Correspondence With the Loines Family

Here is just a sample of what we have in store for the Apperson Archives. It is a collection of letters sent between John Apperson and members of the Loines family – a family John met and quickly befriended in the early 1920s.

We are hard at work adding more to the archives. Check back soon to see what’s new.

1921

John Apperson probably met Hilda Loines in 1921, and soon became friends with her mother, Mary Loines, a widow, and her sister, Sylvia. He invited them to the American Canoe Association Regatta, which he hosted at his camp in Huddle Bay (the Lake View Hotel property), and soon introduced the sisters to his favorite sport, skate-sailing, and helped them purchase suitable clothing and equipment from Abercrombie and Fitch, in New York.

Hilda Loines
The Quarterdeck
Bolton Landing
Lake George, N.Y.

1921 (?)

Dear Appy,
I hope you won’t insist on my continuing to call you Mr. Apperson as we never call you Mr. Apperson, as we never call you that among ourselves, and it seems equally stupid for you to call me Miss Loines. The present fashion is to use first names entirely so let us be modern to that extent. This is just a line to ask if you can have us Sunday instead of Saturday as a friend of mine in coming on the evening train. We will bring some corn and tomatoes and anything else you suggest.

Mother and I would like to be allowed to share in the Tongue Mountain project – work so… [next page missing]

Hilda Loines
(…to be out Sunday p.m. so come before then…)
The Quarter Deck
Bolton Landing
Lake George, N.Y.

Sept. 9, (1921?)

Dear Appy,
Mother wrote you last week from St. Hubert’s but is not sure whether you got her letter so she asked me to write and ask you to come to supper Saturday or to dinner on Sunday, as she wants to consult you about one or two matters. I’m glad the canoe meet was such a success, and sorry we had to miss it! The road work is going along faster just now for which we are thankful.

Sincerely,
Hilda

1923

When Mary’s only son, Russell, died in 1922, she turned to Apperson for advice about whether to give her land on Tongue Mountain to the State, as a first contribution to the Lake George Park.

(Robert Moses, who was acting as Secretary for the New York State Association, in charge of State Parks, wrote a letter thanking Mrs. Loines for her gift.  The wording is interesting, as it seems to assure her that they will do everything to accommodate her wishes.)

Apperson continued to advise Mrs. Loines throughout the 1920s, and maintained a close relationship with Hilda, too. (She once called herself his “lieutenant”.) Sylvia Loines had a more romantic relationship with Apperson, but apparently discovered how difficult it might be, to be affiliated with someone who was stirring up so much controversy in the neighborhood.

(Her letter to the Post Star (the only letter from Sylvia that is still in the Apperson papers) reveals her to be articulate and quite willing to take up the fight.)

Mary Loines (Mrs. Stephen)
3 Pierrepont Place
Brooklyn, New York

January 14, 1923

Dear Mr. Apperson,
I hope someday I can call you John, but that will only be if you become my welcome son-in-law, a need greater now than ever.

You are very good to look after all my daughters – sending them snow shoes and other luxuries. You will be glad to know that Sylvia only fell once while skiing yesterday afternoon at Staten Island. She has been sweet and tender to me these days, and has a wealth of riches for the one who wins her, for which one must be very tolerant of her imperfections. I want to thank you for your messages to me in this new sorrow which has come to us, and also for the Xmas record.

I was just copying something from Sylvia’s letter (to her) and send it on.

I hope the Lake will freeze soon and decrease the distance from North West Bay.

Cordially yours,
Mary H. Loines

Robert Moses Secretary
New York State Association

August 29, 1923

My dear Mrs. Loines:
I wish to thank you in behalf of our park committee for your very generous gift of the fifteen acres of land on the Tongue Mountain peninsula. The letter in which you announced this gift was turned over to the Conservation Commissioner who is the official agent of the State in this particular matter. Commissioner MacDonald said that he would communicate with you immediately and send you the form which must be filled out and which must accompany the deed to the property. If you happen to have an abstract of title, this will help also.

