Upper Saranac Lake, Franklin County
Island Chapel
Interdenominational Services

This profile is possible thanks to an underwriting gift from Barbara McBurnie.

In 1889, three lawyers from Plattsburgh purchased a one acre island in the southern end of Upper Saranac Lake with a commitment to build a chapel for Christian worship there within a year. Island Chapel, on Chapel Island, began as a Presbyterian mission served by legendary “lumberjack sky pilot” Rev. Aaron Maddox and has held interdenominational Sunday services each July and August since 1890.
The first chapel, a small Victorian structure, burned in 1956 and was replaced shortly after with the present structure. All who attend arrive by boat, including many on the chapel-owned Chapel Bound, a pontoon boat that departs from Indian Carry. The chapel is a popular spot for weddings and other summer gatherings.

Listen here to find out who decides whether there is a service or not in the event of inclement weather.

  • Award Inherited Traditions
  • Award Year 2014
  • Location Upper Saranac Lake, NY (Franklin County, Adirondacks)
  • Categories Cultural Landmark, Religion and Ethnicity