Download past issues of the Friends Newsletter here:
2021 Friends of Camp Santanoni Newsletter
A busy year ahead, Save America’s Treasures Grant, and more.
2018 Friends of Camp Santanoni Newsletter
Celebrating 125 Summers! Special Events Calendar
2016 Friends of Camp Santanoni Letter
Camp Santanoni Partners win OPRHP award, Unit Management Plan accepted and summer volunteer opportunities.
2014 Friends of Camp Santanoni Newsletter
A decade of progress, main camp conservation, birch bark replacement, a new Visitor’s Guide, and the Farm Manager’s cottage mystery solved!
2008 Friends of Camp Santanoni Newsletter
Boathouse restoration, Michael Frenette, builder & craftsman, major works at Gate Lodge & West Cottage, Delano & Aldrich rendering of Gate Lodge – reproductions available.
2003-2004 Friends of Camp Santanoni Newsletter
Conservation Plan Completed by Argus Architecture & Preservation and Crawford & Stearns, Architects and consultants, Restoration roof work continues at Main Camp and the Farm Complex, Americorps and Landmark Volunteers return to lend a hand, Funding support through Getty Grant Program and Cynthia Woods Mitchell Fund for Historic Interiors and Environmental Protection Fund.
2002-2003 Friends of Camp Santanoni Newsletter
Dairy Barn tragedy, conservation work at Boat House, Generator House, Gazebo, Ash House, and Pump House, Save America’s Treasures Grant.
2001-2002 Friends of Camp Santanoni Newsletter
Getty Grant Program awarded to fund conservation planning, Main Camp Lamp House gets new roof thanks to The Town of Newcomb and the Friends, Landmark Volunteers help clean up the camp, Camp Santanoni: A new three color map and guide, Town of Newcomb oversees carriage road improvements.
2000-2001 Friends of Camp Santanoni Newsletter
Camp Santanoni designated a National Historic Landmark, Camp Santanoni Historic Area reclassified as part of the Adirondack State Land Master Plan Unit Management Plan, Santanoni: From Japanese Temple to Life at an Adirondack Great Camp published by AARCH.
“Tupper Lake native Michael Frenette devotes his life and his woodworking skills to meticulously restoring Great Camp Santanoni in Newcomb” Read the full article here: Rebuilding the Past by Alan Wechsler, Adirondack Explorer, January/February 2017
For nearly twenty years after New York State acquired Camp Santanoni in 1973 almost nothing was done to ensure the preservation of the nearly four dozen buildings there. Many buildings deteriorated beyond saving and some were taken down intentionally. Beginning in the early 1990s, Adirondack Architectural Heritage and its partners, the Town of Newcomb and the Department of Environmental Conservation, began to stabilize several buildings in order to address some of most serious conservation issues at the camp. This work included new roofs for the Main Lodge, Artist’s Studio, and Barn and repairs to the extensive porches at the Main Lodge. A NYSDEC crew, with financial support from New York State’s Environmental Protection Fund, also undertook major conservation work at the Farm, including on the Herdsman’s Cottage, Gardener’s Cottage, and Creamery. More recent conservation work is described below:
Main Camp Conservation Work
Thanks to continued support from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the Town of Newcomb, and the Friends of Camp Santanoni, AARCH completed the restoration of the boathouse on Newcomb Lake and on other Main Camp outbuildings. The contractor is Michael Frenette from Tupper Lake. The project also received support from a $92,000 grant to AARCH from New York State’s Environmental Protection Fund.
The Boathouse was among the most seriously deteriorated of all Santanoni’s remaining buildings. Most of the roof had collapsed, the floor system had completely deteriorated, and many of the building’s log walls had begun to rot. The crew reinstalled stone foundation blocks, built an entirely new floor and sill system, conserved existing logs, and installed new logs, as needed. They also reframed the roof, surfaced it with new cedar shingles, and installed several drainage trenches in and around the building to allow for proper drainage. To accomplish all this, the existing log walls had to be stabilized and the whole building was raised, in order to replace the deteriorated components of the building underneath. The crew also restored the windows and reinstalled the doors to make the building ready for public use.
AARCH also completed work on the Generator House, Gazebo, Ash House, and Pump House. The Generator House has a new roof and door and its windows have been restored and painted. The Gazebo has a new floor and foundation. The Pump House has new roof and the Ash House work was completed by reinstalling its original door.
Thank you to Michael and his crew for their great work and passion for rescuing this building. Carl Stearns of Crawford & Stearns, Architects, the architect who guided this project, called the restoration of the boathouse “nothing short of miraculous.”
Gate Lodge Complex
Thanks to a $365,000 grant to AARCH from the federal Save America’s Treasures program and additional support from NYSDEC and the Town, Mercer Construction completed substantial exterior conservation work at the Gate Lodge and West Cottage in June. The project architect was Argus Architecture & Preservation from Troy.
The project addressed most of the structural and exterior conservation issues at the Gate Lodge and West Cottage, including: repair and replacement of shingles and trim, an entirely new cedar shingle roof, painting and staining, and extensive foundation and masonry repairs.
All of this would not be possible with the support of all of you who love this special place.
See How to Help.
Over the summer we will have three staff people at the camp. In addition to interpreting the site to several thousand visitors, they will undertake small restoration projects, oversee volunteers, and do other special projects at the site. For information on working at Camp Santanoni as a summer staff person, please visit our most recent internship/staff posting.
Tragedy in 2005
On July 13, a fire of suspicious origin destroyed Camp Santanoni’s Barn, one of the most visible and significant buildings at the camp. In many ways, for all of the Santanoni partners, it was our worst nightmare come true. Santanoni’s buildings are predominantly wood, highly flammable, and there is currently no fire detection or protection equipment on site. There is also little regular oversight and the remoteness of most of the camp make saving a building nearly impossible by conventional means.
Since this devastating loss and after a long internal discussion, Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH) has been urging the state to use the fire as a wake-up call to reaffirm its commitment to Santanoni and provide the resources needed for effective fire protection, conservation of all the buildings, and proper staffing. AARCH has also taken the position that the barn should be reconstructed.
The barn was the anchor structure of the Santanoni farm and the size and sophistication of the farm is one of the camp’s most unique features. “Without the barn and without the open fields that once surrounded the farm, the remaining buildings are but cottages in the woods. The barn is essential to understanding why this is an important site and why it is a National Historic Landmark” said Steven Engelhart, AARCH executive director in 2005.
Camp Santanoni is an official Save America’s Treasures site.
This program is a project of the National Park Service and the National Trust for Historic Preservation and is dedicated to the preservation and celebration of America’s priceless historic legacy.
For more information visit: www.saveamericastreasures.org