Address: State Route 3
Old Address: 34 Algonquin Avenue
Other names: Algonquin Avenue School (not to be confused with the Algonquin School for the developmentally disabled)
Year built: c. 1854
In 1843 the area's second school was built in the center of the village. Donaldson writes: "…in 1843 another [school] was built in the very center of the village… just east of the Berkeley… The school remained here till 1854, and was then moved out toward the Algonquin on Lake Street, where it became generally known as 'the school-house on the hill.'" 1
The Algonquin Hotel wasn't built until 1884, but the school was built off of Lake Street at what would later become 34 Algonquin Avenue, on a small lot cut from the corner of the Henry P. Leis property. (See map: Leis Cottage.) It was a one-room school house originally housing grades one through eight, and later (probably in 1870 when the Main Street School was built), grades one through five. It closed in 1929. It was sometimes known as the Algonquin Avenue School, not to be confused with the Algonquin School, a school for developmentally disadvantaged students developed in 1935 on the next lot to the south of the school lot (see map).
Clarinda Martin was one of the teachers there. Another teacher was Sarah E. Lamson, who later married William F. Martin in 1865.
Adirondack Daily Enterprise, May 3, 1963
The area and Saranac Lake continued to grow and in 1856 about fifteen families were settled here with two schools. The village boasted two schools, one in "the pines" above Pine Street where it parallels the railroad track and one near the present site of the Algonquin School...
Adirondack Daily Enterprise, October 17, 1987
Early Saranac Lake school days
Mrs. Buckingham taught five grades at the Algonquin School
The old Algonquin School was sandwiched between the Henry Leis home and Mr. Eppie's bar and bowling alley on Algonquin Avenue. It was a small, wood frame building with one classroom and one teacher to handle all of the first five grades. The students faced the entrance door while the teacher's desk was off to one side together with a blackboard and a pot bellied stove.
Out back was a "his" and "her" comfort station of the Chic Sales variety. Mrs. Buckingham was the lone teacher to serve all five grades and maintain discipline. She could not even leave the school at noon, because many students carried their lunches. More astonishing prior to Ed's time [Ed Rice, born 1905], the school had eight grades and still only one teacher!
Upon completion of the 5th grade the students were transferred to the Main Street High School...
[For the full article, see the second section of Saranac Lake Schools]
1. Alfred L. Donaldson, A History of the Adirondacks, New York: The Century Co., 1921 (reprinted by Purple Mountain Press, Fleischmanns, NY, 1992), p. 238, 295