Once upon a time, when refrigeration was a newfangled city thing, a company that cut ice from Adirondack lakes and sent it by train to New York City went spectacularly bankrupt. Lakefront parcels were going so cheap that an obscure landscape painter who made his living by watercolors could buy two of them. My great-grandmother told stories of her Uncle Ed rowing across the lake with his carpentry tools to build his boathouse. It was 1895.
Once upon a time, there was an obscure landscape painter who made his living by watercolors. He never married. The great familial project of his life was a lake camp, first a simple boathouse, and then a larger house in the whimsical Adirondack style, with unfinished bark for ornament. In summer, when the forest floor was boggy, the only good way to get there was by boat. In winter, He would invite all the schoolteachers in the village to join him by train. The conductor would stop in the forest, where there was no station, letting Uncle Ed and all the ladies clamber down onto the snow. They would snowshoe up and carry their provisions to the lake camp, Edward Utley and half a dozen women who were no kin of his. Nobody in the village seems to have had any concerns about this.