Autumn Newsletter, 2023

Read all the summers news in our most recent newsletter.  Prefer to print and read it?  Download PDF St Williams Newsletter, Autumn 2023.  You can sign up to receive future copies using our contact form.

Celebrating 30 years and Going Strong: St. William’s on Long Point! by Sue Norris

St. William’s on Long Point has been celebrating 30 years as an organization.  We want to take a moment to say thank you to each of you who has been involved over this time and helped make it all possible.  To our donors, volunteers, Board members, folks who attend our programs, our renters, and those who stop by to visit the church.  Thank you for your support and caring!

Each of the buildings has been lovingly fixed up thanks to many, many volunteers, and sometimes contractors.  Box beams under the Bunk House to make it straight.  An apartment put in for the Caretaker/Innkeeper.  New windows in the Main House and the dining room.  New public restrooms near the church.  The boat house is the only building we tore down and started again and serves as a meeting/game room.

One of our current projects is that we are organizing the history of the past 30 years, going through papers and photos.  There are so many good memories and stories! If you have any good pictures or stories to share, please send them to us!   If you would like to be on the Committee, let me know.  Thank you all for your continued support!               

Celebrating our History by Bea Garvan

St. William’s today.

With enthusiasm and continuous application, the community of Raquette Lake took on an important commitment to stabilize and restore St. Williams on Long Point and to rebuild the decayed boat house for extended use in the project. It has proved to be a worthy enterprise. The final accolade being the election of St. Williams to the US National Register of Historic Places; be sure to see the plaque secured to the rock near the dock.

There were momentous moments, recorded and not recorded, of people-place-and things, and they will continue.

Here are a few from my memory bank:

  • Tony Garvan, Ruth Timm, and Brother Ed Falsey on our deck at camp in 1990/91 discussing the need and possibilities of how to save the church.  The not-for-profit was formed.
  • Major fundraising began and continued in spurts as needs arose. Tony Garvan (Board Chair of AARCH at the time) began research which included structural analysis, and other contemporary (1890) regional architecture. The New York architectural firm of Josiah Cady and Louis de Coppett Berg, the latter a German trained architect, were commissioned to design St. Williams. Cady had designed the Episcopal church on Raquette lake in a familiar “stick “style. The design of St. William’s  is surely the work of  Berg, familiar with regional/rural wood churches in Germany distinguished for their expansive interior spaces and niches which extended beyond the rectangular footprint. Builders in Saratoga were commissioned to build St. Williams.  This research continues..
  • In 1994, restoration began with Raquette’s own-Kevin Norris, Jim Dillon et al, as the team of Lamphears accomplished reshingling of roof and sides.   And on we went.
  • I remember best: ALWAYS: moving docks in and out and regular Saturday site work;  Digging out the stone piers; Shoveling sand under the church to replace a pond of water;  Marlene Mott’s concerts and pie raffles to fund the concerts. Linda Marsh with plans and schedules for tomorrow’s work; Raquette Lake Camps ferried our concert goers to and fro; Jim Dillon traced the stencil patterns on the ceiling to measure with those that had been on the apse. Bea G. secured skilled decorative painters from Harrisburg who took off a week from restoring the Pennsylvania Capitol building to accomplish the stenciling in the apse. Dean Pohl supplied and delivered the scaffolding for the project. Paint analysis from interior and exterior applications were analyzed in the conservation lab at Philadelphia Museum of Art.

It has been a pleasure to be a part of this significant project. St. Williams, set serenely on an inviting lawn, and belonging in design and material to the woods against which it is set, has come to life again. Here’s to enjoying what has been accomplished. While moving along with research, and continuing programs, St. Williams will continue to need tending. If the coming generations will carry on, keeping a weather eye on this unique composition, St. Williams on Long Point will continue to be a “must” experience on Raquette Lake.

Pictures from the early years….



 Celebrating with an Ecumenical Service by Jean Bird

On a beautiful fall day on Raquette Lake an Ecumenical Service was held at St. William’s on Long Point.  Clergy Dr. Rev. Naomi Kelley from Niccolls Memorial Presbyterian Church, Rev. Phil Huber from Inlet Community Church in Inlet, and Rev. Vance Mortensen of Raquette Lake Chapel conducted a lovely service giving thanks for the many blessings of our beautiful Adirondacks and God’s creation.  Thanks to Judy Barker on the piano, a lovely duet by Donna and Jim Kessler, and singing by the Niccolls Choir St. William’s was once again a truly holy place fulfilling the purpose for which it was built in 1890.   Our Coordinator Sue Norris gave an update on the history of St. William’s on Long Point and the marvelous restoration that has taken place over the last 30 years.  The church and the grounds couldn’t be more beautiful.

