History

The vast Adirondack Park is an enchanted wilderness, six million acres of green primeval forest known as the “North Woods.” Within this wild domain, there are thousands of pristine alpine lakes, hundreds of miles of mountain streams and rivers and 46 rugged peaks rising over 4,000 feet into the sky.

Considered one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world, the land is beautiful, vast, and mysterious. Members of the Algonquin tribe were called “bark-eaters” – Adirondack – by the Mohawk because they often subsisted on trees in wintertime. In the early days, only the most fiercely determined were able to survive in the great North Woods. Adirondack history abounds with stories of resolute men and women using the land and its abundance of raw materials to carve dreams out of the wilderness – from the first rustic lean-tos of 18th century trappers to the magnificent Great Camps of the Gilded Age. The new craft and architecture of the woods was so striking and distinctive that it became known as the “Adirondack style.” It is a legendary architectural heritage, unique in the world; and it has not only survived, but flourished.

In 1882, on the edge of a deep, pure lake named Placid, a German family built for themselves a rustic camp of shingle and stone. From the long, twig-framed porches they could sit all day and gaze at Whiteface Mountain’s mighty reflection in the still waters of the lake. The camp remained a private residence until 1946, when the property was sold and then reopened to the public as a hotel. Half a century later, new owners saw in the old property the spirit of a grand Adirondack camp in a remarkable setting. The Lodge was restored and refurbished, transformed into a destination renowned for outstanding cuisine, service and accommodations. But in the winter of 2005, a massive fire burned the original camp to the ground.

A team of architects and scores of local artisans immediately set to work. Their intent was not to simply rebuild the Lodge, but to create a hotel unrivaled anywhere, a celebration of luxury and comfort in the woods. The new Main Lodge is a majestic Arts and Crafts building on the scale of the Newport Cottages, with the heart of an Adirondack Great Camp.