Died: 1944

Married: Nellie Porter

Children: Elizabeth, Ruth, Dorchester, George and Kathryn

Fred Everett was the founder of Everett's Clothing Store

Adirondack Daily Enterprise, September 15, 2007

By Howard Riley

When Fred Everett came to Saranac Lake with his wife and five children from Watertown in 1903 and established a clothing store, I am sure he could not imagine that 90 of his direct descendants would gather here for a reunion more than 100 years later ... but that is exactly what happened.

Everett's Clothing Store was located at 45 Broadway (where J.C. Penney is today), moving from its first location at 27 Broadway in 1938.

Everett's carried a complete line of men's and boys' clothing and was an institution for those of us growing up in Saranac Lake. It was not as fancy as Wilson's Clothing Company, but there was a warm and cozy feeling about the place, with woolen pants folded and stacked on open tables and all kinds of boots at the back of the store.

The old days

The Enterprise carried a story about Everett's in 1955 to celebrate 50 years in business and had this to say about the early days of the store: "In the old days, of course, much merchandise was designed for lumberjacks who were more numerous in this area.

"The shelves held river driving boots and calked boots; those spiked to ride logs with. Lumberjack customers didn't waste much time in those days fussing with anything fancy. When they bought a pair of pants they slagged them right then and there at the shop. Slagging is a process by which the men would take a knife or scissors and cut off the pant leg just above the boot line, so they would not interfere with their work."

A throwback to that tradition and era still carries on with woodsmen and camp caretakers — notice that Jim Derby, to this day, rolls up his pant legs to the top of his work boots.

Fred Everett

Well, Fred did not have an easy time of it after he came to Saranac Lake. His wife, the former Miss Nellie Porter, died of tuberculosis only four years after opening his business here. He carried on and raised his five children: Elizabeth, Ruth, Dorchester, George and Kathryn, all of whom graduated from Saranac Lake High School.

Mr. Everett was born in Dexter in 1865, the son of William H. and Mary Dorchester Everett. He worked every day in the store until he died of a heart attack at age 79 in 1944.

The family home at 37 Riverside Drive, now Fogarty's Bed and Breakfast, appears in the book Cure Cottages of Saranac Lake.

The grandchildren

Kitty Ober Peightal, Fred's granddaughter, who lives in Saranac Lake, supplied me with this information and Enterprise clippings with the history of the store. Her mother was Ruth Everett. Her father, Elwood Ober, whom everyone remembers as the banker with Adirondack National Bank, came here from Fort Jackson and first worked as a bookkeeper with Branch & Callanan.

The reunion was planned and organized by Greg Riley, Fred's great-great-grandson (and my grand-nephew), who lives in Monterey, Calif. The 90 people came from Colorado, California, New Mexico and many other states.