Your Lake, Your Newspaper

The Mirror: 1998

The Mirror passed through several hands before Tony Hall, Robert Hall’s son and at the time an aide to Ron Stafford, the region’s legendary state senator, expressed an interest in it in the mid-1990s.

Determined to live in the Adirondacks, he persuaded his wife that weekly newspapers were in his blood. Not only had he grown up in his father’s print shops and offices (and published a neighborhood newspaper in Warrensburg!), his grandfather had established ‘The Gazette’ in Hattiesburg, Mississippi in the 1890s. But he himself had to admit that his family’s first foray into journalism was hardly auspicious.

In an essay for the Lake George Mirror, Hall wrote, “Sometime before the turn of the century, my grandfather founded the Hattiesburg Gazette. He was not in the weekly newspaper business for long though. Usually, financial problems force the sale of a newspaper. In my grandfather’s case, his own father was the source of the problem. His father was a Baptist preacher who suffered from an acute case of “cacoethes scribendi,” more commonly known as the itch to write. To have a son with a weekly newspaper was to his mind an opportunity to gain for his sermons a broader circulation than they had hitherto enjoyed, which, much to his distress, was limited to his family and his small congregation. My grandfather, however, lacked the space to print both the news of Hattiesburg and his father’s sermons, which in any event were unlikely to prove popular with readers, since they usually concerned the evils of dancing, card playing, tobacco and short skirts. My grandfather could not reject the sermons outright (or even apply the blue pencil, my father said) because, quite frankly, his father terrified him. He solved his dilemma by getting out of the newspaper business altogether.

Tony and Lisa Hall purchased the Lake George Mirror from a chain based in Amsterdam and began publishing the paper in 1998. In the years since, they’ve rebuilt the paper’s circulation and advertising base so that both are now greater than ever. The Mirror is now published weekly from mid-May through Columbus Day and monthly in the off-season.

Below its banner, the Mirror still carries the motto coined by W.H. Tippetts in 1890, a motto which guided the Knights and other owners for another 120 years: “Devoted to the Interests of the Queen of American Lakes.”