In 1890, the Fulton Chain Club sold 30 acres of land on Fourth Lake near the inlet to Fifth Lake, to Fred Hess, a well known local guide. Around 1893, Fred built an Inn on this property and called it “Hess’ Inn”. He sold this hotel to William Moshier in 1896 and Moshier renamed it “The Arrowhead”. Hess then built a new hotel next door in 1898 named “Hess Camp”.
The camp went through several owners, but about 1907, Philo C. Wood purchased the Hess Camp, and renamed it "The Woods". He equipped it with modern lighting, and heating and made it a first-class hotel. He ran the hotel until he retired, just a few years before his death.
In 1946, William Dunay, a World War II Air Force veteran, purchased the Wood Hotel and it continued to do well under his family's management.
Before william Dunay's death in 1989, the hotel itself had closed, though the tavern continued to operate. After his death, the tavern closed as well, and all the contents were auctioned off, but the descendants held onto the original buildings waiting for the right buyer who would restore the hotel to its former glory.
The current owners purchased the property in 2003 and after a long restoration process, the hotel was once again reopened in 2004 and continues to entertain guests.
Below are some of the early newspaper accounts regarding the "Hess Camp". Please note that the newspapers of the time, seem to confuse Hess Inn and Hess Camp and use these two names interchangeably. In fact, it appears that Fred Hess used the name "Hess Camp" and/or "Hess Inn" for any camp/hotel which he owned, and he owned several over the years in various locations, including the two at the inlet between Fourth and Fifth lake.
Utica Weekly Herald, Tuesday, Oct 20, 1896
Hess Hotel Sold
The hotel property of Fred Hess, located at the head of Fourth Lake, known as Hess Camp, Fulton Chain, was purchased of its owner Saturday by Mosher Brothers of Utica. The consideration is $25,000, which includes a steamer on the lakes. The Messrs. Mosher are dealers in spices in this city. It is their intention to run the hotel in the future. Fred Hess is an old settler at the Fulton Chain, and his hostelry was one of the best known along the lakes.
Little Falls Journal Courier, Oct 20, 1896
Hess Camp on Fourth Lake, Fulton Chain, has been purchased by Charles and William D. Moshier, composing the firm of Moshier Bros., of Utica, formerly of Salisbury. The property, which was owned by Fred Hess, a well known and popular guide in the northern widerness, embraces a hotel capable of accommodating 125 guests, two cottages and 350 acres of ground, most advantageously located. It is said the consideration is $25,000 which includes a steamer on the lakes. It is intended by Moshier Bros. to make extensive imporvements in the hotel for next season's business.
Rome Daily Sentinel, May 3, 1899
Burton & Hess are just completing their handsome new hotel, which is known as Hess Camp. The place is, besides being new, very commodious, and is located on one of the most sightly places on the Fulton Chain of Lakes. Messrs. Burton & Hess are experts at entertaining and have always enjoyed a large trade from Rome, Utica, and Syracuse people.
Arthur Riggs of Turin has engaged at the Hess Camp as clerk and book-keeper.
Utica Sunday Tribune, Jun 4, 1899
The Hess Inn, at the head of Fourth Lake, has been remodeled. Considerable work has been done on the hotel. W. D. Moshier of Utica is now the proprietor.
Another hotel at the head of Fourth Lake which has been improved is Hess Camp, conducted by Mrs. Fred Hess.
New York Herald, July 8, 1900
Fred Hess, who has in former years been the manager of Cedar Island Camp, Hess' Inn, and the Arrow Head successively, is this year, the manager of Hess' Camp, at the head of Fourth Lake. Hess' Camp has about twenty visitors at the present time. Among the late arrivals are Mr. and Mrs. W. c. Rowley and daughter, of Utica; R. Ray Lamont, of New York and John H. Richard and son, of Herkimer. Arthur Geiger, of Syracuse, has returned to his home after a three weeks' visit at Hess' Camp.
Rome Daily Sentinel, Feb 25, 1902
Old Forge, Feb. 25 - Fred Hess, owner and former proprietor of the Hess Camp, is now at Mount Louis, province of Quebec, on Gaspe Bay, where he is in charge of a large private preserve, looking after the forest, examining the country and locating camps, etc.
Utica Daily Press (sometime in 1904)
Notable Adirondack Hotel Change
Hess Camp, Head of Fourth Lake, Fulton Chain
Recently purchased by H. H. Covey, proprietor of Camp Crag, Big Moose. Will be refitted and furnished in a manner to merit the approval of all lovers of the woods, with comfortable beds, pure running spring water and the very best material money can buy to appeast that notable woods appetite (so well known) with fresh eggs and milk produced on the premises, cooked and served in the plain homelike manner so well known to the congenial proprietor, who will give the whole place his personal attention. All lovers of the woods who desire a restful, healthful, quiet vacation at the popular price of twelve ($12) to twenty ($20) dollars per week will address
C. E. Duquette, Prop.
Inlet, Hamilton Co., N.Y.
- No Hebrews or consumptives taken.
The Telegram, Syracuse, NY, Oct 27, 1905
Man Killed by Exploding Gas
Utica, Oct. 27 - Edward Duquette, 27 years old, one of the proprietors of Hess Camp at the head of Fourth Lake, on Fulton Chain, in the Adirondacks, was instantly killed Wednesday night by the explosion of a gas plant from which the hotel was lighted. The lights failed soon after darkness, and Duquette with a lantern in his hand went to the gas house, 200 feet in the rear of the hotel, to remedy the difficulty. As he opened the door the lantern ignited escaping gas and the explosion blew the stone gas house to fragments, broke windows in the surrounding buildings and aroused every inhabitant of the forest for miles around. It resounded up and down the lakes and was heard on Seventh Lake and at Eagle Bay.
1906: Phone service comes to Inlet
Courier, Brookfield, NY, Feb 1906 (exact day unknown)
Robert M. Cookman and son, Hart R., of Oneida have purchased the hotel on Fourth Lake, Fulton Chain, known as the "Hess Camp," and taken possession.
The Journal and Republican, Lowville, May 3, 1906
Robert Cookman and family, of Oneida, who formerly resided in this village, have gone to Fourth Lake, at which place they will have charge of the Hess camp during the coming season.
New York Herald, Aug 11, 1907
Philo C. Wood, who for the last five years has successfully conducted the Forge House, will not renew his lease, which expires January 1. He will conduct Hess' camp, at Fourth Lake, of which he is the owner.
Utica Daily Press, June 2, 1908
under Summer Resorts
(Formerly Hess Camp)
At head of Fourth Lake, Fulton Chain. House enlarged, remodeled and newly furnished. Modern in every respect. Capacity 100 guests. For rates and booklet address.
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