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Old 12-02-2009, 10:15 AM   #1
Scenic New York
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Wilderness Lodge In Indian Lake

I hope this is the right place, I don't honestly know if the place is historic or relatively new (as historic places go anyway). I'm wondering if anyone knows anthing about the place, it's history, when it closed or who owns it now. I know it's abandoned, we just "refound" it on a recent trip north. It's located in Indian Lake, off of Big Brook Rd, and you have to cross a small bridge to get onto the lodge property. The owners when I was younger and visted as a child were Pete and Deb, and she was a phenominal cook (I remember the biscuits specifically). It consisted of the "main lodge" building where the dining room/bar were on the first floor and they lived on the upper floor. There was a garage to the right of the building, as well as a few small "motel" type buildings, one had two rooms the other three or four. Further to the right of the garage were cross country skiing trails. It's more of sentimental reasons that I have an interest than anything else. I thought it was odd given the value of property up there that the place hadn't been turned into a private "camp" or reopened, although I don't know if it was sold after Pete and Deb owned it or if they still do own it.


Last edited by Scenic New York; 12-02-2009 at 12:48 PM.. Reason: edited to add photo of the main lodge
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Old 12-03-2009, 12:59 PM   #2
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We used to go there for prime ribs and popovers. Pete always had on a maroon sport coat that had seen better days. BYOB, was great!
When did they close?
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Old 12-04-2009, 09:41 AM   #3
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At least I'm not the only one that remembers the place! As to when they closed, I wish I knew. I heard from my mom when she was up there that the bridge was out a few years ago, so it's been a while. I'd say the last time she was there was 3-4 years ago and the bridge wasn't drivable then. I just asked her about the place the last time I called her and she said the "motel" buildings were added by Pete and Deb.
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Old 12-05-2009, 06:11 PM   #4
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No one from the Indian Lake area has more info?
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Old 12-07-2009, 06:32 PM   #5
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Go to this link and find the County, Town, Street the subject is located. A tax map will appear with the likely properties and associated owners of record. This works pretty well if you know a little about the area.

http://www.orps.state.ny.us/ref/asmt...gresources.htm
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Old 12-08-2009, 09:29 AM   #6
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Thanks! Well, I found it after a bit of pan and zoom, since I didn't know the street name it was actually on. Pete and Deb no longer own it, it's owned by a development company in NYC. The parcel is just shy of 20 acres and it's not a historic building, it was built in 1970 (or so says the records, but they don't designate WHICH building was built in 1970, so I guess that could be the motel buildings, not the main restaurant/lodge). I don't know much about the area as far as how it's designated by the APA, but my guess is it was bought with the intention of subdividing it and building more higher end vacation homes.

Now I'll have to bookmark that site. I'm sure it will be fun to toy around with!
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Old 07-16-2012, 10:47 PM   #7
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wilderness lodge

I use to work at The Wilderness Lodge. It closed in 1998, after a car accident claimed the life of the manager, Pete Schaefer. The lodge has been closed ever since. It is true that the owners of the Lodge are a management company in NYC. They have owned the property for many years. Pete and Deb ran the business from 1984-1998. The property has changed hands many times over the years. The lodge was built before 1970. It use to be a "resort" with horse back riding. The lake was also there, but as many locals tell it, the dam went out and it was never replaced.(due to the APA and other issues) I miss working there, and I miss the food. Deb was, and still is, a great cook. There is a lot of history to the lodge and the property that surrounds it. I hope this answers some of your questions.
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Old 12-21-2012, 01:21 PM   #8
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I don't know if you'll ever pop back over here, I just did myself, but if you do....

I'm sorry to hear that about Pete. I'll have to let my mom know the next time I speak to her.

