Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Merrill House

Pages from one of the three hotel registers from the Merrill House on Upper Chateaugay Lake in the collection of the Franklin County Historical & Museum Society (1976.310.1)

Note the patrons from both the North Country and far-flung, exotic locales... like Newark, N.J.
July 17 &25, 1890:

Click image to enlarge
August 9, 1899:

Click image to enlarge
August 22, 1905 (in two parts):

Click images to enlarge

Merrill House was first opened by Darius Merrill, namesake of the hamlet of Merrill, just over the line into Clinton County.  Oliver Young acquired the hotel from Darius' son Shepherd, and expanded the hotel and added several ancillary businesses such as a telegraph office.  His daughter Marjorie ran the hotel from 1933-1963.   According to an 1889 travel guide, "Descriptive Guide to the Adirondacks" a night's stay at the Merrill House cost $2.00 and a week's lodging was between $10 and $15.  A meal could be had for $.75.  A reprint of Marjorie Young Reilly's account of the history of the hotel can be found here.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Loon Lake Hotel

Loon Lake House was opened by Ferd and Mary Chase in 1879 and stood as a magnificent Adirondack hotel until it burned in 1956.  This photo, from the collection of the Franklin County Historical & Museum Society, features the hotel staff in 1896: 

Click image to enlarge

For more information on the history of Loon Lake, visit the wonderful Town of Franklin website

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Franklin Academy Annual Exhibition 1863

From the collection of the Franklin County Historical & Museum Society (1974.190.1):

click to enlarge image

Every graduating class stands at the cusp of adulthood, both eager and anxious for the future.  The Franklin Academy class of 1863 was likely no different from those going before and coming after.  Those graduates were awarded diplomas on July 8 at an elaborate, afternoon and evening event that showcased the talents of students.  All this against the backdrop of a nation at war.  Earlier that week, the Battle of Gettysburg had begun in Pennsylvania.  The first Union Conscription Act was passed in March of that year, creating a draft.  Imagine the atmosphere of celebration and trepidation represented by this historical object.  Imagine the person who held this program in her hands, enjoying the music and orations, and thinking also of the local men who were dying in the war.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

F.A. ledgers

From the collection of the Franklin County Historical & Museum Society (1973.394.1):

Treasurer's accounts for Franklin Academy in 1862:

and 1864:

Click to enlarge image