Thursday, October 17, 2013

A Very Special, Placid Place -- Those Places Thursday (October 17, 2013)




Eventually known simply as "Placid Place," Molly's parents' "nice little camp" right on Lake Placid in the Adirondack region of Upstate New York was a much-loved family get-away.  Dan and Doreen O'Kane owned Placid Place for several decades and we and our sons spent time there virtually every summer.  Both sons were dipped in the waters of Lake Placid within months of being born and they attended soccer camp at the Northwood School in Lake Placid for several summers.

In the Adirondacks, vacation homes great and small that are located outside towns or villages on lakes, rivers, or in the back woods are known not as "cottages" or "cabins," but rather as "camps."  Placid Place was originally a very small "fish camp" that was used seasonally by the original owner.  It consisted of just the right side of the structure shown above where the two sets of twin windows are seen. After Molly's parents bought the camp, the interior of the original structure was re-configured and upgraded and then later an addition to the left was added.  The deck was also expanded so that it ran the full length of the front and wrapped around to run the width of the original structure to the right so that it formed an "L" shape hugging half the camp.  

The camp sat a mere 50 feet or so from the shore of the lake where a modest, unobtrusive wooden platform nestled under the shoreline trees and from which a straight, removable dock sat out into the lake perhaps 15 -18 feet.  It was deep enough off the end of the dock that we could dive right into the lake and the water was crystal clear so that we could easily see bass down 10-12 feet.  

There were views out over the lake from every room in the front of the camp (the dining room, the kitchen, and the living room).  None of the four bedrooms had lake views, but they each looked out into the surrounding woods.  The camp had two full baths and a walk-out basement that was used mainly to store canoes, tools, a second refrigerator, and any other gear that needed a home.  The camp was a four-season camp with baseboard electric heat, a fireplace in the living room, and a cast-iron wood stove in the dining room area, so that it was used during winter holidays and for the 1980 Winter Olympics held at Lake Placid.  Placid Place was accessible by car down a private, three-mile dirt and gravel road.

Placid Place in winter on completely frozen and snow-covered Lake Placid.  The dock is out of the lake for the winter, but the wooden platform from which the dock ran out into the lake can be seen to the left.

The view from Placid Place looking west down Sunset Straight between Buck and Moose Islands

The new owners of Placid Place have added a beautifully crafted, but completely incongruous pagoda-style boathouse to the shoreline
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All photographs by the author.
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Copyright 2013, John D. Tew
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3 comments:

  1. It's nice to see where you visited for many years. I know how you love Lake Placid and the Adirondacks. We went up there a year or two after the Olympics and I couldn't believe how small the town was.

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  2. How wonderful for all the happy memories. It is a beautiful camp in a beautiful location, even (and/or) especially in the snow. How sad that Placid Place doesn't belong to your family anymore and that the new owners added the boathouse that just doesn't "fit." My husband grew up in upstate New York and spent summers working at a camp for boys on Lake Placid. I've only visited once but thought it was a beautiful place.

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