EPIP Spotlight: History in the Adirondacks at Eagle Island

Built in 1903, this Adirondack Great Camp is undergoing a major revitalization

Architecture on Eagle Island

In 1903, preeminent Great Camp architect William L. Coulter designed the buildings on Eagle Island for Levi Morton, former U.S. Vice President and Governor of New York. After decades of private use, the second owners, Henry and Florence Graves donated the camp in 1937 to a Girl Scout council based out of New Jersey. The Girls Scouts made only minor renovations to accommodate the campers, and operated their camp continuously from 1938 until 2008. It remains one of the best-preserved examples of Adirondack Great Camp architecture.

Eagle Island, Inc. acquired the island in 2015 and has been hard at work to bring the camp back to life ever since. Their vision of providing an environmentally responsible island camp experience for youth has finally come to pass — they hosted day camps this July, welcoming campers back for the first time in a decade.

The League has been honored to play a small part in this preservation success story. Through a loan from our Endangered Properties Intervention Program (EPIP), Eagle Island was able to leverage a Regional Economic Development grant that was integral to much of the work the group has already completed.

"Eagle Island is extremely grateful to the League for its support and encouragement," said Eagle Island, Inc. Executive Director Paula Michelsen. "Their EPIP loan has made all the difference in our ability to manage cash flow as we embarked on major restoration work that is largely funded by a NYS reimbursable grant. This project involves essential rehabilitation work such as stabilizing and repairing foundations and roofs."

We can't wait to see how Eagle Island continues to evolve and we are so excited for this piece of New York history to play a vital role in the community once again.

Curious to experience Eagle Island for yourself? They are hosting an Open Island Day on August 17! Eagle Island, Inc. is also working on expanding their programmatic offerings for adults, families, and other groups that will focus on environmental experiences and the rich history of the island. Learn more at eagleisland.org.