Aiden Lair – An Abandoned Lodge in New York State

Another great set of pictures from the fantastic Tom Slatin, one of our favourite photographers and urban explorers. This time it’s Aiden Lair, a lodge in the village of Minerva, New York, USA. Research seems to point to some involvement with an Irish family, the Cronins which is an interesting link seeing as that is where we’re based here at World Abandoned. The following posters on Tom’s site explain some of the history.

A postcard showing what Aiden Lair lodge looked like in its prime.

MAUREEN: Aiden Lair is my family’s ancestral lodge—my great-grandparents Michael and Lillian Cronin ran the lodge for years. It was he who went into the mountain trails to find Mr. Roosevelt and tell him the president had been assassinated and he was now the Commander-in-Chief. My Great Grandfather then drove him through a torrential storm in his horse-drawn wagon to get him to the train station to go to Washington. He gave him his trench coat to wear. My brother Mike still has the coat and also a safari hat given to my great grandfather by Mr. Roosevelt.
It is a shame that the structure has decayed so badly. None of the immediate relatives had kept it up over the years and the upkeep had been too costly once the days of the Adirondack hunting lodges fell out of popularity.

MICHAEL: My sister Maureen Duda (above) has some of the details wrong. Mike and Lilian (only ONE “L”– and no one was allowed to get away with two!) did indeed run the Lodge for years. However, the original lodge burned in 1914 and that was the one that Roosevelt actually stopped at, in spite of what the historic marker in front of the Lodge suggests. The current Aiden Lair Lodge was built after the death of Michael Cronin and immediately after the old lodge burned. In addition, Mike Cronin did not go into the woods to get Roosevelt out. That was the task of Noah LaCasse, an Adirondack guide, and his message was that McKinley appeared to be sinking. A 3-man relay was set up. The First two drivers were David Hunter and Orrin Kellogg. They got Roosevelt to Aiden Lair lodge and Mike Cronin had the task of getting TR to the train in North Creek. What Cronin knew, and did not tell Roosevelt, was that by the time TR arrived at Aiden Lair, a call had come to Mike Cronin informing him that McKinley had died, that TR was now President, and that Cronin damn well better be careful with his passenger. The so-called “Night Ride to the Presidency” became a legend and the story of Mike’s dash to the train station with the President became nationwide news in the following days. The story of the horseshoes began to circulate, too, but the less said of that, the better!

The historic marker outside Aiden Lair about the visit of Theodore Roosevelt.

The historic marker in question says – THEODORE ROOSEVELT – September 14, 1901, stopped at Aiden Lair to change horses in night ride in Surrey from Mt. Marcy to North Creek to take oath of president at Buffalo.

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