Point O'View from Lower Saranac Lake Winslow Kane, Jack Kane, Mrs. Simmons, Edith Seaman, Marjorie Kane, Howard Seaman The D. Henry Smith Camp Point O'View boathouse Point O'View was a camp, designed by local architect William L. Coulter, that was built on Lower Saranac Lake in 1903 for D. Henry Smith. 1 The camp was sold to Delia Vance (who named it "Delavan"), and then to Clarence Melville Hyde and Lillia Babbitt Hyde.

Lillia's father was Benjamin Talbot Babbitt, owner of B.T. Babbitt, Inc., a company that produced Bab-O Cleanser, Star Yeast Powder, and Babbitt's Best Soap. When Babbitt died in 1889, at age 80, he left his daughter half of his five million dollar estate and controlling interest in his company. In 1891, Lillia married Clarence M. Hyde, a New York lawyer. It is not known when he purchased camp Point O'View, but it was probably before 1920.

Lillia Babbitt Hyde was widowed at age 62; her daughter, Clara, had died earlier. She established the Lillia Babbitt Hyde Foundation in 1924, after her husband's death, and served as its first president until her death in 1939. Charles C. Harris became president of the foundation in 1940, and served until his death in 1959.

This platform tent belonged to the Harris family. It was permit #7, on Gravely Point, located near Gull Rock, north of Burnt Island.

Mr. Hyde left camp Point O'View to Charles C. Harris. When the Ampersand Hotel was auctioned off in 1929, Harris purchased all of the property sold by S. D. Matthews for about $75,000, forming a partnership called Ampersand Properties to do so; he later bought out the partnership.

Harris and his wife were philanthropists locally: they donated the land for Schroeter's Field, and land for boat builders Hanmer and Hathaway. When the new Adirondack Medical Center was built, Mrs. Harris donated the laboratory in her husband's memory. She also supported the library, and many other local charities. She also offered land to build the Trudeau Institute before it ended up in its present location.

Mr. Hyde met Charles C. Harris when the latter was working in men's wear at Saks Fifth Avenue; Hyde took a liking to Harris, and offered him a job in his company. According to Chip Nagle, Harris was able to succeed in business despite having only a third grade education; he made a lot of money for the Hydes. He visited the Hyde camp often, and on one visit, he met Dorethea Simmons, who was spending the summer at her mother's camp, the Mark Twain camp. Harris subsequently married Dorothea, in 1927.

Both the Hydes and the Harrises were involved with the Saranac Boat and Waterways Club, racing in the club's regattas.


Adirondack Daily Enterprise, August 6, 1952

Mr. William Nagle will arrive today from Woodstock, Vt., to visit Mr. and Mrs. Charles Harris at Point O'View, Lower Saranac Lake. He will be married on Saturday to the Harris' niece, Miss Emily Seaman.


Adirondack Daily Enterprise, July 23, 1980

Mr. and Mrs. William Nagle have arrived from Woodstock, Vt., to spend several days visiting Mrs. Nagle's aunt, Mrs. Charles C. Harris of Point O'View, Lower Saranac Lake. Mrs. Nagle is, the former Miss Emily Seaman.

Text based on a display by Bobbie Leamer shown at the 2008 Historic Saranac Lake History Day. Point O'View Display by Bobbie Leamer, Shown at History Day 2008. Click on the image to enlarge the display The rabbits are the winnings from the "Rabbit Poker Club" an informal hunting and card playing group on the lower lake.

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Footnotes

1. A D. Henry Smith was made a member of the New York Stock Exchange on September 7, 1866; also, a D. Henry Smith, born 1834, married Harriet S. Garrison on October 14, 1869, in Raleigh, NC. It is not known whether this is the D. Henry Smith for whom the camp was built.