Upper Saranac Association


In his A History of the Adirondacks, (v. 1, p. 318) Alfred L. Donaldson writes:

Mrs. Derby sold the Prospect House, in 1886, to Dr. Samuel B. Ward of Albany, and some other gentlemen, who incorporated as "The Upper Saranac Association." At the same time they secured control of the entire township surrounding the hotel—Township 20, Macomb's Purchase, Great Tract I. This contained 26,880 acres, and twenty-five years before had been lumbered over by C. F. Norton. During this time a merchantable second growth had matured, however, and the association dammed the outlet to Big Clear Pond, built a mill, and began to cut and saw logs for their own use and for sale. All their cutting was scientifically done, however, and they exercised every intelligent care for the conservation of the wood and game on their valuable preserve—which contains no less than fifty lakes, large and small.

They continued to run the hotel as a public house, but changed its name to "Saranac Inn." As such it has become one of the most popular and successful hotels in the mountains. It has been enlarged and improved, of course, but the original building has never been torn down.

One of the organizers of The Upper Saranac Association was Quincy Riddle, a lawyer of New York. He had a brother D. W. Riddle, who had gone to Saranac Lake for his health several years before. His condition having greatly improved, he was offered the position of manager at the new Saranac Inn. He accepted, and remained with the association until his death in 1913. During the later years, owing to failing health, his duties were lightened and he was given the title of superintendent. He died at a cottage of his own—"The Gables"—which he had built near the hotel.

Dr. Ward, the first president of the association and an ardent Adirondacker, was an Albany physician of note. He died in 1915. During his life he numbered many distinguished people among his friends and patients, and lured many of them to the inn or its neighborhood. Grover Cleveland spent several summers there, occupying a cottage belonging to Mr. Thomas Blagden, who owns a large estate near the hotel.


New York Times, May 18, 1889

UPPER SARANAC ASSOCIATION.

Albany, May 17.—Dr. Samuel B. Ward, George W. Riddle, Frederick H. Gibbons, and

William L. Riddle are the Trustees of the Upper Saranac Association, incorporated to-day, with a capital of $125,000, to purchase, improve, and sell real estate in Adirondack lands in Franklin County. These gentlemen are interested in the hotel which President Cleveland, made his home in the Adirondacks.


Franklin Gazette, August 12, 1898

A most important transfer of Adirondack property to the State was that of the Inn Company's lands, situated in Township 20, Great Tract one, Macomb's Purchase, in Franklin county, which took place a short time ago under Gov. Black's forestry law. The Inn Company, or Upper Saranac Assocation, received its title to the property through redemption upon payment in full of all the back taxes claimed by the State, including the 10 percent interest, all amounting to between $30,000 and $40,000.

The township is particularly rich in splendid forests and numerous lakes and ponds, affording the best of speckled and lake trout fishing, and the shores of which are valuable campgrounds. Among the bodies of water situated on this tract are Little Clear Pond, Hoel Pond, Long Pond, St. Regis Pond, Otter Pond, Turtle, Middle, Slang and Little Ponds, Clamshell Pond, East Pine Pond, Rollins, Square, Ledger, Round and Mountain Ponds.

The association has not only zealously protected the, forests and the game, but it has abundantly stocked the waters every year from the State hatchery which is situated on an inlet of the Upper Saranac Lake, and about one mile from it, so that the back ponds afford splendid sport for fly fishermen.

It has been the object of the association to preserve the forests in such condition as to have a protected watershed, to prevent forest fires and to assist in enforcing the fish and game laws so as to preserve the number of fish and deer. This territory is now open to the public for hunting and fishing purposes, and the crowds of early fishermen which appeared at the Inn this year indicate that this fact is being appreciated by the sporting fraternity.


New York Times, April 2, 1911

TO DROP NAME OF SARANAC.

Upper Saranac Lake Property Owners Seek to Rechristen Locality.

The name Saranac, which is applied to so many places in the Adirondack Mountains as to be confusing, is to be dropped by at least one locality. The members of the Upper Saranac Association, embracing the owners of camp sites and other property along the upper Saranac Lake, are now seeking a new name for that locality, and there have been several meetings in New York to that end. It is proposed to select some appropriate title which will mean as much or more than the name Upper Saranac has done.

Among the campers and owners of property interested in the proposed change, are John G. Agar, E. P. Swenson, S. A. Swenson, I. N. Seligman, John R. Dunlop, Adolph Lewisohn, S. A. Colgate, and other New Yorkers. Several names have been submitted, but a selection has not yet been made.

The well-known Saranac Club will adopt the name of Bartlett's. The club property is situated on the "carry" between the Upper and Middle Saranac Lakes, and was developed as a resort many years ago by an Adirondack character known as "Virge" Bartlett.

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