The Adirondack League Club . Designs for Rabbitwild . 1886


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Adirondack League Club Early History
Transcribed in 2009 by Town of Webb Historian Peg Masters

1886 – Utica Weekly Herald, “Rod and Gun,” November 9, 1886, p.12

“Black bears are unusually numerous in the Adirondack region this fall. Charles A Nicholson of Utica, W.S. Wicks of Trenton and Howard Brown of Brookline, Mass. are about to erect a handsome and commodious log camp at Big Rock Bay, Jock’s Lake. A.D. Barber, Jr., of this city has erected the frame for his new hotel on Jock’s Lake in the North Woods. The building will be 40X60 feet in size. Mr. Barber and his guests have killed 27 deer and near the lake this fall…”

“…There are 500 membership shares in the Adirondack League of which all but about sixty are taken. Many of the members hold more than one share each, so that there are only 200 members. Each membership entitles the holder to one five-hundreth interest in all the club’s real estate and property, the right to hunt and fish upon the entire preserve, the use of the clubhouse and facilities in addition a grant in fee of a five acre plot, with 200 feet of waterfront for a private camp or cottage. Many of these cottages have already been built on Honnedaga or Moose lakes where the private holdings have mostly been taken. The shares, originally $1,000 each are now sold for $1,200 each.”

Interesting times. The handsome and commodious log camp referred to in this article, I believe to be the future “Rabbitwild” which had been built on or near the site referred to at Jock’s Lake.

Howard Brown who is mentioned in the artcle is a family relative, a Harvard graduate and a Unitarian Minister at the first Unitarian Church in the United States, Kings Chapel, in Boston, Massachusetts.

Wicks did design and build the camp which was lost to fire at some point in time.

The drawings above are originals by Wicks and copied from the book “Rabbitwild – A Shelter in the Wildreness built by Fred and Hartley Langdon from their Father’s Plans, Uncle Jock Helping. ___”, which was written for his daughter Ruth 10 years later.

Uncle Jock is described in the book as a local Adirondack rough, tough logger type helper/builder, with a poetic edge.

The Wicks project, Adirondack League Clubhouse had been completed 7 years later. I believe Wicks was responsible for many of the cabins, lodges and cottages during this era, both documented and undocumented.

I don’t know what happened to the property Wicks owned at the Adirondack League Club. Once I realized he had actually built Rabbitwild and was given credit for the original Adirondack League Clubhouse, I have been thinking about this and what happened. Was it given up prior to his death while he was living in Rubble Manor in Barneveld, or after?

He seemed to love it so, I don’t know.

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