Address: Route 99, Loon Lake
The Seven Keys Lodge was built for a Mr. Ziegler in the 1890s.
Adirondack Daily Enterprise, October 23, 1972
Fire destroys Seven Keys Lodge; built by wealthy man in 1890's
LOON LAKE The Seven Keys Lodge burned to the ground Friday afternoon despite the best efforts of the Bloomingdale Fire Department to save the historic landmark.
Fire Chief Tom Glover and 38 men battled a fire that started in the adjacent woods and battled to save another building only 15 feet from the burning structure.
Chief Glover said that his investigation of the cause, and talks with lodge employees led him to believe that the fire was caused by a spark from a fireplace. The theory is that the spark went up the chimney and landed in pine needles in a niche near the chimney.
Larry Martin, an employee at the lodge, noticed the fire in the roof and he, with other employees, fought valiantly but to no avail to control the blaze until firemen could get to the scene.
Joseph Martin of Saranac Lake, who doing work at the place with his tractor and backhoe, was helping remove articles from the building when he fell from a one-story balcony to the ground.
He was taken to the Saranac Lake General Hospital by the Rescue Squad, treated, and released.
Mrs. Martin told The Enterprise today that he suffered no broken bones but was sore and swollen from the fall. He told his wife that as much as he could remember was that he fell on his shoulder.
Dick Stickney and Mickey Cimbrec were on the balcony with Mr. Martin when, Mr. Stickney said, he leaned over to get a good shot at the mattresses they had thrown down to land stuff on, and fell over.
The building is owned by Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Delia. They had been renovating and generally improving the property, and they were booked up for this holiday weekend at the main lodge.
Mrs. Delia said she had never seen people work so hard to save something that belonged to someone else.
She stood watching the building burn down but expressed gratitude that no one else was injured. She had pleaded with employees to leave the roof of the burning building because she was afraid they were going to be killed.
Chief Glover has been given an estimate that places the value of the building at $250,000.
Mr. Stickney, however, said that when he heard the radio report of the estimate of $250,000 he said to himself, "That's crazy, it's worth more like a million."
He called it "a wonderful old building." He said the floors were all oak, the framework was massive oak timbers with oak trim, and there were seven fireplaces, one that could take 6-foot logs.
Mr. Stickney worked on the building when Sam Garland, who owned the property in the 1940's as part of the Loon Lake Hotel complex, completely renovated the main lodge.
Mr. Stickney said it was built in the early 1890's by a Mr. Ziegler, a multi-millionaire, for a summer home. He said it was then purchased by Mary H. Chase in 1915 and made part of the Loon Lake Hotel property.
Mr. Garland bought the property in the early 1940's.
The lodge was of spruce log construction with fieldstone pillars and fireplaces.
The alarm came shortly after noon Friday and by 2:30 pm there was only a small portion of the kitchen area standing, It was a huge two-story building with 12 rooms upstairs. The downstairs had dining room, lounges, offices and kitchen.
State Conservation Officer Harold Martin was at the scene with his vehicle and his Indian pumps along with Bloomingdale Fire Department pumps which were manned by the lodge employees to put out the fire in the woods nearby.
There are about 20 buildings in the complex and it was considered quite a feat, by those at the fire, that the men were able to save the buildings close by.
There were three trucks from the Bloomingdale Department with five hoses on the fire. There were two portable pumps pumping from the lake, and a fire truck pumper. Three thousand feet of hose were used.
Foremen were back at the scene late Friday night until 3:30 a.m. Saturday when the fire flared up, and again on Sunday.
Mr. Delia was in New York at the time of the fire. Mrs. Delia praised the work of the firemen in containing the fire, and expressed appreciation to her employees and friends who had helped.
Chief Glover said it was one of the toughest fires that his department had fought. Leo Morency is first assistant chief. Gary Smokies is second assistant chief.