Montvue Hotel (undated)
Courtesy of Tim Mayers
The Montvue Hotel was built by Theodore V. Speer in Lake Clear.

Lake Clear Junction and Montvue Hotel (undated)
Courtesy of Tim Mayers
Adirondack Daily Enterprise, September 1, 2000

From "Lake Clear News"

...Located on what we call the old Lake Clear Road there; is a rather large house that was built in 1903 by Theodore Speer. Theodore had an idea to build a sanitarium behind where Jessie Sottile now lives but the funding never came through for that. He built the large house to be used as the nurses' quarters for the sanitarium. Theodore had been a male nurse during the Spanish-American War. So the house would not go to waste, Theodore named it the “Montvue” and turned it into a health resort, “a place for rest and  convalescing, where you could receive the advantages derived from an abundance of good, wholesome, nourishing food partaken of in an invigorating atmosphere with pleasant surrounding. In addition, the services of a professional nurse and masseur were always at your command under the supervision of a competent physician.

The “Montvue’ is situated near the depot at Lake Clear Junction, which is an elevated, slightly rolling plateau of several thousand acres in the heart of the Adirondacks, surrounded by virgin forests, abounding in game and by streams and lakes well stocked with various kinds of fish.

The soil being mostly of siliciousformation, with, perfect surface drainage at an altitude of 1,700 feet, insures an abundance of that pure, dry, bracing, atmosphere so requisite to both health and pleasure seekers, an ideal spot for recreation, recuperation and healthful rest, driving, automobiling and rowing being among, the favorite pastimes.

The house is arranged at present, with accommodations including bath rooms and toilets for not more than six patrons. The interior is finished in hard woods, and rugs are used on the native hard wood floors. There is a long distance telephone, in the house and electric lights, are to be installed within the year.

It is surrounded on three sides by wide verandas 100 feet in length, from which you can view the surrounding country and see the sun rising.

Five minutes walk from the house and just back of it is an elevation of some thirty acres which is mostly covered by dense forest through which trails-and rambles have been cut. One can feel themselves, entirely cut loose from civilization to live with Nature alone, rambling for miles. Here also are the garden where vegetables / fruits for the table are raised. The milk cream, butter, and eggs used are likewise products from the farm. The water is of the purest and very cold, coming from a driven well, thereby elimination all possibility of surface drainage or contamination of any sort. If you are looking for a haven-of-rest, a place in which to recuperate, and at the same time be in close touch if necessary, with the outside world, you will find the “Montvue” ideally located.

Lake Clear Junction, with 42 trains daily, has steam and electric railroad facilities unequaled by any other locality in the mountains. It is on the Adirondack Division, six miles from Saranac Lake, 18 miles from Lake Placid, 7 miles from Paul Smith's hotel by trolley, six miles from Saranac Inn Hotel all by rail.

The prices at the “Montvue”, range from $15 per week and up, according to the room, and amount of professional services required. The construction: of buildings particularly adapted for the treatment of tubercular patients are under consideration to be erected on another part of the property. If you are suffering, with tuberculosis, I shall have to kindly ask you not to apply for accommodations, as we are not in a position at present to render theservices you so necessarily require. We have a number of choice building sites on .the “Montvue” properties for sale, which desirable parties can .purchase for building purposes only. They are located on a slight, comparatively level elevation, from where you have an extended and varied: panoramic forest, lake and mountain view of the surrounding country. All suchsites are restricted as to the quality of buildings to be erected. We also control building sites that are not restricted, consequentiy, less expensive, These lots lie well and are very suitable for small camps.

Unfortunately there was no date on the above folder, but you can just imagine when it was from, the prices Theodore was charging. Amazing!

Then in 1948, Carl and Florence Oehler purchased the house from Theodore. Speer. They and their seven children moved into the. house. Their children were: Rita, June, Priscilla, Theresa, Allen, Paul, Agatha. At this time the second and third floor of the house each had four bedrooms with one bathroom on each floor.

A recent conversation with Agatha Sullivan led to her telling me something about her childhood home.  It seems that when the Oehler family moved in there were no lights hooked up for the second and third floor so, of course, Mr. Oehler wanted lights on those floors. Agatha says that  when they tried to  get the wires through the walls for the electricity there were lots of liquor bottles in the walls. Bottles of all sizes and shapes. Kind of makes you wonder what the previous people did in the house…