Born: October 13, 1892
Died: February 21, 1988
Seaver Miller Rice grew up in Saranac Lake. He was the great-great grandson of Pliny Miller and the nephew of Seaver A. Rice. He was honored as the Grand Marshall of the Winter Carnival parade in 1984. As a boy, he rode on a float in the first Winter Carnival parade dressed as "Little Boy Blue."
Adirondack Daily Enterprise, February 25, 1988
Services said for Seaver Miller Rice, 1984 Winter Carnival grand marshal
SOUTHBRIDGE, Mass. — Funeral services were said Wednesday for Saranac Lake native Seaver Miller Rice, 95, of Southbridge, Mass., who died Sunday, Feb. 21 in Southbridge.
Services, with full military honors, took place at the Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Southbridge.
Burial was in Oak Ridge Cemetery, Southbridge.
Mr. Rice was a 1912 graduate of Dean Academy in Franklin, Mass.
He was a veteran of World War I, serving with the U.S. Army 1st Division. The division was one of the first contingent of troops to enter the trenches on Oct. 23, 1927. As a member of that division, he participated in five separate battles in France and Germany. A sergeant, he was the recipient of the French Croix de Guerre with two palms.
He had been a resident of Southbridge for 73 years.
Mr. Rice was employed for 43 years by the American Optical Corp. and retired from the personnel department in 1958.
Since his retirement, he had been active as a columnist for the Southbridge Evening News, basing many of his articles on memories of his boyhood days in the Adirondacks. He also had two books of his essays published — "The Apple Butter Winter" and "Along the Quinebaug."
He was the founder and first commander of American Legion Post #31 and a longtime member of the Veteran's of Foreign Wars Post #6055, both in Southbridge.
Mr. Rice was a member of the American Optical Corp. Quarter Century Club, the Holy Trinity Episcopal Church and was a former vestry man of the church.
He held numerous town offices and served on the Board of Registrars of Voters, the library committee, the cemetery commission and was cemetery superintendent for 17 years.
He was a member of the Republican Town Committee for 50 years, was a trustee of the World War I Memorial Park and served on the committee on aging.
An exceptional athlete in his younger days, Mr. Rice played baseball, basketball and soccer. In 1926, he traveled to England with the Worcester City soccer team for a series of games.
Mr. Rice organized the Wellsworth Athletic Association of the American Optical Corp. and was the first president of the organization.
He participated in the very first Saranac Lake Winter Carnival parade in 1898 at the age of five when he rode on a float, entered by his father's cure house business, as "Little Boy Blue."
He returned to Saranac Lake in 1984 to serve as grand marshal of the 87th Winter Carnival parade.
Survivors include one nephew, Charles Rice of Wrentham, Mass.; two nieces, Laura Kelley of Wellesley, Mass, and Judith Vandegriff of Maryland; 10 grand-nieces and grandnephews, one great-grandniece and one great-grandnephew.
Adirondack Daily Enterprise, February 17, 1984
Rice's words bring back past
SARANAC LAKE — Nostalgia prevailed Sunday afternoon in the Cantwell Room of the Saranac Lake Free Library as 91-year-old Seaver Miller Rice of Southbridge, Mass. shared his memories of his boyhood here with well over 100 townspeople in attendance.
In almost school teacher fashion, he tested the memories of those in the audience, and at the same time enticed them with tidbits of information from his own storehouse of memories. Rice talked of early hotels, area top notch skaters, and the early guides he had known, having been one himself in his youth. He listed off the names of people of importance and wealth who visited Saranac Lake in earlier times, some of whom he had known personally He delighted his listeners with his account of his personal acquaintance of Mark Twain.
Rice was quick to praise the beauty of this year's Ice Palace and spoke of the devoted work of local people and businesses who have kept the carnival alive over the years. He was surprised and touched by the number of children and adults who lined the parade route in which he rode Saturday as Grand Marshal.
He brought with him copies of his two published books of essays entitled "The Apple Butter Winter" and "Along the Quinebaug" which were quickly bought up. Rice autographed copies for those who were willing to stand in line. Copies of the books are available at the Mountain Pine Gift Shop locally.
With Rice were his grand nieces Lynn Vandergriff and Laura Sanger as well as Laura's husband Steve.
