Our Adirondack History

Merrill L. Thomas, Inc. has a long-standing history in local real estate.

From the 3rd Olympic Winter Games to the Present

Merrill L. Thomas, Inc.’s roots began in 1943 after the 3rd Olympic Winter Games. The business was originally known as Lake Placid Agencies and its first location was above the Palace Theater. The business handled both real estate and general insurance at the time.

Throughout the 1940’s and 50’s the real estate market was predominantly seasonal in nature, catering primarily to the summer residents affiliated with Lake Placid’s large resort hotels.

In 1960 Merrill L. Thomas purchased the present office located on Main Street and Mirror Lake from the Estate of Jennie Isham who had been a well established real estate broker since the 1920’s. In 1964, Mr. Thomas purchased Lake Placid Agencies and renamed the company Merrill L. Thomas, Inc. located at its present address.

The company flourished throughout the late 1960’s and 70’s with its principal client being Mrs. Nettie Marie Jones, widow of W. Alton Jones, Chairman of the Board of Cities Service Companies. Mrs. Jones took a very active interest in the Lake Placid real estate market, investing millions of dollars buying waterfront and commercial properties throughout the community. Mrs. Jones was regarded as Lake Placid’s leading philanthropist.

In 1983 Merrill L. Thomas was purchased by Roby Politi, MAI. Over the last 35 years, the company has risen to become the #1 producing real estate firm in the Adirondack region. In 1983 there were 5 full-time agents and the total sales volume was about $1.5 million. Since 2013, Merrill L. Thomas, Inc. has consistently led the Adirondack Champlain Valley Multiple Listing Service. Our sales volume in 2020 saw a 59% increase year-over-year totaling $175,000,000+ which smashed a record high of $122M in 2018. To date, our transaction volume is over $500M in just a short 3 year time period.

Over the years, Merrill L. Thomas, Inc. has sold some of the most recognized Adirondack camps in the region. A cross-section of properties is shown as follows:

  • Marjorie Merriweather Post’s – Camp Topridge
  • Victor Herbert’s – Camp Joyland
  • Kate Smith’s – Camp Sunshine
  • Mary Lou Whitney’s – Camp Togus
  • Cheery Lodge – Lake Placid
  • Camp Carolina – Lake Placid
  • Dexter Lake – St. Regis Falls
  • Wenonah Lodge – Upper Saranac Lake
  • Green Bay Camp – Upper Saranac Lake
  • Camp Katia – Upper St. Regis
  • Camp Gordon – Lake Placid
  • Hillgarth – Lake Placid
  • The Hedges – Blue Mountain Lake
  • Bottle Bay Camp – Upper Saranac Lake
  • Camp Solitude – Lake Placid
Lakefront view from the deck of an Adirondack home

Uniquely ADK

Our Inventory

We offer our buyers a distinctive showcase of some of the finest properties in the Adirondack region. Our marketing history includes the sale of Great Camps such as Camp Topridge, Wenonah Lodge, The Wawbeek, Camp Carolina, Camp Katia, Cheery Lodge, the Preserve at Green Bay and Victor Herbert’s Camp Joyland. We also offer a variety of Adirondack camps and cottages, pristine shoreline, forest acreage, executive resort homes, and turnkey condominiums. You will find that these unique offerings comprise a tasteful portfolio of architectural styles and designs from traditional rustic elegance to custom Adirondack reproductions. 

Our Marketing Program

Consistent and quality advertising and exposure is an essential priority for marketing exceptional real estate. We are constantly striving to exceed the expectations of our sellers and landlords by exploring and implementing new marketing strategies. 

In the last decade, we’ve grown by leaps and bounds digitally to stay on the cutting edge of real estate marketing. Our success has always been built on the foundation of our talented and hardworking brokers and agents, and we will continue to give them the tools necessary to provide buyers and sellers the knowledge to make informed decisions.

All great advertising starts with professional photography;  and we are lucky enough work with some of the area’s leading photographers, including our very own Whit Bissell, who has taken the majority of the photos you see on our site. 3D tours and videography enhance our special properties and allow potential buyers to step inside our listings from anywhere in the world.