518-532-7031

Books and Bootleggers Event In Saratoga Springs

Hello, friends of Silver Spruce Inn! Maureen Werther, author of “Them That Has. . . The Story of a 1790’s Adirondack House and the People Who Made It Famous,” will host a book signing and sampling of locally distilled bourbons, vodkas and other spirits from small batch distilleries in and around the Adirondacks.

The event will take place this Wednesday, August 2nd at Saratoga CoWorks at 153 Regent Street in Saratoga Springs from 5-7pm. The event is open to the public and, in addition to books and spirits, wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served. Maureen Werther will be available to talk about the genesis of her book and relate some of the amazing stories about the beautiful home that is now known as the Silver Spruce Inn in Schroon Lake, NY.

Copies of the book will be available for purchase. Please come and bring a friend!

Schroon Lake Historical Society Annual Tea Is Held at Silver Spruce Inn

Members of Schroon Lake Historical Society at 14th Anual Victorian Tea

On Wednesday, June 19th, The Silver Spruce Inn played host to the membership of Schroon Lake Historical Society for its annual ladies luncheon and “high tea.” And it could not have been a better day for it! The sun was shining brightly on the garden, which is blooming in full glory. The ladies were dressed in Victorian finery, with large brims and lace cuffs the order of the day.

Silver Spruce owner Phyllis Rogers greeted visitors at the door to her gracious indoor patio, and the ladies took their seats in the enormous cedar-lined main dining area. Volunteers clad in Victorian servant dress served plates of dainty finger sandwiches and aromatic cups of tea, as guests reconnected with old friends.

The Historical Society’s special guest for the event was Maureen Werther, author of the recently published book about Silver Spruce, “Them That Has. . . The Story of a 1790’s Adirondack House and the People Who Made it Famous.” After the luncheon, Ms.Werther told the group the story of how the book came about and she regaled them with some of the wonderful stories in the book about the home’s most well-known owner – Sallie Miller Smith.

Tales of Prohibition-era antics and adventures, as well as the story behind the Waldorf Astoria bar in the lower level “lounge,” were just some of the tidbits Ms. Werther shared with the assembled group, while Phyllis guided others on a tour of the grand old home. Ladies were able to purchase signed copies of the book before they ventured back outside into the hot sunny July afternoon to take a walk through the gardens.

In all, it was a successful afternoon and Phyllis was thrilled to play host at this year’s event!

Anyone who is interested in purchasing a copy of “Them That Has . . . The Story of a 1790’s Adirondack House and the People Who Made it Famous,” can stop by the Silver Spruce. Or, contact Phyllis by the phone or email address listed on the Silver Spruce website.

 

Thanks for Hugely Successful Book Launch and Open House at Silver Spruce Inn!

We had a marvelous turnout to celebrate the launch of the new book by Maureen Werther, “Them That Has…The Story of a 1790’s Adirondack House and the People Who Made it Famous. Guests showed up by the dozens to purchase a signed copy of the book and to have a tour of Silver Spruce Inn.

We thought we’d share some photos of the event with you here. And, please contact us 518-532-7031 or send us an email request on our
Contact” page.  We look forward to hearing from all of you and having you back as guests of the Inn very soon!

Linda Durfee Sakmar and her son Connor, are descendants of the home’s most famous owner, Sallie Miller Smith. Sharing a photo op with the book’s author, Maureen Werther.

Silver Spruce owner, Phyllis Rogers and author Maureen Werther are busy helping visitors and signing books.

 

Phyllis and husband, Eldon posing with copies of “Them That Has…”

We were also excited to even have an article about our event published in Sunday issue of The Saratogian newspaper. So happy that people in Saratoga County will learn about our beautiful hidden gem in Schroon Lake!http://www.saratogian.com/general-news/20170527/local-author-celebrates-launch-of-new-book

Dont Forget About Our Book Launch Party and House Tour May 27th 1-4pm!

The team at Silver Spruce Inn hopes you’re getting ready to enjoy what promises to be a beautiful spring weekend in the Adirondacks. We want to make sure you’ve haven’t forgotten to pencil in our book launch party and house tour to celebrate the launch of our new book, “Them That Has…the Story of a 1790s Adirondack House and the People Who Made it Famous,” by local author Maureen Werther.

The event is open to the public and all will be most welcome. Besides being able to buy a signed copy of the book and learn some of the secrets of the Silver Spruce Inn, we’ll have plenty of cookies, cupcakes and light refreshments on hand for everyone.  It promises to be a fun and entertaining afternoon, filled with fascinating stories of the house and its colorful owners. You’ll discover some of the myths that surround the home, as well as some amazing facts about is most famous – and often eccentric – owner, Sallie Miller Smith.

