The First Annual
Blue Mountain Lake
Flotilla Festival!

Sunday, August 27, 2017, 3 PM to ?


3pm - Blessing for the Fleet — The Church of the Transfiguration

4pm - Historical Tour - THE HEDGES

5:30 pm - Barbecue, opening ceremonies and historical presentation at Prospect Point

7:15 - The Flotilla Embarks from Prospect Point Beach

8pm - Grand Concert, Finale and Fireworks – PROSPECT POINT


135 years ago, on a majestic lake in the heart of the Adirondacks,
a steamboat glided through an August night. In tow were some 75
rowboats and their passengers. An orchestra played. A cannon
roared salute. "Jubilee" (Gospel) singers raised their voices. And
shining Chinese lanterns — some hanging from the boats, others
drifting on the waves — glittered like a thousand water-borne
From the forests and open meadows surrounding the lake people
waved and cheered. Bonfires flickered from the mountain slopes,
and atop a peninsula high above the water stood a great hotel
with hundreds of shining lights — the first in the world lit entirely
by electricity and under the direction of Thomas Edison himself.
Almost unthinkably, this marvel of human ingenuity stood here,
deep in the the Adirondack wilderness — an unparalleled
achievement that looked far into the future. The Prospect House
had officially opened its doors but a few months earlier and the
guests were now celebrating with this festival of lights.
This summer, on August 27, 2017, the Blue Mountain Lake flotilla
will sail again. It will mark the first time this event has taken place
since the original was held, here on these same waters in August
of 1882. At 3:00 PM there will be a blessing for the fleet at the
Church of the Transfiguration — a house of prayer active since
1885 and frequented by the guests of the Prospect House. At
4:00 PM there will be an historical tour at The Hedges, former
Civil War General Hiram Duryea’s Camp, which participated in the
original Flotilla event and which is now listed on the National
Registry of Historic Places. At 5:30 PM the reception begins at
Prospect Point Cottages, the site where the mighty Prospect
House once stood. Waiters and actors in late 19th-century garb
will welcome and serve the visitors. As guests enjoy a hearty
barbecue dinner, opening ceremonies will commence around 6:15
including greetings from Brian Wells, Indian Lake Town
Supervisor. Hallie Bond, former education director and curator at
the Adirondack Museum and author of the book, Boats and
Boating in the Adirondacks, will also give a presentation putting
the day into historic perspective. At around 7:15 PM the flotilla —
under the direction of the Blue Mountain Lake Boat Livery — will
launch from Prospect Point Cove, the very beach where the
original Flotilla embarked. True to history, the boats will be towed
by an antique steamer which perhaps providentially bears the
name of the original craft that pulled the first Flotilla in 1882 — the
Towahloondah. Musicians will perform on board (a chamber
group, a small choral group, and a folk duo), and the flotilla will
slowly make its way in a great procession around the east bay of
the lake, stopping briefly before designated spots — Curry’s
Cottages, the original “Steamboat Landing” (which now also
houses Blue Mountain Lake Outfitters), and elsewhere to play
music off shore. The towed vessels will themselves comprise a
parade of historic non-motorized craft.
As darkness falls, Chinese lanterns will be lit on the flotilla, upon
the lake and along the shore. Bonfires will blaze again and a
cannon will salute as the flotilla steams its way towards Prospect
Point Cottages. After the boats reach Prospect Cove at around
8:00 PM, participants will be treated to refreshments and a
concert by a chamber orchestra, choral group and soloists, and
other musicians performing classics and period pieces of
American music, as fresh today as they were in 1882. The
concert will culminate in a performance of Beethoven’s Ode to
Joy, followed by fireworks. Performers include world-renowned
pianist, Nicole Wang, acclaimed composers and folk musicians
Karen Whitman and Rick Pantell, chamber musicians
Elaine Dewar, Dorit Gaedtke, Esther Rogers Baker, Sue Grimm
Hansley, and other artists from across the Adirondacks, under the
direction of George Cordes, Artistic Director at the Adirondack
Lakes Center for the Arts.
This historic event is being organized or supported by a broad
coalition including Prospect Point Cottages, the Hedges, the
Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts, Adirondack Experience:
The Museum on Blue Mountain Lake, and various businesses
and individuals throughout the local community. We invite not only
local residents and summer visitors but tourists and visitors from
across New York and beyond to experience this event either from
the shore or as participants in one of the flotilla boats!
To help make this historic celebration of the Gilded Age come
alive both for revelers of today and for years to come, this event is
an effort by the community to preserve its history and to pass its
legacy on to the future. It is hoped that this event will create an
annual gala that will commemorate and celebrate the culture of
this region.
The 2017 Flotilla Festival is also a timely one, as it joins other
celebrations marking the 60th anniversary of Adirondack
Experience (“The Adirondack Museum”), the 50th anniversary of
the Arts Center, and the restoration of two historic hostelries --
The Hedges and Prospect Point Cottages!

Click here to see a description of the original 1882 flotilla!


Flotilla Festival details:

Registration: $25 per person.  This includes food at the Hedges and Prospect Point and the concert. 

The Flotilla itself will be comprised of antique non-motorized boats or boats in antique style, at $25 per craft (which includes all fees for passengers with no further costs).  Boat tickets also include all the shore activities.  We also welcome more modern non-motorized craft, but all vintage craft will be towed at the front of the line.

Suggested Donations: Admiral, $100.00; Captain, $50.00; Sailor, $25.00.  Please make your check out to the Town of Indian Lake Chamber of Commerce and indicate in the memo that the check is for the “Flotilla on Blue Mountain Lake.” 

Checks should be mailed to the Town of Indian Lake Chamber of Commerce, 6301 NYS Route 30, Indian Lake, NY 12842.  On the spot registration at the event will also take place. 

All funds go to making possible the present Flotilla event, and any extra funds that may come in will be set aside to support next year’s 2018 Flotilla.