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About this collection

The Adirondack Museum has been collecting and interpreting objects that represent the lives of Adirondack visitors and residents for more than fifty years. The stories these objects tell form a rich documentary of the ways people have understood and interacted with the environment of the Adirondack Park. These are stories that touch on our innate need to connect with nature, our struggle to survive and adapt to a changing environment and, ultimately, lessons in balancing the needs of human communities with the natural world. Although the stories we tell are Adirondack, they have meaning and relevance for people around the world.


The Adirondack Museum opened in 1957 in the heart of the Adirondack Park. Over more than five decades, it has grown to encompass 23 buildings on 32 acres. The museum’s permanent collection includes about 30,000 artifacts, 3,500 works of art, and more than 75,000 photographic prints and negatives. The historic photograph collection documents nearly 150 years of work, life, and recreation in the Adirondacks and includes works by Seneca Ray Stoddard, Edward Bierstadt, Alfred Stieglitz, Margaret Bourke-White, Eliot Porter, and many other professional and amateur photographers. The museum library collections include books, manuscripts, government documents, maps, atlases, serials, microfilms, ephemera, and audio recordings relating to the history and culture of the Adirondack Mountains and northern New York State. With about 65,000 square feet of exhibition space, the Adirondack Museum is the largest cultural organization in the North Country.


When the Adirondack Museum opened, its stated mission was described by the museum’s first director Robert Bruce Inverarity as “ecological in nature, showing the history of man’s relation to the Adirondacks.” The current mission statement, adopted in 2006, remains true to that early vision: The Adirondack Museum expands public understanding of Adirondack history and the relationship between people and the Adirondack wilderness, fostering informed choices for the future.




Richard Linke Collection of Adirondacks Re-Viewed Photographs


This collection is a result of a project commissioned by the Adirondack Museum to have Richard Linke photograph historic and significant sites in the Adirondack Park from 1973 to 1974. These sites include both man-made and natural areas that played significant roles in the exploration of the park from 1820 to 1900. The subjects of these photographs include nature preserves, special interest scenic and geological areas, historic areas and structures, and historic routes and trails.


Mathias Oppersdorff Adirondack Faces Photograph Collection


From 1986 to 1987 the Adirondack Museum commissioned Mathias Oppersdorff tophotograph a selection of Adirondack residents. About 75 people in the Adirondack Park and the surrounding region were photographed in their familiar environments showcasing them at home, work, and outside doing various activities. This assignment resulted in a 1989 traveling exhibition sponsored by the Museum titled Adirondack Faces, and a 1991 publication of the same title.


Ferris Meigs Logging Collections


These collections are of photographs taken by Ferris Jacob Meigs of the Santa Clara Logging Company. The images were taken at St. Regis Falls, Santa Clara, and Tupper Lake, NY. The photographs mostly show various stages of the logging process. Meigs' father, Titus, started the logging company in 1888 and Ferris succeeded him as president in 1911, until the business ended in 1941.


Margaret Hort Trudeau Sanatorium Collection


Margaret Janvier Hort was a patient and librarian in the medical library at the Trudeau Sanatorium in Saranac Lake, NY. During her time there she took photographs from 1925 to 1926. The collection shows various images of the sanatorium buildings, cottages, patients, doctors, and nurses. There are also images of the area around Saranac Lake.


Grace Cogswell Photograph Collection


The photographs in this collection are from an album belonging to a woman named Grace Cogswell. Images are of various places in the Adirondacks that show locations where Grace and her family and friends stayed and traveled from 1899 through 1914.


Emporium Lumber Company Photograph Collection


Collection of photographs about the Emporium Forestry Company in Conifer, NY. Images are of the lumber industry, Conifer, and the Grasse River Railroad. The railroad was used to haul cut lumber and traveled between New York Central Station at Childwold, NY and the Emporium Forestry Company operation at Cranberry Lake, NY.  The sawmill at Conifer opened in 1911, and the railroad started operating in 1913. The mill was closed by 1927 and the Emporium Forestry Company was dissolved in 1950.


Norman Foote Surveying Photograph Collection


These photographs were taken by Norman Stewart Foote who was a surveyor. The images were taken in the Adirondacks from about 1908 to 1930 and show various locations, including some water power sites.


Seneca Ray Stoddard Stereoview Collection


This collection consists of mostly stereoview photographs, taken by Seneca Ray Stoddard between 1870 and 1900. Most of the images are of various Adirondack locations and some portraits are of Stoddard and his family.  


Saranac Inn Photograph Collection


Collection of photographs featuring the Saranac Inn Resort on Upper Saranac Lake. The Saranac Inn was originally known as the Prospect House which was built in 1864. Over time it was gradually enlarged to become a popular resort location. Eventually the inn was closed in 1962 and was destroyed by fire in 1978. The images are of the Main Inn Building, various cottages and other buildings, and the surrounding grounds. Some photographs were taken by Seneca Ray Stoddard and William Langmead Distin.


George Whitfield Butts Photograph Collection


The photographs in this collection were taken by a man named George Whitfield Butts III. He took these photographs during several trips to the Adirondacks in 1907 and 1908.


