At its height, Camp Uncas was the be-all end-all of Adirondack Great Camps, the self-enclosed family compounds where Gilded Age tycoons used to summer with their well-heeled broods. Financier J.P. Morgan purchased it in 1897 from William West Durant, the primary designer and developer of the Great Camp style, when it contained some 20 buildings on 1,500 acres around New York's Mohegan Lake. Sold by the Morgan family in the 1940s, the camp changed hands several times before Howard Kirschenbaum and his then wife bought the main house and a few surrounding structures in 1976, by which point most of the original acreage had become state forest. But despite the fact that the 4.4-acre plot containing the 4,000-square-foot main lodge, guest cabins (dubbed Hawkeye and Chingachgook after characters in The Last of the Mohicans), boat house, children's playhouse, and lean-to is only a small part of what the camp used to be—though the structures have been restored, with new roofs and a host of modern amenities—there's still a lot of history wrapped up in the $3.25M asking price.
For starters, the property comes with a long list of original furniture, including 13 beds, 12 dressers, Morgan's own "rustic desk," a medicine chest, "two museum quality Lee Fountain birch rocking chairs," a "Gustav Stickley night stand," an "incomparable large, oak top and rustic base dining table for 12," built-ins with roots for arm rests, a medicine chest, and a few pieces of tasteful taxidermy. There's also a set of silver flatware inscribed with the word "Uncas" included, along with an original "Emerson Adirondack guide boat," a rowboat, and two modern canoes thrown in for good measure. Over the years, this hunk of Uncas has been a retreat center for a cancer research group, a historic site open to the public, and owned by the Boy Scouts of Rockland County, New York, so it's remarkable how much of the original accoutrement is still available. Check it out below:
· J.P. Morgan's Adirondack Retreat Is for Sale [WSJ]
· J.P. Morgan's Adirondack Great Camp Uncas [Franklin Ruttan]