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Learn All About Adirondack Great Camps

In the mid-to-late-1800's, America's well-to-do families began taking an interest in securing lakeside summer homes in the Adirondacks. They were primarily seeking a romanticized version of the wilderness, where they could live in comfort, but in an environment different from the big cities they called home.


As railroad tycoon Dr. Thomas Clark Durant worked to expand rail lines that could transport tourists into the region, his son - William West Durant - explored his passion for building. The younger Durant's architectural explorations would grow into an Adirondack phenomenon: Great Camps.

Great Camps - What Makes Them Great?

Constructed from logs, bark, and other native materials, Great Camps featured a wilderness-oriented aesthetic on a much grander scale than buildings normally found in Adirondack municipalities.

Their intricacy and sheer size made them stand out, and enhanced the appeal for their wealthy owners. Many Great Camps were made up of multiple buildings, including a main house, guest houses, boat houses, and other structures.

History of Camp Iroquois

Camp Iroquois, along Upper Saranac Lake in the Adirondack Park, was taken into ownership by the LoRe family in October 2020, and has been owned by only two other families since it was built in 1906. The camp was established by John Tod, a coal and iron dealer whose father, David Tod, served as the governor of Ohio during the Civil War. John left the property to his daughter, Edith, who was married to James Sheffield. The property remained in the Sheffield family after his death, until Kevin and Betty Ann Keane bought the camp in the early 1980s.

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