River Street, with Lake Flower in the foreground, Mount McKenzie, center horizon. Aerial view of River Street, early 1960s. Street numbers for River Street addresses are in red (Click to enlarge). Adirondack Daily Enterprise, August 18, 2001
One of the original streets of the village, River Street was originally a lane that ran from the Old Military Road as it passed through the Pines, where Jacob Moody lived (between Moody Pond and Pine Ridge Cemetery), to the dam on the Saranac River built by Captain Pliny Miller, at what would become the foot of Main Street. (It seems logical that a path would be worn between the homes of the first two settlers.) When the village addresses were changed as part of the implementation of the 911 Emergency Response System, the last tenth of a mile after it leaves the shore of Lake Flower was renamed Brandybrook Avenue, after Brandy Brook, which the street parallels as it drains Moody Pond into Lake Flower.
|Old Address||Post-911 Address||Building Name/Notes||Cure Evidence|
|Starts at Main Street (the LaPan Highway continues west|
||Hale Cottage 2||SLD1902|
|2 River Street||
||River Street Bandstand|
|8 River Street||9 River Street||8 River Street||TBSBC, DIS|
|Passes St. Bernard Street|
|11 River Street||River Street||Riverside Garage, Original location of the Troy Laundry, Cure Cottages, p. 66|
|12 River Street||Shackett Cottage, first location of Leonard's||DIS 1911|
|13 River Street||
||Bebo and Shaw, Scientific Horseshoeing|
|14 River Street||23 River Street||
||Lake Flour Bakery|
|15 River Street||
||Fred Colbath's Boat Line|
|20 River Street||37 River Street||20 River Street, Cure Cottages, p. 80||SLA1935, PHR1930, TBSWC, DIS|
|21 River Street||Lake Flower Laundry|
|22 River Street||41 River Street||Joseph Roberts Cottage||DIS|
|24 River Street||43 River Street||24 River Street||DIS|
|24 ½ River Street||31 River Street||24 1/2 River Street||TBSWC|
|25 River Street||
||Fred Colbath garage and home|
|26 River Street||47 River Street||
||Turner Cottage 3||DIS 1931|
|28 River Street||49 River Street||28 River Street, Image||TBSBC|
|30 River Street||63 River Street||Colbath Cottage/St. Bernard's convent, Image||SLD1906, TBSWC, DIS 1911|
|34 River Street||47 River Street||
||34 River Street||DIS 1912|
|35 River Street||Now Riverside Park||Thomas Boat Landing|
|42 River Street||83 River Street||
||42 River Street, Image||SLA1935, PHR1930|
|55 River Street||now Prescott Park||
|Passes Church Street|
|57 River Street||
||E. Torrence Cottage||DIS 1912|
|60 River Street||
||60 River Street||DIS 1931|
|62 River Street||
||62 River Street, Marty's Grocery, Wardner's Grocery, Donnelly's Grocery|
|63 River Street||now Prescott Park||
||Corey Cottage||DIS 1931|
|65 River Street||now Prescott Park||
||Was 65-67 River Street: see 67 River Street||DIS 1931|
|66 River Street||
||H. Lobdell Cottage||DIS 1931|
|67 River Street||now Prescott Park||67 River Street||DIS 1931|
|95 River Street||now Prescott Park||
||Lamy Cottage||DIS 1931|
|Passes Shepard Avenue|
|102 River Street||137 River Street||102 River Street|
|103 River Street||now Prescott Park||
||103 River Street||DIS 1931|
|104 River Street||141 River Street||
||104 River Street||DIS 1931|
|109 River Street||
||James J. Duquette, Paperhanger|
|110 River Street||151 River Street||
||110 River Street|
|111 River Street||
||111 River Street|
|116 River Street||163 River Street||
||116 River Street||TBSBC, DIS|
|116 River Street||
||119 River Street, Baker-Keough Marine|
|120 River Street||175 River Street||
||120 River Street, M.E. Elliott Fish, Fruit Vegetables, Oysters||SLD1906, TBSBC, DIS|
|122 River Street||169 River Street||
|123 River Street||
||Tom Thumb Golf|
|125 River Street||
|126 River Street||181 River Street||126 River Street|
|127 River Street||
||127 River Street, Jay's Auto Supply (1928), Vahl's Garage (1950)|
|128 River Street||185 River Street||
|128 1/2 River Street||187 River Street||New Curling Rink, Madden's Transfer and Storage||TBSBC|
