Lake George Hotels

Lake George Hotels – A Short History

If one was to peruse a History of Lake George, you’re immediately struck by the amount of large hotels that have populated the shores and Village of Lake George and the proliferation of fires that destroyed most of them.

Lake George HotelsLake George was called The Town of Caldwell from it’s inception by James Caldwell in 1810 ’till 1962 when it was renamed Lake George Village. (Click image left for a larger version.)  Tourists began arriving in Lake George soon after Robert Fulton made the run from New York City to Albany aboard his steamship the Clermont in 1807. Stage coaches started operating between Albany and Lake George.
Fort William Henry Hotel was built in 1855 and by 1862 15,000 guests passed through or stayed in Lake George (Caldwell).

RogersRockHotel21869-1882 – Was the golden age of stagecoach travel to Lake George.  Rogers Rock Hotel (pictured left) was built in 1874.  By 1876 there were 20 hotels clustered around the southern end of Lake George.  1882 – the train arrives in Lake George. This was the death knell for the stagecoach age.

Lake George HotelsIn 1883 John Boulton Simpson as president of the Green Island Improvement Corp. builds the Sagamore Club House on Green Island.  He launched his yacht, the Fanita, in 1890. It was the most palatial private yacht on the lake – 80 feet long and steam powered.  Image is of the Sagamore from a 1907 Post Card.

Lake George HotelsIn 1893 – the original Sagamore Club House burns to the ground.  In 1894 – the second Sagamore Club House opens with many added amenities.  1895 – a 1.4 mile Otis Incline Railway built up the side of Prospect Mountain. A day trip to Prospect Mountain was a popular pastime. Visitors could eat, dance and find lodging at the Prospect Mountain House – Lake George pictured below with the railway up Prospect Mt.   1909 – Fort William Henry burns to the ground.  1911 – the second Fort William Henry opens.  1914 – the second Sagamore Club House is destroyed by fire.   In 1922 – a third Sagamore Hotel opens.

The History of the Georgian Resort was that it actually was one of the first motels in the Village with all the previous accommodations being hotels or houses converted into hotels.  The Mansion House (built in 1801) was the precursor of the Georgian Resort and operated as a hotel and the motel was built alongside it.  The property was sold in 1955 and the new owners razed the house to build the motel units still in use today.

Mansion2
Lake George Hotels