The North Lake Trading Post — the little brown building on North Lake Rd., just before the Campsite.
Thanks to Bev Yager Feml for writing a little history of her parent’s popular “general store,” just outside of North Lake Campsite on North Lake Road. Everyone stopped at the Trading Post, they carried everything you’d need for a week in the woods.
Charles Yager built the North Lake Trading Post sometime in the late 1940s — maybe 1946 to 1948. While the building was being built, his sons, Bobby and Dickie Yager, who were only 7 or 8 years old, sold soda out of a Coco Cola cooler packed with ice. (The cooler would now be considered an antique.) The boys have memories of being at the store during its construction and sometimes sleeping in the upstairs loft at night while Charles Yager, their dad, worked as night watchman at Rip’s Retreat. (In those days, there was no fear of vandals or harm coming to young children — everyone watched out for one another).
Charlie also constructed an icehouse so he could store 300-pound blocks of ice. Blocks of ice, which were purchased from Binnewater Ice Company in Kingston, were put in the icehouse where it was cut up, as needed, into smaller blocks for the North Lake campers. Everyone who worked at the Trading Post knew how to use an ice pick and knew it was not a toy. (The Binnewater Lake Ice Company in Kingston has quite an interesting history. They started in business with four ice wagons, back in 1910, and today they produce and deliver their own “Binnewater” bottled water).
The Trading Post was run as a family unit and as the popularity of the store increased, Clementine (Teenie) Yager, Charlie’s wife with her children could be found there most every day. Besides soda, ice, and firewood, the store soon stocked popular foods, camping and fishing supplies as well as beer and ice cream. It was open from the end of June until Labor Day.
In addition to the Trading Post, Charlie also operated an ice cream truck around North Lake. At that time, it was permissible to have bells on the truck, which alerted the camping families that the truck was coming their way. On the truck, he would stock large blocks of ice and firewood for the campers who did not want to come out of the campsite during their stay. He would also take special requests for items, which he would pickup in Tannersville and bring on his daily run.
The Trading Post stayed in the family and was operated by a son or daughter until around the 1970s when the youngest son built a home on the property and tore the Trading Post building down. It is probably safe to say that almost every one of Charlie and Teenie Yager’s grandchildren worked at the trading Post at some point in their youth.
(I asked Dickie Yager for one of his memories of the Trading Post and he said, “the memory he first thinks of was like his sister Bev said, ‘we’d go to Kingston and pick up these huge blocks of ice, like 300 pounds, and bring them back and then start breaking them up to sale! You don’t forget a job like that’).
Thanks again to Bev Yager Feml for sharing this piece of history.