Preserving the Gooley Club…Why it Matters
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.
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…
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.
Alternate Plan Needed to Save Gooley Club
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…
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.
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…”
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;