Died: December 1944


Children: Eaton Goldthwaite (known as E.K. Goldthwaite)

See the page "E.K. Goldthwaite" for his long article memorializing the days when he was growing up in Saranac Lake and his father owned the Adirondack Enterprise.

From the centennial edition of the Adirondack Daily Enterprise, August 31, 1994

Duquette chronicles the history of the Enterprise



Kenneth W. Goldthwaite buys newspaper

In 1906 the struggling periodical was purchased by Kenneth W. Goldthwaite for $1,500. Goldthwaite was no newcomer to the newspaper business, having started out as a paper boy at age 14 when he delivered the "Utica Saturday Globe," Later he served as a reporter on the "Utica Observer."

Upon his arrival in Saranac Lake he found the office of the Enterprise to be located in the old Town Hall sharing the premises with the Police Department, the village jail, the Odd Fellows, and the Harrietstown offices. The printing press was in the basement while the commercial office was on the main floor next to the jail. Just outside the windows the wooden foot badge; spanned the river from Main to Dorsey streets and the Empire Hotel was right next door. Between the footbridge and the Empire was a sloping alley to the river. On several occasions the Miller Hose Company, from across Main Street, had to dash down the alley to extinguish fires caused by embers from the wood-fired type melting pot located in the subbasement at the rear of the Town Hall.

Finding their new home, the Goldthwaites settled in at 100 Main St. across from the high school and to augment his income Kenneth wrote up the news of the nearby resort hotels which was formerly covered by Mannix and his "Adirondack News." In this capacity, Goldthwaite met and became a close friend of Phelps Smith, while also striking up an advisory relationship with C.M. Palmer who resided on Park Avenue.

Palmer was a nationally known newspaper tycoon and also just happened to be a director of the Adirondack National Bank. The owner of the Enterprise soon approached the bank to borrow funds needed to bring the ancient plant of the little weekly up to snuff by replacing the hand-fed Miehle printing press with an up-to-date machine. Palmer arranged approval of the loan and the Goldthwaites took in roomers to help out in meeting the note payments. The "Adirondack Enterprise" entered into its second phase with an eye to the future.

Growing in harmony with the "Little City of the Adirondacks" the paper was soon appearing twice weekly. During the early 1900s the health industry had brought an economic boost to the community which was abetted by a concurrent recognition of Saranac Lake as a winter sport center. International speed skating races, hockey and curling events all enhanced by the famous Winter Carnival attracted hosts of visitors to our village. All of this activity required a related news coverage and the combined income from increased circulation together with a greater amount of advertising by flourishing merchants helped to erase those troublesome debts which had saddled the paper in its early struggles.

The summer season, too, brought its share of prosperity to the area with the arrival of the wealthy owners of the great camps. With the famous came a demand for news of national interests. With such prominent and familiar names as Rockefeller, Vanderbilt, Huntington, Harriman, Morgan, Whitney, and Durant in residence, there had to be some headline material waiting in the wings. Not many small communities could boast such a pre-eminent roster of summer home owners as Saranac Lake was privileged to enjoy. The resort news from our neighbors at Paul Smiths, Loon Lake, Saranac Inn, Lake Placid, and Tupper Lake was important enough to be solicited by the big city papers and the Enterprise was called upon to supply the information. Goldthwaite shortly became the recipient of a carte blanche issued by each of the resort managers to assure that their respective establishments would appear favorably in the press.

The popular publisher of the Enterprise truly enjoyed his position in the community and was, in turn, well liked by the residents. Only the attractive lure of advancement to the staff of a major publication could coax him away and this occurred when the New York Sun, a paper he had always admired, offered the opportunity. Perhaps World War I may have influenced his decision but in any event he sold the paper to John S. Ridenour in 1918.

Many years later, in December of 1944, Goldthwaite passed away and, following his death, his son, Eaton, presented his father's books and papers to the Saranac Lake Free Library where they are presently sharing the shelves in the Adirondack Room with the Donaldson and Munson collections.