So, if you’re a fan of the Silver Spruce Inn, we’re glad to have you back. If you’ve never visited us before, there couldn’t be a better time to stop by and learn why the Silver Spruce is so special that we just had to write a book about it!

And, if you just can’t make it to the Inn this Saturday, but you want to buy a copy of the book, simply call us at the Inn or send us an email. All you have to do is go to our website, http://www.silverspruce.com/contact-us/

Let us know how many copies of the book you’d like to receive and make sure you give us your address. We will be happy to fill your order. The book sells for $10 – a bargain for a fascinating slice of Schroon Lake history!

See you Saturday at the Silver Spruce!

Starting the 2017 Season with the Launch of Our New Book!

Dining RoomoWe are so excited to announce the launch of our new book, “Them That Has…” the story of a 1790’s Adirondack House and the People Who Made it Famous,” by local author Maureen Werther.

Phyllis Rogers, owner of The Silver Spruce Inn, will be hosting an Open House on Saturday, May 27th from 1-4 p.m. and all are invited!

In addition to discussions about the book and book-signing, guests we will be able to tour the wonderful old Inn and see firsthand some of the amazing additions that Sallie Miller Smith made to the 1790s homestead, transforming it into one of the most beautiful and most talked about Inns in the Adirondacks.

So, stop in, enjoy some light refreshments, have your book signed and see firsthand the Inn that Sallie Miller Smith made famous!

Signing Off For the Season at Silver Spruce

 

Silver SpruceAs we reach the end of another wonderful season at Silver Spruce, we want to thank all of our guests for your continued patronage. We hope the time you spent here was full of exploration, adventure, wonder and – of course – relaxation amidst the natural beauty of the Adirondacks.

With autumn coming to Schroon Lake a little earlier than it does for our neighbors to the south, we are busy raking leaves and cleaning the gardens in preparation for the winter months. Indoors, the fireplace warms our hands and our spirits as the evenings become chillier, a harbinger of things to come this winter.

Although we will be closed for those frosty winter months, we will not be idle. Our plans include travel, visiting with family and friends and, of course, getting ready for re-opening the Inn next Spring. We invite you all to check in with us during the Fall and Winter, as we prepare to publish a book about Silver Spruce called Them That Has by local author, Maureen Werther.

The book is an informal history of the home that we now call The Silver Spruce, from the time of its construction in the 1790s, through the next 200 plus years. The changes this old house has undergone, the scenes it has been silent witness to, and the people who lived their lives here are stories that anyone who loves the Adirondacks will thoroughly enjoy reading about.

We are planning our official launch of Them That Has next spring, with a reception and book signing right here at Silver Spruce. Be watching on our website for more updates and information throughout the winter.

Again, thank you for sharing our wonderful bed and breakfast with us. We wish you a safe, healthy and happy winter season, and we look forward to seeing all of you in 2017.

 

 

