There’s something about Lake George. There always has been. The Native American Iroqouis called the lake Andiatarocte (“place where the lake contracts”). In 1646 Father Isaac Jogues, a French Canadian missionary, renamed it Lac Du Saint-Sacrement (Lake of the Holy Sacrament). Then in 1755 when William Johnson occupied the land for Great Britain, he renamed it Lake George in honor of King George II.
When Thomas Jefferson first saw the lake in 1791 he wrote of it to his daughter “Lake George is without comparison, the most beautiful water I ever saw; formed by a contour of mountains into a basin thirty-five miles long and from two to four miles broad, finely interspersed with islands, its water limpid as crystal and the mountain sides covered with rich groves of silver fir, white pine, aspen and paper birch down to the water-edge: here and there precipices of rock to checker the scene and save it from monotony. An abundance of speckled trout, salmon trout, bass and other fish with which it is stored, have added to our other amusements the sport of taking them.”
Today it is commonly called the “Queen of American Lakes” for its timeless beauty and natural splendor.
Lake George is spring fed at its southern end (where Lake George Village is) and its outlet is 36 miles to the north at Ticonderoga. LaChute River connects the northern tip of Lake George to Lake Champlain over a mile long stretch of waterfalls.
The Lake George / Lake Champlain corridor was an important route during the colonial era, forming the main water route between Montreal and New York. As a result, strategic control of the lakes became important during both the French and Indian and Revolutionary Wars.
In post-colonial America, Lake George became a tourist destination where city dwellers could escape to the great wilds of the north. Year after year, families would travel for 36 hours by train to summer in Lake George.
The beauty of Lake George attracted and inspired many famous 19th and 20th century artists including Georgia O’Keeffe, Alfred Stieglitz and Frank Vincent DuMond. In fact, we have observed daily moments of artistic inspiration by the shores of Lake George as people stop and gaze in awe at the mountains and lake, then turn their phones to the scene for selfies and other Insta-worthy photographs. Bet you’ve done it yourself.