THE PILOT KNOB HISTORY PROJECT – A Decade of Success!

The Pilot Knob History Project symbolizes the special nature of this small lakeside community located at the end of a dead-end road on the Eastern shore of Lake George. Although many of Pilot Knob's citizens live here on a part-time and seasonal basis, the community retains a special character that is seldom evidenced in today's hectic society. Many areas produce commemorative histories to mark special events, but an on-going project like the one that has resulted in this series is quite rare!


Nomadic Native Americans made the Pilot Knob area a seasonal home for thousands of years, and the first European settlers arrived in the 1700's. The lakeshore hamlet evolved into a resort community during the late 1800's. Over the first fifty years of the twentieth century, the small development grew slowly as summer camps were winterized, and gradually, more people chose to live in this quiet setting all year. Because of its large tracts of state land, Pilot Knob has been protected from massive development, and even today, the community has only a few hundred property owners.


The Pilot Knob History Project is the creation of the Pilot Knob Association (PKA.) This organization formed in the early 1900's to build the community's steamship dock. Although the PKA went into hiatus between the World Wars, it became active again in the 1940's when the need to start a fire department became evident after a fatal conflagration. The Association has evolved into an active community organization that represents its citizens' interests, produces a newsletter, maintains a Website (www.pilotknobassociation.net,) and sponsors a variety of social events.


While its population is small, Pilot Knob has had many “characters,” and there always have been numerous colorful stories about the events and people who have resided either permanently or seasonally in the community. Over the years, many folks suggested that the Pilot Knob Association should document events from the community’s past. Several people tried to write such a comprehensive local “history,” but they were thwarted by the lack of written records and the reluctance of many older residents to be interviewed. In 1993, the officers of the PKA decided to try compiling a community history as a group activity. Calling it the Pilot Knob History Project , the Association designed this endeavor as a long-term effort that would be based on yearly Pilot Knob History Nights. The PKA conceived these events as a way to capture the memories of residents; their oral histories presented in a group setting would be the basis for creating a written history of the community. The PKA’s goal was to publish the information from these events in a collection of small books to which the PKA would give the collective title of The History of Pilot Knob.


The Association officers were overwhelmed by the interest in the first Pilot Knob History Night in 1993, and the first book, Volume One, proved equally popular. Ten years later, the project still generates tremendous interest. The Annual Pilot Knob History Nights continue to be well-attended, and the first volume of The History of Pilot Knob went into a second printing to meet demand.


As the History Project matured, the PKA decided to combine several History Nights in one book to ease production pressures, and the most recent publication, Volume Four, contains the results from the 1997, 1998, and 1999 events. Each volume includes historical anecdotes about the Pilot Knob community as well as discussions about the history of the greater Lake George area. All the Pilot Knob history books include vintage photographs as well as attendance lists from the Annual History Nights. In addition, each contains an index to make it easier to use for reference. Work continues on the next volume in the history series.


Pilot Knob History Book Prices:


 Single Book Price: $5.00   Volume 1  or  Volume 2   Note: plus shipping costs if they have to be sent


Please send a note of what you want with a check payable to the PKA, to Pilot Knob Association P.O. Box 77, Kattskill Bay, NY 12844

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