Silver Bay 1910


Silver Bay, the Auditorium and the Inn, circa 1910. To the left of the main steps, I can make out the BR and WN of a Brown University banner going up, as well as other unidentifiable banners on the Inn itself. Jesse Sumner Wooley may have taken this as a university youth gathering was preparing for a group photo, or dispersing afterwards.

Black Wolf


The gentleman in the white shirt and bow tie is Ernest Thompson Seton (1860-1946), who founded the Woodcraft Indians in 1902, and in 1910 was instrumental in founding the Boy Scouts of America with Dan Beard and Lord Baden-Powell. Here we see him in the Woodcraft camp at the first Boy Scout gathering in America, held at Silver Bay in August of 1910. Seton was the first Chief Scout, and liked to be called Black Wolf. He was an important influence in scouting, emphasizing the lore of the native American and the importance of the animals of the forest. He eventually clashed with other scout leaders, who objected to his British citizenship (he was born in Scotland, raised in Canada), his wife’s activities on behalf of women’s suffrage, and his lack of enthusiasm for their more militaristic vision of Scouting. By 1915, he was gone from Scouting, but he continued to write books about nature, woodcraft and animals for the rest of his life.

The Ice Gorge

I recently read of an ice gorge near Silver Bay, mentioned twice in writings about the early 1900s, and I am wondering if anyone knows how to get there. Here are the two citations:

“It was not until the fall of 1902, that I was aware that it (Braun’s Holly Fern) grew near the shores of Lake George. One evening while calling at the home of Prof. J.F. Kemp, of Columbia University, who had been doing field work in geology during the summer in the vicinity of Silver Bay, Prof. Kemp laid out on the floor a magnificent complete pressed specimen with fronds two feet long, which he had collected on the talus in the Ice Gorge north west of Silver Bay at an altitude of about 1500 feet. This fine specimen is preserved in my herbarium. Prof. Kemp said the fern was not common in this cool ravine where ice may be obtained from beneath the rocks until late in the summer.”

— From “Braun’s Holly Fern” by Stewart H. Burnham in American Fern Journal: A Quarterly Devoted to Ferns (American Fern Society), v.4 no. 1, January-April 1914

“The lake, of course, was the first attraction, for fishing, swimming, and boating. Rowboats and canoes were standard equipment. For longer trips, many families had what seem to us now to be elegant wooden motorboats. Old photographs attest to the picnics at Odell, Vicars, and Paradise Bay and camping on the islands. There were hikes to Jabes Pond and the Ice Gorge, camping trips to Pharaoh (walking all the way from Graphite Mountain), and blueberry picking on Tongue Mountain.”

From Benjamin Van Buren’s Bay (2002) by Charles G. Gosselink

Anyone know any more about the ice gorge?