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Lake Kushaqua, Adirondacks

Spent a weekend at Buck Pond campsite recently, located in the northern section of the Adirondacks, about 12 miles north of Saranac Lake. Here is the first of several images I captured during a beautiful morning sunrise, more to come soon…

RR Jr

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This Post Has 37 Comments
  1. I use to vacation there during the 60’s, and 70’s when I was a kid. I have very found memories of the area. It’s a beautiful picture of a beautiful area. Forever wild.

    1. Thanks Jack – yes a great part of the Adirondacks, and I’ve been taking my 5yr old son there for 2 years now – hopefullly he will have the same memories.

  2. We stayed at Camp Lavigerie many years ago, I guess it was in the late 60’s, early 70’s. Our children were young, not yet in high school, and we loved it so much. Camp Lavigerie was owned by the White Fathers and the seminarians ran the place acting as activities directors, garbage men, etc. and we loved all of them. My children still talk about it. It was sold to the state and I had heard that they demolished all the buildings. Does anyone know if this is true. This would be directly across the lake from Buck Pond. To all who visit, enjoy. I caught some beautiful Lake Trout up there.

    1. Yes, all of the buildings are gone, and it has reverted back to nature. Thanks for your fond memories. my 6 yr old son is enjoying it as well.

  3. We spent our summers on Lake Kushaqua at Camp Lavigerie also. THere have been reunions for several years now but not one planned at the moment. I was there at the beach for the last reunion in 2007 and it is still just the same and still amazingly beautiful.

    THere is a yahoo group of former Camp Lavigeriers…

    elise ambrose

  4. I used to camp and work at Camp Lavigerie. I was the Life Guard for two summers 1967 and 1968. I new the Ambrose Family quite well and would love to hear from them again. Elise if you read this , please contact me at philgignac@sympatico.ca

    1. Phil,

      Send me a line. It would be a blast to meet up with those of us still walking and talking.

      Kevin J. Street

  5. Our family, the McGoverns, stayed there in the late sixties and early seventies. Our cousins, the Gordons of Bowie Md., also stayed there along with our grandparents and other relatives in the Seidleck family. Was a beautiful place and a beautiful time. We shall shall always cherish the memories of our splendid vacations with other families (e.g., the Robinsons of Blasdell and the Class family from Webster, NY) and the White Fathers.

  6. This picture is enough to make a grown man cry.I spent 4 years of my life studying at Onchiota with the White Fathers. A very spartan existence but healthy nonetheless.I met some great men in those years.

    1. I was a seminarian there too. Learned canoeing from Bernie Cyr. Except for the black flies, it was one of my favorite works of nature.

  7. My family spent summers in Rainbow Lake/Jones Pond area every year-starting before I was born. Several years, the most precious summers were those spent alone-just my Mother and I, during the week, with my father joining us for Friday night-Sunday afternoon.
    My mother loved to explore and she was also a devout Catholic. Many of our day trips ended in the White Fathers Chapel and, often for Mass. Those were the days when women/girls were expected to cover their heads out of respect when in church. I wore a kleenex in a pinch! My mother passed when I was ten so these are very special memories for me. Devastated that the Chapel was destroyed, at least the stained glass was saved.

    1. The Chapel is still there although it is a private home now. I believe the stained glass windows, which were Tiffany, are in the Tiffany Museum in New York.

  8. My family and i spent 10 years at the Camp. We drove from Maryland to Onchiota, NY straight through. Dad towed his boat and I drove Mom’s car with Mom and our dogs.

    I am sure many will remember my Mom’s french fried potatos and her fudge.

    I see Phil is on here, has anyone heard from the Ruddins?

  9. My family and i spent 10 years at the Camp. We drove from Maryland to Onchiota, NY straight through. Dad towed his boat and I drove Mom’s car with Mom and our dogs.

    I am sure many will remember my Mom’s french fried potatos and her fudge.

