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The Adirondack Chair Translated

Adirondack Chairs BHC

The Adirondack Chair: iconic to warm weather and often framing beautiful views.

The first Adirondack chair was created right across the lake from Basin Harbor in Westport, NY. In the early 1900’s, a Boston businessman spending the summer in the Adirondacks, designed a chair for his mother. It was a  summer full of “test” chairs and eventually he ended up with the “Westport Chair”. His design included one wide plank for the back for comfort and wide arms for holding a plate or a glass. Along the way that summer, he suggested to a carpenter friend in Westport that he should build the chairs for a new source of off-season income. That carpenter went on to patent the design and proceeded to build “Westport Plank Chairs” for the next twenty years. They were painted green or dark brown and signed by him. One might imagine their friendship did not resume the next summer.

Allen Penfield Beach, the proprietor of Basin Harbor Club at the time, was an avid woodworker himself. In the 1920’s he decided to fashion his own style of Westport Chair, now referred to as the Adirondack Chair and the Basin Harbor Chair was created. Today’s design has evolved along the way while still maintaining the key design features of the original.

The back is a 13″ wide solid plank, the arms are wider at the front, ideal for a cocktail and the wood used is good Vermont pine. A.P. Beach made the chairs for the resort during his lifetime, followed by two master carpenters and today the chairs are still made in Vermont. Shaped by jig and a human hand, the chairs boast fourteen pieces and fifty-two wood screws. A simple but stunning silhouette.

The iconic chairs are  scattered about our Vermont resort. They are painted in the bright colors of red, blue, green and yellow and are made in three sizes, like the Three Bears, are sure to fit anyone. Child sized, adult sized and then one size fits all, measuring in at six feet at the tallest point. Four additional decorative sizes are also made to enjoy on a Christmas tree, bookshelf or perfect for a favorite teddy.

In 2006, the Basin Harbor Chair became the official logo of Basin Harbor Club. They have been the subject of many artist’s canvas, a standard in a Basin Harbor Wedding album and no vacation is complete without pictures and quality time spent in those chairs.

There are so many styles available in the marketplace today. Painted, plastic, hardwood, shaped, sloped, colorful and natural. Mail order, your local hardware store or a hand lettered sign on the roadside in the Adirondacks. No matter where, the Adirondack Chair evokes reflection, relaxation and has endured generations of occupants and their histories.

Have a photo of your own in a BHC Adirondack Chair? Send them to pr@basinharbor.com

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The Basin Harbor Chairs are available in 7 sizes; 3 inches to 6 feet. For more information on purchasing or shipping, please contact us at shop@basinharbor.com.