Teen Canteen was started in 1945, sponsored by the Rotary Club. It closed in 1969, but was revived briefly in 1978 and '79. In 1983, the Saranac Lake Youth Center was started, performing a similar function.
Adirondack Daily Enterprise, March 3, 1948
YOUTH TO THE FRONT AND CENTER
Mrs. Leo McKillip and Mrs. Dorothy Walsh dropped into a meeting of the Saranac Lake Community Council last evening to ask for help in the solution of a seemingly simple problem. The Teen Age Canteen has outgrown its quarters and seeks a larger shelter. They thought the Council might help them solve this problem.
The Teen Age Canteen has been operating with more success than most Saranac Lake volunteer efforts for the past three years as an instrument to afford youngsters of teen ages to help themselves during their recreational hours. The canteen has been in operation evenings over the weekends, and it has used the facilities of the Presbyterian church house for its parties. The parties frequently are a combination of work and play but always they are initiated and planned by the young people, themselves.
There is a lot more to this work than just giving young people a weekend party or a place to get away from the too-familiar surroundings of such excellent institutions as home and school and church. There is more to it, even, than just keeping good young people from loitering in off hours in places that might not be too good for them.
It is well known among educators that the best thing that can be done for youth is to arrange conditions so that the young of like age can compete with each other and arrange their own programs and develop naturally as their experiences, strength and growth permit. Mrs. McKillip and Mrs. Walsh, having brought up children of their own through these difficult years, have wisely handled their problem in this understanding way. Hence under their management, the Teen Canteen is popular with the young, approved by parents and pastors who have watched its growth.
The wisdom in the handling of this Canteen has allowed young people to grow into socially desirable young manhood and young womanhood. Some of these youngsters would never have had such an opportunity except for this work having been done in this skilful way. In the years to come, here and there, from time to time, the courts will have one less case with which to deal. And the communities in which these youngsters, grown older, will live, will be better off for having been given a better type of citizen.
Mrs. McKillip and Mrs. Walsh have done a splendid piece of social work. The people of the Presbyterian church should be commended for having furnished the quarters for this work to date. But it is unfortunate that the Community Council could not have met this simple problem by merely finding out exactly what these social workers want, and then by appointing a committee to go get it for them.
Adirondack Daily Enterprise, March 9, 1948
Discussion Shows Canteen's Need For More Space
The Recreational committee was instructed to make a survey of recreational facilities in the village of Saranac Lake for the possible establishment of a Youth Center following two hours of open discussion on "The Establishment of a Youth Center in Saranac Lake" at the monthly meeting of the Community Council held last night in Hotel Saranac.
William H. Burger of Essex county YMCA, guest speaker, gave a brief background of attempts made in the past to bring YMCA activities to this village. Original attempts were started about 20 years ago under the direction of Lewis Graeves and at that time it was decided that a privately supported Youth Center could not be established here.
More recently, at the request of Mrs. George Muegge and the Rev. Theodore Bundy, the YMCA has re-studied the question of establishing a center in the village and again found that the running costs of such a building would exceed the expected income from private sources. YMCA activities in the village now include Hi-Y clubs in the public schools and the showing of movies at the River street school monthly by the Essex county chapter.
Frank W. Gibson, executive secretary of the Essex county YMCA, then spoke on how to get state aid for a youth center, if it was established within the village. He explained that a thousand dollars granted by each of the three townships in which Saranac Lake village lies might be matched by a thousand dollars, in each instance, by the New York State Youth Commission, giving a total of $6,000.
It was brought out, however, that the towns of North Elba and St. Armand .are already drawing a matched $1000 from the State for youth activities in Lake Placid and Bloomingdale, and therefore, Saranac Lake might not be able to draw upon the support of these two townships.
Irving Edelberg, representing the Rotary club, original sponsor of the Teen Canteen, explained that the youth organization was turned over to the sponsorship of the village in order that $500 might be voted for its support. This sum was matched by the State and at present the Canteen's running budget is $1000.
From this sum the Canteen pays for its adult supervision, recreational facilities and maintenance. Funds derived from sales and memberships defray the expenses of parties and sleigh rides which the group may decide to hold.
That the well-rounded program of the Teen Canteen has kept the interest of the community's youth has been proven by the continual seeking of membership by those who are in the age group and even those just below it, Mr. Edelberg pointed out.
The present program, he explained, is that the Canteen has outgrown the facilities of the Presbyterian church house, lent to that Canteen three years ago on a temporary basis.
Thomas Cantwell then followed a Recreational committee report by Thomas Hand with suggestion that the Harrietstown town hall was the logical place for the Canteen to move to. Further discussion revealed that the rental on the town hall was prohibitive for the Canteen.
Mr. Edelberg suggested that a committee attend the next Harrietstown town board meeting and request use of the town hall for the Canteen, and to study the reasons why the board approved or disapproved the request.
Further discussion led back to the establishment of a facility for youth, and the conclusion of the Council meeting was the movement by the body to study further all recreational facilities of the village before acting on the choice for a Youth Center.
Adirondack Daily Enterprise, July 6, 1948
Teen Canteen Happy As Juke Box Again Swings Dance Music
Smiling faces and happy hearts reigned Saturday night in the Harrietstown Town hall as Teen Canteeners once again were able to dance to the familiar strains of their juke box, which had been missing for the past two weeks.