If you're still in contact with Deb, tell her hi from both myself and my mom. I'm not sure she will remember us. My name is Heather and my mom's name is Cindi. We used to live in Allentown PA but moved up to Frankfort NY at one point-my mom used to bring up the rocks from the Nevada desert that had natural scenes on them (I still have one, it is a tree on the edge of a cliff) as well as the artwork from a Native American man, Albert Whitehorse that were sold there. I remember seeing Albert's drawings on the walls, I think the stones were in a case or something at the bar (they were small, cut from the inside of rocks)
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Old 04-14-2013, 01:11 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Scenic New York View Post
I hope this is the right place, I don't honestly know if the place is historic or relatively new (as historic places go anyway). I'm wondering if anyone knows anthing about the place, it's history, when it closed or who owns it now. I know it's abandoned, we just "refound" it on a recent trip north. It's located in Indian Lake, off of Big Brook Rd, and you have to cross a small bridge to get onto the lodge property. The owners when I was younger and visted as a child were Pete and Deb, and she was a phenominal cook (I remember the biscuits specifically). It consisted of the "main lodge" building where the dining room/bar were on the first floor and they lived on the upper floor. There was a garage to the right of the building, as well as a few small "motel" type buildings, one had two rooms the other three or four. Further to the right of the garage were cross country skiing trails. It's more of sentimental reasons that I have an interest than anything else. I thought it was odd given the value of property up there that the place hadn't been turned into a private "camp" or reopened, although I don't know if it was sold after Pete and Deb owned it or if they still do own it.

Hopefully I have the right place as I write in reply to your post. I vacationed there & then worked there as a kid in the late 1950’s. At that time the lodge was run my Walt and Loretta and they had a son Donny and a daughter Marylyn, who now would be in their middle 60’s. The big attraction was the horseback riding. I would get the horses in early in the morning as there was an 8AM I hour ride. The main ride(s) were 2 hours and usually went to a place called John’s Pond. I also so a post on John’s Pond, and was referred to as Little Canada. My dad use to fly fish just below the bridge that you wrote about. Two years ago on a vacation I tried to find the old lodge but had no luck at all, had not been there in well over 50 -55 years . I asked people in the Town of Indian Lake, but no one had any recollection of the place. I remember the square dancing, canoeing, swimming, fishing, and so much more. Hopefully I am talking about the same place
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Old 04-14-2013, 01:13 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by indianlake67 View Post
I use to work at The Wilderness Lodge. It closed in 1998, after a car accident claimed the life of the manager, Pete Schaefer. The lodge has been closed ever since. It is true that the owners of the Lodge are a management company in NYC. They have owned the property for many years. Pete and Deb ran the business from 1984-1998. The property has changed hands many times over the years. The lodge was built before 1970. It use to be a "resort" with horse back riding. The lake was also there, but as many locals tell it, the dam went out and it was never replaced.(due to the APA and other issues) I miss working there, and I miss the food. Deb was, and still is, a great cook. There is a lot of history to the lodge and the property that surrounds it. I hope this answers some of your questions.
Hopefully I have the right place as I write in reply to your post. I vacationed there & then worked there as a kid in the late 1950’s. At that time the lodge was run my Walt and Loretta and they had a son Donny and a daughter Marylyn, who now would be in their middle 60’s. The big attraction was the horseback riding. I would get the horses in early in the morning as there was an 8AM I hour ride. The main ride(s) were 2 hours and usually went to a place called John’s Pond. I also so a post on John’s Pond, and was referred to as Little Canada. My dad use to fly fish just below the bridge that you wrote about. Two years ago on a vacation I tried to find the old lodge but had no luck at all, had not been there in well over 50 -55 years . I asked people in the Town of Indian Lake, but no one had any recollection of the place. I remember the square dancing, canoeing, swimming, fishing, and so much more. Hopefully I am talking about the same place
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Old 04-14-2013, 02:39 PM   #11
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Wilderness Lodge in the 50's &60's

Hopefully I have the right place as I write in reply to your post. I vacationed there & then worked there as a kid in the late 1950ís. At that time the lodge was run my Walt and Loretta and they had a son Donny and a daughter Marylyn, who now would be in their middle 60ís. The big attraction was the horseback riding. I would get the horses in early in the morning as there was an 8AM I hour ride. The main ride(s) were 2 hours and usually went to a place called Johnís Pond. I also so a post on Johnís Pond, and was referred to as Little Canada. My dad use to fly fish just below the bridge that you wrote about. Two years ago on a vacation I tried to find the old lodge but had no luck at all, had not been there in well over 50 -55 years . I asked people in the Town of Indian Lake, but no one had any recollection of the place. I remember the square dancing, canoeing, swimming, fishing, and so much more. Hopefully I am talking about the same place:
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Old 09-25-2013, 05:50 AM   #12
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Wilderness lodge , Indian lake