The Governor and others who were present at the luncheon at Lake George were very much pleased with your gift and that of Mr. Peabody. These gifts are particularly welcome because they help to give the program an auspicious start and to indicate that there is local support for the park and conservation measures which we have proposed at Lake George.

As to the condition which you mentioned, I do not think that it will be necessary to state this in the gift to the state because there is now a unanimous agreement on this subject. The highway and conservation commissioners conferred with the Governor and with our committee on this subject, with the Senator from the Lake George district and others. They are all agreed that the plan proposed by the highway commissioner, Colonel Greene, for a road over Tongue Mountain somewhere near the present military road, should be carried out and that it is not practical to have a road around the front of Tongue Mountain and not desirable to have a bridge from your property across the creek at the end of Northwest Bay. Personally, I had previously thought that it might be desirable to have a road running in a little way over Tongue Mountain but running over state land. I can now see that this will not be desirable and that the road over the mountain will satisfy all purposes. At the top of Tongue Mountain where the road crosses, Colonel Greene suggests a scenic road about two miles long, running in a circle on the top of the mountain and affording very fine views. This seen road would simply be a gravel road. We also have in mind some foot-paths on the top of the mountain, but this is a development that need not be considered until later on. Colonel Greene and I spent the evening on Friday with Senator Ferris at his camp in Ticonderoga and the Senator now agrees to the program above mentioned and has abandoned all ideas of a road around the front of Tongue Mountain or a bridge crossing the creek. The Governor fully approves of the plan.

Thank you again,
Very truly yours,
Robert Moses
Secretary

Sylvia Loines
The Crow’s Nest
Bolton Landing, N.Y.M
To: Editor of the Post-Star, Glens Falls, N.Y.

Sept. 2, 1923

Dear Sir,
It is easy to be seen that you did not have a representative at the meeting of the Lake George Association on Friday, or you could never have used the (?), innocuous article that appeared in your Saturday columns to portray what took place there. It was, as it were, a portrait with the features completely wiped out.

It is unfortunate that there was not a court stenographer present. I for one would like to have a copy of the proceedings. Is it too late for you to give the local public a fair and accurate account of what actually took place instead of such a collection of meaningless nothings as “Several different opinions expressed by various members of the Association,” and “all phases of the questions of exact benefits…was brought up,” and last but not least, obtuse space filler: “Just what land may be bought by the state and what was meant by the Tongue Mountain tract were questions asked, and explained by chart.”

Why not, Mr. Editor, simply have summed up the whole affair: “A good time was had by all.” Then there would have been more room for a nice little murder story, or whatever constructive trifles the newspaper of today likes to fill its columns with.

Seriously, was there no News Value in giving the original reverse resolution to the one finally passed? A resolution read in a rush before two thirds of the attendants at the meeting had arrived; and read by a Mr. Hayden who went on record, (stenographer’s) at the Albany hearing on the Park Bill as being one of the men “who made Lake George” when it was the wilderness I wish to God it was now.” …His exact words. Is it not news to tell that so fine a philanthropist as Mr. Bixby stated that he would resign from the Association if any such resolution should be passed at that meeting? That a man of the big-heartedness and fine caliber of George Foster Peabody stood up after all the pygmies had expressed their limited little views on their desire to” ‘keep their land for and to themselves’ and, with no thought or sign of a ‘holier than thou’ attitude, gently rebuked self-interest and held out the standard of a larger vision of the greatest good to the greatest number.

It should be news value, too, to hear that so much poison gas had been used by the enemies of the state and of state-ownership that two or more distinguished guests and speakers of the meeting were subjected to both discourtesy and insult by a majority of this gathering of otherwise well-bred people. There was heckling, and one occasion hissing, and an indescribably rude interruption by an early-Victorian dame who objected to the campers bathing “in the nude.”

The significant thing to a shrewd observer was the fact that these tactics were all on one side, as were also the giving of the lie on three separate occasions by misinformed though possible well-meaning people, including young Mr. Knapp, who appears to take the whole effort of the conservation of Lake George as a personal attack upon himself.

