- May 27, 1929 – JSA to Governor Herbert H. Lehman –
I very much appreciate the personal interest you have taken in our Lake George problem as shown by your letter of the 20th, and I sincerely hope you will not think me ungrateful in correcting some wrong impressions which have been given to you.
It is generally known that public camping on the shore of this private land is prohibited and the enclosed photographs taken this week also show that hunting and fishing is forbidden. The pubic therefore do not “have the same use of this property as though it were State land.”
Far more important is the error that “the State has full authority to appropriate land at any time.” Funds are necessary, of course, and I note the moneys now available are to be spent elsewhere. It required three years and much effort on the part of many prominent people and organizations, to make these funds applicable to this particular piece of land, and two additional years have been exhausted in trying to overcome the reluctance of the Commission to proceed against the wished of this influential land owner.
It does not seem reasonable that a public official “in the orderly process of the department’s affairs” should be allowed to defeat such a public spirited effort, and some action by the chief executive of the State would seem in order and fully warranted. The Paradise Bay land is unquestionably the most important part of the unfinished job of protecting the public’s interest at Lake George, and to delay action until no funds are available, or to allow the public interest to depend on the feelings of an individual who may die or change his mind, seems indefensible aside from the ever increasing price of land that will ultimately make the purchase by the State prohibitive.
In view of the foregoing, I venture to urge you to continue your effort to protect the people’s interest at Lake George and permanently protect the wild beauty of this famous spot.
Assuring you of my desire to cooperate and thanking you for your friendly letter, I remain
P.S. I would be glad to go with you to the Lake at any time.