Childhood Memories of the White House

A Short Article from Bill Fountain

My earliest recollections of visiting the White House were with my father, Maurice Fountain, who took me to see Lee Fountain, his uncle. Lee and his wife Ot ran the hunting/fishing lodge at the end of the dirt road called West Hill outside of Wells, NY. It was located within a couple hundred feet from the river.

On the road just before getting to the White House there was an active beaver pond with the typical lodge in the center. Surrounding the main house there were perhaps 5 or 6 cabins which housed guests. People came during the summer for fishing the Hamilton Stream, Jimmy Creek and the West Branch of the Sacandaga River. Especially during the fall hunting parties were taken into the woods in the area. Some trapping happened in the winter months also.

The main house was furnished with a large dining room and a kitchen with a hand water pump. There were a number of bedrooms on the second floor. Out back was an open barn for storage of the horse carriages and a place for temporary housing of visiting horses.

In the late forties a couple of my friends and I stayed in one of the remaining cabins and fished the river up as far as the Big Eddy which was a large area of still water in the river. At this time the Boy’s Camp was still in evidence just upriver from the lodge. This was run by Lee’s son Lawrence.

It was then not in operation but on a table there were many pictures of the area which I was permitted to take. These were of the larger area and I just recently gave these to my friends, Gail Cramer and Cork Stuart. I have a few of these yet to donate to the Speculator Historical people of shots of places in their area.

My father was born on a place located on the West Hill Road. His family farmed the area and Billy did carpenter work for home owners in the area. The homestead is most recently owned by the Dence family I believe. Next to the house and up past the spring both Billy’s father and Uncle Dave Hen lived. I don’t recall which lived in these two locations. We used to go up there for berry picking in the summer when I lived in Wells in the 30’s and 40’s.

- Bill Fountain

Last Updated: Wednesday, 14-May-2008 13:37:12 PDT
Copyright © 2006:  Bill Fountain