Caddy House, built in 1895, may have been designed by Stanford White. From 1946 through 1966 is served as a Golf Pro Shop and Post Office. It is now a private home. Irish House, originally an annex of the hotel, it was built about 1905. It was operated as an inn from 1958 to the late 1970s. It is now a private residence. Irish House interior Loon Lake boathouses. The one at left, Twin Pines, housed the hotel's launch, WHOISSHE, so called because it was only sent out for the most important visitors, thus piquing the curiosity of onlookers. Seven Keys boathouse
Loon Lake is a hamlet in the northern portion of the town of Franklin; it is named after a small lake. Monroe Hall, of Plattsburgh, built a mill on the outlet of Loon Lake about 1840.
Paul Smith got his start as a guide at Loon Lake, and started his first hotel there in 1848, and his second venture, "Hunter's Home", built on 200 acres on the north branch of the Saranac River was nearby. He continued in that location until 1858, when he moved to Lower St. Regis Lake.
The area was first reached by railroad in 1887 from Plattsburgh via the Chateaugay Railroad; later, a spur railroad was built from Loon Lake Station, four miles west to the DeBar Mountain tract for hauling timber and pulp-wood. Trains continued to stop at Loon Lake until 1946.
The Loon Lake House, established in 1879, was a grand hotel that catered to "sportsmen and pleasure seekers", built by Ferdinand W. Chase from Vermont in 1878; it started with thirty-one sleeping rooms, but grew to a capacity of 500. The property grew to include a tract of over four thousand acres, a large hotel building, two annexes, and a number of cottages and boat houses, as well as an 18-hole, PGA golf course, a tennis court, pool and billiard parlors, and a bowling alley. It went bankrupt in the early 1930s, but continued in business through the early 1950s, when it was used as a summer camp. It burned to the ground on September 19, 1956. By 1958, the property had been auctioned; many of the cottages were purchased by families that had rented them for years while the hotel was operating. Today, the hamlet's population is largely seasonal.
In the 1930s, Loon Lake, along with surrounding villages, voted to send their high school age students to Saranac Lake High School.
Plattsburgh Sentinel, May 31, 1889
—Most of the farmers have their crops in.
—There are a good many potatoes for sale here. They can be bought at a fair price.
—The rear of the combined drive of logs, passed under the bridge, at Hunter's Home, on Saturday last. Now the drive is toy us, the fishing la the river is good.
—The weather has been cloudy most of the time since a week ago last Saturday.
—The minister from Vermontville will be at the schoolhouse at Hunter's Home on Friday, and will preach at half-past seven in the evening. This work, it is hoped, will continue thro' the coming year. Willis McCasland, (the teacher at Hunter's Home,) walked to Vermontville for the purpose of arranging to get the minister to come.
Plattsburgh Sentinel, May 1, 1903
FIERCE FOREST FIRES.
Raging Through the Adirondack Region,
Loon Lake, c. 1920 <hsl> Loon Lake from Crusher Mountain, 2012 (Wikipedia)
LARGE HOTELS THREATENED.
Thousands of Acres of Timber Burned Over.
The most extensive forest fires in the past ten years are now raging in the Adirondacks, and so threatening have they become that yesterday the Chateaugay Ore & Iron Company sent every man they could spare from their mines at Lyon Mountain to fight the fire fiend. Employees of the Chateaugay railroad were also detailed for the same work, and it is estimated that fully 1500 men were engaged in checking the progress of the flames, which can only be entirely extinguished by rain.
LOON LAKE AND ROCKEFELLER.
Great damage is reported to the Loon Lake hotel property and the Rockefeller estate, which covers over 50,000 acres of land, and upon which a vast amount of money has been expended in macadamized roads, artificial ponds and camps. The Rockefeller camps are located about Big Bay pond but no damage has been done to the building. Crowds are fighting the fires, and it is believed they are under control.
Plattsburgh Sentinel, June 16, 1922
SANATORIUM PROPERTY BURNED AT LOON LAKE
Property Owned By H. C. Ricketson, of This City, Loss Estimated At $10,000.
Fire of unknown origin completely destroyed the main building on the property known as the "old Merrill farm" at Loon Lake owned by H.C. Ricketson, of this city, shortly after 5 o'clock Monday evening. The property was formerly operated by Mrs. Margaret Merrill as a sanatorium under the name of the Loon Lake Sanatorium, 1 and is three miles distant from the Loon Lake Hotel. The loss is estimated at $10,000.
The fire was discovered by Frank Howe of the Loon Lake Hotel as he was driving along the road which passes the property. He sent at once to the Loon Lake Hotel for fire extinguishers, but these arrived too late to allow of the saving of the main building. A strong wind was blowing from the northwest, and within two hours the structure had burned to the ground.
The out-buildings of the property were saved by the work of the neighbors. When they arrived the ice house had caught fire from sparks from the main building, but this was kept under control.
The building destroyed was remodelled by Mrs. Merrill at the time she turned the farm into a sanatorium. The property was at one time used as the summer home of Miss Marion Manola, an actress who was famous 15 or 20 years ago. It passed into the hands of Mr. Ricketson when he foreclosed a mortgage on the place about three years ago. Since then it has been occupied only during the summer when it was rented as a camp.