Brief History of the Village of Lake George
The area which now surrounds the Village of Lake George played an important part in the early history of our country.
The lake itself became a corridor or pathway for many raiding parties of the French and their Indian allies; also the English and the Colonials as they sought to gain control of this most important waterway. Fort William Henry was built here by the English within our village limits in 1755. In 1757 it became the site of the massacre written about by James Fenimore Cooper in his novel "Last of the Mohicans."
In the 1870's through the early 1900's, the Village was a popular summer resort. Tourists could reach the Village by railroad or stage coach and some of the luxury hotels here could accommodate up to 900 guests.
Tourism is still the main business of the area with people arriving by car or bus. There are 60 motels, hotels or cottages within the Village with the ability to satisfy many different price levels. We also have a lovely State Park for camping and another for picnicking, just a few feet from the Village boundary line.
The geographical location of the Village places the Village approximately 200 miles north of New York City. The Village itself is bounded by the lake shore on the east and Prospect Mountain of the Adirondack Mountain chain on the west. The setting is lovely with high fir clad peaks running along both sides of our clear blue lake. The water is so pure that it is used as a source of drinking water. We have well over 200 islands that dot the lake that adds to its visual beauty.
George Washington and Thomas Jefferson both traveled here in the late seventeen hundreds. Some of our better known residents of the later eighteen hundreds, such as Walter Harris, steam boat captain on the side wheeler Horican from 1895-1902. The steam boat held 1500 passengers. Three members of the Hawley family served as Mayors of the Village, Charles Hawley 1908, Fred Hawley 1935-1942, and Steward Hawley in 1949. The Hawley homestead, which was built around 1860 still stands today and is home to a local business.
Another well-known resident is Mary Hubbell who served as our librarian for 50 years. She was the first Village librarian, having started her tenure the day the building opened, June 20, 1908. Mary Hubbell lived in the Village her entire life and was not only the librarian, but the Village historian. Her records of area men who served in World Wars I and II are invaluable as they dealt in depth into where they served, the length of time they served, war related wounds if any, and where they were treated if wounded. She also researched the history's of the Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist and Episcopalian Churches She received many awards for her outstanding contributions to library services to her own and other communities. One award was the L. Marion Moshier award for distinguished librarians given by New York State.