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Guide Boats and Their Enthusiasts Gather in Newcomb

Adirondack Interpretive Center hosts first Guide Boat Day

A flotilla of Adirondack guideboats will gather on Rich Lake in Newcomb Saturday, Aug. 11, as the Adirondack Interpretive Center (AIC) holds its first Guide Boat Day.

Anyone with an interest in the classic Adirondack guide boat is invited to participate.

The guide boat, which resembles a canoe but is rowed like a rowboat, have been symbols of Adirondack wilderness and waterways for decades. They first appeared in the Central Adirondacks in the mid-19th century.

Program Coordinator Paul Hai said the event celebrates a piece of Newcomb's history as the town was home to a leading guide boat builder, Caleb Chase. In 2008, a Chase-built boat reunion drew six of the craftsman's guide boats and several enthusiasts to Rich Lake, where the boats were constructed more than a century earlier.

Participants will gather at 9 a.m. to explore, row and meet other guide boat owners and enthusiasts. After a break for lunch on their own (brought to the beach or purchased in town), boat historian and Long Lake native Hallie Bond will give a presentation exploring the evolution of the guide boat and how it reflects the lives of those who used it.

The event will conclude at 2 p.m. with a welcome-home party for a guide boat called Arbutus Beaver built by the renowned builder Warren Cole. The boat originally belonged Archer and Anna Huntington, who donated their forest estate to the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF), which operates the AIC. The boat's whereabouts were unknown for 80 years until it was discovered in Connecticut and returned to its original location.

Those attending should gather at the Rich Lake shore off Rich Lake Road on ESF's Newcomb Campus on Route 28N. Participants have permission to go beyondthe "Private" access to the faculty residence and reach the lake via the road below the buidling. Anyone bringing a boat is asked to contact Hai at pbhai@esf.edu for special informaion.