The Exploration of Aiden Lair Lodge

  • May 3, 2011

During a recent drive through the Adirondacks, I came across this abandoned lodge along route 28N in Minerva, New York. A sad reality exists, especially in the United States that many historical buildings and places are being left to decay, alone in their own abandon. Ideally places like this would be preserved somehow as part of our own American history.

The following photographs document the current state of just one of many such places that despite their historical significance and importance, are being left to rot and decay, forgotten by all but the most curious of people, like me, who stop in for a closer look, before it’s lost and gone forever. Ideally, I’d like to think that my photographic documentation of abandoned places such as this will raise some much needed awareness and possibly lead to some preservation efforts. The photos presented here can also be seen here, on Flickr.

A Little Privacy Please
Bathroom With Huge Window Bed In The Hallway Beds And Bench Seats Broken Glass Broken Destroyed Electric Stove Don't Go In There... It's Just Not Safe Don't Take The Radiator Faulty Electric Forgotten Woodstove Hallway Hanging In There Master Bath Moss On The Floor Old Fridge Paper Thin Walls Porch Round Room Of Windows Sinks In The Hallway Skylight Someone's Been Sleeping In The Attic Again Square Hole In The Wall Summer Breeze The Doors Toilet Cast A Strange Shadow Toilet In The Closet Water Damage Windows And Doors

Theodore Roosevelt



The sign outside reads, “THEODORE ROOSEVENT – September 14, 1901, stopped at Aiden Lair to change horses in night ride in Surrey from Mt. Marcy to North Creek to take oath of president at Buffalo.” – State Education Department 1935



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18 Comments on The Exploration of Aiden Lair Lodge

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  • Maureen Duda says:
    January 7, 2012 at 8:10 PM

    Aiden Lair is my family’s ancestral lodge—my great-grandparents Michael and Lillian Cronin ran the lodge for years. It was he who went into the mtn. trails to find Mr. Roosevelt and tell him the president had been assassinated and he was now the Commander -in-Chief—My Great Grandfather then drove him through a torrential storm in his horse-drawn wagon to get him to the train station to go to Washington. He gave him his trench coat to wear—my brother Mike still has the coat and also a safari hat given to my great grandfather by Mr. Roosevelt—
    It is a shame that the structure has decayed so badly—none of the immediate relatives had kept it up over the years and the upkeep had been too costly once the days of the Adirondack hunting lodges feel out of popularity–


    • Thomas says:
      January 8, 2012 at 9:43 AM

      This is awesome! I’d love it if you wrote more comments on the topic! Ideally, I’d love for these kinds of places to get restored to their original spender.


    • mary cronin knight says:
      May 13, 2013 at 6:35 PM

      My dad, John, was a cousin to Mike Cronin of Aiden Lair and is buried in Glens Falls.
      Might you be directly related to Eloise Cronin Murphy who lived in Albany during late 1950s.? ..and whom I met.
      I see that you have a brother, Michael of Minirva. We visited friends there 2 yrs ago.
      Hoping to hear from you so to keep the family line going. Sad to say we buried my last Glens Falls cousin last month here in the Washington , DC area, but many Cronins here in the next generation. Trying to keep it together!


  • Michael Nardacci says:
    January 11, 2012 at 5:46 PM

    My sister Maureen Duda (above) has some of the details wrong. Mike and Lilian (only ONE “L”–and no one was allowed to get away with two!) did indeed run the Lodge for years. However–the original lodge burned in 1914–and that was the one that Roosevelt actually stopped at–in spite of what the historic marker in front of the Lodge suggests. The current Lodge was built after the death of Michael Cronin and immediately after the old lodge burned. In addition–Mike Cronin did not go into the woods to get Roosevelt out. That was the task of Noah LaCasse, an Adirondack guide–and his message was that McKinley appeared to be sinking. A 3-man relay was set up–first two drivers were David Hunter and Orrin Kellogg. They got Roosevelt to Aiden Lair lodge and Mike Cronin had the task of getting TR to the train in North Creek. What Cronin knew–and did not tell Roosevelt–was that by the time TR arrived at Aiden Lair, a call had come to Mike Cronin informing him that McKinley had died, that TR was now President, and that Cronin damn well better be careful with his passenger. The so-called “Night Ride to the Presidency” became a legend and the story of Mike’s dash to the train station with the President became nation-wide news in the following days. The story of the horseshoes began to circulate, too–but the less said of that, the better!