|130 River Street||
|132 River Street||193 River Street||North Elba Town House||TBSWC|
|134 River Street||Shields Cottage||TBSWC, DIS 1934|
|136 River Street||203 River Street||
||Appleyard Cottage||TBSBC, DIS 1911|
|Lake Flower Avenue continues south from this point. Before 2004 River Street continued on what is now Brandy Brook Avenue|
|138 River Street||3 Brandy Brook Avenue||River Street School|
|145 River Street||
||145 River Street (now Gauthier's Motel)||DIS|
|148 River Street||15 Brandy Brook Avenue||
|147 River Street||
||Kingston Cottage||DIS 1911|
|150 River Street||25 Brandy Brook Avenue||150 River Street, Original Moody homestead, General Ice Cream|
|151 River Street||Brandy Brook Avenue||Captain Thomas Cottage (torn down), Cure Cottages, p. 105|
|154 River Street||
||See 150 River Street|
|155 River Street||34 Brandy Brook Avenue||
||155 River Street|
|157 River Street||38 Brandy Brook Avenue||
|159 River Street||42 Brandy Brook Avenue||
||159 River Street||USC1910|
|175 River Street||167 River Street||
Looking east from the corner of River Street and St. Bernard street, a spot that may have once been known as Riverside Square, this photo includes a shadow portrait of the photographer, believed to be George W. Baldwin, in the afternoon light. The "carbonated beverage" wagon heading up St. Bernard Street is the conveyance of I. Merkel and Sons, a Plattsburgh bottling outfit that had apparently bought the Adirondack Bottling Works by 1896. The white building on the left houses Leonard & Co., clothing purveyors; they later moved to Main Street above Berkeley Square. Right foreground is a shed, and beyond it is the store of Henry West, Boots & Shoes. The location is confirmed by the 1895 Sanborn map, but the photo could have been taken as early as 1885, when the businesses were advertised in the Enterprise at these locations. Barbara Parnass made the print for the library from Baldwin's glass plate negative. Adirondack Daily Enterprise, October 6, 2012
River Street, 1909, photographed from Blood Hill. Street numbers for River Street are shown in red. For the full photograph, see Saranac Lake Village, c. 1909 The key to identifying this photo, printed from a glass plate by Barbara Parnass, is the light-colored building on the right with distinctive towers on the corners. Looking east on River Street from the corner of Church Street, the photographer William Kollecker shot an oncoming marching band surrounded by a gang of little boys in knickers. The building appears on the 1908 Sanborn map as "tenement," numbered 65-67. Just in front of it is an irregular mass that the map identified as a wood pile. The photo dates before the next map was made in 1916, since by then the wood pile is gone. There were apparently three apartments on each side, as the 1908 city directory shows tenants Mrs. Ann Graham, with Margaret and Mary; Fred Gross; and Beatrice, Julia and Marie La Boissiere in No. 65. No. 67 housed J. Stewart Clare, George M. and Ester L. Perry, and John Shields. Joseph and Alida Paye occupied No. 61, one of the houses on the right, and Frank Sheldon was across the street in No. 64. In 1975 the tenement, acquired from the Jack Beardsleys, and all the buildings on the right were cleared away to open the view of Lake Flower and create Riverside Park. Adirondack Daily Enterprise, October 29, 2011
Adirondack Daily Enterprise, December 18, 1967
New Roads Planned for Saranac Lake
The Saranac Lake Village Board at its regular meeting tonight, will consider the tentative plans of the State Department of Transportation (formerly the Department of Public Works) for highway construction in and around the village.
A letter to Village Manager Stanley Savarie, accompanied by a large hand-drawn map the indicated new roads arrived at the village office late Friday from Frank J. Fuller, district engineer.
The purpose of the letter and the sketched map was "to bring you up to date on our progress," Fuller wrote.
