Preserving the Gooley Club…Why it Matters

—Donald MacElroy

Hutchins Camp Lodge - The Gooley Club
What makes this collection of rustic buildings on the shore of Third Lake in The Essex Chain important? To answer that question, one must look at the history of the site over the past 152 years. In 1866, Harve Bonney, a Civil War veteran from Pittsfield, Massachusetts, purchased land in what is now the Town of Minerva and built a lodge intended to host “sports” coming to the Adirondacks to take advantage of the abundant fish and game in the region. As the demand increased, Bonney expanded capacity and hired locals Mike and Olive Gooley to run the operation.

Hunting Camp at the Gooley Club
Over the next 70 years and through a series of owners and operators, The Chain Lakes Sportsmen’s Camp played an important role in the development of the hospitality industry in the Adirondacks. Folks from around the Northeastern United States would make the long rail trek to North Creek, then via stagecoach to Indian Lake and finally by wagon north to the Cedar River crossing and on to Third Lake. Accommodations were spartan, yet comfortable. Meals were hearty and featured local bounty raised on the premises or taken from the surrounding woods and waters. After Finch Pruyn Paper Co. purchased the land in the mid 1910’s, the camp also served as a base of operations for timber crews harvesting in the area of the Chain Lakes…


Preserve the Gooley Press Release, 8/21/2018

New: Preserve the Gooley Press Release, 9/5/2018

Watch Donald MacElroy on Capital Tonight

Click Here

Gooley Club Preservation Effort Featured on the Capitol Pressroom w/Susan Arbetter

Click Here

Learn More About Preserving the Gooley Club…

Local Leaders Want to Preserve Gooley Club

–from the Daily Gazette

The future of a remote but historic hunting and fishing camp the state acquired in 2012 is being debated again. Local government leaders in the Adirondacks want to preserve the main buildings at the Inner Gooley Club, the private camp in the Essex Chain Lakes whose lease on state-owned land ends Sept. 30. The buildings were recently added to the National and Historic State registers but that’s no guarantee of their preservation.

Read Article

Alternate Plan Needed to Save Gooley Club

–Bill Conners 

Outdoor writer Bill Conners presents arguments for preserving the historic Gooley Club Camp on Third Lake in the Essex Chain.  The Camp was listed on the NYS and National Historic Registers this Spring.  Local government organizations support the effort to save the camp and are requesting the Governor and DEC Commissioner to suspend plans to demolish the camp and to form a committee to discuss options for future use…

Read More

Presentation of Cultural Resources in an “Untouched Wilderness”

–Denali National Park & Preserve

There is a developing school of thought in the environmental movement, championed by William Cronon from the University of Wisconsin among others, that cultural resources in wilderness areas such as remote camps, homesteads, fire towers and other indicators of human presence deserve preservation.  Without such protection the result is a cleansing of wild places that leaves us without an honest view of the history of a particular area.  The Third Lake Camp is just such a cultural resource that helps tell the story of the early days of the hospitality and timber industries in the Adirondacks as well as the culture of the hunting and fishing community which was a central part of the social and economic fabric of the region.  The attached article concerning preservation efforts in the Denali National Park demonstrates how such preservation efforts can add to our overall understanding and appreciation of that which came before.   

Read Article

Gooley Club on the Historical Register

“Following a detailed review, the State Review Board has recommended to the Commissioner of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation…that the [Gooley Club] be listed on the New York State Register of Historic Places and nominated to the National Register of Historic Places…”

View Letter

Local Government Groups Support Preserving the Gooley

-Adirondack Association of Towns & Villages
-Five Towns Upper Hudson Recreation Hub
-Adirondack Local government Review Board

Resolutions Requesting Suspension of Demolition of the Gooley Club Camp on Third Lake of the Essex Chain Pending Further Review


Gooley Club Seeks to Preserve Historic Buildings

–New York Outdoor News

Contributing Writer Dan Ladd offers some insight into the ongoing effort being made to preserve the historic buildings of the Gooley Club Camp in Essex County, NY.


We are proud to recognize our supporters and friends…

NYS Conservation Council

NYS Conservation Fund Advisory Board

Adirondack Association of Towns & Villages

Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board

NYS Fish & Wildlife Management Board

Adirondack Architectural Heritage

Five Towns Upper Hudson Recreation Hub

North Country Chamber of Commerce

Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce

Access the Adirondacks

Tri-Lakes Business Alliance

Federation of Dutchess County Fish & Game Clubs, Inc.

Adirondack Landowners Association

We Need Your Help to Preserve the Gooley

If you feel as we do, that this special place in the Adirondacks is worthy of preservation, then here is how you can help;

Please write/e-mail or call Governor Cuomo and DEC Commissioner Seggos and ask them to support our request for a halt to the demolition of the camps and the formation of a group of stakeholders to discuss options and alternative uses for the historic Third Lake buildings. Additionally, you can contact your NYS Assembly and Senate representatives and ask them to reach out to Governor Cuomo and Commissioner Seggos with the same message.

Click Here for State Contact Info

We have also created a Fundly Page to receive contributions to support this effort:
Fundly Logo

The removal of over 150 years of Adirondack history without a pause to consider alternatives would be a mistake…please help us to Preserve the Gooley!
Privacy Settings
We use cookies to enhance your experience while using our website. If you are using our Services via a browser you can restrict, block or remove cookies through your web browser settings. We also use content and scripts from third parties that may use tracking technologies. You can selectively provide your consent below to allow such third party embeds. For complete information about the cookies we use, data we collect and how we process them, please check our Privacy Policy
Consent to display content from Youtube
Consent to display content from Vimeo
Google Maps
Consent to display content from Google