Three hundred and fifty-acre Lower St. Regis Lake is a part of the St. Regis River. At its northern edge is Paul Smith's College, former site of Paul Smith's Hotel. Along with Upper St. Regis Lake and Spitfire Lake, it became famous in the late 19th century as a summer playground of America's power elite, drawn to the area by its scenic beauty and by the rustic charms of Paul Smith's Hotel. It is the site of a small chapel, originally built of logs, St. John's in the Wilderness, that was formerly attended by well-dressed families that arrived in canoes, rowboats and sailboats.
• Donaldson, Alfred L., A History of the Adirondacks. New York: Century, 1921. ISBN 0-916346-26-8. (reprint)
• Jerome, Christine Adirondack Passage: Cruise of Canoe Sairy Gamp, HarperCollins, 1994. ISBN 0-93527294-1.
Forest and Stream, Volume 36, Forest and Stream Publishing Company, New York, June 1891, p. 435 (full text here)
THE ST. REGIS CAMPS.
NOWHERE in the entire Adirondack region are the camps as numerous or as elaborate in their appointments as on the lakes immediately in the neighborhood of Paul Smith's Hotel, over 100 being situated within a radius of three miles from the hotel. This house is on the northern shore of the lower, but most northerly, of the two St. Regis lakes. Between these two, connected with them by narrow streams or runways for the water— "slews" the natives call them—is Spitfire Lake. North of Smith's about one-half mile is Osgood Pond. The banks of these lakes are owned by private individuals, who have erected upon them permanent camps, some of which have cost many thousands of dollars. Land on their shores is variously held at from $2,500 to $10,000 an acre.
The camps on the Lower St. Regis Lake, owing to the proximity to the hotel, are mostly day camps, being simply delightful resting spots, which certain guests of the hotel own and where they picnic.
The camp of E. A. Hoffman, Jr., is by far the most picturesque of these on this lake. The camp is situated on the southern shore, and at night is illuminated by lanterns so arranged as to form a large cross, distinctly visible from the hotel, one-half mile distant. Mr. Hoffman runs his camp with military regularity, and the sunrise and sunset notes of his bugle are one of the features of the lake.
See also: St. Regis Lakes