The Silver Spruce Inn & Prohibition Years…What the Chauffeur Saw

Dining RoomoFor those of you who’ve been following us, you already know I’m writing a book about the best B&B in Schroon Lake – or maybe even all of the Adirondacks! The Silver Spruce Inn wasn’t always an Inn. The original structure was built in the 1790’s and was a plain looking two-story structure with a roofed front porch spanning the entire length of the house.
My preliminary research on the history of the home’s inhabitants indicates that they were mostly “average” people for the times, financially. As with most families, they had lots of children and they were probably engaged in farming of some sort.
By the time Sallie Miller Smith bought the home in the mid-late 1920s, it was in considerable disrepair. The family living there at the time were “dirt poor,” and consisted of a father who did not work at all, a wife who seemed to be always pregnant, and a gaggle of children who didn’t attend school, largely because the townspeople felt, since the father never paid taxes, his children should not be allowed to attend school.
When Sallie purchased the house, she immediately began work on restoring the original structure, as well as adding an enormous addition on the back. The new section of the house boasted seven bedrooms upstairs, each one with its own full bath, complete with clawed-foot tubs, flushing toilets, bidets, and a corkscrew. I mean, after all, who DOESN’T need a corkscrew in the bath!!
Thousands of dollars were spent on underground pipes made of brass shipped in from Connecticut. Water was piped in from the fresh spring above and behind Sallie’s property, all the way down to the house. When we remember that this was being built during the 1920’s, we realize the scope and cost of the work begin done.
One of the most intriguing things about Sallie’s renovated and expanded home was the “tavern” she constructed on the lower level of the house. You could get to the lower level by descending a long wide staircase that had very low risers – much shorter in height than average staircase risers.
Phyllis Rogers, current owner of Silver Spruce, explained to me that Sallie had a very good reason for keeping the stairs so shallow, instead of building them to more standard specifications.
Because Sallie and her sister, Margaret were big drinkers and partyers, they did not want to injure themselves if they happened to take an intoxicated tumble on the way up or down the stairs!
There are dozens of other stories about the goings on in and around Schroon Lake during Prohibition. The Adirondack region was rife with “rum-runners,” “moonshiners” and bootleggers, and the area offered prime locations for hide-outs, transfers of money for alcohol, and mad dashes to the Canadian border to escape “revenuers.”
Sallie and Margaret had no intentions of letting a little thing like a federal law stop them from gaining access to liquor and they devised several ways to obtain it for their weekly house parties in the tavern.
Guests at Siler Spruce Inn will agree that the “tavern” is a darker, more rustic-looking subterranean space, with an enormous fireplace, beautiful stone walls and wide plank flooring. But, a tavern wouldn’t be a tavern without a bar, would it?
Sallie wasn’t content with just any bar, and something crudely built would never have passed muster with her. According to the chauffeur, who shared his reminiscences with Phyllis before he passed away at the ripe old age of 94, Sallie found a bar in NYC that suited her tastes, and she arranged for it to be purchased, dismantled and transported back up to Schroon Lake.
While none of this information has been corroborated, the chauffeur insisted that this wasn’t just any bar. At the same time Sallie was constructing her Adirondack mansion, the Astor family was selling and dismantling the original Waldorf Astoria Hotel, which was located on 33rd and 5th Avenue, on the property that is now home to the Empire State Building.
Seventeen years before, John Jacob Astor had died tragically on the Titanic. In 1919, his partner, William Waldorf Astor also died, leaving as one of their many legacies what was called the “grandest hotel in the world” at the time.
By 1929, however, the Waldorf hotel had not kept up with the many technological advances that had taken place in the preceding decade, and the hotel was demolished to make way for the construction of the Empire State Building.
The hotel was full of furnishings and other items of value that were sold off as part of the demolition. And, it’s quite likely that, in 1929, dismantling a large, heavy piece of furniture like a hotel bar, wasn’t something that would go unnoticed or unremarked.
Now, since Phyllis was unable to find any records pertaining to the particulars of the bar, she could only take the chauffeur’s word that the bar had come from the original Waldorf Hotel. But, chauffeurs – like butlers and chambermaids – are very often witnesses to a whole lot of interesting things and, if you ask me, my money’s on the chauffeur’s story!
While the story of the bar still remains a bit of a mystery, I’ll keep searching for information. Be sure to check in to see what else I’ve been able to uncover about the mystery. One way or another, Sallie and her sister had quite the bar to “belly up to” during those long, cold winters in the Adirondacks!

“I COULD WRITE A BOOK!”

How many times have we all heard or used that expression? More often than not, the people, places and events in our lives really are more interesting than a work of fiction could ever be. Because we think that holds true for our wonderful B&B, we’ve decided we are going to turn its lively and colorful history into – what else – a book!

For those of you who are familiar with Silver Spruce Inn and have stayed here, you probably already know at least some of the stories surrounding the history of the place, starting with its construction back in the 1790s by one of Schroon Lake’s earliest families to settle in the area, to the purchase and expansion of the house by Sally Miller Smith and her use of the place as her own private “speakeasy” during Prohibition.

Well, we’ve decided to tell you the whole story.  There are so many stories, anecdotes, and myths surrounding the house – and our beautiful Schroon Lake in general – it just isn’t fair to keep all of this information to ourselves.

For instance, you can see photos of the original house as it looked when it was first built at the end of the 18th century and read about the parties and events that took place here. Or, find out what’s so special about guest room #6 and about Sally’s and her sisters’ connection to people like Winston Churchill and Eleanor Roosevelt.

These are just some of the interesting things we are looking forward to sharing with you.  We will be sure to keep you posted as we progress with our story and we’ll let you know as we get closer to our publication date, which we hope will be sometime this Fall.

After it is published, we will also be talking about the book at local events. As that schedule becomes available, we will share it with you here, on our website. So, be sure to keep checking back with us for new information.

