This year marks fifty years since the passing of John S. Apperson, Jr., a celebrated Lake George conservationist. To honor his memory and accomplishments, the Lake George Land Conservancy (LGLC) held a gathering on July 21 hosted by LGLC Director Debbie Hoffman and her husband Bill, at their Bolton Landing home in the heart of “Apperson Territory”.
Over 60 people joined together for the casual event. Guests were able to walk around the property, which neighbored Bill and Kathleen Horne’s home known as the Annex, and enjoy the lakefront views.
“To live on and cherish the land,” explained Ms. Hoffman, “where such an important Father of Lake George strolled around contemplating and working out his next “battle” to passionately save the place he loved has a feeling like none other.”
Apperson was a remarkable force in the world of land conservation and public awareness of environmental issues of Lake George and the greater Adirondacks. In 1939 Apperson bought the iconic Dome Island to prevent potential development; to this day the island is off-limits to the public and serves as an important site for ecological studies.
The gathering was a dual celebration of Apperson and LGLC’s 25th Anniversary. Founded in 1988, LGLC’s efforts to protect the land surrounding Lake George carry on the work initiated by early conservationists like Apperson. LGLC even created its own “Apperson Society” to honor those who have gone above and beyond in their support for land conservation.
The gathering included a brief overview of LGLC history and ending with current day challenges, presented by LGLC Executive Director Nancy Williams.
“We have never seen so many large parcels that have such a huge impact on conservation on the market at the same time”, Williams explained. “We are creating neighborhood ad hoc committees to discuss and research the potential future of these large areas.”
Apperson’s great-niece and Virginia historian Ellen Apperson Brown also spoke to the group about her great uncle’s life. Guests were able to see pictures of Apperson as well as a remarkable collection of privately owned memorabilia shared by neighbors of the Apperson Territory, in particular Bill and Kathleen Horne.
Ms. Brown’s displays can viewed by the public at the Lake George Historical Society’s Museum.
“It was an honor to host this event,” added Ms. Hoffman, “and enhance awareness to the challenges and the accomplishments of Apperson’s life and the Lake George Land Conservancy.”
To learn more about Lake George Land Conservancy, its 25th Anniversary activities, and the life of John S. Apperson, visit www.lglc.org, call 518-644-9673, or stop in their Center for Conservation at 4905 Lake Shore Drive in Bolton Landing.
Photo provided: LGLC guests at the Hoffman residence in Bolton Landing celebrate and honor John Apperson’s legacy on Lake George. Pictured left to right: Arlene Langdon, Doug Langdon, Dick Bartlett, Ted Caldwell and Jane Caldwell.