A horse and buggy outside the Ampersand Hotel in Saranac Lake
A horse and buggy outside the Ampersand Hotel. After opening in 1888, the Ampersand was a mainstay in Saranac Lake. A review in the New York Times (June 11 1893) writes, “This beautiful spot, with its peaceful waters, gentle, undulating vales, emerald forests, and surrounding lofty, pine-clad mountains, was never lovelier than now.” Each season, hundreds of tourists, mainly from Manhattan and the boroughs rode the train up to Saranac, bound for the Ampersand Hotel, which could hold 275 guests at full capacity. Guests enjoyed tennis courts, ball fields, a waterfront, close proximity to the Adirondack High Peaks, as well as the famous Ampersand orchestra, which played each night for dinner and dancing. Many locals were employed at the Ampersand – as maids, cooks, guides, and entertainers. Like so many Saranac Hotels, the Ampersand met a fiery end, burning in 1907. Circa Saranac Lake, NY. Photo courtesy of the Saranac Lake Free Library. Dated by electric utility pole installed 1900.
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