Mr. Fuller explained to Mr. Savarie this morning by telephone that the map represented his department's present ideas on the village roads but made clear that this present thinking was open to criticism and discussion, and was not final. Fuller indicated his department's desire to work with village officials to develop a program which would be in the best interests of the village.
One new route is the continuation of the George LaPan Highway across Main Street. The projected continuation starts out on the present River Street but straightens it, cutting right along the shore of Lake Flower, and apparently eliminating the present village beach.
This road continues to the triangle near the River Street School and the Bank of Lake Placid office. From this point several new roads are envisaged. The main road toward Lake Placid, presumably four-lane, follows a line just below Winona Avenue until it meets the present Lake Flower Avenue at a point close to Merrill.
In addition, the map shows another new road which follows close to Lake Flower and is a by-pass of the main road. This by-pass does not exactly follow the present Lake Flower Ave. but provides access to the motels and restaurants which constitute a major tourist section of the village.
The main road and the bypass meet near Merrill Street and continue on toward Lake Placid but the map received Friday does not extend much beyond Merrill.
In his letter, Mr. Fuller explains, "As you know, a ground survey of River Street to Lake Flower Avenue was completed last winter. The Survey was plotted and design will be progressed this winter with anticipated completion (of the design) in a year. The construction contract hopefully would be let in the summer of 1968."
This main new road plan follows generally the proposals made by the village and town combined Planning Boards. The plan originally differed considerably from the proposal made by the Department of Public Works but the state engineers seem to have gone far in meeting the wishes of the local authorities.
Another turn-off from the triangle would join another new road which would follow the present roadbed of the New York Central railroad from a point near Turtle Pond all the way to the junction of Broadway near Ampersand Avenue.
On this proposal, Mr. Fuller writes as follows: "Our proposal for Route 86, as we have previously discussed, is to leave the existing highway location somewhere in the vicinity of Turtle Pond and occupy the New York Central Railroad bed northerly to the vicinity of Ampersand Avenue. This, of course, hinges on the availability of the right-of-way after action by the Interstate Commerce Commission. Although we did not show it on the large map, we are also considering McKenzie Pond Road for New Route 86, but may encounter higher property damage."
Another new road included on the map starts on Main Street from Academy Street, turns left at Church Street, apparently cutting off a very small piece of the corner property but no building, then near (or through?) the A. and P., across Bloomingdale Avenue, cutting out the Belvedere Restaurant, probably Mrs. Helen Sarbanes' dwelling at 72 Bloomingdale Avenue, some other buildings, and again reaches Bloomingdale Ave. at a point past the Old Military Estates.
Finally, there is a suggestion of the possibility of a road from the triangle behind Moody Pond and then reaching Bloomingdale Ave. near the point where the steep road up to the Trudeau Road and the American Management Association facilities.
On this last proposal, Mr. Fuller writes:
"The extension of River Street easterly around Moody Pond and northerly to form a relocation of Route 3, is being mapped by aerial methods to provide us data to develop a location plan. This mapping will be delivered in January 1968, and we shall commence location work with an anticipated completion during June 1968. Upon approval, we will conduct a Public Hearing and begin design which should take about a year."
Lake Placid News, March 18, 1976
An Explanation of River Street Plans
By HOWARD RILEY
SARANAC LAKE-The dirigible of hope for this stricken village, beautification of the Lake Flower shoreline, was nearly shot down by a burst of misunderstanding.
Despite years of planning and public hearings, there are so many people here who do not know that the reconstruction of River Street is merely an extension of the George LaPan Highway. Some had believed erroneously that it will be a replica of the Adirondack Northway, center mall and all.
State officials, exasperated by criticism at the eleventh hour, were on the verge of scrapping the entire project. Department of Transportation (DOT) officials had taken painstaking steps to be sure that this section of highway (0.6 miles) was being built how and where the community wanted it.
Approval had been given by planning boards, various village boards (over the years), and the Village Improvement Society. Copies of alternate plans had been presented and explained at public hearings. Plans had been displayed in office windows on Main Street and hung in the village office where any interested citizen could examine them.
