Adirondack Lean-tos

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History Of the Adirondack Lean-To

The Adirondack lean-to was developed by guides of the region as convenient camp to house hunting and fishing parties.  The earliest of shelters, like the one in this picture, (above), were quickly and crudely built and although they offered shelter from the elements, they could not have been very comfortable.


As the Adirondacks developed,

so did the lean-to.  The previous temporary structures were replaced by sturdy log structures.  Made from what was available, balsam or spruce logs were commonly used.  Cedar has replaced these species as the primary log, due to its natural rot resistance and easy workability.  Although some High Peaks lean-tos do not have fire rings in front of them, most of us image a fireplace directly in front of the structure.  Notice there are eight men in this picture and three women.  I doubt the women needed the striped dresses to get attention.

Photo obtained and used with permission from the Saranac Lake Free Library

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