The fact that even such a poor attempt at a resolution favoring conservation should have been passed at that meeting and the air even partially cleared of poison gas and propaganda is proof indeed that “they that be for us are more than they that be against us,” and that in spite of the paid agents of our opponents still actively using German methods, so extensively employed during the war by the Bureau of Enemy Psychology, if you are on the side of Right: “No weapon that is formed against you can prosper.”

Sincerely yours,
Sylvia Loines

1927 – 1929

Apperson continued to work closely with the Loines family throughout the 1920s, to ensure that property owners in Northwest Bay were treated fairly by state officials.  Unfortunately, the Conservation Commissioner, the Superintendent of Land, and other officials were not keeping their word, and Apperson must have felt responsible for the hardships they encountered.

The letter from Robert Moses, in 1927, reveals his attitude and his agenda, making derogatory comments against both Mary Loines and William K. Bixby.

Hilda Loines
3 Pierrepont Place
Brooklyn, New York

June 9, 1927

Dear Appy,
I am writing to ask if you will use your influence to keep the Conservation people from bothering Mother this summer about the land in lot 11 – She has not been well lately, and Sylvia has been so badly on edge that Mother was nearly exhausted when she left the Lake. The state road has turned our place upside down, as you know, and for the State to force us to give up our one or two good-sized remaining pieces of arable land is, I think, carrying things too far. Wilson Powell thinks we have done enough for the State at present, and if Mother can have a comparatively peaceful summer at the Lake, I shall be thankful – as you know, the land is as safe in our hands for the present as in the State’s and we need it much worse than they do. As for the boundary – it is only the land in lot 11 East of the brook, whose boundaries and title are uncertain, and that land we have given to the state at their request, in order that they may settle those questions.

When we endorsed the State Park and gave our efforts, and also the land on Tongue Mountain, we did so in the belief that the policy of the State Parks was to protect the private owners as well as to afford the public a place for recreation and sport. The feeling has been rather general that this promise has not been kept.

In consideration of all that Mother has done, do you not think that the State in turn owes her consideration, and can wait until we have time to readjust the farming, which has been so much upset by the road construction? I am sure that you will want to do all that you can for her this summer, and not make her feel that it is impossible for her to take any comfort in the Lake George place anymore.

Sincerely,
Hilda Loines

Hilda Loines
The Quarterdeck
Bolton Landing
Lake George, New York

Sept. 15, 1927

Dear Appy,
Thank you for asking Mr. Hopkins to help. Mr. Irvine writes (Sept 12) that he has completed the summons and complaint and has sent them on to Bolton to be served on Mrs. Lamb. I haven’t seen the Bixby’s yet but heard some or all of them have left. I could say many things in favor of State ownership of Tongue, but you can hardly expect me to be an enthusiastic supporter or upholder of a policy of the Department of Conservation which I believe was neither just nor fair in our own case, nor necessarily in general principle. Even if I think that Mr. Hopkins is a very fine representative, and honest and conscientious in his doings, naturally he has to support his Department’s policy, which may be the best for general use.

I do appreciate all your kindness to us, however, and can think of many things to their credit… to tell Mr. Bixby as reasons for cooperating with the C.D. to preserve the lake shore.

Sincerely,
Hilda Loines

Mary Loines (Mrs. Stephen)
3 Pierrepont Place
Brooklyn, New York

Thanksgiving Day (1928?)

Dear Mr. Apperson,
We have just had Mr. Lutz’ report which we have read with great interest, especially the phrase, “giving them such weight and consideration as their trend of mind would permit.”

I want to thank you again for your efforts to help retain the beauty of the property my husband so unselfishly acquired many years ago for the purpose of preserving that portion of Northwest Bay in its natural wildness, and especially to retain the lovely wood road which it was his delight to drive over. This road will lose much of its charm as the State Road invades it, and to that we must submit, but you are certainly helping to preserve the beauty of the shore. May your efforts continue successful!

