River Street, with Lake Flower in the foreground, Mount McKenzie, center horizon. Aerial view of River Street, early 1960s. Street numbers for River Street addresses are in red (Click to enlarge). Adirondack Daily Enterprise, August 18, 2001 One of the original streets of the village, River Street was originally a lane that ran from the Old Military Road as it passed through the Pines, where Jacob Moody lived (between Moody Pond and Pine Ridge Cemetery), to the dam on the Saranac River built by Captain Pliny Miller, at what would become the foot of Main Street. (It seems logical that a path would be worn between the homes of the first two settlers.) When the village addresses were changed as part of the implementation of the 911 Emergency Response System, the last tenth of a mile after it leaves the shore of Lake Flower was renamed Brandybrook Avenue, after Brandy Brook, which the street parallels as it drains Moody Pond into Lake Flower.

Old Address Post-911 Address Building Name Cure Evidence/Notes
Starts at Main Street (the LaPan Highway continues west
River Street   Hale Cottage 2 SLD1902
2 River Street   Telton Cottage DIS
River Street   River Street Bandstand  
8 River Street 9 River Street 8 River Street TBSBC, DIS
Passes St. Bernard Street
11 River Street River Street Original location of the Troy Laundry, Cure Cottages, p. 66
12 River Street   Shackett Cottage

DIS 1911

First location of Leonard's

13 River Street   Bebo and Shaw, Scientific Horseshoeing  
14 River Street 23 River Street Lake Flour Bakery  
15 River Street   Fred Colbath's Boat Line  
20 River Street 37 River Street 20 River Street

SLA1935PHR1930TBSWCDIS

Cure Cottages, p. 80

21 River Street   Lake Flower Laundry  
22 River Street 41 River Street Joseph Roberts Cottage DIS
24 River Street 43 River Street 24 River Street DIS
24 ½ River Street 31 River Street 24 1/2 River Street TBSWC
25 River Street   Fred Colbath garage and home  
26 River Street 47 River Street Turner Cottage 3 DIS 1931
28 River Street 49 River Street 28 River Street

TBSBC

Image

30 River Street 63 River Street Colbath Cottage

SLD1906TBSWCDIS 1911

St. Bernard's convent,

Image

34 River Street 47 River Street 34 River Street DIS 1912
35 River Street Now Riverside Park Thomas Boat Landing  
42 River Street 83 River Street 42 River Street, Image SLA1935, PHR1930
55 River Street now Prescott Park Sporck's Store  
Passes Church Street
57 River Street   E. Torrence Cottage DIS 1912
60 River Street   60 River Street DIS 1931
61 River Street   61 River Street  
62 River Street   62 River Street, Marty's Grocery, Wardner's Grocery, Donnelly's Grocery  
63 River Street now Prescott Park Corey Cottage DIS 1931
64 River Street   The 64 Restaurant  
65 River Street now Prescott Park Was 65-67 River Street: see 67 River Street DIS 1931
66 River Street   H. Lobdell Cottage DIS 1931
67 River Street now Prescott Park 67 River Street DIS 1931
95 River Street now Prescott Park Lamy Cottage DIS 1931
Passes Shepard Avenue
102 River Street 137 River Street 102 River Street  
103 River Street now Prescott Park 103 River Street DIS 1931
104 River Street 141 River Street 104 River Street DIS 1931
105 River Street  

Lavery's Sunoco,

Wayside Service Station
 

 
109 River Street   James J. Duquette, Paperhanger  
110 River Street 151 River Street 110 River Street  
111 River Street   111 River Street  
116 River Street 163 River Street 116 River Street TBSBC, DIS
116 River Street   119 River Street, Baker-Keough Marine  
120 River Street 175 River Street 120 River Street, M.E. Elliott Fish, Fruit Vegetables, Oysters SLD1906, TBSBC, DIS
122 River Street 169 River Street Elliott Cottage 1931
123 River Street   Tom Thumb Golf  
125 River Street   Save-U-Market  
126 River Street 181 River Street 126 River Street  
127 River Street   127 River Street, Jay's Auto Supply (1928), Vahl's Garage (1950)  
128 River Street 185 River Street Amanda's Village Motel  
128 1/2 River Street 187 River Street New Curling Rink

