Coreys is a hamlet located 12 miles southwest of Saranac Lake, New York, one mile south of New York Route 3, near the Stony Creek Ponds. It was named for Jesse Corey, who built the Rustic Lodge on the Indian Carry trail between Upper Saranac Lake and the Stony Creek Ponds. Donaldson says that there was a summer Abenaki Indian encampment in the area, and many Indian artifacts have been found there.
It was the home for many years of the Ellsworth Petty family. His son Clarence A. Petty was the best-known resident of the area; he moved back to the Petty home in 1999 from Canton, New York and stayed until the fall of 2005 when he started to stay the winters at the Will Rogers Community in Sarananc Lake. He died in 2009, at the age of 104.
Adirondack Daily Enterprise, August 8, 1987
Indian Carry at Corey's was major junction
Historians concur that no permanent Indian village existed within Adirondacks, but some do believe that native settlements did, in fact, exist in the form of a summer encampment at the southern tip of Upper Saranac Lake.
Here the Indians gathered to hunt and fish and smoke their game for winter.
Indians from the Mohawk Valley to the south could easily approach the area by way of the Fulton Chain, the Raquette River, and the famous old Indian Carry.
During the 1850s Jesse Corey built his Rustic Lodge on the site of the former Indian occupation in order to take advantage of the considerable amount of travel coming across the Indian Carry. Because no roads existed then, the waterways served as boat highways, and the carry provided a vital link between the Raquette and the Saranacs. Rustic Lodge soon became a very convenient stop-over for the guides and the sportsmen who were arriving in ever increasing numbers.
Corey's place was never pretentious, but he was well liked and his house was comfortable. He had first arrived on Upper Saranac as early as 1830 when he settled on the west shore near the present Wawbeek Hotel site. After a tour of the west he decided to come back to the Adirondacks around 1850 and this time he decided to relocate to the southern tip of the lake. While building the lodge he uncovered several Indian artifacts and arrow heads which would lend credence to the Indian story.
Alfred B. Street, State Librarian and author, wrote in his 1860 Woods and Waters the following version: "About a hundred years ago, a large tribe of the Saranac Indians inhabited the forests through which runs the Indian Carrying-Place; an old path, named by them, the Eaglenest Trail of the Saranacs." In addition to Street, many of the early writers, together with their favorite guides, made good use of the Indian Carry which, due to its propitious location, formed the shortest crossing place between the Raquette River and Upper Saranac Lake.
Either south to north, or north to south, boat travel into and out of the heart of Adirondack country was naturally channeled across this strip of land between the two waters. While the members of the Philosophers' Camp crossed the carry in 1858, one of their guides, Mart Moody, no doubt boasted to the group how he had led Governor Seymour and the Hon. Lady Amelia Murray along the same path three years earlier.
Miss Murray was maid of honor to Queen Victoria and in 1854 embarked upon a visit to the United States, Canada and Cuba. In 1856 she published a book of letters describing her travels which included, in great detail, an account of her jaunt through the Adirondacks in September of 1855. The party was hosted by Governor Horatio Seymour, who accompanied Lady Murray throughout the entire trip. Leaving Milote Baker's hotel in Saranac Lake, they moved through the three Saranacs and across the Indian Carry to the Stony Creek Ponds. While making the carry Lady Amelia sketched one of the guides in the act of shouldering his boat, "with his head concealed underneath, like some nondescript shell-fish." Although the sight amused her it was, of course, the established and proper method to portage a guideboat across any of the numerous Adirondack carries.
During the 1880s traffic was heavy over the Indian Carry and business was booming at the Rustic Lodge. A glimpse at Corey's register for this period shows an amazing roster of prominent names such as: Vice President William A. Wheeler, Roosevelt, Frederick William Vanderbilt, Whitney, Aspinwall, Stokes, Penfold and from the world of commerce, Sachs, Gimbel, and Newberry. Among the Adirondackers were Dr. Romeyn, Bartlett, Martin, Van Buren Miller, Durant, and Stoddard. Authors were represented by the Rev. J.P. Lundy, Wm. J. Stillman, Chas Loring Brace, and Geo. W. Sears, better known as "Nessmuk."
