In the early 1900's Sacandaga Park was a thriving summer cottage community along the Sacandaga River. It was readily accessible by FJ&G Railroad, with residents coming from as far as NewYork City. The community enjoyed Broadway level entertainment, a golf course, a baseball stadium on an island in the river, water recreational fun, a dance hall and hiking in the surrounding nature. The entire resort was meticulously landscaped.The Adirondack Inn, High Rock and the Pines Hotel were beautiful resort hotels. Ater the fire in 1898, the cottage community was rebuilt and then enjoyed electric service, municipal water & sewer. Cottage lots were leased and the cottages owned. In later years the railroad built a large Midway and diversified its transportation offerings.
The creation of the Sacandaga Reservoir in 1930 flooded the Northville line of the FJ&G and started a period of decline for the Park. Much had changed. It was now the era of the automobile and foreign travel replaced leisurely family summers in the Park. The type and quality of the entertainment changed with Park demographics. But the Park survived separate from the FJ&G. It continues to evolve as a recreational cottage community.
The Inn was a luxurious resort hotel built in 1891 by the FJ&G. It had elegant accommodations for up to 250 guests - the social center of the Park. Itburnt in 1975.
Idle Hour Park was full of scenic walking paths, small lakes, rustic art and a bandstand for concerts and entertainment. This Park was at the current Village area and pickleball courts
Summer watersports - boating, water slides, fishing - in the Sacandaga River was a big attraction. A bridge and miniature railroad took people across to the ballpark on Sport Island.
This theatre was a famous venue in the Park. When the valley was flooded in 1930, it ended up at the river's edge. It burned down in 1955, just after the matinee performance of "Guys and Dolls" ended.
The Dance Hall was located next to the picnic grove. The structure survives as winter storage for boats. It has a prime location on a hill along the Lake, The picnic grove is no longer there.
Flooding of the Sacandaga River Valley to create a reservoir for downstream flood control was a threat for more than 50 years. It finally happened in 1930. Almost 100 years later, cost and benefit distribution remains a difficult topic.
After the fire that destroyed the Rustic Theatre in 1952, the Northville and Park community invested in a new 1000 seat theatre. It attracted Broadway level entertainment for a few years but there no longer was an audience. The theatre was sold and then torn down in the 1970's.
The pretty 9-hole Sacandaga Park golf course has been a key recreational public amenity for more than a 100 years. It has attracted misguided attention as development space and is now closed while the Town, Park residents and developer battle it out.
To protect the unique character of Sacandaga Park - once "the Coney Island of the North" - a Historic District was proposed in 2009. Such a District would ameliorate development pressures and help cottage owners with restoration efforts and utility grants.
The FJ&G originally leased out the cottages. Almost all burnt in 1897 but the railroad rebuilt better. Cottage lots were sold after the FJ&G bankruptcy in 1938. Over time, many were modified but a characteristic style remains. Preservation of open space and pedestrian right-of-ways and limiting cross-traffic, is needed.