May I say how truly I appreciate them and thank you.

Sincerely yours,
Mary H. Loines

Hilda Loines
3 Pierrepont Place
Brooklyn, New York

March 6th, 1929

Dear Appy,
I enclose a copy of a letter recently received from Mr. MacDonald. I wrote to him about Chester’s camp and you will notice what he says regarding land that has been appropriated.

I wonder if you have put in a claim for your portion of lot #11.

We were trying to compose a suitable letter to the Governor in regard to the Conservation Commissioner but Elma told me last night that MacDonald has been reappointed, so that I suppose it is of no use. I was also told that Green had come out very strongly against the road up Whiteface which he considered very extravagant and useless. It is a pity that the stand was not taken against it before it was allowed to be voted on by the people. I do not think the Governor showed very good judgment in letting that amendment get through, but I suppose he was tied up with a lot of other things which he considered more important.

With kind regards
Sincerely yours,
Hilda Loine

Chester Dagles Bolton Landing

March 9th, 1929

Dear Miss Hilda,
Thanks very much for writing the Conservation Department in my behalf. I have asked Andrew Smith to file a claim for me.

I think that it is a disgrace for the State of New York to have a law where they can take a man’s land whether he cares to sell or not without any appraising, and then to get his pay, he has to employ a lawyer and what little they do allow for the land the lawyer takes for his fee.

I fail to see where they are doing so many things to help Lake George. They have done the most harmful thing in my way of thinking and I am quite sure that nine men out of every ten in the town of Bolton feel the same as I do. I am afraid that they lack the sympathy of the people who really live here. Picture North West Bay as it was three or four years ago, with its green tillable meadows and peaceful little homes and then see it now, growing up to alders, sumac (?), and all kinds of wild weeds. Who can say that it was necessary for the State of New York to take such land?

I would like to see the men responsible for the land being taken to have to clear and put in shape for agriculture purpose two hundred acres of timbered land. I don’t think that it was all right to take the mountain land to protect the timber, but far from right to take the tillable land.

Sincerely,
(signed) Chester Dagles

John S. Apperson
Mohawk Club
Schenectady, NY

March 13, 1929

Dear Hilda:
Your letter of the 6th with the enclosure from MacDonald is very interesting, and lot 11 alone would fill several pages, should I attempt to describe the shortcomings of Mr. MacDonald and the promises Morehouse has failed to keep.

Several weeks ago, I put the case in Andrew Smith’s hands, asking him to confer and if possible, cooperate with Morehouse to the end that not only himself but Chester Dagles and all others honestly interested be compensated. When I last heard from Andrew he was not making much progress, but I will go after him again.

If you have any spare time and inclination I would suggest that you write a letter to Colonel Greene Superintendent of Public Works, commending him on his stand against the Whiteface Road, and get others to also write.

A bill has recently been put through and signed by the Governor for the erection of a toboggan slide on State land near Lake Placid. I am informed that there are several suitable places in the valley, on privately owned land in the valley proper. Why they should select State land for any purpose and establish another principle at variance with the Constitution by cutting trees and building artificial structures, is not clear to me, and does not seem justified, and no doubt if it is attacked by the right legal minds it would be found unconstitutional. It would not, however, be wise to use an unfortunate example as this might prove to be.

In passing, you might be interested in reading the enclosed letter to MacDonald. I neglected to emphasize the rocky formation with only a thin covering of soil for the benefit of those who may read this and who are not familiar with Lake George proper, not mentioning any particular Bay where there are no islands.

I just had lunch with Ted and listened with much interest to his own version of the meeting Monday evening. I was particularly interested in the Forester who came uninvited to direct their thinking into commercial channels.

You might be interested in knowing that it is generally reported that MacDonald was re-appointed in order that he might secure his pension which requires a certain number of years in service. This we understand will be completed sometime in September.

