The Mohican in Bolton Landing
After five years without a stop by one of the lake’s excursion boats, Bolton Landing became a steamboat landing once again this summer, with promising results.
Every Tuesday and Thursday, the Lake George Steamboat Company’s Mohican stopped at Bolton Landing’s newly renovated pier to pick up passengers on its way down the lake and then returned them to Bolton on its way back.
“The numbers of people boarding the Mohican were better than we anticipated,” said Elaine Brown, the director of the Bolton Landing Chamber of Commerce. “This is the first year the Chamber of Commerce sold tickets for the Mohican. There may not have been lines out the door, but there were certainly lines inside the office.”
According to Bill Dow, the president of the Lake George Steamboat Company, twenty to twenty five people boarded the Mohican at the twice-weekly stops.
That’s more people boarding the Mohican than in years past, said Mohican captain Bill Gates, but, of course, nowhere near the sixty people which the Mohican would pick up every day as recently as a few decades ago.
“In the 1920s, we stopped at 19 town and hotel piers and docks up and down the lake, and now we’re down to just a few,” said Dow. “But every dock we bring back into service, the closer we are to becoming, once again, a true transportation company. In the long run, that’s what I’d like to see happen.”
According to Dow, almost every trip had a few more passengers returning to the Steel Pier than had departed.
That, presumably, was the result of a new promotion initiated by the Bolton Landing Chamber of Commerce called “Cruise, Stroll and Trolley Bolton Landing.”
According to Elaine Brown, visitors were encouraged to take the trolley from Lake George Village to Bolton Landing, shop and dine on the town’s Main Street, and then board the Mohican for the trip back to Lake George Village.
“It was an experiment, but we think it went very well,” said Brown.
The Mohican will continue picking up passengers at Bolton Landing through September 1.
And, according to Dow, the Mohican will be back next year, whether the stops pay for themselves or not.
“It’s not about economics; it’s about tradition,” said Dow.