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Brewster Park is Brewster Park again

Visitors enjoy the views of Mirror Lake Tuesday morning, Oct. 12, from Brewster Park (formerly One Main Park), where upgrades are not yet finished. (News photo — Andy Flynn)

LAKE PLACID — What’s been called “One Main Park” and “Brewster Park” in the past is now officially Brewster Park.

The Lake Placid Village Board approved the official recognition of the historical park name on Monday, Oct. 4. The park, located at the intersection of Main Street, Saranac Avenue and Mirror Lake Drive, has been called “Brewster Park” and variations of “One Main Street” interchangeably in the past.

“I don’t know if we renamed the park or named it to begin with, but it’s now officially Brewster Park,” Mayor Art Devlin said Oct. 7.

Lake Placid Historian Beverley Reid was the one who brought up the idea of making the name official. She said she wanted to present her idea to the board after she saw changes made to the park during Main Street construction. Reid said she was concerned that the park’s former green space and history would be reduced.

“I just get so upset when I see all these places being torn down, and history is being wiped out — people are moving and dying and tearing down buildings,” she said Oct. 7.

This is how Brewster Park on Main Street, Lake Placid, looked in June 2020 during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was being called One Main Park at the time. (News photo — Andy Flynn)

The village’s park renovations — part of the village’s multi-year, multi-million dollar Main Street construction project — includes expansion of the park, installation of new granite sidewalks and new bioretention infrastructure to help filter stormwater runoff before it enters Mirror Lake. The park is still under construction.

Reid and Devlin said the name “One Main Street” most likely referred to the park’s original street number, which was changed when North Elba’s streets were renumbered under the E-911 system in 2004. But Reid said the park was originally called Brewster Park, citing a 1918 article from the Lake Placid News. The Aug. 9 article, titled “Merry Turnout at Beefsteak,” discusses a well-attended beefsteak dinner at Brewster Park where “everybody drank deeply of the balsam laden air and the liquid refreshments.”

There is a dedication stone in Brewster Park, and its inscription is dedicated to Benjamin Brewster and his brother-in-law Joseph Nash. Brewster bought over 500 acres on the northwest point of Mirror Lake in 1871, where he opened Lake Placid’s first hotel, according to Reid. Devlin said Reid first approached him about reviving the park’s name after she thought the stone was removed; Devlin confirmed that the stone is still there.