Responses to the 2013 HALS Challenge

Mayflower Cottage with Lake George views image: Lisa Tonneson-McCorkell

Mayflower Cottage with Lake George views
image: Lisa Tonneson-McCorkell

We’re very excited to announce that our members successfully completed the HALS Challenge this year, “Documenting the Cultural Landscapes of Women.” So far, we’ve received information from only a few of those who submitted projects. Please send us your entries if you also completed the challenge so we can share your hard work with your fellow PPN members.

One of the submissions was from Lisa Tonneson-McCorkell, of the Saratoga Springs, New York-based LA Group. Her entry documents the Wiawaka Holiday House on Lake George. Established as an affordable retreat for working women during a time of increased women’s rights and factory conditions activism, Wiawaka is still in operation today, making it the oldest continuously operating facility of its kind in the United States.

Fuller House and entry drive image: Lisa Tonneson-McCorkell

Fuller House and entry drive
image: Lisa Tonneson-McCorkell

Here are a few highlights from the submission:

“Wiawaka was founded by Mary Wiltsie Fuller on the former grounds of the Crosbyside Hotel (Ca. 1850, originally constructed in the 1840s as the United States Hotel). As an activist for women’s rights, Fuller conceived of the idea of providing affordable vacations for working women in a relaxing setting where they could find respite from the factories in which they worked, and the crowded cities in which they lived. Fuller established Wiawaka with the assistance of her friends, Spencer and Katrina Trask, who purchased the land and then sold it to Wiawaka for a dollar and a bouquet of flowers.”

“Wiawaka is currently the oldest continuously operating women’s retreat in the United States and in 1998 was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Prior to establishment of the holiday house in 1903, the property was owned by F.G. Crosby who built and maintained the Crosbyside Hotel on the site.”

“Prior to establishment of the United States Hotel, the area had a long and colorful history, being the site of battles, raids and troop movements during the French and Indian War. In 1758 several British vessels, called bateaux, were sunk off shore. They are in place to this day and a historic marker west of the open lawn notes the significance of the site.”

The Great Lawn with temporary tent set up  image: Lisa Tonneson-McCorkell

The Great Lawn with temporary tent set up
image: Lisa Tonneson-McCorkell

Interested in reading more about the site? Take a look at the Wiawaka Holiday House website for more information.

by Cara Ruppert, ASLA, WILA PPN Co-Chair

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