Thanks to the dedication of all who love this beautiful, holy place St. William’s is not an article and picture in a history book, but a living memorial to all who built this place in the wilderness.

As I was leaving the church, a group came in for a tour.  I asked them if they had been at the service, and they said “no, they were hiking from Huntington Camp and heard lovely music coming from the woods and had to see where it was coming from.”

The church was full and all who were there loved the service.  Thanks to all of you who made it possible.  We look forward to hosting another Ecumenical Service next year.

 Celebrating with our Summer Fundraiser by Molly Dillon

We had a great night on August 4th at Antler Casino when we reintroduced our summer Cocktail Party and Auction evening.

Wonderful food and lots of great items were auctioned at a unique location with a big crowd, excited to be at the Antlers.  Many had never been in the historic building.  After a little history about the original hotel and resort (with lots of old photos of the place) led by SUNY Huntington Director Rhonda Pitoniak, guests enjoyed a beautiful evening lakeside.

This year a live auction by Jeffrey Mann, our Auctioneer from Saratoga Springs, was added and created quite a stir. And ended with many smiling faces and guests thrilled with their auction winnings.

Our thanks to SUNY Cortland for generously allowing us to come to Antlers, and to Chef Darrell of Blue Mountain Diner, Raquette Lake Navigation and Raquette Lake Supply for donations of food and refreshments.  And to many others who contributed items and time!!  We hope to see everyone and your friends at next summer’s fundraising party.

Celebrating with Programs of 2023 by Tom Polivka

Each year we bring in unique groups for concerts or programs and have done so for almost 30 years.  This year we brought back Joe Bruchac and his son, Jesse, to present Native American stories and songs.  He was one of our first programs.  We also had one of our steam boating friends, Kelly Anderson, give a talk about steam engines and launches.  And of course, music is always wonderful!  Thanks for coming!

Celebrating Perspective by Doug Masters

I have been on the board of St. William’s for over 25 years. Most of that time the board was very challenged to keep St. Williams’ afloat balancing our income and expenses to pay for necessary capital expenses together with day by day bills. We are blessed in the happenings of the past few years. Rental income has dramatically increased as has our donations. The weekly Thursday summer programs have brought many new visitors to our shore to learn and appreciate what a special place we enjoy.

It has been my pleasure to work as a volunteer in late spring and summer one day a week washing windows, mowing lawns, growing flowers as well as whatever this sacred site needs. The investment of my time and effort pays off in the calm, serenity, and peace that St.  Williams’ offers. I hope you will consider your support to this historic property on beautiful Raquette Lake.

Join our Email List.

Please use our online form to add your name to our emailing list.  We don’t send emails out often but we will use it to announce Volunteer Days and the concert series performers and dates.  Visit our website at

Follow Us on Facebook.

Please like and follow us on Facebook for news and information about St Williams and our summer concert series.  Our facebook address

We have Open Rental Dates

We currently have 4 weeks open to rent next summer!  We can host 16 people in a single group.  Check us out on our website, or Adk by Owner, VR #9770.  Relax, retreat, enjoy special moments on the lake with family and friends.

Board of Directors

St. Williams is governed by a volunteer board which meets on a quarterly basis.  Our current board includes:

  • Thomas Polivka, President
  • Sharon Faulkner, Vice President
  • Peggy Deyle, Treasurer
  • Tina Timm, Secretary
  • Jean Bird
  • Jim Dillon
  • Jim Kistler
  • Elizabeth Linck Blakely
  • Eugene Loriot
  • Doug Masters
  • Molly Dillon
  • Sue Norris, Coordinator

Please note St. Williams is not affiliated with or under the jurisdiction of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Ogdensburg or the Conventual Franciscan Friars.

St. William’s is a not-for-profit, non-denominational lakeside retreat and cultural center, 501c3 organization and we are proud of our mission to restore and maintain the historic church and the buildings on the site.

Support St. Williams

Please use this QR code to visit our PayPal donation portal. To learn more about St. Williams, you can also visit our website. Thank you in advance for your kind, tax-deductible donation and support.

If you would prefer, you can mail a contribution to St. William’s on Long Point, PO Box 71, Raquette Lake, NY 13436