September 1964 – Minutes of the Lake George Protective Association

  • September, 1964 – Minutes of the Lake George Protective Association, by Mrs. E. H. Langdon, Secretary

Dear Member of the L.G.P.A.,

We are sending you the enclosed copy of the minutes of the 20th annual meeting of the Association, so that you may be aware of the current interest in the preservation of Lake George, and of the continuing work which was started twenty years ago and more by the late John S. Apperson.

Your continued support is appreciated.

Sincerely yours,

Dorothy S. Langdon

Mrs. E. H. Langdon, Secretary


To the Members of the Lake George Protective Association, Inc.


Your officers feel that the enclosed letter and leaflet from the Forest Preserve Association concerns all who are interested in Lake George. Any part of the eighteen miles of State-owned shore and any of the State –owned islands could be damaged under the proposed amendments.

Because of the recent increase in popularity of Lake George it is felt that efforts to make such developments on the islands similar to those now planned for Long Island could be expected and would make a strong appeal to certain groups who are not concerned about the wild beauty and the camping privileges now enjoyed.


Secretary (November 24th)

The twentieth annual meeting of the Lake George Protective Association was called to order on August 15, 1964 at 6:30 P.M. at the home of Mrs. A. K. Christie, by the President, Mr. M. F. Witherell.

Reading of the minutes of the 1963 annual meeting was dispensed with, those minutes having been mailed to the membership.

The treasurer, Dr. John Newkirk, reported a balance on August 15, 1964 of $1,243.39, an increase of $61.82 after deduction of the 1963-64 expenses.

Dr. Arthur Newkirk reported on the Board of Directors meeting on July 26, 1964, when the program for this meeting was discussed. He reminded the members that the primary concern of the L.G.P.A. was for the purity of Lake George. Its water level, and nature preservation.

Representing the Nominating Committee, Dr. Arthur Newkirk presented the following nominations for officers and new directors:


President: M. F. Witherill

Treasurer: Dr. John Newkirk

Secretary: Mrs. Claude Huston

Directors: Miss Louise Goodwin

James Apperson

William M. White

Continuing as Directors are:

Miss Hilda Loines

Theodore Dreier

Dr. Arthur Newkirk. Earl Paxton

Harry Summerhayes

Ellsworth Langdon presented the following resolution:

“With the passing of Claude B. Huston, the Board of Directors and members of the Lake George Protective Association gratefully acknowledge his many years of faithful devotion and service in promoting the aims of our organization.”

“Since its founding, Claude B. Huston has been a constant friend of the Lake George Protective Association, generously contributing of his time and means not only in helping advance our particular ideals, but also those of conservation in its broadest meaning.”

“By his death we have lost a beloved associate and enthusiastic supporter whose wise counsel and willing aid will be greatly missed.”

“We extend to his widow this expression of our heartfelt sympathy in the loss that she, in common with his many friends, has suffered.”

The motion was made, seconded and passed that this resolution be approved and entered upon the minutes and that a copy be sent to Mrs. Huston, with gratitude for all that Mr. Huston has done.

Mr. Witherell turned the program over to Dr. Arthur Newkirk.

Dr. Frederick Sargent, Pollution Committee, spoke on his talks with Mr. Charles Scudder of the Lake George Park Commission, who is working on Bacterial contamination of Lake George. Mr. Scudder, formerly of the N.Y. State Health Department, with his master’s degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, is concerned with the degree, nature, and long-term trends of pollution. Causes of pollution are: swimmers, animal life, refuse from boats, and lakeshore camps.

Twenty stations on Lake George are maintained by three patrolmen of the Lake George Park Commission, who take samples in duplicate of the lake water, one sample going to State headquarters and the other to Ticonderoga. One problem is interpretation of the testing results and identification of the places responsible for the contamination.

The most serious problem of all is prosecution of offenders, for which the L.G.P. Com. is trying to work out a solution. Such prosecution has to some through the local units such as County Boards, who are often slow to act.

Dr. Sargent is concerned about statements in the press that Lake George water is pure, whereas actually it is a health hazard in many locations. One job for the L.G.P.A. would be education of the public on the facts, and teaching what to do to protect health. Support of the work of the L.G.P. Com. is a means of accomplishing this.

Questions following Dr. Sargent’s talk brought out these answers: The L.G.P.A. has been building up its treasure in order to afford further water testing, but it will await results of the current Park Commission testing before unnecessarily duplicating that work. Streams entering the lake have not been tested as a possible source of pollution. Early results of testing done by the L.G.P.A. are valuable for comparison with the current tests by Mr. Scudder. These tests showed that the middle of the lake was pure, but that motel areas along the shores had significant pollution.