    • Thomas says:
      January 11, 2012 at 6:31 PM

      I might be interested in a face-to-face interview in the near future. Will you/could you be available if I decide to interview you face-to-face? I will email you directly if and when the time comes.


      • Michael Nardacci says:
        January 13, 2012 at 2:36 PM

        Sure–send me an e-mail at this address and include your phone number. I would be happy to show you my collection of Aiden Lair memorabilia (some of it is now at the Adirondack Museum) and give you a tour of the grounds when the weather improves. There is some very interesting stuff to see up there.


        • Thomas says:
          January 14, 2012 at 1:00 PM

          Sounds great. I’ll let you know when the time comes.


  • Matt Reuter says:
    May 20, 2012 at 5:44 PM


    Great story. I was sitting here showing my parents the ADK website and telling them a story of my hike on Mt. Dix yesterday, and we thought to look up information on Aiden Lair. I just read your comments to them. I am game for a trip up there when you are available! – Thanks, Matt Reuter


    • Thomas says:
      May 20, 2012 at 10:53 PM

      It’s great that there is so much discussion going on here! Any hopes of a complete or even partial restoration of this place?


    May 13, 2013 at 5:57 PM

    Where do I start? I have so many questions, and so many memories. Aiden Lair is part of my Cronin family history and I’ve been to the abandoned livery and lodge looking for a familiar setting knowing my parents visited there. Mike Cronin was a cousin of my Dad, here is the missing link in my search for how was Mike and my dad cousins. Was Mike’s Dad, James, a brother to my grandfather, Daniel Cronin of North Creek? My father, John C. Cronin was from North Creek in early childhood and is buried in Glens Falls.
    I have old snapshots of my parents sitting on a log or bridge at the creek behind the hotel at Aiden Lair. As children our family used to stay at Whispering Pine’s log cabins across the street from the Hudson River every October. We would go into North Creek grocery to buy a big steak for dinner. (1940-1950) A few years ago, I visited the ADK museum, and since purchased the soft cover book, Theodore Roosevelt’s Night Ride To The Presidency by Eloise Cronin Murphy whom I recall meeting in Albany around 1959 while at CSR.
    As for Aiden Lair, only the marker keeps it alive, but for me the name still has the charm of my parents stories and the photos I still finger through and saddened by the loss of the stories untold.


    • Thomas says:
      May 13, 2013 at 6:54 PM

      I have old snapshots of my parents sitting on a log or bridge at the creek behind the hotel at Aiden Lair.

      I would be happy to feature these photos on this post, with your credit and permission. I can even scan them and return them via US mail. Please let me know sometime. 🙂


  • bob west says:
    March 25, 2014 at 7:15 PM

    I lived in Tahawus from 43 to 52. My father ran a power plant at the mines. The big events were to go to north Creek and Glens Falls, past Aiden Lair and before that the NYS rangers cabin. In my 71 years exploring the Adirondacks, I never saw anyone at either site except for ‘ghosts’. I remember taking my son fishing along 28N when he was 6 or 7 and he got very upset that in two hours not one car passer on the road above us.


  • John Whitburn says:
    September 2, 2015 at 8:01 PM

    Hi, I recently came across an old stamper with the name Aiden Lair. I am trying to find out about it and possibly sell it. I have photos of it.




    • Mike Nardacci says:
      September 3, 2015 at 8:34 AM

      My sister has a few of her facts skewed but Mike Cronin did run Aiden Lair Lodge and was the last of 3 riders in a relay set up to get TR to North Creek to catch the train to Buffalo. I am very curious as to where you found the stamper–I might be interested in buying it if you will describe to me the condition and the price.
      Mike N.


  • Michael Nardacci says:
    September 3, 2015 at 8:38 AM

    John–I am interested in where you found the stamper, its condition, and your asking price. My sister Maureen got a few of her facts skewed but our great-grandfather did run Aiden Lair Lodge and did drive TR to the train on that stormy night. I’d like very much to hear from you.

    Mike Nardacci


  • Thomas says:
    September 3, 2015 at 12:13 PM

    Any pictures of the stamper or any other memorabilia can be posted on this blog post, if they are submitted to me for consideration. Please email me at


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