April 27, 1929 – JSA to Governor Lehman

  • April 27, 1929 – JSA to Governor Herbert Lehman –

Dear Governor:

At your request, I am giving you the following memorandum concerning the Paradise Bay land on Lake George.

The desire to preserve for all time the wild beauty of this famous shore, and to acquire a mainland contact for the State-owned islands, and more camping ground for the public, prompted a number of organizations and people to urge the State in 1923 to purchase the undeveloped land in the central area of the Lake George region. The western half of this area has since been acquired by the State.

The 1925 Park Bond Issue contained an item for the purchase of land in the forest preserve. Lake George is in the Forest Preserve and approximately two million dollars of the funds are as yet unexpended. These funds have been made available to the Conservation Commission by an act of the Legislature, and the approval of the Land Board is the only formality now required other than the Conservation Commissioner’s own recommendations.

The land values are rapidly increasing on this Lake, and the mere agitation for a through road will not only boost the prices further to a prohibitive value, but also increase the difficulty of negotiations. This was experiences last week on the West shore. A contract was awarded last week for extending the State highway in the direction of the Paradise Bay property, and while it is still several miles south, and effort will be made next year to secure a through road along the shore.

Since five years of negotiations with the owner of the Paradise Bay land have failed to bring results, the procedure already followed in acquiring land by appropriation in this same neighborhood would seem in order, and it would probably be less irritating to the owner and all concerned if the State should proceed without further parley. The State needs lots 71 to 92 inclusive in the Lake George Tract. This acquisition would be fair both to the State and to the private owner, giving the public access to the land close to the State owned islands and to the mountains which are frequently visited, and at the same time allowing the owner to retain approximately two miles of shore and 5,000 acres of land, and practically all of his improvements. [second page missing]