The Harsh Reality of the Idyllic Adirondack League Lifestyle . early 1900


wicks camp museum interior

Wicks Design . Wardell Camp & Interior . 1910 . Adirondack League Club .

Photo courtesy of the Adirondack Museum

The article by Russel Roberts referenced in the previous post is interesting to me as it names names, dates and places of specific architectural structures designed by Wicks forming the visual identity of the Adirondack League Club including the family Cottage: Rabbit Wild.


Rabbit Wild . Photo courtesy of Wicks’ Great granddaughter Elizabeth Hopkins Wittemann 

I have a number of family archive postcards sent to my Grandmother, Ruth, Wicks’ daughter in care of the Lashers at Honnedaga Lake, most dates are either 1908 or 1909. Because Rabbit Wild was on the market and for sale in 1900, I am not sure if Ruth stayed with the Lashers because Rabbit Wild was sold, or lost to fire – Ruth would have been about 24 years old at the time. Wicks designed the Lasher Camp, so I am sure it felt like home. The Lasher Camp was supposed to be quite similar to Rabbit Wild and by way of the article written by Russell Roberts, it sounds like the Lasher camp is still standing..

Mr. Hazard Lasher became a member of the Adirondack League Club in 1901, and was Vice President of the League in 1905. As I was looking to find out more about Hazard Lasher, I discovered he was part of a search party for the missing Dr. Griffith in 1904, of the Adirondack League Club and owner of a Wicks designed cottage. An idyllic life is not without repercussions and reality of the unforgiving force of nature natural to the Adirondack Mountains which will have its way. Both Mr. Lasher and Dr. Griffith died prematurely because of it.


“Buffalo Herald” . Booneville . New York . Thursday . June 2 . 1904

Dr. Griffith Drowned. Lost his Life in Honnega Lake in the Adirondacks . Superintendent of Utica Public Schools

In part: “His boat upset while he was out on the lake fishing – made a gallant struggle to reach shore – Body recovered after a long search … Dr. Griffith was an ardent lover of nature and was in the habit of visiting the Adirondack region for rest and recreation …. Three years ago he joined the Adirondack League club and (?) erected a cottage on the western shore of Honnedaga lake at the foot not far from the outlet. On Saturday, May 11th accompanied by his wife and youngest son went to the lake and opened their summer home. … Dr. Griffith started out from camp at 10:00 am in a light rowboat to fish for trout … He did not return …. a little after 6:00 pm Mrs. Griffith rowed over to the Adirondack League Club House about a mile distant to ask the men to … in quest of him. ….on her way she noticed an empty skiff on the shoreline … the empty boat … belonged to Dr. Griffith … at 4:00 pm on Monday the body was found in about 20 feet of water and some 20 rods from shore …”

Dr. Griffith’s camp was built in 1902 and he died in 1904, it looks like his birth date is 1858 so he was just 48 years old. Very sad. I wonder if Mrs, Griffith continued to keep the camp open in the summer? I would have difficulty seeing the beauty of this wild and unforgiving place, I would preserve it for my child, but would find no joy in spending time at “the League”.

Mr. Hazard Lasher also met an early demise:


“The New York Times” . February 21, 1906 . Funeral Instead of Dinner

Friends Who Were to be Mr. Lasher’s Guests will Attend

Hazard Lasher. President of the Midwood Club, and one of the best-known residents of Flatbush, died on Monday night at his home, 95 east Eighteenth Street, Brooklyn. On Thursday night last Mr. Lasher presided at a dinner in the Midwood Club, at which Melville E. Stone, General manager of the Associated Press, was a speaker. On his way home he caught a cold which later developed into Pneumonia. Mr. Lasher had arranged to give a dinner to-morrow night and among his guests were to have been Dr. George F. Lazarus and the Rev. t.j. Jackson, rector of st. Paul’s church. Dr. Lazarus attended Mr. Lasher in his last illness and Mr. Jackson instead  of dining with Mr. Lasher, will officiate to-morrow at his funeral. Mr. Lasher was born at Rondout, N.Y., in 1858. he was the head of the wholesale paper firm of Lasher & Lathrop, Incorporated, at 18 Beekman Street. He was Vice President of the Paper association of New york and of the Adirondack League. He leaves a widow and two sons.

The Lasher Camp was designed and built in 1901 or thereabouts, Hazard Lasher died just 5 years later in 1906, he was only 48 years old.

Wicks made it to age 63.

Remembering Wicks, his work and vision and to make each moment count, because it can be over – just – like – that ….

little ruth

Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Hopkins Wittemann, Great Granddaughter of William Sydney Wicks

(All rights of original content reserved.)


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