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Cranberry Lake Boat Club notes 100 years

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CRANBERRY LAKE — The Cranberry Lake Boat Club is celebrating 100 years afloat this summer.

"I believe that this is the oldest continuous boat club in existence in the western Adirondacks," said Allen P. Splete, chairman of the centennial event and vice commodore of the club.

Together with other members of the boat club, Mr. Splete has planned a summer of festivities, including tried-and-true favorites such as fishing contests, poker races, hiking, boating, float plane rides and history presentations.

"I tried to take events that people normally like to do and make them special," Mr. Splete said. He added that a number of activities, including a golf tournament, a cardboard boat race, an antique boating artifacts show and a sailboat race with the Rochester Yacht Club, add a special touch to the centennial.

"I know the cardboard boat races will be popular for the people who will actually be building them because it takes a lot of moxie to make them work," he said. Mr. Splete anticipates that the sailboat race and float plane rides also will draw large crowds.

"Many of these events are open to the public. I think the boat club members and the community at large are really working together to make good things happen," he said.

One of the highlights of the season's events is the release of two books by Mr. Splete.

The first, "Around Cranberry Lake in 2008," was cowritten by Suzanne Liberty and published privately with a run of a few hundred copies. The book includes pictures of every boat on Cranberry Lake in 2007 and 2008as well as images of prominent boathouses and seven former "floating camps," or off-shore structures for fishing and hunting.

"This is everything on the lake from pontoon boats to Ski-Doos," Mr. Splete said.

The goal of "Around Cranberry Lake in 2008" is to provide a historical document for posterity.

Mr. Splete's second book, part of Arcadia Press's American Images Series, is titled "Boats and Boating on Cranberry Lake."

"It really traces the evolution of boating on Cranberry Lake from the days of the early guide boats and the early guides on the lake," Mr. Splete said.

"Boats and Boating on Cranberry Lake" includes chapters about paddlers and sailors, work boats and passenger boats, pleasure boats and sport boats, regattas and races (including one during the boat club's first year in 1909), and comings and goings at area docks.

"It was written on purpose for the centennial," said Mr. Splete, who will give away signed copies at the annual boat club banquet July 11.

Also at the banquet will be a raffle of a painting by Cranberry Lake artist Jean Reynolds. It features the Helen, an early passenger boat on Cranberry Lake that is also the subject of the cover of Mr. Splete's "Boats and Boating on Cranberry Lake."

"Hopefully everyone will have a good time and just enjoy the summer," Mr. Splete said.

To complete the required preregistration for the following events or to see the entire list of centennial activities, visit the club's Web site at or stop by the Cranberry Lake community center.ANNUAL PICNIC1 p.m. Aug. 8, Pinecone and Wanakena, performances by Norwood Firemen's BandBOAT SHOW11 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 4, Cranberry LakeCARDBOARD BOAT RACE2 p.m. July 4, beach parkFLOAT PLANE RIDESAll day July 12, boat club dock GOLF OUTING8 a.m. shotgun start, July 22, Star LakePOKER PADDLE1 p.m. July 18, Cranberry Lake and Wanakena, benefits Clifton Community LibrarySAILBOAT RACESAll day Aug. 14 and 15, Cranberry Lake
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