Old Forge and the Fulton Chain of Lakes


By: Linda Cohen and Peg Masters

Old Forge is nestled at the foot of the Middle Branch of the Moose River, more commonly known as the Fulton Chain of Lakes. Year-round accommodations at the Forge House in 1871 and dependable rail service in 1892 led to permanent settlement of the hamlet. Within a decade, Old Forge emerged as the residential and commercial hub of the Central Adirondacks and a popular destination and gathering place for guides, sportsmen, and wilderness tourists. For the sightseer who strolls around Old Forge today or enjoys a cruise up the eight lakes in the Fulton Chain, the landscape is dotted with scores of century-old  dwellings, Victorian cottages, rustic camps, and even a few grand old hotels.

Linda Cohen and Peg Masters are both descendants of the 19th-century pioneer settlers of the Old Forge region. Linda has been an active member of the local historical association and a board member since 2004. Peg has served as the town historian for the past 10 years and conducts historic walking tours every summer. They coauthored Old Forge: Gateway to the Adirondacks in 2003.

The Images of America series celebrates the history of neighborhoods, towns, and cities across the country. Using archival photographs, each title presents the distinctive stories from the past that shape the character of the community today. Arcadia is proud to play a part in the preservation of local heritage, making history available to all.


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