Lake Girl Toiles
A public history project examining the women who come to Hague and fall in love with the lake.
This project was made possible through a generous grant from LARAC, the Lower Adirnondack Regional Arts Council, www.larac.org!
What is toile?
From Traditional Home magazine: "The French patterned cotton fabric known as toile de Jouy got its start in 1760 at a textile factory in the village of Jouy-en-Josas, southwest of Paris near Versailles. Toile has a distinct look, even though it is available in a range of colors and patterns. The original 1760s patterns usually depicted pastoral scenes of the French countryside. Then more exotic Chinese themes became popular, as did famous moments from history. All were hand-drawn in a curvaceous style with fine detail that was then etched onto wood blocks and printed onto the fabric."
The First Lake Girl
Elizabeth Snowden Nichols Watrous, wife of Harry, was well known around Hague as a great, gracious, and clever hostess and a kind “aunt” to the town’s children. She was also an ardent preservationist for Fort Ti and a land owner of some extent.
She was very clever at thinking up themes for her endless parties. According to The New York Times in 1902, “Mrs. Watrous of NY recently gave a unique entertainment at her cottage, Camp In. It took the form of an exhibition of farm produce arranged in fantastic forms.”
The Second Lake Girl
The "second lake girl" is actually three: The DeLarm sisters. Susan, Sally, and Sheri can trace their Hague roots back tk generations, to the Jenkins and Fitzgeralds. Their family tree shows many generations of local business owners, from lumberman and postmistresses to waitresses at summer hotels to dairy and campground owners to market proprieters and restaurant owners. Making a living in small towns in the Adirondacks is not easy.