Local Authors in Bolton Landing and Lake George


Well, color me surprised. I knew we had several local authors in town, so I checked out the “local author” listing for Warren County on the Southern Adirondack Library System web site, (www.sals.edu under “Books by Your Neighbors”) where 31 local authors are listed. The SALS site lists local authors who have their books in any library in the system, which covers four counties: Hamilton, Saratoga, Warren and Washington. The authors are listed by county of residence. Then I started calling our (fantastic and unique) stores in Bolton Landing to see if they stock any local author books, and wow! Trees Adirondack Gifts and Books has over 100 local authors, and all of them are in stock! I am an avowed book-a-holic, so I absolutely love going into Trees, which regularly keeps over 2,000 titles of books of all kinds, a lot of them with an Adirondack flavor: local history, memoir, how-to, wildlife, hiking/biking/boating, children’s books, cook books, and more. The Indian Tepee Gift Shop also stocks some local authors, including Lenore Clesceri who does a 365 day “Chicken Soup” type calendar. Serendipity Boutismall__644217752que carries one of the most thorough boating books for our area: the Lake George Boaters Guide by Captain Scott Padeni. This book gets revised each year, reflecting any new laws, regulations and changes for boating and island camping on “The Queen of American Lakes”. Beautifully illustrated in full color, it covers navigation, local fish and wildlife, updated maps, history and other useful subjects such as an illustrated guide to boaters’ knots. I bought a Lake George Boaters Guide for my son, Bill, who does a lot of boating and fishing. His comment was a serious, “This is a good book,” which is actually very high praise coming from him! (At last count Bill had 17 boats of various kinds, rivaling his grandfather’s lifetime collection. No, he does not own a marina, although he has given it some serious thought, as has his wife, on his behalf!) Our most famous present-day local author and home-grown historian is William P. Gates. He has seven of his own titles listed on the SALS website, along with a book he edited, and a recorded lecture he did for the Darrin Fresh Water Institute Summer Lecture series. Bill Gates has written about the history of the Lake George hotels and landings, the Sagamore Hotel, the Lake George boats and steamboats (very important historically), and Millionaire’s Row on Lake George, among other very interesting subjects. All of his books are in our Bolton Free Library, and are available anywhere in the SALS system, as well as for sale at Trees. Reading about how Bolton Landing and other towns around Lake George came into being is actually fascinating – it adds another whole layer of understanding to the land as we know it today. Compared to our modern times, it took an enormous amount of effort and spirit of adventure to even be a tourist in the 1800s! “First you take a train from New York City, then a steamboat, then a carriage…”  And later, when there were better roads and vehicles to traverse them, it was expected that at least one overnight stop and several tire changes might be necessary before reaching your final destination. large__11921590156“The exact number of islands on Lake George has always been the subject of great debate,” writes Frank Leobruno in Lake George Reflections, Island History and Lore.  Mr. Leobruno was the forest ranger in charge of state operations at Lake George for 42 years. His book gives a history of many of the larger islands, as well as many stories of island camping and wildlife. How many islands are there? Depending upon the source cited (yes, government sources and surveys), there are between 172 and 365 islands on Lake George; state owned, town owned and privately owned; and the number does actually change over time due to erosion factors. The most historically famous author (to date) is probably James Fenimore Cooper, who reputedly small_3861846179wrote parts of The Last of the Mohicans: A Narrative of 1757  in Warrensburg. (That’s James, at the top of the page.) Published in 1826, the novel was set during the Seven Years War (French and Indian War). The action begins at Fort William Henry on the south end of a re-named Lake George, and in the caves behind the falls in Glens Falls. The Last of the Mohicans continues to be one of the most widely read novels in the world, and has had seven film adaptations in America alone (two in Germany), several comic book adaptations, a radio series, several TV adaptations by Canadian, BBC and American broadcasters, an animated Italian TV series, and an opera. We have some fabulous authors in our midst, fiction and non-fiction. Who is your favorite local author? Which is your favorite book about Lake George,the Queen of American Lakes? Penelope Jewell          ]]>