By: Parmelee Tolkan, President

September 3, 2015

It’s that time of year when we all start thinking about new beginnings and faces, as Labor Day signals the end of summer and the beginning of the school year.

The Lake Placid-North Elba Historical Society is also turning its attention to the things that are new, starting with new faces.
We have two new board members beginning this month.

Karen Fountain will be familiar to many of you from her teaching days or her long years of service as a member of the Lake Placid Volunteer Fire Department. Karen worked closely with our museum chair in developing the current exhibit, “Lake Placid Volunteer Fire Department: 110 years of Service and Dedication.” Her enthusiasm and pursuit of photos and memorabilia have added great depth to the presentation.

Laura Jean Clark is rejoining the board. Also a teacher, she brings memories of her mother, Laura Viscome, and her mother’s wonderful Lake Placid News column, “Odds and Ends.” A true friend of the Historical Society, Laura brings great energy and enthusiasm to Heritage Day and a wise head to the board.

The board is reluctantly allowing Peter Roland to step down as president. He has served on the board for countless years, most recently as president for the past six years. His guidance and work ethic will be sorely missed at the top, but happily for the society, Peter will remain as a board member.

New faces will fill the president and vice president of the board spots. I will be taking over as president and have previously served in that position at the Lake Placid Center for the Arts for seven years. At the Lake Placid-North Elba Historical Society, I have been the museum chair for the last six years and served as the vice president for four years before taking this new role. As museum chair, I co-curated two shows and created this year’s fire department exhibit with Bev Reid and Jenn Tufano (the past director/registrar).

Pat Kelly brings her boundless organizational skills to the job of vice president of the board. Previously, she served two years as director/registrar of the Lake Placid-North Elba Historical Society. This gives her a unique perspective on the workings of the group. Currently she is the chair of the Campus Planning Committee and the Curatorial/Library Committee.

In July, we welcomed a new director/registrar, Carla Eilo. She and her husband have moved to the Adirondacks from New Jersey. Carla has a degree in museum management and has previously worked at the Thomas Edison National Historical Park in New Jersey and the Morris-Jumel Mansion in New York City.

Please stop by the History Museum on Station Street to welcome her. The museum hours are 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday.

New additions

Carla has immediately put her museum management skills to work. She has begun to examine all our collections in order to grasp what we have and how we can improve our storage systems so we can better preserve and display our collections.

In the course of familiarizing herself with the collections in storage, she found a box carefully labeled referencing a future fire department exhibit. Imagine the thrill of finding Badge 1 Newman Hose Company inside the box.

Lake Placid originally had three hose companies. Newman Hose was the first of these. This badge would be the first badge issued to a firefighter in Lake Placid.

Does anyone out there know who that was?

The badge was donated to the museum by Linda Boyd Warner. Stop by the museum and check it out.

We have also added two photos of the Fire Department Military Band to the exhibit. It is very exciting to be able to add wonderful artifacts like these to further amplify the exhibit.

New additions on the display and storage side include new shelving to expand our capacity to store books and documents and two new upright display cases.

The Historical Society has had a very busy and productive year. We hope that many of you have come to the museum to see the fire department exhibit. The museum is open through Columbus Day, so if you’ve been putting it off you are not too late.

New field trip

Our annual Historic Fall Tour will be “Places of Worship: Saints and Sinners,” held on Thursday, Sept. 17 from 4 to 8 p.m. We will be visiting seven Lake Placid sites that are places of worship, or were used for this purpose in the past. A short presentation will be led at each site with time at the end for participants to share stories of past and present. As you all remember, this was the most entertaining part of the past tours.

Advance registration is required with a maximum of 30 participants. For more information or to register, please contact us at 518-523-3830, or