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Mile-long Chain Lake - the crown jewel


8927 NYS RT 30, Paul Smiths, NY
List Price: $4,250,000
List Price: $4,250,000
9 Beds
5.5 Bathrooms
5,500 Sq. Footage
660 Acreage

Offered for the first time in 100 years, Forestmere is a classic 660 acre preserve located just five miles north of Paul Smiths in the Town of Brighton.  Mile-long Chain Lake is the centerpiece of this sportsman's/family retreat together with Clear Lake, Spring Pond, several small brook trout ponds and extensive frontage on the Osgood River.  A fisherman's paradise offering trophy bass and pike. The main lodge with 9 bedrooms and 5 full baths was constructed in the early 1920's and overlooks Chain Lake to the south. Spacious living and dining rooms - each with a cut-stone fireplace lend an aura of Great Camp style.  A three-slip boathouse affords storage for boats and fishing gear and an elevated screen pavilion overlooks Clear Lake.  Additional buildings from the original camp circa 1890 provide storage and await re-use.  Located 5 miles from Paul Smith's College and 15 miles from the Village of Saranac Lake and the Adirondack Regional Airport.

Owned by the same family for one hundred years it is a compound in which to build memories for generations and a place to instill and pass down values, traditions, lessons and the love of sport best taught when communing with nature. With 3 large private bodies of water, a trout stream, extensive frontage along the Osgood River and acres and acres of old growth, virgin forest at your disposal, it's a place where time stands still and only you are privy to the magic that unfolds in any given day at camp. There are few places on earth where such an expanse of sky, water and forest is reserved for one's own personal enjoyment with no chance of an interruption from the wake of another boat, no other hiker to pass you on your trial, no other fisherman to be in your favorite spot, no neighboring party or camper to pierce the unique quiet or swimmer to float by as you sunbathe on your swimming raft. It's not a BE and BE seen place with people all around and jet skis roaring past, but rather your own private slice of tranquility with untarnished landscapes for as far as the eye can see and the only people you interact with?... are the ones you invite to your slice of heaven.

At Forestmere, the eerie early morning loon's call, awakes the fisherman who must decide which lake they want to tackle and whether it's Northern Pike or Bass that they are after. Your fishing destination may be a spot that was agreed upon over a fabulous meal at the dinner table the night before... but rest assured it's your spot and your spot only as there's no one else to beat you to it. The early morning call to the hiker means you're off to spend a day absorbed in nature with guaranteed quiet enjoyment. To the homebody it might be a day of puzzles, cooking, playing piano or reading by the fire or the lounging in solitude on the sunporch or large screened porch that overlook mile long Chain Lake. To children the call of the loon usually goes unheard as they sleep in... but nonetheless it welcomes a day of wonder like any day at camp does. One filled with boating, fishing, swimming, kayaking and paddle boarding or maybe playing lawn games, shooting skeet, setting minnow traps, berry picking or riding mini bikes or ATVs on private trails if that's your pleasure. Maybe you just want to feed the tame chipmunks peanuts from your hand and quietly read in a hammock...the magic is infinite. And to the visionary the call of the loon may welcome the day that you decide to transform the tennis court to its former glory, or re-plant the vegetable garden or repurpose one of the many original homes into something fabulous.....the possibilities are endless and the memories made are forever.

Purchased on June 24, 1920 by J. Arter Fisher..., Camp Forestmere shares a rich history. The main house with 9 bedrooms and 5 ½ baths was constructed by J.A.Fisher for his mother and built by craftsmen with many of the materials, logs and stones, sourced on site. While fashioned in the great camp style, there were many modern elements for the time incorporated into the design of Gransknoll...from the Frank Lloyd Wright inspired windows across the front... to the dining room with its massive granite fireplace which closely resembles a Wright room in the MET in NYC. Many interesting guests have visited Forestmere over the years. John. W. Davis who ran for President against Calvin Coolidge was one and Mr. Fisher strung wires through the pine trees so his Crystal radio could pick up the election results. Davis lost but politics did not. In later years the Marine Guard officers from the detachment guarding President Coolidge at the Summer White House down the road would regularly visit Forestmere socially to partake in all the festivities. The camp record bass of 9 pounds was caught by the librarian of Yale in the 1930s and record pike from more recent generations adorn the dining room walls. During the depression the family was keenly aware of the local people's plight so the camp's staff of guides, maids, cooks and chauffeurs were hired year round and additional local men were hired in the summers to build trials, fire lines or to execute other of Fisher's visionary projects which, even today are remembered locally. Over the years guests have flown their own planes into the nearby Saranac Lake airport or come commercially or by car when invited to spend time at this magical place that truly is like no other. And now, for the first time in 100 years, Forestmere is available for its next chapter, an opportunity for a new legacy for the next family to weave into the fabric of their lives and pass on to future generations.