Due to a misunderstanding, the Rockola record player was sold to an innocent person by a worker at the General Hospital rummage sale on Saturday, June 19.
The recording machine was recovered Saturday afternoon through the efforts of the local Police department. The music box was found at the home of Mrs. Celeste Taylor of 20 Dorsey street, who told police that she was unaware that the juke box was being sought.
The automatic machine, which plays 12 records in succession, is owned by Ralph P. Huntington of the Huntington Novelty Company, 4 Academy Street. He loaned the recorder to the Canteen and is company services it and changes the records in order that the young people can dance to the most up-to-date music.
During the period when the Rockola was missing, the Canteeners have had to borrow victrolas and records to provide music for dancing. On Thursday evening, Danny Page donated his services to the Canteen and he entertained with accordion selections during the evening.
The new president will name his committees this week. The Canteen will convene at 7:30 o'clock tonight, Thursday and Saturday evenings this week.
Adirondack Daily Enterprise, April 19, 1960
Teen Canteen To Crown King And Queen Friday
"Chuck" Pandolph To Be Archbishop
The fifteenth anniversary and the thirteenth annual coronation of the King and Queen of the Saranac Lake Teen Canteen will be held Friday evening at the Harrietstown Town Hall.
Co-advisors Mrs. Francis Walsh and Mrs. Chester Fobare announced yesterday that bobsledder - policeman Charles "Chuck" Pandolph has been chosen, by popular demand of the teenagers, to act as archbishop of the affair and crown the King and Queen.
The advisors and officers of the Canteen have strongly urged that all parents and adults make a special effort to attend the gala affair held each year at this time.
Entertainment, an array of musical acts presented by the members of the Canteen, is scheduled to begin at 9 o'clock with the crowning immediately following.
Six boys and six girls are chosen for the court and from these 12 a king and queen are selected. The identity of the royal couple is kept a closely-guarded secret until the archbishop opens the sealed envelope prior to the coronation.
Chosen for this year's court were Frances Blaise, Donna McGill, Paula Fobare, Evelyn Ann Hoyt, Carol Willette, Mary Ann Stunzi, Denis Kenny, Tom and Bill Donnelly, Jim Law, Gary Stiles and John Peria.
Master of ceremonies for the evening will be Dick Merkel.
A dance, with the music of a popular four-piece band from Malone, will begin at 8 o'clock and continue until midnight. The parents and adults, as well as the members, are cordially invited to dance and enjoy the refreshments.
Adirondack Daily Enterprise, May 7, 1962
TEEN CANTEEN CLOSES
Teen Canteen will be closed for six weeks while the Canteen is being redecorated. In reviewing the 17th Anniversary Dance and Coronation, the Canteen executive board noted that many Saranac Lake businesses and individuals had helped to make it successful: Wolff Your Florist donated corsages for the queen's court; the Saranac Lake Fire Department furnished the decorations; Mayor Alton B Anderson provided the lights; the Hotel St. Regis lent platforms and a stereo; Dean Demerse gave the queen's bouquet and members of the Fire Police stood by for protection.
Adirondack Daily Enterprise, February 27, 1963
Board Probes Vandalism at Teen Canteen in Town Hall
Canteen Must Control Members or Face Loss of Organization
Mayor Alton B. Anderson told the Saranac Lake ViLage Board last night that the Teen Canteen should control its members or the organization should be eliminated.
Incidents of vandalism in the men's toilet at the Harrietstown Town Hall brought sharp criticism from the Board.
Fixtures and pipes have been broken and the money for repair bills is paid by the Canteen but through a fund in the village office. A recent decision from the state Department of Audit and Control moved Canteen money from Canteen control to a column in the village bookkeeping system.
Trustee George Stearns said he was concerned about damage to the building (town hall) and unless steps are taken from within the Canteen to police themselves the village will withdraw its support The Village pays $1400 annually to the Canteen for the salaries of two supervisors.
Trustee Stearns also suggested that the policeman on night duty at the desk might check the men's toilet while the Canteen is in session Trustee Myron (Rube) Skeels said on invitation from the Canteen Supervisors he would attend a few sessions of the Canteen "to see what was going on over there."
Adirondack Daily Enterprise, March 10, 1978
Teen Canteen reviving
SARANAC LAKE –The youth activities organization here is being resurrected. The rebirth of a teen canteen began with the formation of an eight-member committee called the Drug Abuse Prevention Council.
The council, a group of local people, were given qualified permission last night by the town board to set up the teen canteen in the auditorium of the Harrietstown Hall.
Raymond LaRose, town supervisor, said, the hall may be used by the canteen on nights when no other use is scheduled, He said a security deposit and possibly a janitorial fee will be required. The teen canteen was a youth organization which met, usually in the town hall from 1945 to 1969. It sponsored dances, games and other social events for teenagers.
"We want to give kids a place to go. The town hall teen canteen would serve as a meeting place instead of some pizza parlor," Tom Williams, a member of the drug council, said to the board Thursday. Chris Montonna, also a member of the council, said a wider age range of youths could be supervised at the teen canteen. The two members asked for possible use of the auditorium on both Friday and Saturday nights.
LaRose, town supervisor, said other events are scheduled for the auditorium.
He said a clergyman has asked to use the auditorium to set up night entertainment during the 1980 Winter Olympics, the clergyman wants to provide an alternative' to bars, LaRose said.
The drug abuse council is to make definite plans for the formation of the canteen.