Elizabeth Anne VanderPutten - We Remember Lake Carmel

Summers at Lake Carmel

By Elizabeth Anne VanderPutten, Thomas J. VanderPutten, Dick VanderPutten, Jean Pollack and Elizabeth Zapp (with notes from visitors Paul Russell and Joseph P. Belsito )

Lake Carmel has always had a special place in my childhood memories. My brothers Dick and John and sister Jean, Liz Zapp, cousin Tommy and others spent happy parts of our summers visiting Grandma and Grandpa VanderPutten. We swam, played, went to church, played scrabble with grandma (who always won), laughed at Grandpa's puns, and stored up memories.

 -Elizabeth Anne VanderPutten, December 14, 2002

My grandfather and my father helped build this church in Lake Carmel, NY

For an official history of Our Lady of the Lake Church, see Saint James the Apostle and Our Lady of the Lake Parish, A Brief History of Our Parish

The building of the cottage at Lake Carmel

"As I recall it from my Dad, they brought a bunch of lumber up after they bought the land and built the first cottage which we called Aunt Mary's place. (They later sold it to Grandma's sister Mary Finley).

They first built a single cabin and cooked outside in the back. As the weeks and years wore on, they would add sections to it. I know my dad's lifetime friend Morris Collar was one of the helpers. They also built this house on the corner which we knew as Grandma and Pappy's."

- Thomas J. VanderPutten, Aug 20, 2003

"I loved my time at the Lake. I loved watching (and hearing) Grandma and grandpa play cards. Grandma: "Now Van, why did you put that card down? That wasn't a good move". Grandpa:*%$$##@!!^^! I'm going for a walk" Then grandpa would leave the kitchen table, mumbling under his breath, and go for a walk in the yard. Grandma would follow from a distance worried that he would have a stroke. What theatre!" 

- Jean Pollack, 21 Aug 2003

"I wish I was there! What a great time I had each summer. Those were the most wonderful moments and places in my id. The times spent with my "Pappy" were the greatest. ..the row boat.. I lived in it ...went anywhere on the lake with it ..it was my first car!! I hope to measure up to the Pappy name I am evolving into. We won't have a Lake Carmel, but we will have a warm spot for our grandkids to get to away from life for a few weeks out of what they perceive as a dull mundane life. If they (we) only knew."   

- Thomas J. VanderPutten, Wed, 20 Aug 2003

"My Memory is about the same as Tommy's as to who built them. I'm also sure they have been repainted/resided since I was last there. I think I drove past in 1966 or 1967. The earlier picture of the lake shows a house opposite the beach that was not there in 1952. 

Who could forget listening to Grandma and Grandpa play those delightful card games."  

- Dick VanderPutten, 22 Aug 2003

Grandmother Van

"This is Grandma Van, my sister Barbara and me at Lake Carmel. Annette noted that it was 1957, so I was about 2ish and Barbara somewhere close to 4. Anymore details I can't help you with, other than I do remember going there a few times. Fighting over sleeping/playing in the hammock and swimming with my dad."

-Laurie VanderPutten Loken, July 5, 2006


(click on picture for enlargement)

"I remember playing Scrabble on warm summer nights. I still think Grandma Van made up some of those words. Then she'd be the ultimate authority and say they were real words. She knew because she was a teacher ....... even when they couldn't be found in the dictionary. Would you like to contradict her? -Eliz Zapp, 22 Aug 2003

"Never. I remember when grandma used the word jinni which means a Moslem spirit, I knew then that I could never win." - Jean Pollack, 22 Aug 2003

Messages and Comments

"Hello there"

"I just wanted to email you in regard to your web page that I had stumbled across the while I was surfing the net. I share a lot of the same memories as you do about good old Lake Carmel. It's one of those places that no one knows about but sometimes as much as I want people to know about such a great place i am sometimes glad most people don't that's what makes it so great."

"Just a quaint little town where I grew up during my whole child hood. I moved from Yonkers in 1984, then spent my childhood years and teens in Carmel. I graduated from Carmel high school, went on to college then joined the us coast guard got sent to Boston for two years and now I have been in Fort Myers Beach, Florida."

"My family still lives there today my parents at least on lake Carmel. Right on the lake near the old villa Carmel pizza place. I got such a warm feeling inside when I was looking through your web page because I was able to relate to all you were saying about your grand parents and everything. I hope you get to visit more than I do."  

--Paul Russell, 
Fri, 26 Aug 2005


"I stumbled over your website today and I have to tell you that your memories of summering in Lake Carmel brought me back to a nice place. My grandparents also had a summer house and I spent every summer there from my birth (1954) until I was about 17 (you know what happens - you grow to be a teen and all of a sudden spending a summer away from your friends back home is a big deal)."

"I was at the very portion of the lake you pictured. We would walk down from Amawalk Road; wonderful summers, wonderful memories. I will never forget all those days at the lake and the "Good Humor" ice cream truck that came by day after day, night after night. Boisterous card games between my grandparents - wow! You'd think they were betting millions - the fights that would break out!

"I'm sure I've driven by your place as I immediately recognized it when I saw the photos. My parents took over the house from my grandparents and lived there until about 2001 when dad's health became an issue. When I sold the house for mom in 2003 I was heartbroken, but the area has changed so much. When I was a kid, it was all summer folks up there. I remember one year my grandparents having Thanksgiving there and I could not get over how deserted the whole town seemed - eerily quiet. Now it's all populated with folks who have spread out from NYC and Jersey because they want to be able to afford a home."

"Thanks for the wonderful side trip and sharing your memories."


Joseph P. Belsito
Wed, 12 Oct 2005

Good Morning,

I just came across your page and read the article about my former church Lady of the Lake in Lake Carmel NY. I used to live in LC and moved to Florida in 1973. I used to attend this church every Sunday morning with friends and it is still the most beautiful church I have ever been in.

Just wanted to say thanks..

Tom Ferretti

Largo Fl.
February 18, 2006

I used to live on East Croton Drive in LC.