TBSBC

Madden's Transfer and Storage

130 River Street   Elliott Cottage TBD
132 River Street 193 River Street North Elba Town House TBSWC
134 River Street   Shields Cottage TBSWC, DIS 1934
136 River Street 203 River Street Appleyard Cottage TBSBC, DIS 1911
Lake Flower Avenue continues south from this point. Before 2004 River Street continued on what is now Brandy Brook Avenue
138 River Street 3 Brandy Brook Avenue River Street School  
145 River Street   145 River Street (now Gauthier's Motel) DIS
148 River Street 15 Brandy Brook Avenue    
147 River Street   Kingston Cottage DIS 1911
150 River Street 25 Brandy Brook Avenue 150 River Street Original Moody homestead, General Ice Cream
151 River Street Brandy Brook Avenue Captain Thomas Cottage

 Torn down

Cure Cottages, p. 105

154 River Street   See 150 River Street  
155 River Street 34 Brandy Brook Avenue 155 River Street  
157 River Street 38 Brandy Brook Avenue    
159 River Street 42 Brandy Brook Avenue 159 River Street USC1910
175 River Street 167 River Street    

Looking east from the corner of River Street and St. Bernard street, a spot that may have once been known as Riverside Square, this photo includes a shadow portrait of the photographer, believed to be George W. Baldwin, in the afternoon light. The "carbonated beverage" wagon heading up St. Bernard Street is the conveyance of I. Merkel and Sons, a Plattsburgh bottling outfit that had apparently bought the Adirondack Bottling Works by 1896. The white building on the left houses Leonard & Co., clothing purveyors; they later moved to Main Street above Berkeley Square. Right foreground is a shed, and beyond it is the store of Henry West, Boots & Shoes. The location is confirmed by the 1895 Sanborn map, but the photo could have been taken as early as 1885, when the businesses were advertised in the Enterprise at these locations. Barbara Parnass made the print for the library from Baldwin's glass plate negative. Adirondack Daily Enterprise, October 6, 2012

River Street, 1909, photographed from Blood Hill. Street numbers for River Street are shown in red. For the full photograph, see Saranac Lake Village, c. 1909 The key to identifying this photo, printed from a glass plate by Barbara Parnass, is the light-colored building on the right with distinctive towers on the corners. Looking east on River Street from the corner of Church Street, the photographer William Kollecker shot an oncoming marching band surrounded by a gang of little boys in knickers. The building appears on the 1908 Sanborn map as "tenement," numbered 65-67. Just in front of it is an irregular mass that the map identified as a wood pile. The photo dates before the next map was made in 1916, since by then the wood pile is gone. There were apparently three apartments on each side, as the 1908 city directory shows tenants Mrs. Ann Graham, with Margaret and Mary; Fred Gross; and Beatrice, Julia and Marie La Boissiere in No. 65. No. 67 housed J. Stewart Clare, George M. and Esther L. Perry, and John Shields. Joseph and Alida Paye occupied No. 61, one of the houses on the right, and Frank Sheldon was across the street in No. 64. In 1975 the tenement, acquired from the Jack Beardsleys, and all the buildings on the right were cleared away to open the view of Lake Flower and create Riverside Park. Adirondack Daily Enterprise, October 29, 2011

 


Adirondack Daily Enterprise, December 18, 1967

New Roads Planned for Saranac Lake

The Saranac Lake Village Board at its regular meeting tonight, will consider the tentative plans of the State Department of Transportation (formerly the Department of Public Works) for highway construction in and around the village.

A letter to Village Manager Stanley Savarie, accompanied by a large hand-drawn map the indicated new roads arrived at the village office late Friday from Frank J. Fuller, district engineer.

The purpose of the letter and the sketched map was "to bring you up to date on our progress," Fuller wrote.

Mr. Fuller explained to Mr. Savarie this morning by telephone that the map represented his department's present ideas on the village roads but made clear that this present thinking was open to criticism and discussion, and was not final. Fuller indicated his department's desire to work with village officials to develop a program which would be in the best interests of the village.

One new route is the continuation of the George LaPan Highway across Main Street. The projected continuation starts out on the present River Street but straightens it, cutting right along the shore of Lake Flower, and apparently eliminating the present village beach.

