As a continuation of my exploration of the historic Adirondack Museum grounds, I thought today I would write about the Log Hotel (built 1876), sometimes also known as the Blue Mountain House Annex. The Hotel was listed on the National Registry of Historic Sites as of 1977. An interesting historic structure, this hotel is actually original to the grounds of the ADK Museum. The museum sits on a spur of Blue Mountain which was originally the location of a logging business-turned-summer hotel resort area. The museum’s website provides this summary of the era in which the hotel was built:
“The museum’s story begins in 1867 when Connecticut farmer Miles Talcott Merwin acquired 11,230-acres in the Adirondacks, including most of Blue Mountain. Six years later, Merwin and his son, Miles Tyler Merwin, traveled here “in order to look over some prospects for lumbering.” After reaching Glens Falls by train, they hiked for five days through dense forest to reach Blue Mountain Lake.
In spring, 1874, Tyler Merwin “employed a crew of men to build a set of shanties, clear up some land, and plant some potatoes to help feed a crew of lumbermen the next winter.” Merwin and his men logged two tracts of land, one on Blue Mountain and another around nearby Tirrell Pond, three miles to the north.
In the last quarter of the 1800s, the Adirondacks became a popular vacation destination. Wealthy summer tourists came to spend several weeks or more each summer, escaping the heat and smog of urban life. Tyler Merwin put up overnight guests, first in crude rooms in the lumber camp, then in a log “annex.” In 1880, he built a large frame hotel with a broad veranda overlooking the lake. By 1907, Merwin’s Blue Mountain House hotel could accommodate as many as 100 guests.” (source)
The Log Hotel is now a permanent exhibit, open to the public during the museum’s open season. It will be furnished with nineteenth century hotel milieu, and is connected to two smaller structures that house exhibits about historic Camps and children’s clubs in the Adirondack region.
I had the benefit of touring it yesterday and exploring the historic structure at my leisure. I found this hotel to be super interesting – as this is really the origin of 19th century leisure culture in the region, and lead to the creation of much grander resort hotels such as Prospect House (a former resort hotel on Blue Mountain Lake with an AWESOME history that I will definitely be posting about soon). In any case, come and tour the Log Hotel/Blue Mountain House Annex at the Adirondack Museum this summer and experience it for yourself!