The Launching of the Ranger
With its exterior completely redesigned and its interior remodeled, what once had been a Navy PT boat was launched on Lake George on Saturday, May 31, 1947. She was christened the Ranger by Beverly Burton, the 16-year-old daughter of H.T. Burton, the treasurer of Marine Industries of Lake George. Miss Burton broke the traditional bottle of champagne over the Ranger’s bow, as it started to slide down the D&H marine railroad spur in front of Fort George Park at the head of the lake.
The Ranger was the first large boat to be launched on Lake George in 35 years.
After the purchase of the surplus PT boat in 1946, Marine Industries could find no one to move it from the Elco Boat Company in Bayonne, New Jersey to Lake George. The owners realized that there was nothing to do but move it themselves, so they had it dropped overboard at Bayonne with its steel cradle attached. Then they towed it up the Hudson River and the Champlain Barge Canal to Fort Ann, where it was hauled overland. Upon arrival at the lake, it was housed in a Quonset hut where workmen labored to have it ready for the summer. A cabin 40 feet long was built and a permanent canopy was constructed, allowing passengers to ride inside or out in the open. The mahogany of the original was replicated in the new cabin’s planking and trim.
The Ranger was 80 feet long and could carry 150 passengers. Until the mid-1950s, when the Ranger was retired and destroyed, it made two daily trips from Lake George Village, one of which was a run down the length of the lake and back. The other was a 1 1/2 hour evening cruise.
(Photo from Art Knight, Lake George Mirror collection, Lake George Historical Association. Most of the information about the Ranger comes from a June, 1947 issue of the Lake George Mirror.)