A Mysterious Sound

“To one who has never visited Silver Bay and the great conferences which are held there that name has a mysterious sound. It may mean only a small tract of ground hardly shown on most maps of New York State, or it may mean a place where a person is transformed in a few days from a cold hearted indifferent supporter of missions to an ardent zealous worker eager for the success of missions and the spread of missionary education.

“To one who has been there, however, it stands for a great deal. It calls to mind, whenever it is heard, ten of the happiest days of a person’s life. From the time one leaves the train at Lake George station on the southern shore of that great lake and takes the boat for Silver Bay, until he leaves the boat at Lake George and takes the train back to the home places, he feels as though he were in heavenly places.

“It was a beautiful morning on July 24 as we boarded the Sagamore for the trip up the lake to Silver Bay. The sun shone brightly and there was a cool breeze blowing but as we went on and on, stopping at various hotels and resorts on both sides of the lake, we forgot the sun and wind and saw only the beautiful islands of which the lake is full and the mountains with their ever changing shapes and colors along the shores. Silver Bay itself is in one of the most beautiful spots on the lake.

“The bay is made by two thin points of land running out into the lake making a very graceful and beautiful curve in the shore line. Leading up from the boat landing to the hotel is a wide walk over which thousands of people travel yearly to learn more about Christian work. The grounds are beautifully kept and the hotel and cottages are all that one could ask for. In the rear of the hotel and cottages are two mountains, Sunrise Mountain and Inspiration Rock, as well as a mountain lake which afford many a pleasant afternoon tramp.

“From the tops of these mountains one has excellent views of the lake, the mountains opposite the bay, and across them in the far distance the Green Mountains. The woods are thick and the true lover of nature finds plenty to keep him busy during the hours given to recreation. During one of our tramps we had the pleasure of coming upon a large porcupine who politely left us by climbing a tree.

“In short, it would be impossible to find a place better fitted naturally for such conferences as everyone there is interested in Christian work and the beauty of the place is a constant inspiration. It seems to me the words of the Psalmist must have been written with a place like Silver Bay in mind when he said, ‘The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament showeth his handiwork.'”

— “The Silver Bay Conference” by Roger F. Etz, Delegate, in Onward, Young People’s Christian Union of the Universalist Church, 1908

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