The Sawkill Creek - Meeting Modern Needs

The Sawkill Creek

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Meeting Modern Needs

During the 20th century, the lake, a place valued for its tranquility a century before, was transformed into a lively swimming hole.

This photograph shows the Delafield grandchildren and their cousins having fun on the lake. The children swam, fished, and rowed here.

Unlike the boaters seen in the 1840s engraving of the lake—who protected themselves with bonnets and parasols— these fun-seekers exposed themselves to as much sun as possible. The Delafields valued the sun and fresh air and the health benefits of heart-pumping exercise.

In the modern era, as more people worked indoors, they played outdoors.

Delafield grandchildren and their cousins. Gelatin silver print, c. 1945. Bard College, Montgomery Place Collection.