Swimming Across Lake George, The Most Beautiful Lake In The World

Swimming Across Lake George, The Most Beautiful Lake In The World

Larrisa Roettig was doing research on her grandmother Mae Elwell who participated in the 1927 marathon swim across Lake George in New York on July 12th. The 40.9 km Fresh Water Championship of the World was the longest race billed as a world championship and offered US$10,000 plus real estate and valuable cups and medals to the top swimmers.

Many of the 150 participants were billed as Champions of the World and held title from many other competitions. Among the athletes were International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Swimmers Eva Morrison, William “Bill” Sadlo Jr., Charlotte “Lottie” Schoemmell, and Ernst “The Black Shark” Vierkoetter. Other swimmers included The Masked Marvel and Jane Sion from France.

The race was extensively promoted and had famous boxer Jack Dempsey as the official starter. It was reported that Edward Keating was the only swimmer to finish and he went on the win the 1928 Canadian National Exhibition race, the biggest race in the world at that time.

Meyer Mendelsohn (Canadian champion), Ethel Hertle (national backstroke champion), Jane Sion (French champion), Dorothy Wesley (former metropolitan champion), ‘Mobile Bill’ Jackson (southern champion), Omer Perreault (French Canadian champion), Lottie Schoemmell, an International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame honoree

The program describes Lake George as “America’s most famous and picturesque mountain lake [that] lies in the crest of the mighty Adirondacks, 322 feet above sea level, and extends for 32 miles in a northeasternly direction, hemmed in on both sides by high, rugged mountains which in many places rise precipitously from the water’s edge. Lake George with its wonderfully clear, blue-green water and its island-dotted surface rivals in beauty the famous lakes of Switzerland and well justifies its reputation of being the most beautiful lake in the world. One the lips of admiring thousands the fame of its beauty is annually retold in every nook and cranny of the civilized world. Lake George has a poetic charm and a delicacy of outline that wins the admiration of every beholder. Queenly in its majesty, peerless in its quiet beauty, immensely impressive in its wide expanse, associated with a wealth of historic fact and legendary lore; idyllic, dreamy, exquisitely lovely, its holds the sense captive.”

The entire participant list included George H. Allen, Percy Allen, Andrew Ault, Milton A. Ausman, Barbara Helen Baldes, Frank Bardon, J.V. Beecroft, Mrs. Anna P. Benoit, Louis Berard, John C. Boehringer, Eugene T. Boice, Fred Briggs, James Burns, Mary Agnes Carr, Chauncey C. Croll, Robert H. Childs, Paul Chotteau, Peter Edward Corrigan, Andrew Creegan, George Andrew Creegan, Charles Phelps Cushing, Charles Daniel Hanner, Rosaire Delorme, George A. Dateo, Lucy A.F. Dimond, Archie Dowd, Sam Driver, Charles St. Clair Duhig, John A. Dursi, Gustave A. Eklund, May Agnes Elwell, John Richard Fagan, Olav Farstad, Eddie Foster, Jerry Gannon, John J. Geier, Louis Goldberg, Charles Edw. Gonyea, Alfred H. Gottlich, Laurie A. Granfors, Donald E. Gucker, Lawrence H. Hamilton, Edw. Francis Haniquet, Jr., Joseph Edw. Hartley, Eudore N. Hebert, Charles A. Herbert, Ethel L. Hertle, Bert Hess, Eleanor Higgins, J. Fred Horling, Milton R. Howard, Herman Franklin Hunt, William C. Jackson, Edward F. Keating, Gus N. Keller, Arthur J. Kenny, John Kershaw, Mac E. Lerner, Claude A. Lingerfelter, Robert Larochelle, Joseph Louches, Robert J. Mahar, Timonthy Frances Maloney, Robert J. Mahar, Timothy Francis Maloney, Joseph Mandula, Walter A. Maring, Pat Matullo, George Mayo, Meyer Mendelsohn, The Masked Marvel from New York City, Mildred Mitchell, Walter L. Miller, Ethel Moore, Ernest Moore, Sr., Ernest Moore, Jr., John Joseph Morrissey, Eva B. Morrison, Robert P. Murphy, James L. McCusker, James M. O’Brien, Carl R. Odell, Omer Perreault, Joseph Phillips, Raymond Prahar, Miss Marie Priller, Stanley Pritchard, Frank A. Purcell, Daniel Joseph Quinn, George C. Rammers, Samuel Richards, Jr., Joseph L. Roberts, Jr., Mrs. Hazel Robinson, Meldrim Paul Roston, Carl M. Rubin, Michael F. Rynne, William J. Sadlo, Jr., Daniel Santarelli, Walter Schluter, Lotty Moore Schoemmell, Samual A. Schwartz, John Paul Skribiski, Grace Moore Shaw, Jane Sion, Albert Sisler, Marjorie S. Smith, Gordon L. Spaulding, Lillian Stoddard, Mrs. Della H. Sullivan, Charles Toth, Frederick Leonard Tope, Johan Thoresen, Octave Vandal, Pimillie Keith Van Epps, Ernest Vierkoetter, John L. Wagner, Tommy R. Walker, Charles D. Wanmer, Dorothy Wesley, Joseph Edward Weston, Joseph Chas. Wheatley, Shirley A. Wheelden, Alfred White, Joseph Wierz, Ernest John Will, Joseph Zebisch, Edward G. Tucker, Walter Paterson, Samuel Kramer, Fred Reitema, Bert G. Johnson, William Albert Erickson, Ovide Fiola, Myron Harowitz, George Skleros, Thomas Howard Williams, Patrick Cotters, J. Baptisse Quenneville, Thomas A. Baroody, Alexander J. Whittle, Howard W. Sumner, Joseph McCarthy, Donald B. Pulver, Max Freedman, Mike Margot, and Gus Ben.

Most recently in 2020, 36-year-old Dr. Caroline Block completed a two-way crossing of 103.6 km in 52 hours 24 minutes.

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Steven Munatones