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Unexpected Lake George History

Lake George is known for its French and Indian War history, yet there’s more to the region’s past than muskets and Mohicans. Its timeline of local A-listers ranges from Georgia O’Keeffe to Rachael Ray.


Named for Greatness

Best known for reviving the Hacker-Craft brand after the Great Depression, Bill Morgan is quite the local legend among Lake George’s boating enthusiasts. In the 1980s, he paired up with the Wolgin family to construct an excursion boat for their newly acquired lakefront resort, The Sagamore Resort. The result? A 72-foot-long replica of a nineteenth-century touring vessel that still transports guests to some of the lake’s best views of the Adirondacks. In a tribute to its maker, the boat was named The Morgan.

Clock, Towering

Stop by Pumpernickel’s restaurant in Bolton Landing for a look at woodcraft with a side of old-world German food. You can’t miss the intricate 10-foot-tall clock enshrouded in carved deer, rabbits, birds, and oak leaves that’s considered the largest cuckoo clock in the United States and was displayed at the 1960s World Fair in New York City.

Georgia O’Keeffe’s Lake

Long before she was known for her New Mexico paintings of macroscopic flowers and arid landscapes, Georgia O’Keeffe summered in Lake George, capturing the Adirondack Mountains’ sunsets on canvas. While her paintings have been displayed at Glens Falls’s The Hyde Collection, the locally curated book Modern Nature: Georgia O’Keeffe and Lake George allows you to take a dive into the collection at a moment’s notice.

Rachael Ray, Yesterday

Before she got her start as a culinary celebrity, Rachael Ray worked at The Sagamore Resort as the manager of an Adirondack-inspired pub, now home to BRGR Kitchen & Bar. You can fuel up on your own 30-minute meal from the lineup of gourmet burgers and other pub favorites (steak frites, fish and chips, hot wings) or take more time to enjoy the coziness of the pub-like atmosphere, complete with antler chandeliers.

Diving into the Past

Want Lake George history below the surface? Seven perfectly preserved eighteenth-century boats sit just 25 to 50 feet below the Lake George waters in the Wiawaka Bateaux Cluster. Scuttled by colonial troops during the French and Indian War, they’re both a first-hand look at history and a novel chance to scuba dive in Upstate New York. The ships were placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992, so touching the delicate ships is prohibited.

Where to Stay The Sagamore Resort

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