It was a favorite destination of mine. 1997 Autumn, leaf peeping vacation,as I did every year, Pete told us that his family were founders of Gore Mt. His family made gorgeous stained glass lamps and lights, etc. from thin slices of agate so thin,the light shined through and the leading between the glass was made of garnet ground finely. The food was spectacular. He told us there were 25 moose sightings in the Siamese ponds wilderness area , so I had to go see. I walked into the woods alone ,as far as I could before it started getting dark , my companion stayed behind in the car listening to football on the radio , I would swear the moose was following me. I never saw it. The night we arrived it was late , 1-2AM and we had to take a quick walk down the long drive and breath in the pine in the air, and Pete put the lights out, but the stars were so bright and seemed so close you could reach out and touch them.
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Old 01-09-2014, 08:29 AM   #13
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I'm surprised so little is known about Wilderness Lodge. Our family, the Raswycks, stayed there for a week during the Summers of 1956 and 1957. We occupied a cute little cabin directly across the pond from the main lodge. Yes indeed the activities other than the pond favored horses. The previous accounts of the square dancing and music are all correct, so the theme was more Western than Adirondack. The place was very popular and all the cabins were occupied. There was no motel type building there at the time. No one yet has mentioned the elaborate bucking horse ride in the Main Lodge that was manually operated. Yes, Wilderness Lodge was a fine vacation place.
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Old 10-09-2014, 09:09 PM   #14
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New to the forum. I used to live here. My mom was deb, and stepfather was Pete. Loved growing up there, miss it. Haven't been back there in a long time, kids have trashed it. It's a shame. Still live in Indian Lake though, love it here.
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Old 05-22-2015, 01:46 AM   #15
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Wilderness Lodge

I realize the last post in this forum was over a year ago, but I have been looking for information on this place since Pete's passing. My family and I were devastated to hear the news. I grew up going here, and remember running up to Pete, so excited when I found ruby garnet in his parking lot because he had it in the lamps in his restaurant. I remember sitting in the restaurant doing homework, because my parents pulled me out of school to xc ski, and wishing I could always do homework here. My parents, got to be friends with Pete and Deb. We drove to the property about 5 years ago, and saw the motel rooms with broken windows and trashed as you said, as well as a sign that read "Wilderness Lodge", and pointed down the road before the turn-off to the actual Wilderness Lodge real . Daler442, I realize the last post was over a year ago, but I remember meeting you years and years ago. Maybe your mom remembers my parents Bill and Nancy Hunt. My dad and his friend Ken Grant, who with his family, started spending time there with us there, and loved Pete as well. If you or your mom could contact us that would be great. My dad's email is whunt001@rochester.rr.com, mine is eehunt377@hotmail.com. Thanks, Erin
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Old 06-30-2015, 01:45 PM   #16
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My family also spent several summers at Wilderness Lodge in the late 1950's and the place made quite the impression (I still remember it 55/60 years later). At one time the main lodge building had some hotel rooms upstairs. Our family stayed in them for our first visit, getting a cabin across the "lake" for the next couple of summers' visits. Horseback riding was the main summer attraction, though I caught my first trout and catfish in that lake (very big deal to me at the time). The lodge kitchen would cook up anything you caught, big fun! I don't remember the bucking horse in the main lodge, but I was a very little kid and my parents probably didn't let me get anywhere near it. I think I kinda remember some square dancing too, but again I was too little for it to have been of much interest to me. It was a great place for a family summer vacation. Thanks for providing this site and letting me get some more information about a fond childhood memory.

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Old 12-10-2015, 04:54 PM   #17
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Wilderness Lodge

I've been wondering what happened to Wilderness Lodge, where we had our rehearsal dinner in late September, 1986. Now I know, and am sad to hear about it. Does anyone know what happened to the rock slices, which I think must have been cut by Vince Schaefer? He was a pioneer in cloud seeding, founder of the Atmospheric Sciences Research Center, and brother of conservationist Paul Schaefer, among other things.
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Old 04-20-2016, 08:16 PM   #18
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My family used to go there every summer for 2 weeks on vacation in the late 50's and early 60's. We stayed in a cabin across the lake from the lodge. I remember the the cabins were named after birds, Robin and Swallow. I remember there was was another cabin up on the hill and we used to go up there to pick berries. My mother used to go on the 2 hour ride up to a pond or lake. I remember the 55 gallon drum that had a rope going to all 4 corners with a saddle on it, that was the bucking horse. I remember the bar when you first walked into the lodge & the big room to the right where you "swing your pardner, round & round". They had aluminum row boats and canoes. Many fond memories as a child there. I will be going up there camping this summer. If anyone could give me directions to Wilderness Lodge, I would appreciate it.
Thanks Randy
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