The presentation was followed by a question and answer session.
The program was sponsored by the Adirondack Genealogical-Historical Society.
Adirondack Daily Enterprise, August 16, 1977
Local man feted by town
SARANAC LAKE A local man recently was selected as "Mr. Southbridge" by the Town of Southbridge, Mass.
Seaver Miller Rice was the recipient of numerous honors, including his portrait hanging in Southbndge Town Hall.
The portrait of Rice was painted by Al Menard of Sturbridge, Mass.
Other awards were an award for good citizenship from the Sons of the Revolution, a scroll from the Southbridge Council on the Aging, honoring him for work he has done for Senior Citizens, a plaque from the Knights of Columbus for his contribution to good citizenship and patriotism.
Rice was born in Saranac Lake, on Oct 13, 1892, the son of the late Walter and Laura (Mlller) Rice.
A graduate of Dean Academy in Franklin Mass., he was employed by the American Optical Company for 43 years, starting as a clerk in the engineering department, advancing to the Personnel Department from which he retired in 1938.
Rice served his country in World War I with the Engineer Corps in the European Theater of Operations and was a founder of the Southbridge American Legion Post and its first commander.
Since retirement, Rice has been active as a columnist for the Evening News weekend magazine supplement. Many of his stories are based on memories of boyhood days in the Adirondacks.
It hasn't been noted if his writings of boyhood days has included an account of an incident that occurred nearly 73 years ago, when he and Karl Haselton of Lake Flower Avenue, were a cause for concern to their parents and Saranac Lake Village leaders.
It seems that this pair of 12-year-olds hitched a ride on one of Captain Thomas's boats to make a delivery in the Lower Saranac Lakes, and although they expected to be back before being missed by their parents, it wasn't until late evening that they returned.
The worried parents were relieved at the return of the two rapscallion youngsters.
Adirondack Daily Enterprise, May 12, 1966
Red and White Glory Began Back in 1909
[This is the caption to a lost photograph: REMEMBER HOW GREAT? — Saranac Lake High School hockey team which won five games and lost none in 1909, and was scored on only once. Front row from the left, Jay Stickney, Arthur Fortune, Phelps Harding, Andrew Callanan and Clayton Hoyle. Upper row, Seaver Rice, Fred Finnegan and Harry Hallock. Phelps Harding later starred at Cornell. Stickney, Callanan and Fortune are deceased.]
Back in 1909 a high school field house was something unheard of in athletics and the teams that represented their schools had to outfit themselves. They also had to assume the expenses and responsibilities of travelling to other schools to compete.
Seaver Rice, who was a member of those epic early century teams fielded by the Red and White, says it taught them good business management, Seaver, who is well along in years, still keeps his memory fresh with incidents and happenings of the old school days.
Presently living in Southbridge, Mass., he occasionally gets back here for a visit or a chance to fish his favorite waters. He says that there were many fine players in those days . . . . boys who could have played on any college team in the country!
College in (1901) was reserved for the fairly well-to-do or those gifted with extraordinary talent, and comparatively few attended institutions of higher learning.
Saranac Lake High School played Plattsburgh, Lake Placid, Tupper Lake and Malone in those days, and always gave them a tussle and often as not, came home the victor.
Basketball was another strong sport locally and games were played in the old town hall which was later destroyed by fire. The village boasted a fine semi-pro baseball team and played some of the best nines in New York State winning a heavy majority. Players long remembered for their outstanding ability on the diamond were Ed Lamy, Dave O'Brien, Lloyd Clark, William Murphy, Wales Finnegan and Seaver himself.
Seaver was an avid deer hunter and spent many happy autumn hours at the Nelse Davis camp on Long Pond. He says that Nelse had a better hunting preserve than the Rockefellers and other millionaires who had their land fenced or posted . . . and his was tax free.
Deer were plentiful he said . . . "One evening Nelse took me out back of his camp a short ways and we sat and watched 16 deer feeding on the lily pads."
One thing wrong today, he reminisced . . . "the perch have taken over the trout waters and there are only two deer for every 20 back in 1909. He is quite content to have been a part of that time in history and fondly cherishes his memories of Saranac Lake.