in the Adirondack Parish of the Presbyterian church Sunday are:

9:00 a. m. in the Lake Clear church.
11:00 a. m. in the Keeses Mills church.
2:30 p. m. in the Harrietstown church.

The Rev. Douglas W. Gray, pastor.


Services in the Adirondack Church of the Nazarene, Vermontville, will be:

10 a. m. — Church school.
a. m.—Service by pastor.
7 p.m.—Young People's service.
7:30 p.m.—Evening service with message.

The Rev. Ernest Swarthout, pastor.