Merrill House, Upper Chateaugay Lake, NY

The Merrill House, advertised as a "summer resort on Upper Chateaugay Lake, an ideal sportsman's paradise and retreat for overburdened businessmen, where they could rest in the quiet solitudes of the wilderness. Accommodations for twenty-five guests. Guides two dollars per day. For terms and general information address D. W. Merrill, Chateaugay Lake, New York." Construction began in the winter of 1869; all timber was cut within two hundred yards of the hotel.

John Dowd purchased the property in the early 1980's and completely restored the residential eastern-most building, not visible in this photo. Several years later he moved the building west to its current location. Crystal and John Dowd, his children, maintain the house is haunted by spooks.

As a kid we used to find various Native American relics on the sand beach just north of these photos, where we could find scrapers, arrowheads, and bits of clay pottery. About a half-mile north there is a sand bar, where people used to find lots of tools left over the years by Native Americans who used the site as a summer fishing camp. It is rumored that Darius Merrill located a burial site, of which the location he never disclosed. I don't know if the story is true or not, but I used to get the 'willies' walking next to the swamp along the shore.

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