The Wardner family in the Saranac Lake area began with James M. Wardner coming to Osgood Pond in 1854 with his brother Seth Wardner. James' son Charles A. Wardner wrote a two-volume history of his father's memoirs titled Footprints & Sunset on Adirondack Trails that was published posthumously in 2010.
Adirondack Daily Enterprise, March 6, 1978
Wardner history: Families part of town's flux
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Mrs. Ruth Wardner Freeman furnished notes for this article.)
BLOOMlNGDALE - It is interesting to note how social changes within families result in changes to the town in which they live.
For some time it has been noted-that over a period of sixty years; one family the Wardners — has almost disappeared from the village of Bloomingdale.
In the early 1900s there were at least twelve Wardner families living in this area and seven of these were in Bloomingdale.
In 1976 there is only one Wardner who lives nearby and in summer only, Walter C. Wardner of Rainbow Lake. Two Wardners own property in Bloomingdale, but not under the name of Wardner. For those who may be interested in these people, the following list is supposed to be accurate as of about 1920: Bloomingdale: Mr. and Mrs. Seth Wardner; Mr. and Mrs. Sewell Wardner; Mr. and Mrs. William Wardner, and son Arthur; Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Wardner and son, Morton (Mrs. Eugene (Vida) Freeman, postmaster, was a daughter of this family).
Mr. and Mrs. Charles H. Wardner and Mr. and Mrs. William Wardner lived in Lake Clear; Mr. and Mrs. Frank Wardner and daughter Doris; and Mr. and Mrs. Charles Atkinson Wardner and children lived in Rainbow Lake; Saranac Lake had Dr. and Mrs. William Wardner and their son LeRoy.
Property owned by Wardners in this area at that time included: Edgewood Farm, present home of Velma J. Wardner Emmons. The Wayne Wardner's owned what is now the home of Mr. and Mrs. David Jones; the Walter Wardner's had their home where George Branch and his family live.
Many of you will recall the Dr. Wardner property on Church Street in Saranac Lake.
Anyone driving through Rainbow Lake toward Onchiota will see a sign "Wardner Road." Turn here and the old Frank Wardner homestead can be seen on the right. The Charles Wardner property is also in this vicinity.
The Clark-Wardner Camps have a fascinating Adirondack history, best told by Charles Atkinson Wardner himself whose manuscript can be read in the Library of the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake.
This was torn down during the 1970's and the property was sold to small lots where now several people have their homes. Some year-round and others as summer residences.
After Charles H. Wardner's death, Lake Clear Inn was run by his son William.
One Wardner home, the Will Wardner property on West Main St., is now known as the Village Apartments. In 1895, Seth Wardner and his wife, Rachel, deeded the lovely home to his nephew William Wardner.
In 1964 the property was purchased by Betty Stoops (who also owned the Homestead at that time). In 1968 Watson Clark bought it and kept it for three years when it was taken over by Raymond Losso who was a member of the faculty of Paul Smith's College.
When he left the area he sold to the present owner who resides in Malone.
Neil and Diane Wardner Drew live in the home built by her father, Arthur B. Wardner. He had bought the lot from Will Wardner and Mallie Wardner Fribance, children of Charles H. Wardner of Lake Clear, in 1936. The Drews have one child, Kimberly.
The Cassin Cottage at the end of Maple Street next to Edgewood Farm was built by Seth Wardner in 1906 for a family in the New York City area who used it as a summer home. The cottage is now owned by Ruth Wardner Freeman, granddaughter of Seth.
At one time Charles H. Wardner lived in the present Thomas Norman, Sr. home on the Saranac Lake Road and his son William was born there in 1887.
Mrs. Fribance is the oldest living Wardner in the area and at 95 is a resident of Uihlein Mercy Center in Lake Placid, where she has lived since 1969.
The gradual migration, of Wardners from the Bloomingdale area over many years has resulted in these Wardner or their descendants living to the Plattsburgh area, Syracuse area, and the states of Tennessee, Nebraska, Florida and Connecticut.
Brighton History Days have been held one weekend each summer since 1994, sponsored by the Brighton Architectural Heritage Committee.