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IT'S OUR HISTORY: New exhibit ready for viewing

July 3, 2014
By JENNIFER TUFANO , Lake Placid News

For those of you following the progress of our Lake Placid Center for the Arts Annex exhibit, I'm pleased to report it is now complete and available for public viewing. While small in size, the exhibit features objects and photographs of very prominent people, places, and things from Lake Placid's storied history.

The exhibit evolved out of our need and desire to create an eye-catching display with objects that can tell stories all on their own. In addition, as we have received such an outpouring of financial support for our glass plate negative preservation project, it was essential that more images from this collection accompany the objects. This was achieved by purchasing several simple light boxes on which the glass plates rest illuminated from below. Next to each glass plate sits a matted "positive" print so the viewer can see both the original photographic medium and the crisp positive from which it was created.

To this end, the wooden steering wheel from the first Doris tour boat on Lake Placid sits prominently in the center exhibit window. We are lucky to have found images from the Doris in our glass plate negative collection, both the negative and a positive image sit beside the wheel which bridges the gap between the past and present. The Doris was launched in 1898 and toured beautiful Lake Placid Lake for 52 years.

Article Photos

Exhibit space at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts Annex

To the left of the Doris wheel is exhibited a lovely woman's dress from the late 1800s as well as two handmade quilts on a large quilt rack. One of the quilts was found in our collection. The other was recently donated by associates of Margaret Dewey, granddaughter of Melvil Dewey and daughter of Godfrey Dewey. Margaret, now in her early 90s and living in Australia, wished that many of her personal items be donated to a proper repository. Along with the beautiful quilt, we acquired hand sewn wedding lace from early relatives, a wool sweater and quilt which belonged to her father Godfrey, an incredible handmade silk robe and other personal belongings. We are grateful to have these valuable items in our collection.

Following along to the back corner of the room brings you to a small exhibit on Victor Herbert, American composer and conductor, who spent the last 20 years of his life writing his final compositions while a Lake Placid summer resident. Displayed is his conductor's stand made for him by Steinway and used on all his concert tours. Two album covers for "Sweethearts" and "The Red Mill" hang behind a bronze bust of Victor himself.

The most special items in the Victor Herbert display are on loan from the Lake Placid Center for the Arts. They include intricate silver trophies and medals given to Victor by various musical groups with which he worked, cufflinks, glasses, and the simple, gold wedding rings for himself and his wife, Therese.

As we continue around the room we come to the displays of the Lake Placid Club and Henry Uihlein. It must be said that support from the Lake Placid Education Foundation and the Henry and Mildred Uihlein Foundation are responsible for the beautiful office and exhibit space that the Lake Placid-North Elba Historical Society now enjoys in the Annex building.

At the Lake Placid Club display area, you'll see an early place setting consisting of dinner and salad plate, soup bowl, silverware, mug and saucer. We know this is an early place setting by the logo affixed to each item. Also exhibited are a set of Lake Placid Club playing cards and a glass plate image of men enjoying card games at the Lake Placid Club parlor room. To the side is a small table showing a glass plate negative of the Lake Placid Club dining room with the positive image beside it. Most useful to those curious about what used to be on the Lake Placid Club property, above the display case is a large map from 1924 showing the Club grounds. To the sides of the map are images from the glass plates showing the boathouse, tennis courts, Northwood School, Baygrove Cottage, and toboggan run with string connecting the image to where on the map that place was located.

Finally, the last exhibit is on Henry Uihlein and Heaven Hill Farm. Next to a short description about Henry Uihlein and his many commitments are two pictures. One shows the Uihlein house when it was originally owned by Anna Newman c. 1880. The other image shows the house, now known as Heaven Hill Farm, as it stands today with additions to the original structure and the added barns.

In the Uihlein exhibit case you will find a model of the sugar house, sap skimmer, Henry's skeet hat, a skeet and trap patch, and a 1919 caricature drawing of Henry Uihlein and the Lake Placid skating boys he supported such as Charlie Jewtraw.

The Historical Society is proud to acknowledge these people, places, and objects in our new exhibit and hope you will stop by to take a look for yourself. The Annex itself is open Monday-Sunday, and the exhibit can be viewed at any time through the interior glass viewing area. You can enter the exhibit when a staff person is present generally Monday-Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the summer and Monday-Thursday after Columbus Day. The real beauty of this exhibit is it is available for viewing year-round.

As a reminder, The History Museum on Station Street is open through Columbus Day.

Be sure to visit both. We'd love to see you.

If you know any children who will be entering grades 4-7 next year and in the Lake Placid School District there is still space available for our 3rd annual H.I.P. (History in Progress) summer program for kids which takes place July 21-24. Please visit our website for more information or call the office at 518-523-3830. Have a great summer!



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