This road continues to the triangle near the River Street School and the Bank of Lake Placid office. From this point several new roads are envisaged. The main road toward Lake Placid, presumably four-lane, follows a line just below Winona Avenue until it meets the present Lake Flower Avenue at a point close to Merrill.

In addition, the map shows another new road which follows close to Lake Flower and is a by-pass of the main road. This by-pass does not exactly follow the present Lake Flower Ave. but provides access to the motels and restaurants which constitute a major tourist section of the village.

The main road and the bypass meet near Merrill Street and continue on toward Lake Placid but the map received Friday does not extend much beyond Merrill.

In his letter, Mr. Fuller explains, "As you know, a ground survey of River Street to Lake Flower Avenue was completed last winter. The Survey was plotted and design will be progressed this winter with anticipated completion (of the design) in a year. The construction contract hopefully would be let in the summer of 1968."

This main new road plan follows generally the proposals made by the village and town combined Planning Boards. The plan originally differed considerably from the proposal made by the Department of Public Works but the state engineers seem to have gone far in meeting the wishes of the local authorities.

Another turn-off from the triangle would join another new road which would follow the present roadbed of the New York Central railroad from a point near Turtle Pond all the way to the junction of Broadway near Ampersand Avenue.

On this proposal, Mr. Fuller writes as follows: "Our proposal for Route 86, as we have previously discussed, is to leave the existing highway location somewhere in the vicinity of Turtle Pond and occupy the New York Central Railroad bed northerly to the vicinity of Ampersand Avenue. This, of course, hinges on the availability of the right-of-way after action by the Interstate Commerce Commission. Although we did not show it on the large map, we are also considering McKenzie Pond Road for New Route 86, but may encounter higher property damage."

Another new road included on the map starts on Main Street from Academy Street, turns left at Church Street, apparently cutting off a very small piece of the corner property but no building, then near (or through?) the A. and P., across Bloomingdale Avenue, cutting out the Belvedere Restaurant, probably Mrs. Helen Sarbanes' dwelling at 72 Bloomingdale Avenue, some other buildings, and again reaches Bloomingdale Ave. at a point past the Old Military Estates.

Finally, there is a suggestion of the possibility of a road from the triangle behind Moody Pond and then reaching Bloomingdale Ave. near the point where the steep road up to the Trudeau Road and the American Management Association facilities.

On this last proposal, Mr. Fuller writes:

"The extension of River Street easterly around Moody Pond and northerly to form a relocation of Route 3, is being mapped by aerial methods to provide us data to develop a location plan. This mapping will be delivered in January 1968, and we shall commence location work with an anticipated completion during June 1968. Upon approval, we will conduct a Public Hearing and begin design which should take about a year."


Lake Placid News, March 18, 1976

 

Lake Placid News, March 18, 1976

An Explanation of River Street Plans

By HOWARD RILEY

SARANAC LAKE-The dirigible of hope for this stricken village, beautification of the Lake Flower shoreline, was nearly shot down by a burst of misunderstanding.

Despite years of planning and public hearings, there are so many people here who do not know that the reconstruction of River Street is merely an extension of the George LaPan Highway. Some had believed erroneously that it will be a replica of the Adirondack Northway, center mall and all.

State officials, exasperated by criticism at the eleventh hour, were on the verge of scrapping the entire project. Department of Transportation (DOT) officials had taken painstaking steps to be sure that this section of highway (0.6 miles) was being built how and where the community wanted it.

Approval had been given by planning boards, various village boards (over the years), and the Village Improvement Society. Copies of alternate plans had been presented and explained at public hearings. Plans had been displayed in office windows on Main Street and hung in the village office where any interested citizen could examine them.

THE STATE is now going ahead with the highway extension after another unanimous resolution of support from the Village Board.

The four lanes of the highway will be fifty feet wide with nine feet on each side for sidewalks and a mall separating the sidewalk from the curb.

As an example, when the highway is completed the new sidewalk will reach only to within two feet of the present beach house site. Many new two-lane highways are 50 feet wide with 12 foot paved shoulders.

A common misconception has the highway taking almost all the land between the present highway and the lake. The highway was designed for quite the opposite purpose —to save and beautify as much of that shoreline as possible.

