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Economic Development Council awards funding to revitalize Great Camp Sagamore


POTSDAM - The North Country Regional Economic Development Council has announced the start of an improvements project to revitalize and preserve Great Camp Sagamore, a National Historic Landmark in Raquette Lake, Hamilton County.

The project is moving forward with the assistance of private donations and a $238,650 grant awarded through Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Regional Council initiative, helping to secure Great Camp Sagamore as a historic Adirondack tourism destination.

“Great Camp Sagamore is one of the unique historical treasures of the north country,” said Garry Douglas, president of the North Country Chamber of Commerce and co-chair of the NCREDC. “Its future is an important part of our Regional Council’s commitment to the Adirondacks and to tourism, and we’re very pleased to be a part of securing this great landmark for generations to come.”

“The North Country has many historic destinations like Great Camp Sagamore that reflect our region’s contributions to the great American story,” said Anthony G. Collins, president of Clarkson University and co-chair of the NCREDC. “Activating tourism as a way to diversify our economy also offers a way to save the iconic sites that make our communities authentic places to visit, live and grow.”

Funding provided through the Regional Council initiative will enable work to proceed to preserve the architectural masterpiece, including repairing roof leaks and roof deterioration, repointing masonry and stone chimneys and foundations, and restoring the camp’s rustic bark siding. One of the structures to be rehabilitated is the camp’s open air bowling alley, a project that includes repairing decayed log beams and rafters, repointing the stone chimney, restoring historic light fixtures and electrical service and refinishing lane flooring. The improvements project is expected to be completed this fall.

Great Camp Sagamore, an early 20th century wilderness retreat for the wealthy Alfred G. Vanderbilt family, provides a rare opportunity for the public to discover what it was like to visit an Adirondack Great Camp. Great camps were luxurious retreats built in Adirondack Mountains by Gilded Age industrialists. Of the several dozen great camps originally built, only Sagamore operates as an independent, not-for-profit dedicated to education and tourism. Still authentic to its original rustic architecture, Sagamore preserves 27 wood and stone buildings in two adjacent complexes.

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