the southeast end of Upper Saranac Lake in the Adirondack Mountains of
New York State, the glaciers formed a rocky island approximately one
acre, measuring 150 feet at its widest diameter. This is Island Chapel.
1889, Smith Weed, Martin Turner and John Riley, lawyers who were
practicing in Plattsburgh, NY, acquired this island which was then known
as Johnsonís Island. According to the abstract, it was to have a
chapel built on it within 1 year and would be open to all Christians
worshipers and clergymen in good standing. It was later known as Church
Island and finally as Island Chapel.
original building was a Victorian style building painted gray with white
trim. Across the front was a deep porch approached by the building by a
stairway at each end. This building served worshippers until disaster
stuck in August, 1956.
picnickers had had a bonfire and thought that the fire had been
extinguished. However, it would appear that the fire smoldered and
spread among the peat, pine needles and moss until it reached the porch
of the Chapel. Despite the best efforts of those living and working in
the surrounding area, the Chapel burned to the ground. Through the
efforts of many dedicated workers, the Chapel was rebuilt and reopened
for services on July 22, 1958.
existing chapel is now 50 years old and looks much like the original
replacement of 1958. Some slight repairs and improvements have taken
place through the donations of those who have cared so much for Island
Chapel. However, stepping on this island and into this chapel takes one
back to a simpler time and the beauty of the lake and the mountains
enhances the services and weddings held here.
above information came from A Chapel on an Island written by the
late Dr. Junie Potter, an advocate of Island Chapel and a lover of the
Adirondacks. This booklet is available for $10.00 before and after