Allen I. Vosburgh, publisher/supervisor

How nice that I keep running into friends who supply me with grist for this paper mill, churned out here ever week. It was my good luck recently to run into Bob Callaghan, who sent me a picture of a store in Lake Clear, owned and operated by Allen Vosburgh. The building is pictured on a postcard from 1920, and it still stands today located across from the Callaghan residence on state Route 30 on the left side, before the Catholic church, as one drives toward Saranac Inn. And don’t we all love Bob’s wife Sandy, Enterprise alum; she might greet one with the international sign of goodwill, but always used affectionately.

Allen Vosburgh is the grandfather of Rogene Vosburgh LeMay. There is a much deeper story to cover some day about Rogene’s family history; for instance, pioneer great-grandfather Isaiah Vosburgh was a former president of the village of Saranac Lake.

The Goldthwaite connection

There has been much Enterprise history here recently about publisher Kenneth Goldthwaite; well, guess what? He bought the Enterprise from Allen I. Vosburgh, who owned and published it from 1898 to 1906.

When that sale took place, he still owned and operated the Tupper Lake Herald, where he had had recently installed a large cylinder press. Until that time the Herald had been printed in Saranac Lake.

He was born in Franklin Falls to Isaiah and Alice Vosburgh in 1870; the family moved to this village in 1876. As a young man he drove the mountain stage from AuSable Forks to Saranac Lake. One of the stage stops was Martin’s Hotel on the shores of Lower Saranac Lake. A few years later he managed Martin’s Hotel.

He then owned and operated a general store in Lake Clear. He was elected Harrietstown supervisor and served in that capacity from 1923 until 1929, when the new town hall was erected and a new concrete highway was built to Lake Clear.

Honored at dinner

The following information is from Historic Saranac Lake’s website, as reported in the Tupper Lake Herald, March 6, 1930 …

“Former Harrietstown Supervisor Allen I. Vosburgh, of Lake Clear, was the guest of honor at a testimonial dinner given him at the Hotel Saranac in Saranac Lake Monday evening of this past week. Town Clerk H. Ray Williams presided as toastmaster. Several brief addresses were made all paying tribute to the guest of honor for his notable and efficient work on behalf of the town and village.

“Those present were: Mr. and Mrs. H. Ray Williams, Seaver Miller, Mr. and Mrs. C. J. Stickney, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Hodson, Mr. and Mrs. George A. Utting, Mr. and Mrs. Walter Duffy, Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Christian, Miss Jennie A. Flagg, Mr. and Mrs. N. S. Davenport, Mr. and Mrs. Walter J. Jenkins, Fred C. Conrad, Mrs. James A. Latour, Mrs. Mary Keet, Eugene Keet, Harry Fischer and Wayne E. Timmerman.” (Mr. Timmerman, from Massena, was Saranac Lake’s first village manager; that form of government was adopted by the village board in 1929.)

Dead, age 67 (Nov. 1, 1937)

“Former Supervisor Allen I. Vosburgh of Lake Clear, prominent member of the Republican party and a candidate for assessor on the Harrietstown Republican ticket, died at 5:30 a.m., on Monday. He was 67 years old and had been ill since last Friday night when he was stricken with an attack of apoplexy (a stroke). He was buried from his late residence in Lake Clear at 2 p.m. Wednesday. Funeral services were conducted by Rev. H. D. Fender, pastor of the Adirondack Presbyterian Church.

“Mr. Vosburgh was graduated from the Harrietstown schools and from Eastman’s Business School in Rochester. On November 14, 1897 he married Etta Otis of Lake Clear. They had three children; Isaiah who died at 9 months, Maurice and Alice Vosburgh.

“Mr. Vosburgh was a 32nd degree Mason and a member of the Saranac Lake Lodge of Elks and numerous other organizations. He was an elder in the Adirondack Presbyterian Church. He is survived by his wife and son, Maurice, who lived at home, and his daughter, who is a resident of New York City; also a sister, Mrs. Fred Tremble of Saranac Lake.”