Remembering the History of Glens Falls, Queensbury and the Southern Adirondacks



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SENECA RAY STODDARD

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Exhibits at the Chapman Historical Museum

By Stage to Lake George

On exhibit through September 3

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Featured will be images of the stage coach trip that visitors in the 1870s experienced from the train station in Glens Falls to the Fort William Henry Hotel at the south end of Lake George. In addition to the Halfway House, highlights include the tollhouse in French Mountain, Bloody Pond, Col. Ephraim Williams’ monument, and the grounds of the hotel.

At the Half- way House in French Mountain, travelers encountered proprietor George Brown. Stoddard described the experience in his guidebook, Lake George Illustrated, published in 1873.

          …an extra dash of the horses, and we are brought up standing in front of the half-way house.  “Five minutes for refreshments!” said the driver, mentally charging Brown the price of a cigar, which bill is always honored when presented at the counter.

          The smiling landlord approached, rubbing his hands gleefully.  “Step out, gentlemen,” said he; “plenty of time while the horses are being watered.  Get your ladies up a nice lemonade, milk punch, or anything you want.”  Some of us took the lemonade plain, some with a “stick” in it, and some took the “stick” plain.  George is noted for his lemonades, with or without lemons.

          “What next, gentlemen?” said he, as he poured the last glass out of the tiny tin shaker and wiped the honest sweat from his brow.  Jack was very solemn as he said, in his most impressive style, “A glass of water, if you please, landlord.”

          “Certainly, certainly; right this way,” briskly  seizing hold of the ice pitcher.  “I de-clare I believe the ice is all out, said he, shaking it, “and I guess the water is a leetle warm; but I’ve got some first rate pop on ice.”  Of course the pop was ordered.  But Jack says the normal condition of the pitcher is to be without ice about stage time.

The display is a precursor of a larger exhibit, Water & Light: Stoddard’s Photos of Lake George

Pictured above: Seneca Ray Stoddard's Photograph of a group of men and women on the steps of the Half-way House on French Mountain.