Schroon Lake is a town in the Adirondack Park, in Essex County, New York, United States. The population was 1,654 at the 2010 census. The town is also known as Schroon or "Lake Paradox" which is actually a centrally located lake, and the name of a hamlet on the lake.
The Town of Schroon is in the southern part of Essex County and is north of Albany. The Town of Schroon contains two lakes: nine-mile (14 km) long Schroon Lake, and five-mile (8 km) long Paradox Lake. The two lakes are connected by the Schroon River.
The town was first settled in 1804, north of the current Schroon Lake hamlet. However, there is a claim that the town was occupied during the Colonial Period as a French colony, and there is thought to be a lot of bloodshed at this lake, as evidence shows it was once a large battleground. The origination of the name "Schroon" is not precisely known: some believe it to be derived from a Native American word for large lake. Others believe it devolved from French soldiers who inhabited the region during the French & Indian wars. The soldiers were enamored with Madame Scarron (a popular paramour of French King Louis XIV and prior to that the wife of noted French poet/playwright, Paul Scarron).
The Town of Schroon was formed in 1804 from part of the Town of Crown Point. The town was partitioned to form the newer Town of Minerva in 1817. In 1840, part of Schroon was returned to Crown Point. As with other towns of Essex County, the early economy was heavily involved in lumber production.
Prior to the construction of the Northway (Interstate 87), US Route 9 was the major north-south highway between Albany and Montreal, which made Schroon Lake a convenient stopping off point for travelers to purchase gas, lodging, and meals.
Schroon Lake was also the former home to the world class Scaroon Manor resort which closed in 1962. The Scaroon Manor was the site for the 1957 Warner Brothers movie "Marjorie Morningstar" which starred Gene Kelly, Natalie Wood. Carolyn Jones and Ed Wynn. Also featured in the film was Camp Red Wing (though not mentioned by name) on the east side of the Lake, from which Wood and Jones depart by canoe at night for their escape to the musical South Winds (Scaroon Manor). Open to the public for many years, the old Scaroon Manor site is now owned by the state, and access is limited to those who pay for a day pass.
The "Scaroons" is/are mentioned twice in The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper, as a place seen by Hawkeye (Natty Bumppo), Chingachgook and Uncas after they had departed Horicon (the name used by Cooper for Lake George) while traveling northward chasing Magua and his two captives, Cora and Alice Munro. It is unclear from the context in the book whether Cooper is referring to the lake or a chain of mountains, the latter being a more likely interpretation.