This page refers to several earlier Lake Clear Schools, the last of which was replaced by the New Lake Clear School built around 1954 at 6459 State Route 30, Lake Clear. This was originally Common School District #3, Harrietstown (Lake Clear), Franklin County. The last of these Lake Clear schools was one of the few retained for school use when the whole area was centralized as the Saranac Lake Central School District.

Address: 9 Station Road, Lake Clear

Old Address:

Other names:

Year built: "The building, on Station Road, a small turn-off from Fish Hatchery Road, was more than 100 years old, said Mike Puccini, a neighbor who was watching the fire from the side of the road Wednesday evening. Puccini said [owner Roy] Hurd bought the home from his aunt in about 2004 or '05, after the death of his uncle. . . . He said it used to be a school house that his grandmother attended in the early 1900s." 1

The Lake Clear School may or may not be the house that burned on July 21, 2010. See the Adirondack Daily Enterprise, July 22, 2010.

From the Plattsburgh Press Republican, July 22, 2010:

The house was once a part of the Saranac Inn stagecoach station and later converted into a school that Puccini's grandmother attended from 1905 to 1909.

"It was a very beautiful house, with knotty pine paneling. For many years, in 1950s and 1960s, a very rich Frenchman put a lot of work into the house and property," Puccini said.

Adirondack Daily Enterprise, October 15, 1999

A bit of history of past Lake Clear schoolchildren

By Deborah J. Donaldson

LAKE CLEAR - A minute for some history in Lake Clear. Off the main road facing what we call the Old Lake Clear Road is a large maroon house that was once one of the original schoolhouses in Lake Clear.

This was built in the early 1900s and used as a schoolhouse. A man by the name of Theodore Speer did all the surveying at what was then called the Junction. There were streets with all kinds of names, like Mott View Avenue, which later became the Old Lake Clear Road. Theodore Speer, who had been a male nurse in the Spanish American War, was going to build a sanitarium behind where Jessie Sottile now resides. The funding never appeared.

Instead he had built what we call the Oehler house, which is the large house that is down towards the track on the same road that the schoolhouse is. So instead, Theodore lived in the large house which was supposed to have been the nurses' quarters for the sanitarium.

There was another schoolhouse that was built shortly after 1909. This one was on the west side of St. John's in the Wilderness Church and was used for several years. When that was closed all those children were brought to the maroon schoolhouse. A man by the name of Romeyn Otis transported those children to their new location.

Romeyn had a horse and wagon that could be used. The wagon was covered so that the children would not get wet when it rained. In the winter he took the box off and made it into a sleigh for the same purpose.

There was a door at the back with a step to get in and out of. I wonder what some of our children today would think of that mode of travel?

Back to the maroon schoolhouse. There were two large rooms. Four grades were in each room. A Mrs. Weller taught the first four grades and a Miss Sullivan taught the other grades. Of course the heat was a woodstove. [See ADE article of May 7, 1954, below. It appears that the two-room classroom reported to be replaced was the same as the "maroon schoolhouse." ]

If you go by and notice the building, you will notice that the outside has not changed since when it was a schoolhouse. It is presently the home of Ben and Rose Luciano.

In the early 1950s the maroon schoolhouse was closed. A committee had been formed to look into a new school and a place for it. At first they looked at a lot that was across from The Lodge, which was under the power lines. It was decided that was not a good place for children. Someone approached the president of Paul Smith's College about the property around the corner from the railroad tracks heading towards Malone. That was purchased and the new school was built there.

This was state of art compared to the maroon schoolhouse. Each grade had their own classroom. There was a cafeteria, dining room and assembly room. And as we all know, that has recently been added onto. Unfortunately I do not have a year that it was built for this writing. But I have now found out that there were two more schoolhouses on the McMaster Road, which will be another column. So stay tuned.

Many, many thanks go to George Carley for all his help, and to Loise Donaldson for all her help, with this article. I might add that George Carley put the names to the picture.

Adirondack Daily Enterprise, May 7, 1954


Plans for a new school building, to have three classrooms and an auditorium, were approved by 87 members of Common School District No. 3, Town of Harrietstown, at their annual meeting held in the present school building, Lake Clear Junction.

Voters selected the proposed school from one of three schemes submitted by William G. Distin, Distin and Wareham, Saranac Lake. It was also decided that a suitable site should be purchased on which to erect the new building. The present school house has two classrooms. A heavy pupil registration has forced the district to place some of its students in the Lake Colby School.

During the four-hour meeting a budget of $18,000 was passed to cover the expenses for the coming year. Voters decided to have a board of three trustees instead of a single school trustee and elected James Cervo for a term of three years; Donald Bousquet, two years; Charles Fisher, one year; Mrs. Jenne Fisher, collector, and Mrs. Edith Bedell, clerk.

There will be a special school meeting, called in the near future to vote on bonding the District.

See also: Lake Clear Junction.

Other historic properties



1. Adirondack Daily Enterprise, July 22, 2010.