The first Ice Palace was built as part of Winter Carnival in 1898.  The first palaces were built on the shore of Lake Flower near the present day boat launch.  In 1909 through 1913 and 1920, the palaces were built atop Slater Hill, later the site of the first Saranac Lake General Hospital, and later still North Country Community College; a horse-driven escalator was built to drag the blocks up the slope to this dramatic and lofty site.

Storming the Ice Palace, 1909 (Library of Congress) 1909 Ice Palace (dated 1909 by the Library of Congress) Malone Palladium, Thursday, January 17, 1907

M. C. MEAGHER, of Saranac Lake, has been given the "contract to erect the ice palace for the carnival to be held in that village Jan. 29-31. The palace is to be an elaborate affair, 135 feet in length, with a main tower 60 feet in heighth. Two other smaller towers are to be erected and the walls of the palace will be about 30 feet in height. It will be lighted throughout by electricity. The carnival, it is claimed, will be the finest ever held at Saranac Lake.

Ice Palace Postcard (Private collection) Labeled 1913,  Ice Palace, original photo by William L. Distin,
from a scrapbook of Mrs. W.A. Myatt, mother of James and Ernest Myatt.
It appears to be the same photograph as the hand-tinted post card at left.


1915 Ice Palace, courtesy of Noreen OslanderFigure Skaters (unidentified, Norval Baptie, and Catharine Pope) at Pontiac Rink

1977 Ice Palace

1988 Ice Palace, Snap Shot Photo1920 Ice Palace (Private collection)1984 Ice Palace

1991 Ice Palace, Snap Shot Photo1989 Ice Palace, Snap Shot Photo

1992 Ice Palace, Snap Shot Photo

1994 Ice Palace, Snap Shot Photo

1997 Ice Palace, Snap Shot Photo 1998 Ice Palace, Snap Shot Photo


Building the Ice Palace

Cutting the blocks (undated) Cutting the blocks (undated) February, 1978 Ice Palace construction, Mayor Charlie Keough, architect

See also:



The palaces labeled 1909 and 1913 are the same! Also, the one labeled 1909 on this page is labeled 1900 on the "Winter Carnival" page. -- Amy Catania

The Library of Congress also captions these photos as have been taken at Upper Saranac Lake, N.Y., which is clearly wrong. The Ice Palace we have labeled as 1915, the Adk Museum has dated as "between 1915 and 1945" and the LoC 1909 photo, they have as "between 1915 and 1930."
Cataloging errors happen. -- Marc Wanner