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CRANBERRY LAKE and its' transformation to the 




Jun 1897      

13 residents asked the St Lawrence Presbytery for permission to organize as a Presbyterian Church.


18 Aug 1897

A Committee from the Presbytery of St. Lawrence came to the Harewood (now Cranberry Lake) school house and held a service for approximately 25 people ultimately giving them permission to organize as a Presbyterian Church.  The members were screened for their fitness and those not yet baptized were baptized that day, including one infant.,


17 Jul 1899

Dedication of the community built Presbyterian Church.



The “Harewood Church” was disbanded and it joined all the Churches in and around Cranberry Lake, including Benson Mines, Star Lake, Newton Falls.  All churches were now governed as one organization named “Mt. Lebanon Church of Wanakena”.


12 Apr 1927  - 20 April 1931

The Cranberry Lake Presbyterian Church, which had been little more than a mission for many years, was accepted as a church in full standing by the St. Lawerence Presbytery.


Sometime in the 1950’s or 60’s

The basement was hand dug out and built of cement blocks by some of the male church members.  John MacAleese used his team and trailer to remove the dirt from the site.


20 Jan 1974  - 26 June 1988

Cranberry Lake, Star Lake and Wanakena Churches formally merged to form the Wanakena Church Corporation.Wanakena Church Corporation name changed to Western AdirondackPresbyterian Church.


15 Aug 2018

After learning that the Presbyterian Church in Cranberry Lake was to be sold, acommunity brainstorming meeting was held to determine the level of interest and ideas for use of the property.  Over 80 community members attended this public meeting and it was decided that a board would be formed and immediate fundraising would occur to secure purchase of the property.  The initial fundraising was stewarded by The Northern New York Community Foundation, allowing gifts to be tax deductible.            



21 Feb 2019 through 2024

The Cranberry Lake North Shore Hub, Inc. is incorporated under Section 402 of the Not-For-Profit Corporation Laws; purchase of the church property moves forward for a total cost of $125,000 - $15,000 of which was gifted back to the HUB project from the Western Adirondack Presbyterian Church. 

 The community provided around $300,000 in gifts through 2023 and the property was improved to include: a new roof, new siding, new steps, new septic, new docks in collaboration with the Cranberry Lake Boat Club, new breakwall, new landscaping, sidewalks, a cement pad for outdoor events and a handicap lift, wi fi service, interpretive historical panels, and an historical marker. 


The current and retired board members are:

Scott McWharf, President

Denise Barstow, Vice President, Treasurer duties added in 2022

Clint Farnsworth (resigned in 2022)

June McWharf

Darren Bullard, resigned in 2022

Terri Smith, resigned in 2020

Kay Dimon, began in 2022

Bill Griffin, began in 2022

Susan Sweeney Smith, began board service in 2023 as Secretary

Ed Kipp

Nick Hunter

Abigail Farnsworth Miller began in 2023

Key volunteers provided essential support:  Andy Smith (docks installation and most building projects), Scott and Wendy Bigelow (cleaning team), Susan Sweeney Smith (fundraising, Facebook page management and community relations prior to.Board service); Jim Redd (pews assessment), Meredith and Kurt Anke (basement assessment), The Adami Family (return of the original organ “Little Beauty); Gary and Barb Casagrain (original watercolor of original church)., Jim King (original website design and management); Halsey Bagg and Deb Roberts (cleaning and dock support); The Farnsworth Family (three generations helped install the docks for years). Karen Vavra stewarded the development and implementation of a community survey in 2024 to help guide the board in the development of a long term usage plan.

Many other volunteers helped with aspects of the project — it is a true community collaboration.  Any oversight in this list are human failings on the part of the writer.  Good is better than perfect.

Mark Friden, Clifton Town Historian

with additional HUB information added by Susan Smith.