The Hiawatha House at the Stony Creek Ponds south end of the portage at the Indian Carry. Adirondack Daily Enterprise, October 23, 1999 Walking the Indian Carry The Indian Carry is a portage trail that leads from the southern end Upper Saranac Lake to the Stony Creek Ponds, and thence to the Raquette River. It dates to the pre-history of the Adirondacks, and is still in use, especially during the yearly, 90-mile Adirondack Canoe Classic canoe race.

Its north end was the site of the Rustic Lodge, and later Swenson Camp, and its south end was the site of the Hiawatha Lodge.

Tupper Lake Free Press And Herald, December 11, 1958

(From the Files, Dec 6-18, 1912)

"OLD GUIDES AND CANOEISTS of the Adirondacks are not pleased with the closing of the old Indian Carry, from the head of Upper Saranac Lake to the Raquette River, used by the Indians as a carry long before the first white man set foot In these woods, and which guides and boatmen have come to regard as public domain. Rustic Lodge stood at the Saranac end of the trail. The boathouse has been torn down and the laundry and grocery are being razed to the ground. The main building will soon follow. On this site there once stood an ancient Indian village. The Corey family made Rustic Lodge famous many years ago, and more recently Charles H. Wardner operated it for 17 years. The Messrs Swenson of New York, who acquired the property some years ago, have built a new road around it, terminating at a new dock to divert traffic from the Rustic dock. The landing place is too shallow to please those who use launches, and the road is longer than the old one and has not been used by canoeists. A barrier has recently been built, however, across the ancient carry road". .


Unidentified clipping (likely the Enterprise) from the Saranac Lake Free Library's Adirondack Research Room, September 1913

OBSTRUCTING THE FAMOUS INDIAN CARRY

Barrier Is Built at Upper Saranac End of the Portage.

RUSTIC LODGE IS ABANDONED

Landing Used by Canoeists and Guides With Parties of Today and the Indians Before Them Is Blocked-- Indications Are That a Once Popular and Much Beloved Spot Will Be Closed Against the Tourist Public.

From present indications Rustic Lodge, one of the beat known land marks of the Adirondacks will soon disappear. The boat house where the all canoeists making the Indian Carry landed, has been torn down. The laundry building and the “grocery," which will be remembered by many people who have refreshed themselves there, are also being demolished and the main building will presumably be razed in the near future.

Rustic Lodge stands at the Upper Saranac end of the ancient Indian Carry, so named because the Indians carried across there from Upper Saranac Lake to the Raquette River long before white men set foot in the Adirondacks. Upper Saranac Lake ultimately drains to Lake Champlain and the Raquette River flows to the St. Lawrence. Indian Carry marks the divide between these two vast watersheds. There are still old settlers who recall the traces of circular mounds of earth that marked the site of the Indian village that stood at Rustic Lodge. Over this spot also hovers the tradition of the great Indian giant of the Upper Saranac, which has been printed in times past in The Adirondack Enterprise. The imprint in the rock of the giant footsteps and his seat are still shown to tourists.

Rustic Lodge was the home of the Corey family, who were pioneers on the Upper Saranac. It was solidly built of squared logs, chinked with plaster after the fashion of the early days, and was the Corey homestead for many years. It was conducted as a hotel for about 17 years by Charles R. Wardner, whose good management and agreeable personality made it one of the best known places in the Adirondacks. Wardner vacated in April last when he purchased the Lake Clear Inn at Lake Clear.

Rustic Lodge and considerable adjacent land was acquired some years ago by E. R. and S. A. Swenson of New York. Messrs. Swenson built a new road around the Rustic property, terminating in a new dock on the lake to divert traffic from the Rustic dock. Last summer the mail steamer Saranac started landing at the new dock, but the water was found to be too shallow and she had to resort to the old Rustic dock. Owing to the wet season the lake level was unusually high all summer. In a dry season there would probably be insufficient water to float ordinary launches at the new public dock, although it is splendidly built. The road from the new dock is longer than the old carry road and was not used by canoeists last summer.

Although the Rustic property is privately owned it was not believed that the ancient carry road would ever be closed. A barrier has recently been built across it, however, and it will be a source of regret to many if the carry traffic is stopped. Already there are murmurs of disapproval heard among the guides. The esteem in which they held Rustic Lodge amounted to real affection and they have always regarded the ancient Indian Carry as public domain.

 

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