George Marshall Family Photograph Collection


Photograph collection of the Marshall family and friends taken between 1910 and 1930. Includes many images of brothers George and Bob Marshall who were known for their conservationist efforts and being the original Adirondack High Peak "46ers".  There are also several images with their friend and guide, Herb Clark. The Knollwood Club Great Camp on Saranac Lake is also featured.


Marshall Photograph Collection


This collection also relates to the Marshall brothers. Images include logging, mountains and lakes, towns, Marshall brothers, Herb Clark, and various other people. Some shots taken at Knollwood Club on Saranac Lake. Photographs taken between 1910 and 1937.


Moss Lake Camp Collection


This collection consists of photographs taken at Moss Lake Camp, a girl’s camp that was owned and operated by George H. Longstaff from 1923 until 1972. Moss Lake is located between Eagle Bay and Big Moose Lake. Most of the images are of campers, counselors, and instructors engaged in various activities.  The activities were athletic in nature and included horseback riding, tennis, archery, swimming, canoeing, dance, fencing, and sailing.


High Falls Club Photograph Collection


This collection contains photographs of the High Falls Club which was located near what was once Wilmurt, NY in Herkimer County. This club owned a cabin in the Adirondacks and camped there for hunting. Images were taken between 1911 and 1927 and are mostly of club members, their cabin, and hunted game.


Bradford H. Divine Hunting Camp Slides Collection   


These glass lantern slides originally belonged to Bradford H. Divine. The images depict various scenes at Harry Sabattis' hunting camp on Long Lake from 1910 to 1915. The hunters came mostly from the Utica, NY area and used the camp for several years.


Adirondack Scenery Glass Projector Slides 


These glass lantern projector slides showing various scenes from the Adirondacks from about 1870 to 1900. Slides were originally used as classroom lecture slides.


Lumber Camp Mission Slide Collection  


This collection of glass lantern slides features lumber camps of the Adirondacks in the early 1900s. Images are from the travels of Presbyterian missionaries working in the camps. The lumber camp missionary program was started in 1914 and visited about 150 camps in the Adirondacks. It was created by Reverend Frank E. Higgins, and other missionaries included Aaron W. Maddox, Charles Atwood, C.W. Mason, John Logan, and Frank A. Reed. Images are of the camps, loggers, and missionaries.


Adirondack Scenic Photograph Collection            


Collection of photographs showing various Adirondack scenes that includes people, towns, landscapes, camps etc. Images were taken in the 1890s.  Several photographs are of the American Canoe Association Camp meeting in 1898, and of the Higby Camp on Big Moose Lake.     


John Champney Photograph Collection        


Photographs in this collection are of various Adirondack locations and feature John H. Champney. Champney was an Adirondack "stickman" who made rustic furniture in the early 1900s. He lived in the hamlet of Moody near Tupper Lake, and was a caretaker and guide for John Sprague at his camp near Moody from 1912 to 1917.    


Childwold Photograph Collection


This collection features photographs taken between 1890 and 1920 of Childwold, NY.  Possible photographers of the collection include Frank J. McCormick, D.L.F. Bullis, and a photographer with the last name of Morse.


Adirondack Mines Photograph Collection


These photograph copies feature mines located in the Adirondacks region around 1900. Includes images of Palmer Hill, Arnold Hill, Hammondville, and Clintonville.


Ticonderoga Pulp and Paper Company Photograph Collection    


Photograph collection of the Ticonderoga Pulp and Paper Company located in Ticonderoga, NY. Images were taken between the years 1896 and 1907. Shows mills, construction, dams and spillways, railroads, and the town of Ticonderoga.


Fulton Chain Lakes Photograph Collection


This collection features photographs taken by Ernest Blue in the Fulton Chain Lakes region around 1900. Images are of hotels and inns in Old Forge and Inlet, NY, and also steamboats, trains, and camps along the Fulton Chain.


Nehasane Park Photograph Collection


Collection of photographs showing Nehasane Park on Lake Lila in the Adirondacks. The park was created by William Seward Webb and covered 115,000 acres which included the Adirondack Railway. The focus of the park was the great camp Nehasane. All buildings at the camp were designed by architect Robert Robertson. Images are of Webb and his family, their pets, the lodge and cabins, and the surrounding park area, taken around 1900.


Jesswin Camp Photograph Collection


These photographs feature a private family camp that was located on Fourth Lake.  Jesswin Camp was built in 1903 by Jesse Stanley and his wife Hannah. It was in use as a summer home until 1925, when the couple passed away. The camp was sold in 1927 by their son, Erwin. Images are mostly of the camp, the Stanley family and friends, Fourth Lake, boating, and other camps located along the lake.


Hanmer Boatshop Photograph Collection


Willard Hanmer owned a boatshop where he built Adirondack guideboats in Saranac Lake, NY. In 1961, photographer James Fynmore was commissioned by the Adirondack Museum to film movies of Hanmer constructing a guideboat. He also took still photographs of the process, which resulted in this collection. Images feature the exterior and interior of the boatshop, and show Willard and his wife Pauline building guideboats.


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