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A visit to Peck’s Lake

The family dog, Goldy, holds Alby's hat as part of Goldy's trick of "Hats off!" (Photo courtesy of Richard Nilsen_

When I visited Peck’s Lake in September, I remembered my first fishing trip there with my father. I caught a small mouth bass and was thrilled at the size (I think it was about 14 inches) and the adventure of being out on a boat fishing with my father. (For more on my father, see my memoir, “Son of Nils” at lulu.com.)

Alby (short for Albert) and Pat Peck were at the marina when I visited, along with their dog Goldy. When asked when would be a good time for an interview, Alby answered with typical forthright directness, “No time like the present!”

During the course of the conversation that followed, I discovered that the Peck Family ownership of the lake, marina and campsites goes back for four generations. Property for building houses along the lake is based on a 999 year lease, according to Alby.

“That’s because of the dam that helps form the lake owned by the power company,” Alby said.

The dam was formed in 1910 by the then Gloversville Power and Light Company (now National Grid).

While Alby showed me around to the filtered pools of live bait available to fishermen, his dog Goldy showed off a trick the dog had learned. When Alby bowed down, Goldy was trained to take Alby’s hat off. He would then pretend to run away with the hat but returned it upon a command from his master. Goldy exhibited all the friendly atmosphere of a welcoming family business by the side of a bucolic Adirondack Lake.

Alby said that he started working at the marina 57 years ago, but the family has had the business 130 years.

While I was speaking with Alby, he touched base with a logger who was working the nearby land around Peck Lake, showing the many faceted nature of the business around the lake. The interchange between the logger and Alby included remarks about the logger’s family who were also musicians.

Still, the biggest part of the business is the fishing operation, according to Alby.

Alby stressed that the lake was a quiet lake with no large speed boats nor personal watercraft allowed to make noise or scare fish. Besides the fishing there are 14 cottages he rents and 80 campsites available.

Alby and Pat Peck work from behind the counter at Peck's Lake Marina. (Richard Nilsen)

“And there’s always a waiting list for those [campsites and cottages],” he said.

For much more on the history of Peck’s Lake go to peckslake.com/resort/history.htm.

(Note: Beginning today, October 5, I will be leading a Writers Block writing workshop at Johnstown Public Library every Saturday this month from 10:30 a.m. to noon. All writers are invited to attend.)

 

Richard H. Nilsen is the historian for Town of Caroga, a photographer and author whose books can be found at local book stores and is listed in the American Directory of Poets and Writers.

Contact him at nilsenrichard@gmail.com or through his website at richard-h-nilsen.com

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