    I see Phil is on here, has anyone heard from the Ruddins?

    1. Hello Kevin. My family (the Dancause’s) stayed at Overlook cottage (until it burned to the ground in the late 60’s) and I remember your family stayed at Bishops across the wooden walk bridge. The Ruddens stayed at Road’s End.

      Both Pat and Mary Rudden passed away some years back.

      I recall you and your brother played in a pickup band and I think Phil Gignac was in the band too. “Sometimes Good Guys Don’t Wear White” stands out in my memory.

      What a great spot Camp Lavigerie was.

      1. Hi Paul,

        Long time no see/hear. Hope this note finds you well. Best regards to you and your family.

  10. Indeed Phil, long time. Where are you now? I’m in Ottawa, married with three kids. My parents are both still alive though my mother is quite ill in hospital at the moment.

    I see Dave Kittle every now and then, among others that you would have known. What a long, strange trip it’s been.

    Paul

  11. Paul, you are right, Phil played in the band with my brother, Kelly, our neighbor, Reggie Love and me. Phil was a better than average guitarist.

    Our mother died August 16th, 2012; Dad passed away 5-1-1997. Mom loved the Ruddins and the Dancause families.

    Kelly was paralyzed in a car wreck in 1982. He is married with one daughter. Coreen, our sister, is a widow with three children. I married in 1969, remarried in 2010. I have two children and three grandchildren.

    Anyone heard from Billy? I cannot remember his sister’s name but she was called Babalouie!

    Kevin J. Street

    1. Kevin,

      Please give by best regards to Kelly. I would love to talk to both you guys at length sometime. We all have such great memories of the camp days it certainly would be fun to reminisce about them. I actually wrote a book about my memoirs. In it I have an entire chapter about the great times at Camp lavigerie. Take care. . .

      1. Phil, where can I get a copy of your book?

        Secondly, if Kevin was referring to “Billy” McNally, what was his sister’s name? Megan or something like that?

        Paul

    2. Our family went to camp from around 1967 until it closed. You asked about the Mortons. I have kept in touch with John Morton all these years.

      Does anyone know about any camp reunions coming up?

  12. We spent the summers there and remember Overlook cottage burning down and watching the lunar landing on the b/w tv in the main hall. I can’t for the life of me remember the name of the cottage we always stayed at, but when you got to the old train depot and turned left towards the sanitorium hospital up the hill, it was on the right. One time, we stayed in one of the cabins that was on the winding road opposite the rec center on the way down to the beach.

      1. I check the site every few months to see who has written. Kelly, my brother, is having a rough spell with his health. He currently is in the hospital with some concerns by the Doctors of a stroke. Our sister has cerebral palsy and MS. Her health is not too great. They could use some prayers.

        My granddaughters are coming for 10 days so “Pops” will be on duty to entertain them. I wish they would have the experience of the Camp. It would be a hoot to meet up again in the summer. Anyone hear from the Mortons?

  13. I love reading everyone’s memories of Camp Lavigerie. I too have fond memories of going there as child in the late 60’s and 70’s. I don’t remember the Rudden’s staying in Road’s End. I believe they stayed in Barundi which was on the right side as you entered the property. Maple was located just before the tennis courts and I remember Fr. Sweeney staying there with a family from Long Island or Staten Island. He brought his boat and took all the kids water skiing.
    I will never forget the talent nights and Mr. Rudden’s “damper song”. In the early days there were the spaghetti dinners and bar-b-ques. Bonfires at the beach with Brother Gene (soon to be Fr. Gene) playing guitar and everyone singing. Today I can’t even begin to imagine going three weeks without a TV or telephone!

  14. I just came back from a trip with my kids to the Adirondacks. Sigh… Roads End and Bishops are still there, I think owned by Mr. Donnelly, the guy who owns Donnellys (which used to be Crystal Springs). It’s still there too. Mr. Donnelly rents Roads End out still. I know various members of the Haltigan family rent it out around the end of August.

