History & Historic Sites

History comes alive

We are known for our amazing Great Camps, but of course, our history didn't begin with the popularization of these Camps. From our first settlements to logging villages to mountain exploration, we have a long history. Historical societies and museums are located throughout the region which celebrate our history and create opportunities for visitors and residents alike to learn more about this unique area. These destinations are staffed by talented, welcoming volunteers and staff and love to share their knowledge with visitors of all ages.

Small towns, big outdoors, fascinating history

Hamilton County is home to both great history and sites full of it, places where you can stand and be in the same spot where remarkable things, big or small, happened. The first hotel in the nation to have electricity was right here in beautiful Blue Mountain Lake. Painter Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait, a British-American artist whose work was printed by Currier & Ives, painted throughout the area, and you can even view his work! Throughout the region, small town history museums and historical societies celebrate the ordinary people who made the area a home and what it is today.

Doe and Two Fawns, Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait. 1882.

The ADKX

Known as the "Smithsonian of the Adirondacks," the extensive campus of The Adirondack Experience, the Museum on Blue Mountain Lake (ADKX) is the beloved repository of some of the Adirondacks' most cherished stories, where historic artifacts and even entire structures are preserved here for all to appreciate for generations. From the indigenous art to the cabin of famous Adirondack hermit Noah Rondeau, the collections are wide-ranging and endlessly fascinating.

A cabin on display inside a museum.

Great Camps

Hamilton County is fortunate to have been part of the early history of vacationing in the Adirondacks. The Adirondack Great Camp tradition began in the late 19th century soon after the publication of William H. H. Murray's Adventures in the Wilderness in 1869. This highly popular book was an account of Murray's various camping, hunting, and fishing trips in the Adirondack wilderness.

Murray's book put the Adirondack Mountains and Hamilton County on the map as a tourist destination, inspiring men and women from cities downstate to "vacate" the city in the summer. Grand hotels were soon built and the rich and famous from around the world were soon spending their summers here, building luxuriously rustic summer compounds.

Today, tour Great Camps by boat or even spend the night at a real historical treasure. Here, you're not just learning about history, you're living it!

A great camp rec room with lodge style interior.

 

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(315) 826-7109

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3158267109
715 State Route 8
Hoffmeister, NY 13353
Visit this 1835 year old Church complete with historical information. The Methodist Episcopal Church now houses a local history museum with many old photographs of people and the locale, family histories and memorabilia. Special annual exhibits.

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(315) 357-2896

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3153572896
149 Route 28
Inlet, NY 13360
Open from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, mid-June through mid-September.

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(315) 357-6494

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3153576494
166 Route 28 PO Box 274
Inlet, NY 13360
We are a public library that's open to all residents. We have books, movies, and books on CD available to borrow. We also have a used book sale for anyone who is interested.

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(518) 548-4478

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5185484478
2885 Route 8 Box 103
Speculator, NY 12164
Speculator Lake Pleasant Historical Society Inc. Website Email: lakespec@yahoo.com Museum Hours:

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(518) 352-7311

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5183527311
9097 Route 30
Blue Mountain Lake, NY 12812
New Season, New Experiences The newly renamed Adirondack Experience, The Museum on Blue Mountain Lake is open for its 60th season, offering the most immersive and diverse visitor experience in its six decades.

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(315) 354-5311 ext.21

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3153545311,21
Sagamore Road
Raquette Lake, NY 13436
Welcome to Great Camp Sagamore in the Adirondacks at Raquette Lake, NY. Our 27 authentic National Historic Landmark designated buildings were the wilderness estate of the Vanderbilt family from 1901-1954.

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(315) 354-5532

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3153545532
254 Antlers Road
Raquette Lake, NY 13436
ALL ABOARD! The best way to enjoy beautiful Raquette Lake is from the deck of the W.W. Durant. Cool breezes. Breathtaking scenery. Fascinating history. Scrumptious food.
WW Durant Boat on the lake with mountains in background
Speculator, NY 12164
Off South Shore Road in Lake Pleasant, a trail leads to an old cemetery containing the grave of Colonel Loring Peck, Hamilton County's only Revolutionary War officer.
State Route 30
Speculator, NY 12164
The historic Makomis fire tower has been relocated to the Sacandaga River Community Park in Speculator NY, and is now open to visitors. The tower will be open from dawn to dusk, 7 days a week, 365 days a year (weather permitting). And it's free!
Take a lovely stroll around Speculator and see the newly restored fire tower.
Piseco Lake Historical Society
155 Old Piseco Road
Piseco, NY 12139
Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts

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(518) 352-7715

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5183527715
3446 Route 28
Blue Mountain Lake, NY 12812
Adirondack - Sacandaga River Sculpture Park

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(518) 774-6641

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5187746641
New York State Route 30 -South Main Street
Wells, NY 12190
Long Lake Camp Inc.

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(518) 624-4831

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5186244831
83 Long Lake Camp Way
Long Lake, NY 12847
The Fulton Chain History (Herrstory Publications)

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(315) 357-2186

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3153572186
PO Box 664
Inlet, NY 13360
Indian Lake Museum

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(518) 648-5377

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5186485377
6355 State Route 30
Indian Lake, NY 12842