“Lake George is conveniently situated near the Fort William Henry Hotel.” – Seneca Ray Stoddard.
The Fort William Henry Hotel has survived three reconstructions over the course of the last 150 plus years. First opened in June 1855, the 3-story lakefront hotel was an immediate success. After its first year, the building was sold to T.E. Roessle & Sons, who added a main story with 16 foot high ceilings, and an additional 2 stories with towers at either end. The expanded hotel had capacity for 350 to over 900 guests and catered to the social elite.
On the morning of June 24, 1909, the hotel was completely destroyed by fire, but the Delaware & Hudson Railroad Company purchased the property and reconstructed the hotel. They opened their doors on June 17, 1911. The 3-story white stucco building was much smaller, only accommodating 150 guests, yet it remained a lavish resort for the social elite. The construction of Tower Hall for an automobile garage was a sign of the times, but the arrival of the Great depression causes a drop in business and the D&H Railroad Company would soon sell the hotel.
It wasn’t until 1952 that the Fort William Henry Hotel Corporation was founded. The new owners purchased the Fort William Henry Hotel and built the replica French and Indian War fortification. Changes continued through the end of the 20th century. In 1999-2000, the corporation constructed a new conference center and a 4-story all-suite hotel on the foundation of the 1911 hotel. The groundbreaking took place on October 30, 2002 and the Fort William Henry Hotel welcomed its first guests on July 18, 2004.