It is true that some taxable property and the municipal beach will be removed. But again, many of the businesses will be relocated and remain on the tax rolls. The beach relocation project will be examined in detail here next week.

There are fourteen businesses or residences plus some vacant land that will be removed for the highway. The first to go was the Buick-Pontiac Garage owned by Dick Gladd. That was located next to Riverside Park and was sold to the state and torn down in 1970. Mr. Gladd moved his business to Tupper Lake.

PAUL AND Jean Mace ran B. J.' s diner at the former Thomas Boat Landing site. They did not relocate but it was one of the reasons that Mr. and Mrs. Richard Jewtraw bought and remodeled a Broadway eatery now known as DJ's Rustic Restaurant.

Bob Nadon who operated the Gulf Service station next to the beach now operates the Blue Sunoco Station on Broadway.

One of the nicest buildings lost to the highway was the Lake View Restaurant owned and operated since 1947 by Mr. and Mrs. James Brearton. The Breartons have retired and now live at the DeChantal Apartments. The Ronald Fina residence is the next building, they have moved elsewhere in town.

Next was the big apartment building owned by Mr. and Mrs. Jack Beardsley. Many of the residents have moved into either the Lake Flower Apartments or the DeChantel Apartments.

The home right on the lake shore is the residence of Mrs. Edmund Lamy and her daughter, Eugenia. That building and the large, vacant adjacent lot, belonging to George Riebel will be the area of the boat launching site. This is a project of the Environmental Conservation Department.

THE BLUE Sunoco service station that stood next to the North Country Community College (NCCC) gymnasium (old armory) will be rebuilt on the opposite side of River Street where the Wardner Store stood and will take the adjacent, abandoned Mobil Station.

Not only will the village not lose this tax base but a bigger, new building will eliminate that other eyesore.

The NCCC gym was built for and known as The Saranac Lake Boys Club in the 1920s. It is an architectural gem with huge wooden beams and a copper roof probably worth $2000. And here there is a strange twist in ownership. The state had previously owned the building (when it was an armory) and sold it to the village for one dollar. The village sold the building to the College for one dollar and now the College has sold it back to the state for more than $50,000.

Now the final irony would be the village having to buy back that portion not needed for the highway, but that is not the case. That piece is being deeded back to the village by the college.

The college has now leased the former Pius X High School on Petrova Avenue which gives that building a good temporary use and saves it from deteriorating.

THE ARRON Hoyt Dodge-Chrysler Garage will build a new building in or very near the village. James Hoyt said Monday that the final decision on the site had not been made.

The Keough Boat Marina and residence of Mayor Charles and Doris Keough will relocate at the former Baker Boat Landing on Lake Flower. They are rebuilding and remodeling there.

The next two buildings that were in pretty bad shape the last few years at one time housed the Gero Upholstery Shop and Frank Hicks' Fix-It Shop.

The last business (or the first depending on which way you're traveling) on the street was the Esso Station operated by John and Charles DeLancett for the past sixteen years. That building was owned by Harlan Hunkins of Lake Placid. Mr. Hunkins of the Raeoil Company purchased the previously vacant Atlantic Station on Lake Flower Avenue and the DeLancett s are in business there.

The Village then has four of the major displaced businesses along River Street relocating or rebuilding and the other moves generating some stimulation of the economy.

NEW YORK STATE has paid the Village of Saranac Lake $110,972.50 for the village owned property along the proposed highway which represents all but about $2000 of the total.

The village must then buy those portions of private property along the lake that are not taken by the highway.

The amounts of money paid to private property owners along River Street is not a matter of public record, according to Charles E. Pahl, regional DOT real estate officer. Even though it is the taxpayers' money. Mr. Pahl said Monday, the only time that such transactions are made public is after a settlement in claims court.

The opening up of the Lake Flower shoreline will change this shabby area into a real asset for the village.

But it is one of those projects that is destined to be more appreciated by the residents and visitors of the future. It is difficult for residents still reeling from the economic blows caused by the closing of Will Rogers Hospital and the Ray Brook Rehabilitation Center to watch property being removed from the tax rolls, even though much of it will be regained.


River Street, c. 1920. Historic Saranac Lake collection. River Street with Helen Hill in the background, c. 1920. Historic Saranac Lake collection.

 

(See also Prescott Park and Riverside Park.)

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