Ted tells me that Ingerson is rooting very hard for Moses. My own opinion is that Mr. Richmond Moot, son of Judge Adalbert Moot of Buffalo, one-time head of the State Planning Association, and for some time a member of the Advisory Board of the State Association, will be much better, although he is a Republican from Buffalo. It is just as well that we do not antagonize Mr. Moses and his followers, however. At the same time, we should have the job done by someone more dependable.

With best regards,
Cordially yours,
JSApperson

Hilda Loines
3 Pierrepont Place
Brooklyn, New York

March 14, 1929

Dear Appy,
I showed your letter to Mrs. Dreier and she said she would speak to Ted about it, but both felt rather at a loss to know what to do.

We hope that Sylvia is coming down shortly, but as you may have realized by this time it is not easy to move her if she does not want to be moved.

Glad the Ausable party was such a success.

Sincerely,
Hilda Loines

Hilda Loines
3 Pierrepont Place
Brooklyn, New York

March 15, 1929

Dear Appey,
Thank you for your letter of the thirteenth. I am glad to write a letter to Colonel Green about the Whiteface Road. I was very glad to see that he came out against it.

I think you will be interested in this letter from Chester which I enclose. Of course, that is only one side of the story, as the outlook for agriculture was not all that good in the valley and, much as I regret to see good agricultural land, of which there is so little in Bolton, turned into a forest, I would infinitely prefer to see a forest to soft drink booths, etc. By the way, what is this I hear about a man who has a camp and gasoline stand on the Sabbath Day Point Road up on top of the mountain? I thought that the State had bought land on both sides of the road to protect it. Am I incorrect or where is this man located?

I had heard the report about MacDonald and hope that when his time is up the Governor will appoint someone as Conservation Commissioner who is in sympathy with the policy of conservation and will preserve the wildness of the Adirondacks. It is unfortunate that in some of the State’s own reservations they have actually destroyed wild plants in making paths for the public and I do think it important to keep in mind that side, while opening up the State for the enjoyment of the public where it will not be detrimental to the wild life.

With kind regards,
Sincerely,
yours,
Hilda Loines

What is this wild game preserve near Lake George or Glens Falls? Mother was asked to contribute to it.

Miss Hilda Loines
3 Pierrepont Place
Brooklyn, N.Y.

March 20, 1929

Dear Miss Loines:
Mr. Hopkins has reassured me again that the new filling-station and property on Sabbath Day Road, referred to in your letter of the 15th, was taken over by the State several months ago. He does not say how much more the property cost with the added improvements than it would have cost a year or more ago when we were urging his Department to proceed in a business-like manner and acquire the property before improvements were made.

You might be interested to know that I crossed the ice to the Narrows on Saturday, and Sunday morning spent several hours photographing trees that were cut on Turtle and Mohigan Islands by direction of Commissioner MacDonald. Most of the trees were dead, but nevertheless important for making soil. Some had been taken over to build a private boathouse for Mr. Chase, located about the center of Turtle Bay, just south of Langmuir’s camp on Tongue Mountain. This new structure is a serious obstacle to the natural environment and one word of discouragement from the Conservation Department and it would never have been built.

I looked up Andrew Smith and talked with him about Chester Dagles’ title to the Merrill land and he said he thought there was little chance of Chester recovering any money spent in view of the poor title, but he would do the best he could in putting in the claims. Chester’s letter to you reflects bad influence of others. It seems a pity that he cannot be kept straight in respect to the valley as an agricultural possibility. I well remember my efforts to prevent the first park money being spent for the Alma Farm. My main interest was to preserve the wild beauty of the Narrows and I wanted the money spent on the east side of Tongue Mountain. I found Mr. Myers had some inside connections and was urging the State to buy his farm. I made a trip with he and Pettis up the valley and he insisted that the valley was unsuited for farming and that they had been losing money for several years and even Boas with improved machinery could not make the best farm in the valley pay, and referred to several other farmers who confirmed his point of view. I had the impression that the old-time farmer who worked from sun-up until sun-down, and really worked, would probably make a success of his effort. Chester could hardly be put in that class, the general impression being that he is averse to farming. Chester’s word picture of the valley is very misleading. There is not a shadow of a doubt now that the valley would be full of soft drink stands, filling stations and commercial camps, had it not been for the extraordinary hard work in getting the State to acquire this property, and while there is no hope of keeping all the people associated with this valley in a happy state of mind while the State Custodian is constantly preaching against the State’s action, it seems at least humane to help them to get the right perspective as often as possible, and I hope you will try seriously to set Chester’s mind straight again. His mother received a good price for her land; in fact, her own price, and he should be very happy over the outcome. Any other state of mind will not reflect benefit to him or his friends. Anything you can do that will help to get a Conservation Commissioner who will handle matters of this kind without stirring up unnecessary feeling against the State, would seem very desirable.

