Schroon's Steamboats

Photo: Courtesy Adirondack Museum

During the Golden Years of Schroon Lake  -- when big resorts and hotels attracted thousands here each year in the days before the automobile revolutionized travel -- holiday makers would spend the better part of a day getting here to experience the healing waters of our area lakes and our mountain fresh air.

That journey typically involved a train ride to Riparius, New York, and travel by horse drawn coach to the southern shores of Schroon Lake in Pottersville. From there travelers and their trunks would be transferred to a steamer, most likely the Effingham or the Evelyn.

The steamboat season for tourists was from June to October. For the other months  -- when the lake wasn’t frozen – the steamers were used to push logs down the lake into Schroon River.

This is just a tiny slice of Schroon and her steamboat history, which will be explored at length on Sunday, by Schroon Lake historian Ann Breen Metcalf at the Schroon North Hudson Historical Society’s Museum.

While a lot is known about the steamers – there are many missing pieces to this puzzle, and the historical society wants to bring folks together to help unravel some of the mysteries.

Photo: Schroon Laker Collection

The museum houses several artifacts from the Evelyn and the Effingham. As we reported recently, the museum’s annex now houses a large, wooden rudder from one of the steamers, just which one is a topic for debate and one Ann might shed some light on.

Also in their collection is the Effingham’s Compass. And outside, behind the annex, is the large propeller of the Effingham. It was discovered in 1978 by an amateur diver, Weston Cross Jnr, who was diving at the end of Dock Street.

Today the anchor is entombed in a thick concrete block, which museum curators hope one day to move to a more prominent location at the museum.

Photo: Schroon Laker Collection

Ann will talk about what became of the steamers – were they burned, scraped or sold off and transported to another lake? Folks with memories of the steamboat days, who may have photos, are encouraged to join the discussion.

Where and When: This Sunday, September 16, 2012. Schroon North Hudson Historical Society Museum at 2pm 1144 State Rt.9, Schroon Lake, New York 12870.