SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (Jan. 23, 2018) — Located in the southern foothills of the Adirondack Mountains, the 29-mile-long Great Sacandaga Lake is the largest man-made body of water in New York state. On Tuesday, Feb. 6 at 1 p.m. at The Summit at Saratoga (1 Perry Road, Saratoga Springs), Saratoga County Historian Lauren Roberts will discuss the new documentary titled, “Harnessing Nature: Building the Great Sacandaga.”
Produced by the Sacandaga Lake Advisory Council with support from Roberts, Jason Kemper, director of planning for Saratoga County and Queensbury-based filmmaker Peter Pepe, the film tells the early history of the Sacandaga Valley and explains how the waters of the Sacandaga and Hudson Rivers flooded with run-off every spring damaging local homes and businesses. It reveals how the people of the Sacandaga Valley had to sacrifice their homes, farms and livelihood to make way for the series of dams, bridges and roads, which were completed in March 1930 at a cost of around $12 million.
“As someone who has lived on the lake all of their life, I really enjoyed telling this fascinating story,” said Roberts, who tapped into Pepe’s original film footage from the 1980s to co-write the documentary’s 70-minute script. “Although the construction of the Great Sacandaga Lake has been previously told, the effect this project had on the people who lived in that community has not been documented to the same degree. In an effort to recount their perspective in our film, we gathered information, photographs and conducted interviews with about 20 people who shared their memories before the great valley was flooded with more than 250 billion gallons of water.
“The sacrifices made by those earlier generations provided tremendous benefits to today’s residents not only in terms of flood mitigation, but also recreation opportunities,” she continued. “The Great Sacandaga Lake is now known far and wide for all kinds of water sports, snowmobiling, skiing and fishing.”
Copies of the documentary will be available for purchase for $20 following the talk.