“Dear Fellow Unioners:
“It is my pleasant duty to tell you of my trip to the Silver Bay Conference, but I find it a rather difficult task. My whole week there was so perfectly enjoyable and satisfactory to me that I feel that to describe it aptly would be to write a book. However, I shall try to curb my enthusiasm so as not to take up too much space.
“To begin with, Lake George is the most beautiful lake I ever saw and Silver Bay one of the finest spots along the shores. If you have ever visited Lake George, you will agree with me, I am sure, that nowhere in our state will you find waters more sparkling and crystal blue or mountains more stately and superb. And Silver Bay gets its name from the many silver birches that add so much to the beauty of the place with their slender gracefulness.
“The property owned by the Silver Bay Association includes about fifteen hundred acres. Beside the fine big Silver Bay Hotel, there are two pretty rustic inns and numerous other small cottages, all for the accommodation of the visiting delegates. This year the attendance was about six hundred. The auditorium has seating capacity of twelve hundred and is a very attractive and appropriate place for the various sessions of the Conference. Here we had many treats both intellectually and spiritually. Here we met every morning for a short intercession and prayer services before entering upon the duties and pleasures of the day. And here, too, some of the various classes were held…
“Some of the most interesting (missionaries) were Dr. Kumm, missionary and explorer of Central Africa; Mrs. Emerson of the Congo States; Mr. Blackstone of China; Dr. Dearing of Japan and Mr. Cope of Burma. Most of these people spoke at vespers, held each evening at seven, out-of-doors, on the natural stone steps in front of the big hotel. These meetings were to us all, I think, the best: preceded by a song service under direction of the fine musical leader and brought to a close just as the sun was sinking in all its glory behind the mountains.
“Now a few words in closing in regard to making this trip alone. That should not keep any one from going. I am convinced from my own experience. The very trip itself is robbed of loneliness by the meeting by chance of others who are also en route to the Conference. And upon arriving at the Bay, the very atmosphere is friendly. There is no need for introduction as each delegate bears a tag containing his name, denomination and home city. All one needs there, or any place in fact, is simply to be friendly in order to make friends. Surely, for hospitality no place can surpass Silver Bay. Even though I went alone (having no one I knew there) I came away feeling that I had found so many good friends that I regretted to leave them all. I am reminded of a remark made to me by a fellow-delegate as we said good-bye. It expresses my sentiments, too. ‘If Ireland can be called a little bit of Heaven, I think Silver Bay has a still better claim to the title.’
“With good wishes, I am, Yours, most sincerely, Ethyl A. Wolcott
— From Onward: The Journal of the Universalist Young People, January 1, 1917. Miss Wolcott was a member of the Universalist Church of Herkimer, N.Y.