And of course, please call us to find out about rates and availability and to book your trip to our beautiful Inn in the midst of the amazing Adirondacks! To our returning guests, we can’t wait to see you again. To our new visitors, we can’t wait to meet you and make you a part of our Silver Spruce family!

 

SPRING CLEANING AT SILVER SPRUCE INN

After a lovely winter hiatus in New Mexico, we are back home at our beloved Silver Spruce Inn and working hard to have it in pristine condition and ready for the coming season.

Spring cleaning at the Inn, however, is no easy task! With six guest rooms and six baths, a huge living and dining room, 50-foot long enclosed porch with ceiling to floor windows – not to mention the Prohibition-era “speakeasy” and the owners’ quarters – there is a lot to do!

One of the best things about the Inn is its authenticity. When my husband and I bought it nearly 20 years ago, we devoted ourselves to preserving it and remaining true to the Adirondack style and decor of the place.

Did you know, for example, that even the curtain rods are the original iron, with period finials.? The walls are paneled in full-cut western cedar, and the dining area fireplace has what local residents like to call a “five-Santa chimney.” Some of the locals still tell stories of Sallie Smith, the original owner, throwing great parties and roasting oysters in the enormous hearth.

The incredibly tall barn windows are the same vintage as the Inn and were purchased from the village school during the barn’s construction in the 90s.

And the formal gardens, which we added soon after we became the new owners, boast flower species that are indigenous to the area.

Now that we’ve dusted and polished acres of hardwood walls, floors and furniture, scrubbed half a dozen clawed-foot soaking tubs, and washed more than 60 wiindows to let the beautiful outdoors shine in, we are ready to welcome the first of our guests this coming week.

For those of you who’ve stayed as guests of the Inn, we look forward to seeing you again this season. And, for those of you who are just learning about us, welcome! We are happy to share the magic, history and charm of Silver Spruce Inn with you.

A Message From Silver Spruce Inn

 

As we ready the Inn for the start of our 30th year as your hosts, we are excited about the coming spring/summer season in the beautiful Adirondacks.  Those of you who have been guests of Silver Spruce Inn know that it is a treasure nestled in the heart of the Adirondacks.  For those of you just starting to think about spending time in and around Schroon Lake and the Lake George/North Country region, we welcome you to visit our website and check out our beautiful guest rooms, dining and lounging areas, and of course, the natural beauty that surrounds us.

Silver Spruce Inn’s sensational formal gardens, where we have held many a festive occasion, are being readied, guestrooms and common areas are getting an impeccable spring cleaning following a winter of tightly shut windows, and wicker furniture is coming out of storage and carefully arranged on our signature 50-foot long porch.

While there are so many things to do here in the Adirondacks and so many special events to anticipate, we at the Inn are in the midst of booking guests for one of the biggest yearly events – Americade.  Held in the village of Lake George since the early 80s, Americade 2016 kicks off on June 4th and will attract over 50,000 motorcyclists and passengers.

The village of Lake George bursts at the seams for this one of a kind event as it plays host to riders, expos, music, and food.  Americade organizers sponsor group rides across some of the most beautiful routes of the Adirondacks, including Schroon Lake.  Over the years, Americade riders have discovered the Silver Spruce Inn during their rides, and we have happily welcomed them as our guests.

We’re excited to open our doors again this year to returning Americade guests, as well as newcomers to the Inn, who want to enjoy the comforts that we offer after a long day of riding and touring.  We have eight beautifully appointed guest rooms, all decorated in authentic Adirondack style and each with their own private bath.

Our large, yet cozy dining area is a wonderful space to sip coffee and enjoy the amazing breakfast for which Silver Spruce Inn has become famous.   And, did you know that Silver Spruce Inn’s fascinating history includes being home to a locally well known – and extremely popular– Prohibition Era speakeasy?

Guests of the Inn can amble down to the fieldstone tavern and be transported back in time. Be sure to check out the lavish bar transplanted to our B&B from the original Waldorf Astoria.  Retrace the steps taken by speakeasy clients as they scurried along the secret passageway to avoid getting caught by Prohibition enforcers.  Guests are welcome to bring their own “libation” and relax by the huge open hearth fireplace.  What a great way to spend an evening, after a day of riding, visiting motorcycle expos, and taking advantage of all the Americade rally has to offer!

If you are planning to join the thousands of other motorcycle fans for Americade 2016, we encourage you to contact us now to secure your accommodations.  We are currently accepting reservations and the Inn is sure to fill up quickly.  So, give us a call or send us an email.  We can’t wait to welcome you to Silver Spruce Inn.