Photo Courtesy of Acanthus PressThe Acanthus Press, publishers of exceptional books on the finest historical architecture, has come out with a luxurious new volume on the "great camps" of the Adirondacks. An Elegant Wilderness: Great Camps and Grand Lodges of the Adirondacks, 1855-1935, by Gladys Montgomery, recounts the story of the private retreats of the Gilded Age tycoons who traveled north from New York City to revel in nature.
In so-called "cabins" with dozens of bedrooms, two story fireplaces, icehouses and boathouses, magnates, millionaires, moguls and celebrities like J.P. Morgan, Alfred Vanderbilt, Teddy Roosevelt and Marjorie Merriweather Post relaxed in rustic luxury.
Unlike other upscale resorts, the Adirondacks was a place where constricting social proprieties relaxed, the author notes. Women shed their corsets to hike, hunt, fish, and play tennis, and children learned to appreciate the great outdoors, while the men never missed their martinis.
Transported in private Pullman cars, the luxe lodge's wealthy owners arrived with chefs from the city's premier restaurants, retinues of servants, tennis and singing coaches, chauffeurs and secretaries, and scores of famous guests.
Want your own enviable Adirondacks retreat? On September 9, Sotheby's International Realty and Concierge Auctions will sell Camp Kwenogamac, a historic great camp on Long Lake formerly listed at $6.5 million, to the highest bidder. Originally owned by famed surgeon Arpad Gerster, the 42-acre compound houses 13 structures including a seven-bedroom summer lodge, original kitchen building, a guesthouse and a boathouse, totaling nearly 13,000 square feet of living space.