167 NYS Route 74
Schroon Lake, NY
So the next time you are prompted to a gathering of friends or kin, a personal retreat or a wilderness exploration, or simply to nurture a creative pursuit, please consider Paradox House Retreat B&B as an option. We welcome your presence....and will leave the lights on.
Great-Grandfather Irving Tyrrell built this house in the 1890’s. The land had been awarded his great-grandfather for service in the Revolutionary War, and he now lived, farmed and ran his own mill on it. It was a big house; 13 bedrooms on three floors, not counting the large attic above that would collect the history of each generation to come, or the cellar below that stored the canned goods, potatoes and pickled eggs. But this was not an overwhelming task for him. Already the beneficiary of more than a century of tough Adirondack wilderness pioneering, he had the ability to cut his own lumber and the sons to help with the job. The house became known as the Paradox Lake House because of it’s proximity to, of course, Paradox Lake.
The house was designed and partially used in the early years as a summer boarding house for the city folk escaping the heat and boredom, but it was always primarily a family home. Guests were delivered to a platform off the front porch, cooled themselves in the lake and enjoyed 3 hot meals prepared by Grandma Pauline. With time, plumbing arrived and electricity replaced the kerosene lamps, refrigeration prevailed over the ice block house, and the barns that once provided shelter for milk cows, hogs and chickens as well as the guest horses and their carriages slipped into housing for the newer gas-run models and machinery. Even the dirt road that connected the house with these barns and provided the only route for the arrival of visitors yielded to a paved surface now known as NYS Route 74.
This grand old “Adirondack Victorian Farmhouse” went silent and empty for the first time after the grandparents passed on in the 1960‘s. Family indecision then kept it untouched and other than brief summer stays, unoccupied for 4 decades. What protected the vulnerable house from vandalism or fire is anybodies guess, but I suspect the love of a community surrounded and protected her as she once had done for them.
The care and keeping of “Paradox House” came to us in the 1990’s, and summer work to rescue and reawaken her began. But the progress was frustratingly slow, and by winter of ’08 we had tired of the challenging bi-coastal demands, and left behind our southern California life.
Imagine the joy of that first winter, when the scores of local folks, perhaps for the first time in their lives, see the lights on in this prominent old house and learn that the occupants are returning members of the “original family”.
Repeating a former way of living is not possible; nor should it be. For Merritt (who was born here) and Analise (his artist wife), the goal has been to revive the family home in keeping with the openness and caring of its legacy; to provide a place where others can come and restore themselves and explore this great Adirondack park; where stories can be shared and ideas explored if the moment calls for it, and to provide a space where creative or spiritual callings can be nurtured away from a busied life.
To this end, we have winterized the house and sacrificed a few of the bedrooms to create a second stair case, more bathrooms, a third floor art studio for Analise, two libraries and an expanded kitchen with a second refrigerator which guests may use as their own. The unchanged original parlor provides a place for reading, listening to music, meeting in groups, or for small work-shop gatherings. We can accommodate one or up to ten for sleeping, and encourage our guests to make this their “home” while within these walls. Reunion groups or those who are staying longer than 3 nights are free to use the laundry, cleaning supplies or main kitchen.
All guests are encouraged to engage as they are called in all the seasonal wonders of this beautiful Adirondack Park reserve.
While Merritt spent pivotal parts of his childhood in the presence of Grandfather, this current phase is new to both of us. But we are clear that we draw inspiration from the unique gifts of every individual we meet, and aspire to return the use of this home to the nurturing place it once was by providing a space for personal reflections and renewal for those who are called to share it with us.
Bill Holm wrote a book about living whole in an unlikely place: The heart can be filled anywhere on earth - your home is such a likely place!
Anne S, CA
Thank you so much for allowing us to use you house for our family gathering! It has been wonderful.
Chris B, PA
I am leaving the Paradox House much better than I arrived - and I have wanting for more. Carol S, CA
I loved everything about this visit and will come back definitely. Thanks for your generosity of spirit.
Connie R, NY
This week has been a true gift and pleasure, splendid accommodations and lively spirited conversation. Best of all, I now have two new friends! Leslie R, DE
Thank you so much for a fabulous respit after backpacking in the High Peeks. Elisa W, PA
What a wonderful house full of fascinating art.
Carter S, NY
Fantastic stay learning the rich heritage of the Adirondack's and seeing the beauty each day holds.Michelle W, CA
This is literally the coolest place I’ve EVER been. I love the place, it’s atmosphere, and, of course, it’s people. Andrea S., CA (13y/o)
A wonderful place to be! The breakfast was perfection. Thanks! Helena B., Canada
We pulled in as strangers, and leave as friends. Thank you for letting us join your circle. Bekah G., VT
Paradox House is a terrific home away from home. Annette B., NJ
Loved the wonderful flavor of this great place.
Fabulous is an understatement for the wonderful time.
Stan S., NY
From the moment we walked in and said “hello”, the feeling was like we’d known each other for years. You are both fascinating people and this is reflected in your exquisite house which felt like staying in an art museum/historic home - my dream residence! Your lovely front porch, the screened-in hammock, the art studio, the gorgeous parlor, exotic treasures and inspirational and provocative paintings everywhere. And the icing on the cake - our genuinely enjoyable conversations. Judy Roth, NY
Now I know why we came back when we saw your House! Carla V., Belgium
We were extraordinarily fortunate to stop here with the most welcoming people in the most wonderful community. Unforgettable. Ian, Ireland