Many thanks to David Brayden for discovering and sharing a 1949 Adirondack Guide that showcased Essex, NY alongside a vintage Sherwood Inn advertisement (above), the only Essex ad included in the book.
It turns out that David Brayden is not only a talented doodler. He turns out to be as skilled an Essex artifact hunter as his son, Scott Brayden (Scott Brayden Digs Essex History), who recently made his second exploration of Rosslyn’s subterranean treasures. (More on what he disinterred soon!)
[Note: If you missed David Brayden’s August 3, 2013 Old Dock House doodle here’s a quick recap.]
[During Downtown Essex Day 2013 we presented passers-by with a doodle challenge.] “What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of Essex, New York?” David Brayden… quickly sketched out this simple building and labeled it “Dock House.” The Old Dock Restaurant is a prominent Essex building that is one of the most recognizable to passengers coming in on the Essex-Charlotte ferry with it’s red exterior, so it’s no surprise to see that as a response! (Source: essexonlakechamplain.com)
Taproom, Beach, Lawn Sports & More
On July 28, 2016 I received an email from David explaining that he’d come across the vintage Sherwood Inn advertisement (above), and he believed that it was Rosslyn.
Indeed it was. He was 100% correct.
I’ve touched on Rosslyn’s lodging/dining past previously (see Sherwood Inn Remembered and Sherwood Inn Landing on Lake Champlain), but details continue to emerge. Like the initials and last name of the proprietor and manager, C. W. Sherwood and F. S. Sherwood. I’d love to learn more about the Sherwoods. So far, the trail is faint…
Before taking a look at the rest of the Adirondack Guide lent to me by David Brayden, I’ll recap the information from the advert.
Essex on Lake Champlain
Fronting Directly on Beautiful Lake Champlain the Inn — A Fine Example of Authentic Colonial — Commands Sweeping Views of Lake and Mountains.
- Attractive Accommodations
- Excellent Food
- Colonial Taproom
- Private Beach And Boat Dock
- Lawn Sports
- Golf Nearby
C. W. Sherwood, Prop.
F. S. Sherwood, Mgr.
1949 Adirondack Guide: Essex
While the vintage Sherwood Inn advertisement initially grabbed my attention, the entire book was interesting. The full title is Adirondack Guide: Vacationland In Picture, Story and History, and it is a comprehensive town-by-town tourist guide to the Adirondacks. A prior edition was published between 1945 and 1947, and then revised in 1949 resulting in the edition that David loaned to me.
Here’s the write-up for Essex, NY.
The charming little village of Essex is located directly on the shores of Lake Champlain. Essex is rich in historical lore and was the route of explorers and missionaries as far back as 1609. During the Revolutionary war 1776-1784 it was the scene of many an exciting battle in the region of naval engagements and the War of 1812.
On Route 22 (the scenic lakeshores route and one of the main highways from New York to Montreal) it is served by the Delaware and Hudson Railroad. Among the innumerable summer sports the principal ones are swimming, boating, canoeing, fishing, all in Lake Champlain. The chief sport in winter is fishing through the ice for delicious Lake Champlain ice-fish.
The natural beauty of it setting is unexcelled, situated as it as it is on beautiful Lake Champlain in the foothills of the Adirondacks. Mts. Marcy (highest in New York) Whiteface and Hurricane form an impressive backdrop and across the Lake are the Green Mountains of Vermont with Mts. Mansfield, Camel’s Hump and Lincoln predominating the panorama. Essex is indeed deserving of the description which so many people have given it as “One of the Most Beautiful Spots on Lake Champlain.” (Source: Page 171, Adirondack Guide: Vacationland In Picture, Story and History, edited by Arthur S. Knight, 1945-1947, Revised 1949, published and printed by Adirondack Resorts Press, Inc. Lake George, New York)
1949 Adirondack Guide: Gallery
It’s challenging to narrow down the many local-ish vignettes, but present context leads me to include the write-up for Willsboro, NY in the gallery below. I’ve also included a full page advertisement for Camp-of-the-Pines that appears on the page preceding the Willsboro description. I’ve never before heard mention of Camp-of-the-Pines, but I instantly recognized the property from my frequent Willsboro Point bike rides.
If you’re lucky enough to find a copy of this long out-of-print treasure, take a moment to leaf through its nostalgic pages. It offers an enchanting time capsule of the Adirondacks half a century ago.
What do you think?