Show Property History

J. Arter Fisher first came to the Adirondacks in 1881 when he was eight years old. His father brought him to Paul Smiths Hotel for a summer vacation. That began a lifelong attachment.

Right after the Civil War the Fisher family started a business barging barrels of oil from Oil City, PA. which happened to be the country's first oil fields in western PA.The Company eventually grew into a company which leased and drilled its own wells.

As the oil industry grew from producing oil for kerosene lamps to processing gasoline for automobiles so did the family's opportunity for travel. There were multiyear trips around the world, private trains in India, month long voyages to the nice villas in Florence and all the trappings of the Gilded Age.

But J. Arter Fisher never lost his interest in the Adirondacks. In 1920, he bought Forestmere from the Forrest Parker family of NYC. They had owned it since 1894. The Parkers built Todd Cottage first, then Main Camp in 1901, from tent platforms to buildings. Mr. Fisher built Grans Knoll, the current camp, in 1921 for his mother. It is built from many materials, gathered on site, logs and stone. Although built in the Great Camp style there are many elements that are modern, from 1921. The windows and style of the front is Frank Lloyd Wright, and the dining room is very close to a Wright room in the MET in NYC.

The roaring 20's were much in favor at Forestmere. All the family would come for July and August and fill each camp. They would bring their servants who would stay in the men's and women's buildings. Weddings were major events with caterers from NYC, tents and all.

Many very interesting guests have been to Forestmere. John W. Davis, who ran for President against Calvin Coolidge, was one. Mr. Fisher strung wires through the pine trees so his Crystal radio could get the election results, some insulators are still there.

Though Davis lost, politics did not. In later years the Marine Guard officers from the detachment guarding Coolidge at the Summer White House at White Pine Camp would visit socially, perhaps because of the young ladies in residence. The camp record bass (9 pounds) was caught by the librarian of Yale in the 1930's.

During the depression times were severe in the Adirondacks, but the family was interested in the local people's plight, so the camp staff of guides, maids, cooks, and chauffeurs were hired year round. During the summer local men were hired to build trails, fire lines and other make work products like minnow canals. Even today, this is remembered locally.

World War II slowed life at Forestmere, but Mr. Fisher was registered as an aircraft spotter in case enemy planes flew over camp.

In the 40's, 50's, and 60's through today more generations came into being giving camp a broad attendance. Family members tell stories of being approached by middle aged people they do not recognize and told how that person enjoyed being at Forestmere as a guest when they were children.

Forestmere remains a unique family compound to enjoy all the privacy of its beautiful lakes and old growth woods, surrounded by acres of forever wild Adirondack Park.

  • Type: Waterfront
  • Bedrooms: 9
  • Baths: 5.5
  • Acreage: 660
  • Approx Sq Ft: 5500
  • Year Built: 1921
  • MLS#: 166544
  • Location: 8927 NYS RT 30, Paul Smiths, NY
  • Views: Lake and Mountain Views
  • Heat: Oil Fired Hot Water
  • Furnished: To be determined
  • Waterfront: Yes
  • Frontage: 25000'
  • Listing Agent: Steve Detwiler
  • Chain Lake (90 acres), Clear Lake (32 acres) & Spring Pond (12 acres)
  • Approx. 1 Mile of Frontage on both sides of Osgood River
  • Borders NYS Wild Forest on 3 sides
  • Trophy Bass and Pike Fishing - Brook Trout too
  • Wilderness Hunting Lands
  • Great Swimming and Boating
  • Garages and Storage Sheds
  • Ultimate Privacy
  • 5 min. to Visitor Interpretive Center w/95 miles of yr-rd trails
  • 5 min. to multiple dining options at Paul Smiths College
  • Indoor public swimming at PSC
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