The latter had a fairly easy time crossing the Indian Carry as his Rushton canoe weighed only 10 1/2 pounds. Many famous guides also checked in such as Mitchell Sabattis, Mart Moody, Tom Peacock, Lute Evans, Ransom Reynolds, Fitz Greene Halleck, Duck Derby, Chas Greenough, and Arlo Flagg. Verplanck Colvin was also a frequent guest while working on his topographical survey.
Perhaps it was this obvious success at the north end of the carry which led to the construction of a hotel at the southern end. By the shore of Stony Creek Ponds Hiawatha Lodge was built. The structure was three-and-a-half sprawling stories of much more ornate building than Rustic Lodge, but it never enjoyed the popularity of the latter. Perhaps the historical association with Jesse Corey's place outweighed the newer amenities available at the Hiawatha Lodge. At any rate, Hiawatha Lodge was soon forgotten while the settlement which grew around the Stony Creek Ponds is well-known as Corey's even to this day.
It would be interesting to know if, down through the ages, the greater flow over the Indian Carry was from north to south or south to north but unfortunately no such statistics exist. Both routes were well traveled since they offered wilderness areas in either direction. From the southern region of the Fulton Chain, Raquette Lake, Long Lake, and the Raquette River boat travel was both easy and popular. Likewise from the north and east there were the resort areas of the St. Regis Chain, Paul Smith's, and the famous three Saranacs. Guide boat travel from either direction provided a pleasant experience for the sportsmen of that golden area.
In later years there existed a choice of routes to cross the Indian Carry. The shorter route was the original carry between Stony Creek Ponds and Upper Saranac. Boats would leave the Raquette River and travel upstream through Stony Creek and into the Stony Creek Ponds where they must leave the water for the one-mile carry to Upper Saranac. Later a wagon road connected Axton, on the Raquette, to Rustic Lodge on Upper Saranac by-passing the Stony Creek Ponds. This route was two miles longer but a horse-drawn rig was available to portage the boats so that the guides had a less laborious crossing. Both of these options existed, of course, to either north or south travel.
In 1894 Jesse Corey decided to retire, so he leased Rustic Lodge to Charles Wardner and moved to Axton. Unfortunately his retirement was brief. He died two years later. After his death the E.P. and S.A. Swenson purchased the property and allowed Wardner's lease to run until 1911. In 1913 the old Rustic Lodge was torn down to make way for their private camp. The elaborate structure more nearly resembled a Newport "cottage" than an Adirondack camp.
It contained some 30 rooms and 19 fireplaces. Every bedroom had its own bath. A nine-hole golf course surrounded the grounds.
They blocked the ancient Indian Carry and a loud hue and cry was heard from those who claimed a public right-of-way existed based on continual use over the years.
Mr. Swenson said anyone could cross the golf course - providing, of course, that they pay the greens fee. To avoid extended litigation the carry was relocated to the extreme eastern portion of the Swenson property where it is still in use today.
The old golf course has long been abandoned and in 1966 the Indian Carry Associates acquired the 500 acre property from the Swenson heirs. Heading the group of speculators, Greg Nowakoski and Bernard Nemeroff planned a major subdivision of the parcel but their hopes were squelched by the stringent A.P.A. regulations.
Route 3, presently connecting Saranac Lake and Tupper Lake, passes directly through the former fairways. Motorists traveling this highway during the summer months may frequently observe a procession of aluminum canoes marching along to cross the road between Corey's and Upper Saranac although there is no water in sight. Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and mixed youngsters from the numerous private Adirondack youth camps are nearing the end of the popular Old Forge-Saranac Lake canoe trip while crossing the old Indian Carry.
Plodding along with their shell-boats on their shoulders they resemble a migration of turtles.
Too bad that the Lady Amelia Murray is not here to sketch them.
Tupper Lake Herald, May 28, 1915
The church at opened for the summer Rev. Mr. Perry as pastor.
