Submitted by scott on
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In June of 1901 the Clemens family - except for Clara, ... - moved into a rustic cottage at the edge of Lake Saranac, New York.  They christened the house "The Lair."

Sam was at the lake save for much of August when he took a cruise with H. H. Roger on board the Kanawha.

From W. B. Northrup's book "With Pen and Camera":

"...a pretty rustic cottage on the borders of Lake Saranac.  The house was situated in the midst of a thick forest of fir and pine trees, the only open approach being from the front, where the water rippled melodiously almost at the doorstep."

Where Mark Twain worked:

"...a cleared space beside the lake, in which stood a spacious tent, with a board flooring.  The tent was "furnished" with a couple of chairs, and a plain table, which was littered with papers.  On the floor near the chair were some books, one of which, "Bismarck's Memoirs," is a favorite work with the author."

From Northrup's article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on 21 July, 1901:

"From the outside Mark Twain’s house looks like a Swiss cottage, such as one sees perched on the side of the Alps near Lake Lucerne. The wood of which it is built is rough pine, the bark of the tree being left on the outside."

"Within, the idea of rusticity is still further emphasized by leaving the cross-beams of the ceiling covered by native bark. The upper portion of the doors and windows are finished in the same fashion. The high mantlepiece of the reception room is made of a huge pine log, this the bark left on, the upper surface being planed flat."

"The tables, chairs and other furnishings are rustic, even down to the inkwell on the writing-desk wihich stands in the northeast corner of the room."

"So closely to the house surrounded by trees that the long branches protrude far across the verandas and look impudently in at the windows of the second story."

"The tops of the trees seem to lock arms above the roof, and when the wind blows the trunks rub against the eaves."

"Save for the rippling of the waters of Lake Saranac or the sighing of the wind through the trees, there is nothing to disturb the profound quiet which reigns about “The Lair”."

Twain on his verandah