Moody Pond, originally called Pine Pond, 1 is a twenty-acre pond on the west side of Mount Baker, east of the village of Saranac Lake. Originally called Pine Pond, it was part of Jacob Moody's property in Saranac Lake in 1829. Robert Louis Stevenson wrote of skating on Moody Pond while staying at the nearby cottage that came to be known as the Stevenson Cottage. In 1920, it became the site of the Moody Pond Sliding Club, which became the Pines Club, a skating, curling and toboggan club that later became a speakeasy during Prohibition. It was also the site of trotting races organized by Phil Adler held on the ice; later the Moody Pond Sports Club built a skating house and ski area and sponsored a semi-pro hockey team under the guidance of Francis B. Cantwell. 2
When the Saranac Lake Six (nearby mountains) began to be publicized, Moody Pond became an even more popular place for climbers on Baker Mountain to park and brought public attention to the lovely one-mile walk around the pond. In the summer of 2018, Eurasian milfoil was discovered in the pond. The non-profit Friends of Moody Pond organized the next year to "Foil the Milfoil." See the Adirondack Daily Enterprise, June 2, 2020 for a Guest Commentary on "The Moody Pond Challenge."
A History of Moody Pond By a Resident Who Knows It
During the War of 1812 the Northwest Bay Road ran from Westport, New York to Fort Covington on the Canadian Border passing by the West side of Pine Pond before it passed over the Baker Bridge Section of Saranac River, and continuing on the Old Military Road location Northerly through property that later became Trudeau Sanatorium.
A certain Jacob Moody, purchaser of property, in the year 1819 at Keene, New York, on the site of the Hulls Falls House later traveled over the Northwest Bay Road and some ten years after his purchase of property at Keene, N.Y., did also purchase a large tract of land in the Town of North Elba which included Pine Pond, then shown on maps in the Essex County Clerk's Office, and renamed the body of water, "Moody Pond."
He cleared the land for farming and located a temporary residence on the East side of it next to the property now owned by Dr. Richard P. Bellaire.
His son, Cortes Moody, and other sons, were supposed to be the first white settlers born in this area.
After Dr. Edward Livingston Trudeau established his practice in Saranac Lake and made a start in 1992 with the working girls curing in "Little Red" on the side of Mt. Pisgah, there came another famous personage named Robert Louis Stevenson, who stayed at the Baker Cottage in the year 1887, and wrote so the world could know that the only enjoyment he had in the miserable weather around the hamlet of Saranac Lake was in his act of skating on Moody Pond.
The Moody Pond Sliding Club, set up on the East shore, created a bobrun off the side of Mt. Baker which ran down Southwesterly on to the ice of the pond and the rich "sports" of the time also set up a curling rink outdoors. This club later became a nightspot during prohibition run by "Jersey Joe" Garbachio.
The original Fish and Game Club was located at the place owned now by Dr. Richard P. Bellaire and it was headed up by Dr. Charles C. Trembley. Across the pond in "the pines" the wealthy families of Cluett, Stanley and Col. Scott started a resort known as The Pines Club, which ceased abruptly upon the mysterious death of a maid on the premises.
In the 1920's the sports complex continued with trotting races held upon the track on the ice, headed up by a horseman named Phil Adler, and subsequently the Moody Pond Sports Club built a skating house and ski area and sponsored a semi-pro hockey team under the guidance of Francis B. Cantwell.
All of the stone for the walls built at Saranac Lake Village by the W.P.A. in the 1930s was quarried from the side of Mt. Baker and moved out past Moody Pond. It now exists as a privately owned residential area attracting attention only when there is a lost mountain climber who has descended on the wrong side of Mt. Baker.
- 45 East Pine Street (Boyce and Roberson Ice House)