Fred Woods of Coreys has his launch in commission for the summer and is now prepared to carry passengers from Coreys to Tupper Lake on the beautiful Raquette river.
Tupper Lake Herald & Adirondack Mt Press, June 24, 1929.
D. J. Emmett of Odanak, Quebec, our basketmaker, is back at Coreys using a crutch. His leg was broken last fall, when he was struck by an automobile.
Miss Bragdon, the manager of Bartlett Club, has arrived to get the house ready for the season.
Tupper Lake Herald & Adirondack Mt Press, April 24, 1930
Our school closed Thursday for the Easter Holidays. The teacher, Mrs. Mmier is spending the vacation in Watertown and Brooklyn.
Mrs. Earnest Woods who has been in the Tupper Lake Mercy General Hospital, for an appendicitis operation, is now convalescing at home.
Archibald Petty is home spending Easter vacation with his parents, Clarence has returned to Syracuse University.
Mr. and Mrs. George Wiegel [sic] and son George are spending the Holidays at their camp here on Stony Creek Ponds.
Henry W. Jones, who has spent the winter in Tampa, Fla., with his daughter has returned to Coreys.
Levi Betters and family have moved to Tupper Lake.
Albert Hathaway is now residing in Tupper Lake and is no longer connected with the Indian Carry Golf Course, which will not be opened to the public this Summer.
Tupper Lake Free Press and Herald, November 19 1935
The present [logging] project in the Coreys sector has been launched in full swing during the past week, and the portable sawmill machinery has been brought from downstate points.
The building is rapidly nearing completion, and within a few weeks the plant will be in operation and several workers will be employed.
Power will be supplied from the Paul Smith hydro-electric plant at Union Falls which furnishes current for Tupper Lake and many places along the 30-mile route leading into this village and includes the great federal hospital at Sunmount.
The new project was induced by the large cut of coniferous and hardwood timber now being available as the right-of-way is now being cut across state land in virgin forests.
THE route is being prepared for the state road which will extend from the Tupper - Sunmount - Wawbeek region through Coreys and Bartlett Carry sectors into Saranac Lake and bring that village within a 30- or 35-minute auto trip to the Tip Top Town.
The road contract has been let to the Belmar Construction Company of Troy—of which Charles Marchese is the head — and the right-of-way cutting is under the direction of Henry H. Collins, foreman for such work for several years for this company.
• • • •
THE wood resulting from the cutting on state land will be hauled to Fish Creek summer tourist camp grounds to be available for their use free of charge next season.
The lumber to be cut in the mill at Coreys is to be used in new construction projects at various points. Experts state that the timber is of A-1 quality, and many thousands of feet will result from the operations.
The state land on which the timber is being cut is well to the south of Panther Mountain, a danger spot for nearly a half century where many accidents have occurred and deaths resulted.
The construction firm hopes to lay a quantity of sub-base during the next few months, and it is possible that the new road will be nearly, if not quite, completed by the fall of 1937.
Tupper Lake Free Press and Herald, May 4, 1950
Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Blackman have returned from Larchmont, N.Y. where they spent the winter, and have reopened their camp at Coreys for the season.
Tupper Lake Free Press and Herald, October 19, 1961
Mrs. Gerda Eklund has closed Indian Spring Camp at Coreys for the season and will leave Friday for Great Neck, L.I.
The Harry Freeman family of well-known guides lived at Coreys.
2011-11-11 01:51:59 My Grand Father was the owner of The Belmar Construction Co. I was VERY EXCITED to find this article. I do Genealogy and although we know he did alot of things, not alot is recorded. I am always looking..thanx! —LindaSueOmoletski
2011-11-11 07:31:42 Hi Linda, These stories come from news.nnyln.net, newspaper archives for northern NY newspapers. You might want to do some searching there— it's a great site! —Mwanner
2012-04-22 12:52:18 Clarence A. Petty moved back to the Petty home in 1999 from Canton, N.Y. and stayed until the fall of 2005 where he started to stay the winters at the Will Rogers Community in Sarananc Lake. —EdPetty