    There was such magic there, wasn’t there? My kids (16 and 11) totally get it, and we look forward to going every summer, though now we stay in Saranac Lake, and just head to the beach a few times, and wander around the overgrown camp.

    Kevin, I owe you a long email back. Soon!

    There are a lot of us haunted by those times, aren’t there…

    1. Martha,

      It would be a blast to see all of the children of the campers. My three granddaughters would love the lake.

      My son and daughter have heard the stories from their grandmother, my Mom, about the stunts and exploits of my brother, Billy McNally, Phil Gignac and myself. It is a wonder that none of us got hurt or arrested.

      Hard to believe but I will be 66 this year. My wife, Marta, is retired after teaching 30 plus years. I walked away from the practice of law to go back to being a cop.

      Want to hear of the Ruddins post 1968 which was our last year at the Camp. I had to get serious about school as the War was drafting the kids from the neighborhood out of college. I received my draft notice the day I graduated from college. I had a week to get home and appear before the US Army to get my pre-induction physical and psychological.

      After that, life came roaring at me and we never returned.

  15. In the late 40’s , till the early 60’s my grandparents, Lee and Lucy Turner lived at Stony Wold. My grandfather was the night watch man at the sanitarium and also the White Fathers seminary while it was there. . Every summer we would visit and spent a lot of time at Lake Kushaqua which for us was like heaven on earth. My grandparents lived up on a little knoll . It overlooked the chapel, sanitarium, railroad station, etc The building that now gets rented out (roads end?) used to be where the Doctors stayed. There was an extensive library there and my mother used to borrow books all of the time while she was growing up. My aunt Doris Ann Turner was a hair dresser and for a short while had a shop in the basement of the sanitarium . My aunt was always experimenting with hair color and one time accidently dyed her hair pink. It looked like cotton candy. When she went to mass the priest sent her home and told her not to come back until her hair was back to normal. The memories of LK or Stony Wold are so numerous and I think about it so often. Sitting on the sunporch at night listening to the loons, watching the train pass by right in front of the house, playing in the water fountains on the sanitarium lawn, exploring, picking blueberries, walking down those steps by the Overlook cottage to fish, catching my first sunfish in the guideboat with my grandpa, my grandmother’s excellent cooking, the laughter and most of all just the love we felt whenever we visited. I also remember when the White Fathers took over, Bishop Sheen giving a talk on the seminary lawn. This was an era of peace, when there was hope for the future and carefree days. One of the saddest days of my life was when I heard the state took over the land and destroyed every building except for the chapel, Donnely’s resident and roads end camp. I can never get into that camp to stay as its always rented out. Right behind that camp was my grandfathers boathouse that he built himself. It is not longer there. My grandparents are gone, the buildings are gone, the railroad is gone, but the lake and mountains never change and the memories will always be with me.How I miss Stony Wold/Lake Kushaqua and most of all my grandparents.

    1. Oh, and how could I forget the chapel bell chimes. How I loved them and also the sight of the priests/brothers walking around in their white robes, prayer books in hand. One time I remember cardinals visiting in red robes and how beautiful it was to see them filing into church for mass.

  16. Your viewers might be interested in the History of Stony Wold. https://localwiki.org/hsl/
    The White Fathers bought Stony Wold many years ago. I wrote a little history that appears in the link.
    Good Luck
    Your photos brought back many memories.

  17. My family, the Meehans were campers in the early seventies and I recognize a few names and recall the same references written here. Hello Martha Rudden! Marguerite, I think I remember you also. I’m married with 4 kids. My wife went there for 2 summers so you could say we met there.
    My memories are climbing Mt Marcy on Wednesdays, the rec hall, talent shows. We stayed in Restview which was walking distance to the candy store where Danny Donoghue worked.
    I’m going to track down that Yahoo site and let my siblings know of this. Will write more later.

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