South Meadow Farm
PHOTOS: Nancy proudly standing by the original sign for South Meadow Farm; front and side views of the original Lodge; winter view of the early Lodge; a guest favorite, one of the area’s well-known barrel saunas tucked away at the back of the property; in the early years, South Meadow had sheep and a goat; and fall view of the early Lodge.
The South Meadow Farm history began with the purchase of 130 acres of meadow from the Thew family by Tony’s mom and dad, Jane and Hamilton (“Ham”) Corwin.
Ham was a prisoner of war during WWII who escaped capture and eventually returned home to marry his sweetheart, Jane. They settled down to a normal life in the Adirondacks, where Jane was teaching at Camp Treetops.
Ham and Jane taught at the school for 17 years, during which time a home was built on the property close to the road. This is where Tony spent his childhood. Following retirement from teaching, Jane and Ham left the area in the early 1960s, selling the full 130-acre property to Betty and Harry Eldridge.
Harry & Betty Eldridge
In the early 1970s the house that Harry and Betty bought from Ham burned down. As there was an A-frame camp building on the property that had lovely views of the mountains, it was decided to redesign that A-frame to add on a full living space for the Eldridge family.
During this time Harry was director at North Country School, as well as teaching and house parenting students students living in the dorm side of the A-frame. There were ladders leading to their rooms on the second story, with each room having a half-wall and curtain for privacy.
In 1980 Harry and Betty retired. With such close proximity to Mt. Van Hoevenberg, when the Olympics came to Lake Placid they used the dorm to house athletes. This encouraged a transition of the dorm into a bed and breakfast which Harry and Betty managed until Harry’s tragic on-trail death.
Betty kept the bed and breakfast running for another year or two, until her children encouraged her to downsize. A call was placed to Nancy and Tony to see if there was any interest in purchasing the property.
PHOTOS: Spring lambing. What fun! Waffle making at the table; one of the first weddings at the property, Jennifer Loud and Mark Vann; Timothy was fond of feeding all the animals, including lambs and goats.
The Corwin Family
At the same time that the Eldridge family was making its decision to pass on the property, Nancy and Tony were living in southwest Florida. They were owners of two successful Hallmark Card & Gift Shops. Kimberly was attending Camp Treetops during the summer and when they came for one of the Parents’ Weekends, at Nick Perry’s suggestion Nancy and Tony came to check out the Eldridge property. They thought it was nice, but it was not until their flight back to Florida that they had a chance to think things through.
By the time their plane landed in Florida, the deed was done! The Corwin family was moving to Lake Placid and the history of South Meadow Farm was about to enter its current stage of history.
Nancy and Tony had a quick start for their new business. The ink was barely dry on the deal in 1991 when Nancy and Tony had their first catering event for a wedding. They were off and running!
For the kids, upon the family’s arrival they were each given a lamb as a welcome to the neighborhood from dear friend and neighbor, Bonnie Morgan, who raised sheep and was an avid horseback rider.
PHOTOS: As Ham Corwin was fond of saying, “go outside and let the space fill you up;” Nancy’s parents David and Sally Edge and sister Patty are her wedding on the South Meadow property; Nancy and Tony captured in a moment of “The Way We Were”; a rare moment of sibling love between Kimberly and Timothy; Kimberly loved cooking when she was young, especially cookies; popovers were always Timothy’s favorite; and Kimberly (third from left) with Bridget, Brooke and Rachel.
Farming & Maple Sugaring
As often happens before we know any better, Nancy and Tony soon added farming and a maple sugaring operation to their daily tasks. For Tony, the maple sugarworks began mostly as a way to keep himself busy once he retired from working at North Country School. They managed a flock of lambs for the first seven years, a few chickens – soon lost to a hungry fox, and a much-loved horse named Twister while Kimberly was in high school.
Today, South Meadow Farm operates exclusively as a well-respected bed and breakfast and maple sugaring operation.