Great Camp Sagamore

How the titans of industry summered

There can be a lot of tough things about living in the Adirondacks. Unless you summered at a Great Camp. In which case, nothing was terribly difficult at all. Don’t let the “camp” part of the name fool you – these estates were designed to look rustic, but they provided all the comforts of a fine city home, and then some. Sagamore is one of the finer examples of the breed. It was built in the late 19th century by William West Durant, who mastered the form; he meant to keep it for himself but financial problems forced him to sell to the uber-wealthy Vanderbilt family. 

They kept it in their family until the 1950s, when they donated it to Syracuse University.

Today, the spread surrounding the camp is owned by the state, and the camp itself is owned and operated by a non-profit group.


At a glance
  • Live in the manner to which you’d like to become accustomed – overnight stays area available.
  • Listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • If you’re going to build an open-air bowling alley in these parts, you’d better dig a deep foundation to keep the lanes straight once the ground freezes hard. So they did – the camp’s alley sits on a six-foot-deep slab.