Village, 46ers to salute legendary guide

SARANAC LAKE – The late Herb Clark, the first Adirondack 46er, will be recognized in a pair of ceremonies planned here over Memorial Day weekend.

The village is planning to honor Clark, who lived in Saranac Lake, with a bronze plaque and induction into the village’s Walk of Fame. A replica of the plaque will be unveiled during the village’s Saranac Lake 6er weekend festivities at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 25, in Berkeley Green, Mayor Clyde Rabideau announced at Monday night’s village board meeting.

The following day, Sunday, May 26 at 10 a.m., the Adirondack 46ers organization will honor Clark by placing a memorial stone at his gravesite in St. Bernard’s Cemetery.

Clark was a guide employed by the Louis Marshall family at Knollwood on Lower Saranac Lake beginning in 1906, according to the Historic Saranac Lake Wiki website. Beginning in 1918, he and Bob and George Marshall climbed what they then believed to be the 46 Adirondack mountains higher than 4,000 feet, completing the task on the summit of Mount Emmons on June 10, 1925. Since then, more than 7,000 people have followed in their footsteps and registered their climbs to become Adirondack 46ers. Clark died in 1945.

Descendants of Clark, including his grandchildren and a great-granddaughter, attended Monday’s village board meeting, where Rabideau read a proclamation honoring Clark. It says Clark’s accomplishment in climbing the 46 High Peaks, and the tradition it created, has brought “great economic impact, notoriety, new friends and new neighbors to the Adirondacks,” and that Clark himself brought “profound honor and pride to our community.”

The mayor proclaimed the week of May 26 through June 1 as Herb Clark 46er Number One Week in Saranac Lake.

“Herb Clark would be astounded and in disbelief to think that 80 some years after he finished, people would still be mentioning his name,” said his grandson Jim Clark. “Herb was part of a trio. Bob and George Marshall were inseparable. They started something that’s continued on. It’s amazing, and we’re very grateful to the village for recognizing him and certainly to the 46er club we’re very appreciative.”

Contact Chris Knight at 891-2600 ext. 24 or