| Breakfast: ||All breakfasts are served in the Vanderbilt dining hall, with lovely views of the sun rising over the mountains of the Blue Ridge Wilderness. Breakfast choices typically include selections such as: one hot entry, like blueberry pancakes, egg strata, french toast, or scrambled eggs; hot & cold cereal & milk; a variety of donuts, bagels & pastries; and several juices. Coffee, tea, and very pure Sagamore water are always available to guests.|
| Morning: ||PRESENTATION: Raquette Lake History and the Great Camp Phenomenon. Enjoy an illustrated slideshow presentation providing an overview of local natural and human history.|
The source of the Raquette River, Raquette Lake has 99 miles of wooded shoreline, the largest natural lake in the Adirondacks. Dotted here and there with small towns, 80% of the shoreline is owned by the State of New York and “Forever Wild” by law. It was here in 1877 that designer, developer, and entrepreneur William West Durant began work on what would become the first of the so-called “great camps” with a distinctive architectural style, Camp Pine Knot. Elements of the style include log and native stonework construction, decorative rustic items, and a compound of separated structures. Raquette Lake then began to develop into one of the most prestigious summer getaways for the elite. The two other extraordinary estates showcasing Durant’s vision are the Vanderbilt's Sagamore and J.P. Morgan's Uncas. Today, all three are designated National Historic Landmarks.
FIELD TRIP: Following the presentation, we'll have a walking field trip through the self-sufficient workers’ complex at Sagamore, where generations of local families lived and worked to support the lavish lifestyle of the owners and guests, and where they created crafts that became synonymous with Adirondack regional culture. The functional architecture for the worker’s complex is red board-and-batten structures, very different from the Vanderbilt guest buildings.
| Lunch: ||Lunch in the Sagamore dining hall. Lunches typically include selections such as: sandwich meats, cheeses, breads and condiments: a hot entree like macaroni & cheese or soup; various salads, like cole slaw or potato salad; cookies or granola bars; a variety of fresh fruits; milk and a variety of juices or lemonade. Coffee, tea, Sagamore water are always available.|
| Afternoon: ||FIELD TRIP: The Adirondack “great camps” are to "camps" as Newport mansions are to "cottages." Newport in the Gilded Age was the way the ultra-rich went to the beach; Great Camps were the way they went to the woods, with all the luxuries of luxurious homes in buildings that used rustic, native materials to provide the illusion of “roughing it.”|
You'll get an in-depth look at the camp of the gentry -- the owners' and guest buildings of the main complex, ranging from the stately-but-rustic Main Lodge and private “boys' club” Wigwam to the whimsical Casino/Playhouse, complete with its own bowling alley -- all of which are situated on a peninsula overlooking Sagamore Lake.
| Dinner: ||Dinner in Sagamore dining hall.|
| Evening: ||PRESENTATION: Introduction to the Geology of the Adirondacks and its influence on Great Camp Sagamore.|
Historically, the Adirondacks were sought after by Gilded Age businessmen for their minerals, such as as iron and garnet, and for their alpine lakes, both products of the region's unique geology. Today, the Adirondack Mountains are well-known among professional geologists, “rock hounds,” and many recreational visitors as a major showcase for a large variety of rocks, minerals, and rock structures. It has been described as a “window” to the once magnificent Grenville Orogeny, a Himalayan-magnitude edifice that over a billion years ago stretched from present-day Scandinavia to Antarctica. Sagamore is located in a particularly hot and high-pressure (deeply buried) part of the range as can be determined by close study of the local granite gneiss bedrock. This camp, like all parts of the Adirondacks, also shows evidence of the glaciation event that climaxed about twelve to eight thousand years ago, producing many of the pebbles, cobbles and boulders strewn about the grounds. Some of these rocks were later incorporated into building structures, particularly the roadways and paths, foundations and fireplaces. We will explore how the geology of this area has influenced local culture and history, as well as specific aspects of Sagamore.