Waterhole No. 3 Washer's Tire Vulcanizing, 1918. Courtesy of James Rudi Snyder

Address: 48 Main Street

Old Address: 43 Main Street

Other names: Washer's Tire Vulcanizing (1918), Washington Market (1925), Lawrence's livery, Ryan's livery,1 Mike & Sandy's Lunch Room (at least 1948 to 1968, Mike and Sandy Mitchell)

Year built: Before 1895 (Sanborn Maps)

Other information: The Waterhole is a popular bar that opened on Main Street in 1970; it was named for a 1967 comedy western, Waterhole #3 staring James Coburn. Judith "Fi" Gamsu owned and operated the Waterhole #3 from the mid-1970s until 1986. Later, it was taken over by Billy Allen.

Adirondack Daily Enterprise, May 1, 1970

Cool Waters

by Bill McLaughlin

On the parched days of summer when the throat becomes a rasping, dust-filled gap it is very likely that the wayward wayfarer will wander into Waterhole No. 3 to assuage his thirst.

Mike Devlin apparently was looking that far ahead when he named the new bistro, just kitty corners to Little Joe's and directly across from the "crow bar hotel" "The Waterhole."

Strangely enough the Waterhole has wider appeal than originally intended. People figured that its primary concern was to take the overflow and cast offs from "The Store," which we never thought well named at all.

The Waterhole is now drawing a segment of the more settled citizenry on their way home from an evening stroll and they have given it what would amount to rave notices, in showbiz, parlance.

It is very difficult to write about a place where you have never been but since Mike thumbed down the traditional ribbon cutting as too establishment anyway, the newspaper should take an extra step in retrospect to wish the place bon voyage.

Little Joe, an arch rival of the Waterhole, is very irked at the Enterprise and in spite of our long-standing personal friendship his all-encompassing irksomeness is so solidly anti-Enterprise that he is even irked at his press relations counselor... namely myself!

In a couple of years or so it may be safe to go in again and pass the time of day with the gentleman who controls the west end of the Main Street wailing wall and who is the acknowledged pace setter for the policies which will affect other members of the neon beverage combine.

Mike Devlin was kind enough to drop in to the Enterprise a few months ago to establish cordial relations with the fourth estate and we have been watching the bloom of his evening orchid with considerable interest.

People out for a drive will make a special effort to pass by the front entrance of the Waterhole to see the more springlike antics of our transient youth bubbling over with seasonal gusto as it is very apparent during the equinox.

The old timers are inclined to cluck and shake their heads at the display of lithe limb and spicy lingo forgetting the days when Will Herron's front steps was the Broadway congregating place of the amorous males of the early thirties. If a girl wasn't whistled at in front of Herron's social center she either went into a convent, joined the Salvation Army or took the gas pipe.

So perhaps the Waterhole will take its place in the nouveau establishment which is overcoming the established establishment and, when dog days come around in August, we will perhaps drop by the copper bar for a foamy lager to determine if Mike is living up to his potential in every sense of the word.

Adirondack Daily Enterprise, October 1, 1970

Students of 2 Colleges Unite to Clean Up S.L. River


Would you believe a baby stroller? How about a Christmas tree, a snow shovel, a grocery store shopping cart and a 1934 newspaper?

These were some of the items which students from Paul Smith's College and the North Country Community College found in the Saranac River yesterday as they were working on their "River Revival" project. Some 35 students from the two colleges worked for three and one-half hours yesterday afternoon, cleaning trash and debris out of the river.

Perhaps the most unusual item found was a large spool of industrial cable. The students figured that the spool was most likely the property of the Niagara-Mohawk Power Company, so they rolled the spool down Main Street to the company's offices.

At first the company was uncertain that the cable belonged to it, but this morning Mr. Clark Barlett, head of the local office, confirmed that the spool belonged to Niagara Mohawk. Mr. Barlett said that the cable had disappeared from the company's backyard over a month ago.

In regard to the student's clean-up project, Mr. Barlett said, "We certainly appreciate their cleaning up the river, and we thank them for returning our cable."

Mrs. Charles Finning of 24 McClelland in Saranac Lake also had reason to be grateful to the students. Her wallet, which had been stolen from the Western Union office where she works two weeks ago, was found in the river by Dave Duerr, a student at Paul Smith's. Mrs. Finning said that she was very happy to get the wallet back, as it contained the last pictures taken of her late mother when she was still alive. In all, the students collected three truck loads of trash from the river, all of which they deposited at the town dump. They said that the trash included a lot of cans end other household trash, and that it looked as if a lot of people had been using the river as a garbage dump.

After the project was completed, the students were cold, wet and tired, but very happy with their work. "We should do it more often," one said. Another commented that the project had helped to build "a good relationship between the students of the two colleges."

The boys also sang the praises of the four girls who took part and said that the girls did a great deal of hard work. Three girls received minor cuts for their efforts, but, undaunted, they persevered.

The group, known as Grogan's Heroes, after Bill Grogan of Waterhole No. 3 who organized the "Revival," expressed appreciation to Dean William Borzilleri and to Mr. Robert Brown of North County Community College, both of whom took an active part in the project. Dean Borzilleri worked along with the students in the river, and Mr. Brown supplied hot coffee and helped to co-ordinate the work.

Other laurels went to Moody's Sales and Service, who supplied the boats, and to the village for providing the truck.

The students said that the most common reaction of the townspeople to the project was surprise. "Some people seemed to think we were crazy to do it," one participant said. But other spectators were more appreciative.

Worn out as they were when it was all over, the students said they were anxious to do more work of this type. If you know of something to be done, they said, contact Mr. Brown at NCCC.

Adirondack Daily Enterprise, June 18, 1952

Our Town

By Eddie Vogt

In Mike and Sandy's place on Main street there is a museum piece that may bring back memories to many of you. It is called a Violano Virtuoso — or a combination player-piano and player violin — which superseded the present-day juke box. It plays by music roll, with the piano on one side and the violin on the other, and it is arranged so that you can cut off either of the instruments should you want to. A plate states that it was patented in 1912, and Mike tells me they were very popular around 1930 and sold for about $1,800 when he bought it. He originally had it in the shoe shine shop on Broadway, where the Army store is now. At the present time, one of the strings on the violin needs fixing, but he has promised to play it for me some day.

I am anxious to see if it has a favorite roll of mine — "When Your Old Wedding Ring Was New."

Other historic properties



1. Per Phil "Bunk" Griffin