I am pleased that you will write to Mr. Green commending his stand against the Whiteface Road, and hope you will not delay your letter.

With best regards,
Cordially yours,
JSApperson

Hilda Loines
3 Pierrepont Place
Brooklyn, New York

March 21, 1929

Dear Appy,
The other day I had a letter from Mr. Hopkins, saying that the structure on the Sabbath Day Point road was on land that was under contract to the State and is has now been condemned. He also said that Mr. Morehouse had been instructed to combine all the owners of rightful claims to the portions of lot 11, East of N.W. Bay creek, and vest the claims in one individual. That will do away with the necessity of appropriation. I have asked Mother’s secretary to send you a copy of the letter which came just as I was leaving for Boston, but in case it does not arrive before you go to the Lake can you not get hold of Mr. Morehouse and Andrew Smith and get the owners to agree about the lands Chester may be able to persuade Prindle.

Mr. Archer has not received any money yet and I have again written to Mr. Hopkins a letter six weeks ago from the Attorney General said they would hear from him soon but that has not been followed up and the Archers need the money badly. You managed to get payment for the Dagles in record time. How did you do it?

Sincerely,
Hilda Loines

Alexander MacDonald, Commissioner

By: Arthur S. Hopkins, Assistant Superintendent of Land and Forests

March 22, 1929

My dear Miss Loines,
This will acknowledge receipt of your letter of March 21st, regarding the Archer property.

On account of other work, the lap and description of the Archer lands were not completed until March 1, on which day they were forwarded to the Department of Law.

Mr. O’Connor of the Title Bureau informed me today that he is working on this matter and expects to have the papers out in the near future.

It has just developed that there is a mineral reservation on five acres of the land under contract, and for this reason it may be necessary to re-submit the matter to the Board of Commissioners of the Land Office, in which event it will add another month to the time. I will, however, do everything in my power to expedite payment to Mr. Archer.

I was much interested in your description of the exhibit of the Massachusetts Department of Forestry and regret that I was unable to have seen it.

Very truly yours,
Alexander MacDonald, Commissioner,
By Arthur S. Hopkins,
Assistant Supt. Lands and Forests

More Loines Family Connections

Another interesting connection between Apperson and the Loines family…was through his friendship with Ted Dreier, and engineer at the General Electric Company.  Ted took a great interest in Apperson’s projects at Lake George, and on one of his weekend visits there may have been introduced to Mary Loines’ grand-daughter, Barbara (Bobbi) Loines. Ted and Barbara were married in 1928, and Ted’s mother, Ethel Dreier, who happened to be President of the New York City Women’s Club, became one of Apperson’s staunchest supporters, writing editorials in the New York Times, and even making speeches before legislative hearings. Ted left GE in 1930 to become a member of the faculty at Rollins College, in Florida, and within a few years had become one of the founders of Black Mountain College, in North Carolina. At the time of John Apperson’s death, in 1963, both Hilda Loines and Ted Dreier were serving as board members of the New York Forest Preserve Association, and attended the annual meeting in Huddle Bay. Sylvia Loines married William Dalton in 1929, becoming step-mother to five adolescent boys.