This post was sponsored by the Lake George Steamboat Company.
Standing on the deck of the Minne-Ha-Ha, it isn’t uncommon to overhear snatches of family lore. Young voices beg Grandma to tell them – again – how Grandpa proposed to her on that very spot in 1972. A sister greets her brother and his children, eager to pass on the summer tradition of truth-or-I-dare-you-to-jump at Calves Pen. A father boasts to his daughter’s school friends about the time he sat next to the mayor at a fundraiser on the Minne-Ha-Ha’s sister ship, the Lac du Saint Sacrement.
No matter which snippets you overhear on your own tour, one thing is clear – the mosaic of stories that make up the 200 year history of the Lake George Steamboat Company is large, colorful, and always family or community-oriented.
A Brief History of the Lake George Steamboat Company
First incorporated by the New York state legislature on April 15, 1817, the Lake George Steamboat Company has transported generations of passengers up, down, and around the “Queen of American Lakes” for 200 years.
Originally the primary mode of commercial shipping and passenger transportation for communities on the lake, the Lake George Steamboat Company gracefully evolved with the years. Surviving wars, economic downturns, and disruptive technologies like the motorcar, the steamboat company continues to sail the full length of the lake. Continuing 200 years of tradition, the company’s ships now ferry locals and visitors on unforgettable tours of the stunning shorelines, historic mansions, and intriguing islands.
The modern Lake George Steamboat Company really began in the 1950s and 60s when the opening of the Adirondack Northway significantly impacted passenger volume on the lake. The company adapted by beginning to book evening charters when they didn’t interfere with the regular passenger schedule. Eventually the Lake George Steamboat Company shifted their business entirely to the sightseeing tours and charters so beloved by locals and visitors to Lake George today.
Celebrating a Milestone Anniversary, Lake George-style
From its origins connecting the communities on the lake through commerce and passenger travel to today, when the Saint Sacrement is routinely used for local fundraisers and weddings, the Lake George Steamboat Company is a mainstay in the Lake George community.
Beginning with four New Year’s cruises to welcome their anniversary year in style, the Lake George Steamboat Company is working closely with the village and local businesses on a year-long series of celebrations for the company’s 200th anniversary. Though the company will be celebrating with locals and visitors all year, four large events are planned to mark special occasions in the company’s history.
Commemorating 200 New Years with the Lake George Steamboat Company
The New Year’s celebrations include three separate ticketed cruises. The first cruise will be a special New Year’s Eve family dinner celebration on the lake from 6-8 pm on December 31, 2016. Later that evening the company will usher in the New Year with a party cruise from 10 pm – 12:30 am, complete with celebratory fireworks, delicious drinks and nibbles, and even an ice bar on the dock! For the first day of the company’s 200-years-celebration, locals and visitors to Lake George are invited to celebrate with tickets to a New Years Day Champagne brunch from 12–2:15 pm. This New Year’s Day cruise is a unique opportunity to experience the lake in its full winter beauty when the leafless trees afford passengers unparalleled views of the shoreline.
On this day in 1817… Celebrating April 15, 2017
On April 15, 2017, the Lake George Steamboat Company will officially celebrate its 200th anniversary with a free cruise for locals to thank them for their support. The anniversary cruise will include hors d’oeuvres and dockside celebrations. During their anniversary weekend the company will also offer a ticketed Good Friday Seafood Cruise on April 14 and a ticketed Easter Sunday brunch cruise on April 16. Both cruises promise to offer beautiful views of early spring on the lake.
Christenings, Balloons, and a Block Party
Of course, celebrations do not end in April for the company and its clients. The Lake George Steamboat Company will also celebrate the anniversary of the Lac du Saint Sacrement’s 1989 christening on June 17 with an invitation-only cruise, ceremony, and fireworks. Many special and regularly scheduled cruises will tour the lake during the 2017 summer season. Then, at the 2017 Balloon Festival in September, the company will bring their 200th anniversary summer to a close with a community block-party celebration on their dock.
Here’s to 200 more years on the waters of Lake George!
In 200 years much has changed along the shores of Lake George, but like the water on which its boats ferry passengers, the Lake George Steamboat Company continues relatively unchanged – a Lake George tradition. To the company, this special anniversary is an opportunity to affirm its commitment to the Lake George community and create memories to last several more generations.