THE STATE is now going ahead with the highway extension after another unanimous resolution of support from the Village Board.
The four lanes of the highway will be fifty feet wide with nine feet on each side for sidewalks and a mall separating the sidewalk from the curb.
As an example, when the highway is completed the new sidewalk will reach only to within two feet of the present beach house site Many newtwo lane highways are 50 feet wide with 12 foot paved shoulders.
A common misconception has the highway taking almost all the land between the present highway and the lake. The highway was designed for quite the opposite purpose —to save and beautify as much of that shoreline as possible.
It is true that some taxable property and the municipal beach will be removed. But again, many of the businesses will be relocated and remain on the tax rolls. The beach relocation project will be examined in detail here next week.
There are fourteen businesses or residences plus some vacant land that will be removed for the highway. The first to go was the Buick-Pontiac Garage owned by Dick Gladd. That was located next to Riverside Park and was sold to the state and torn down in 1970. Mr. Gladd moved his business to Tupper Lake.
PAUL AND Jean Mace ran B. J.' s diner at the former Thomas Boat Landing site. They did not relocate but it was one of the reasons that Mr. and Mrs. Richard Jewtraw bought and remodeled a Broadway eatery now known as DJ's Rustic Restaurant.
Bob Nadon who operated the Gulf Service station next to the beach now operates the Blue Sunoco Station on Broadway.
One of the nicest buildings lost to the highway was the Lake View Restaurant owned and operated since 1947 by Mr. and Mrs. James Brearton. The Breartons have retired and now live at the DeChantel Apartments. The Ronald Fina residence is the next building, they have moved elsewhere in town.
The home right on the lake shore is the residence of Mrs. Edmund Lamy and her daughter, Eugenia. That building and the large, vacant adjacent lot, belonging to George Riebel will be the area of the boat launching site. This is a project of the Environmental Conservation Department.
THE BLUE Sunoco service station that stood next to the North Country Community College (NCCC) gymnasium (old armory) will be rebuilt on the opposite side of River Street where the Wardner Store stood and will take the adjacent, abandoned Mobil Station.
Not only will the village not lose this tax base but a bigger, new building will eliminate that other eyesore.
The NCCC gym was built for and known as The Saranac Lake Boys Club in the 1920s. It is an architectural gem with huge wooden beams and a copper roof probably worth $2000. And here there is a strange twist in ownership. The state had previously owned the building (when it was an armory) and sold it to the village for one dollar. The village sold the building to the College for one dollar and now the College has sold it back to the state for more than $50,000.
Now the final irony would be the village having to buy back that portion not needed for the highway, but that is not the case. That piece is being deeded back to the village by the college.
THE ARRON Hoyt Dodge-Chrysler Garage will build a new building in or very near the village. James Hoyt said Monday that the final decision on the site had not been made.
The last business (or the first depending on which way you're traveling) on the street was the Esso Station operated by John and Charles DeLancett for the past sixteen years. That building was owned by Harlan Hunkins of Lake Placid. Mr. Hunkins of the Raeoil Company purchased the previously vacant Atlantic Station on Lake Flower Avenue and the DeLancett s are in business there.
The Village then has four of the major displaced businesses along River Street relocating or rebuilding and the other moves generating some stimulation of the economy.
NEW YORK STATE has paid the Village of Saranac Lake $110,972.50 for the village owned property along the proposed highway which represents all but about $2000 of the total.
The village must then buy those portions of private property along the lake that are not taken by the highway.
The amounts of money paid to private property owners along River Street is not a matter of public record, according to Charles E. Pahl, regional DOT real estate officer. Even though it is the taxpayers' money. Mr. Pahl said Monday, the only time that such transactions are made public is after a settlement in claims court.
The opening up of the Lake Flower shoreline will change this shabby area into a real asset for the village.
But it is one of those projects that is destined to be more appreciated by the residents and visitors of the future. It is difficult for residents still reeling from the economic blows caused by the closing of Will Rogers Hospital and the Ray Brook Rehabilitation Center to watch property being removed from the tax rolls, even though much of it will be regained.
River Street, c. 1920 <hsl> River Street with Helen Hill in the background, c. 1920 <hsl>