“Rabbitwild” . Wicks . the Adirondack League Club


rabbit wild cabin

This is an original rendering drawn by Wicks as the first illustration in the book he wrote for his daughter Ruth in 1896 called “Rabbitwild – A Shelter in the wilderness built by Fred and Hartley Langdon from their Father’s Plans, Uncle Jock Helping. ___”. Rabbitwild was built on Honnedaga Lake within the Adirondack League Club and lost to a fire during my Grandmother’s (Ruth) lifetime. (All rights reserved, duplication of material is forbidden without consent of owner, author.)

A great book called “Adirondack Camps: Homes away from Home 1850-1950″ by Craig Gilborn, includes very interesting information on Wicks, but it seems some architectural data has been lost to unrecorded history – here is an excerpt:

” … Wicks attended Cornell University, transferred to the Massachsetts Institute of Technology, from which he graduated, and took courses at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Presumably he was fully capable of designing larger camps, although by some quirk of fate there are no camps known for certain to have been designed by him, though several are attributed to him on the basis of similarities to illustrations in his book “Log Cabins and Cottages – How to Build and Furnish Them”…”

To say that the Green and Wicks portfolio of work in New York State was prolific is an understatement. But, designing and building within the the Adirondacks is the point where I believe Green and Wicks parted. I believe Wicks loved the romance of wild beauty and the idea that symbiotic architecture belonged there, to take it all in leaving the follies and politics of city life behind and to preserve and savor the wild beauty that few know. I expect he didn’t feel compelled to brand his wild side, it was his escape.

And I know this because I walked that land with my mother and grandmother, heard the oral tradition of his projects, the fish hatchery, big drumlin, lodge and the cottage he designed – where my brother still lives, preserving 10 acres of the original 30.


About Stories, Old & New

My background is in Public Relations with a B.S. from Syracuse University. I would like to publish "Rabbitwild - A Shelter in the Wilderness", written by my Great Grandfather, William S. Wicks, a gifted early American Architect and Naturalist. Wicks, a member of the first group to purchase 100,000 acres of Adirondack Wilderness with the idea that it should remain a "forever wild" preserve, in fact designed and built "Rabbitwild" within the Adirondack League Club. And so, this blog isn't about me at all, but about remembering Wicks, his legacy, love and loyalty to natural design. By happenstance, he created the same appreciation in me for all that is beautiful, by nature.

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