Natalie Bombard, 1946 Natalie Bombard, 4th Annual Willard Hanmer Guideboat Race, 1967 Born: c. 1930

Married: Glenn T. Corl, 1957; Dr. Lucien Leduc, 1973 (d. 1989)

Children: Douglas Corl, Deborah Corl, Michael Corl, Kathleen Corl

Natalie Bombard was a skier for Paul Smith's College and St. Lawrence University; she won Senior Golden Skis in 1952 and 1956, and the New York Women's Slalom Championship, 1948. She taught skiing at Mt. Pisgah for the Saranac Lake Schools with her mother, Charlotte Bombard. She entered the first Willard Hanmer Guideboat Race in 1963 as the only woman racer; her father, Doug Bombard was also a guideboat racer.

She served as Queen of the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival in 1951 and as Grand Marshall in 2005. She is also the president of the Pine Ridge Cemetery Association.

She also owned Tandel Office Supplies, and was a real estate broker for Rob Grant & Associates Real Estate.

Natalie remembers taking dinner to her father during World War II at the Airplane Observation tower on top of the Hotel Saranac through the streets of the blacked out village.

She lived at 7 Maple Street in 1951.


Natalie Bombard, holder of the New York Women's Downhill slalom and combined Slalom and Downhill Championships, will reign as queen at Saranac Lake's 1951 Winter Carnival Lake Placid News, February 3, 2006

Memories of a former Winter Carnival queen

By BRITTANY BOMBARD Enterprise Features Editor SARANAC LAKE -

Although it's been more than 50 years since Natalie Leduc graced the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival as its reigning queen, the avid skier and real estate agent's hometown pride hasn't, changed a bit.

"We have a long history," Leduc said. "I love showing Saranac Lake to prospective buyers. There's a lot to be proud of."

King and Queen Tom Fina and Natalie Bombard

In 1951, when Leduc (then Natalie Bombard) rode atop a bale of hay with her fellow royalty, King Tom Fina, in the annual carnival parade, she had no idea she would take the same ride down Broadway as the carnival's 2004 Grand Marshall.

"It was a great honor to be chosen as the athlete of the year," Leduc said, noting that the king and queen were chosen based upon athletic accomplishment in her days rather than on good citizenship. "Little as it is, it was my hometown."

Although she was proud to be royalty, Leduc said leaving her then boyfriend at St. Lawrence University, where she was a student, was tough.

Leduc was a Class A Nordic and alpine skier in those days, and still continues to be known as the "woman who taught Saranac Lake to ski," having taught skiing for more than 40 years.

As a third-generation Saranac Laker, Leduc said the Winter Carnival in an important part of the community because it brings Saranac Lakers and the rest of the North Country together.

"It's part of our heritage." Leduc said, adding that it is also an important event for her grandchildren. "They center their winter around Winter Carnival. It's fun to point out to them how hard people work to build their (parade) floats."

One of the most memorable parts of carnival for Leduc is the Philadelphia Mummers, a band, which Leduc said dressed up in elaborate costumes and marched down Broadway with their banjos and guitars.

'They were just phenomenal," Leduc said. Leduc remembers winter carnivals in the past as having more bands and dances, and more elaborate, larger palaces. She also said that on Broadway and all around Saranac Lake there used to be window contests and that people used to decorate their homes for carnival.

However, she said with the hustle of everyday life these days, there is less time for people with families to volunteer.

Nevertheless, Leduc still has faith in everything the village's most-celebrated event represents, including its longevity — even in the face of warm temperatures and rainy weather.

"They always do something," Leduc said, referring to the life of this year's ice palace.

For this year's carnival, Leduc said she will have a dozen or so of her grandchildren and their friends, staying at her Mt. Pisgah Lane home.

"It's the spirit of North Country pride," Leduc said of Carnival "…and you always hope your picture is taken for Mark Kurtz's slide show."


Adirondack Daily Enterprise, December 18, 1995

Leduc named to National Historical Committee

SARANAC LAKE - Natalie Bombard Leduc of Saranac Lake was recently appointed to the USSA National Historical Committee, thus, filling the vacancy left by the passing of Gloria Chadwick. Members of this committee represent the United States Ski Association on the 15-member board of directors of the US National Ski Hall of Fame and Museum in Ishpeming, Mich. She has been a member of the Final Voting Panel for the Hall of Fame for a number of years. Leduc's lifelong dedication to skiing dates back to 1948 when she was reigning New York State Champion while in high, school. She attended St. Lawrence University on an athletic scholarship and raced both alpine and cross country under the "Father of American Skiing," Otto Schneibs.

She has been, a certified Professional Ski Instructor of America (PSIA) since the 1960s, and has taught skiing at Mt. Whitney and Whiteface over the years. She also directed the Saranac Lake Central School Elementary Ski Program for 18 years and was a pioneer in the instruction of the developmentally disabled during the 1950s and 60s. She continues, to teach at Whiteface Mountain as an instructor for the Whiteface Mountain Sno Birds, and is also a member of the racing team who won the Whiteface Challenge in 1995.

Leduc is a nationally known ski historian whose library was selected as one of 12 used to compile the "National Ski Register Books" written by Allen Adler.

She is also a founding member of International Skiing Historical Association.

Leduc is involved in community activities as well. She is president of Pine Ridge Cemetery Association, chairman of the American Cancer Society Daffodil Drive, co-chairman of Friends of the Library Book Fair, board of directors of the local chapter of the American Red Cross, chairman of High Peaks Hospice Ski-A-Thon and Holiday Dove Drive, and a member of Friends of Pisgah and Saranac Lake Ski. Club.

She has a great interest in local village activities and was recently appointed to the local Industrial and Commercial Incentive Board (ICIB).

Leduc is a retired associate professor of physical education from Paul Smith's College, former owner of Tandel Office Supplies, and is presently a licensed real estate agent and a top producer with Rob Grant & Associates Real Estate of Saranac Lake.

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Comments


2010-02-13 12:09:26   Peter Sayles says, "I took lessons from Natalie when I was in first grade at St. Bernard's school. The bus would pick us (and our skis) up after school, and drop us off at Mt. Pisgah." —amycatania


2010-02-13 19:23:54   Lorraine Duprey Kelley says, "Natalie and her mom taught me to ski. Then I taught skiing for years at Pisgah and ran the program for several years. I also remember the Mummers in the parades and how competetive the floats were. My Mom worked at the Adirondack National Bank which became Marine Midland. The banks were always in competition along with the AMA." — amycatania


2010-02-13 19:33:38   Barbara Mullin Dodds says, "I remember going to Pisgah from St. Bernard's too. It was fun once we got up there but hauling all that gear to school so we could go after school was a nightmare! I also remember the Mummer's in the parade...guess that dates me a bit!" —amycatania


2010-02-13 19:35:07   Louise Hartson says, "I remember the Mummers in the parade too!! I also remember the rope tow at Mt. Pisgah!!" —amycatania


2010-02-24 21:04:49   Natalie is an excellent human being! I had the honor of being her friend when I lived in SL, and she's just wonderful. —24.107.232.170