The second speaker, William Icke, Education Officer of the Lake George Park Commission, told of his work as a “goodwill man.” In addition to the four staff patrolmen who check speeding and other infractions of the law, Mr. Icke’s duties include asking permission to board cruisers to check sanitary facilities, which must be plugged. Most of these boats comply with the law, but eight have been found this summer with open sanitation. Boatyards and marinas often put boats in the lake unplugged, Mr. Icke reported, with operators unaware that they are violating the law, particularly those from out of the state. He has posted a number of signs, which seems to have helped, but beer cans, broken glass and other refuse contribute to lakeside and island hazards.

In response to questions, Mr. Icke said that he has been generally successful in obtaining cooperation from boat operators. The Park Commission is 100% successful in its general policing of boats, he said, one reason being that violators may be fined $100, or a year in prison, or both. Mr. Icke pointed out the importance of the backing of organizations such as the L.G.P.A. and asked everyone who finds bad sanitary conditions to write:

  • The Lake George Park Commission and the town supervisor.

Dr. John Newkirk moved a vote of support, gratitude and confidence to the Lake George Park Commission, and that the L.G.P. Com be advised of this action. Motion seconded and passed.

Mr. and Mrs. Roger McCane of the Izaak Walton League added the support of their organization, and said that Secretary of the Interior, Udall, is working on this problem, since the same conditions are found in lakes throughout the U.S.

Philip Ham reviewed recent legislation concerning the Forest Preserve, pesticide control, billboards, auto graveyards, enlarging the Lake George Park to include the entire watershed, and the suggested Adirondack Park Commission which he (Ham?) characterized as against the pubic interest.

Mr. Ham told of a meeting in May of the committee organized to oppose the proposed Lake Champlain Seaway, from the Hudson River to the St. Lawrence River. Committee officers and others presented convincing evidence against such an enlarged waterway. They maintained it would be economically unfeasible; that modernization would have little effect upon industry in the communities bordering the proposed seaway; that it would be impossible to enforce “no dumping” regulations. It appears possible, Mr. Ham stated, that a wider, deeper channel for the Seaway will demand much more money to operate the locks, and that this increased demand would threaten Lake George for impoundment and diversion. Senator Aiken of Vermont is a proponent of the enlarged canal. Mr. Paine, treasurer and counsel for the committee opposing the project, warned that pork-barrel projects of this sort are self-generating and self-perpetuating.

David Newhouse, chairman of the Conservation Committee of the Adirondack Mountain Club, showed pictures of tent-platform houses on Lower Saranac Lake on lands of the Forest Preserve. Although they are erected by permission of the Conservation Department, they do not conform to the policy of Preserve lands being open to the use of all residents of the State of New York. Questions brought out the statement that the Adirondack Mountain Club, after confirming its impressions, may challenge the continued occupancy of these camps as a clear violation of the constitution.

Mr. Edward Clements, chairman of the Eastern New York Chapter of Nature Conservancy, brought greetings to the L.G.P.A. mentioning Dome Island as one of their common interests. Nature Conservancy, whose purpose Mr. Clements described as “education to preserve what we acquire: has 7,000 members, with over 100 projects.

Mr. Witherell reported for Mrs. Robert Hill, custodian of Dome Island, who inspects the island daily, and has found everything satisfactory.

Dr. Arthur Newkirk announced that the plaque in memory of the late John S. Apperson will be in place by the end of the season on a glacial boulder at the northwest corner of Dome Island.

John Apperson (III) expressed his appreciation for the condolences of the L.G.P.A. on the death of his uncle, founder of this organization, and pledged his family’s efforts to keep this area a residential community, abiding by the slogan, “Forever wild.”

Dr. Frank Ham gave an illustrated talk on the Lisha Kill natural area and conservation project, the most recent effort of the local chapter of the Conservancy. This 100-acre woodland, the last stand of pure forest in the tri-city area of Albany, Schenectady and Troy, is an example of undisturbed nature. Its value lies in its educational interest to school children, organizations such as Boy and Girl Scouts, and to adults. The Lisha Kill area is patrolled; guides can be arranged for walking tours. Contributions are being accepted by Dr. Hans Rozendaal, 2128 Rosendale Road, Schenectady 9, N.Y., toward the $12,000 still needed to purchase this land.

Dr. Arthur Newkirk said that maps, seventy books, correspondence, and a number of films belonging to the late John S. Apperson, have been given to the Forest Preserve Association.

William White concluded the program with the showing of an assembly of parts of these films taken around 1935, on skate sailing and ski sailing at Lake George.

Mr. Witherell thanked Dr. Arthur Newkirk and all who had a part in the evening’s program, and extended the appreciation of the L.G.P.A. to Mrs. Christie and Mr. Keys for their cordial hospitality, and to Mrs. E. H. Langdon for her work as secretary.

There being no new business, the meeting was adjourned at 8:50 P.M.

Dorothy S. Langdon