Lake George Mirror and Happy Jacks Team Up to Create Authentic, Retro Lake George Ts
Ordinarily, a shop on Lake George that sells t-shirts would be in the news only if its products were especially vile or offensive.
We may be biased, but we think the t-shirts that Happy Jacks in Bolton Landing is selling are newsworthy, despite rather than because of the fact that the Lake George Mirror had a hand in designing them.
The t-shirts feature the logos of long gone, but not forgotten, Lake George bars, restaurants and resorts. The introductory line revisits Tops, the Tomahawk Inn, Lake George Bowl, Dock and Dine, the Bavarian House, Red Fez, Sunny Brook Acres and the Red Rooster.
The logos were designed in the 1950s and 60s by the printers at Adirondack Resorts Press, the company that publishes the Lake George Mirror, and appeared as advertisements in guides and brochures as well as in the Lake George Mirror itself.
Jeff Strief, the owner of Happy Jacks, promotes the shirts as “Authentic Retro Lake George Tees.”
“They were an instant hit,” said Strief. “Second home owners love them because of the appeal to nostalgia; their children love them because the shirts are a link to a lake they love.”
Strief added that the shirts also appeal to shoppers who have little or no connection to the lake.
“People just liked the retro designs, which they thought were very cool,” said Strief.
Every shirt comes with a tag offering a bit of information about the businesses, and longtime residents who have come into the shop have supplemented that with details from their own memories, said Strief.
“Tops, for instance, is described as the Village’s first biker bar; Lake George Bowl was owned by the mayor of Lake George Village; Sunny Brook Acres was a resort on the grounds of New York Times publisher Adolph Och’s former estate and its nightclub was popular with people from every town on the lake,” said Strief.
Adirondack Resorts Press, which continues to publish the Lake George Mirror, is credited as the line’s creator.
According to Tony Hall, the publisher of the Lake George Mirror and the president of Adirondack Resorts Press, Inc., the printing company was the premier publisher of Lake George brochures, guides, maps and post cards from the 1920s through the early 1970s.
The company even developed its own distinctive method of printing four-color images, which it called Colorgraph.
When Lisa and Tony Hall purchased Adirondack Resorts Press and the Lake George Mirror in 1997, they inherited a vault of advertising images and designs.
Collin Badger, the Mirror’s creative director, began incorporating the graphics into Lake George Mirror covers and in promotional materials, but hoped to make wider use of the images through collateral products such as mugs, caps, posters and, of course, t shirts.
At the same time, Jeff Strief was searching for a line of retro Lake George Ts.
“Tony and Lisa Hall asked me for advice about the retail business, and a collaboration struck me as an obvious solution,” said Strief. “I had wanted to do a line of retro Lake George tees, but couldn’t find a source, and they had this great archive of images. So I suggested we work together and come up with a product that both the Lake George Mirror and Happy Jacks could sell.”
Last autumn, Strief, Badger and Lisa Hall began sifting through the archival images and selecting a few to be used on t-shirts. Badger and Strief then refined the images “to give them some contemporary appeal,” said Strief.
More designs will be added to the line soon, said Collin Badger, who created an online store for Adirondack Resorts Press to sell merchandise. Posters and other products will also be available at the online store.
Happy Jacks is located on Main Street, Bolton Landing. Adirondack Resorts Press’s online store can be found at AdirondackResortsPress.com. The site is also accessible through LakeGeorgeMirror.com and LakeGeorgeMirrorMagazine.com.
“Vintage Lake George is still Lake George,” said Tony Hall. “We see these products as another way to refresh the image of Lake George, to market the resort to a new generation as well as to people who haven’t been back in decades. We’re telling boomers that their Lake George is still here.”