King’s Grove, Route 374, Chazy Lake, NY

     It all came about in 1947.  Exford and Catherine King started The Grove basically as a small take-out stand along the shore of the lake.  Exford, or Jim as he was known back in his Detroit, MI days, had been a restaurant operator in the Motor City, and the desire to run a restaurant never left him.  So, the Grove came into operation the same year I was born.  I was told many times that one of the large cardboard bread boxes used to deliver the hot dog and hamburger buns served as my first crib.  I grew up in this home to summer fun along Chazy Lake.    A michigan with, order of fries and a chocolate milk or Pepsi was the favorite menu selection.   The restaurant expanded with a dining room and the well known dance hall that was later converted into a bar.  Many romances grew from dancing on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday night to tunes such as the “Wabash Cannonball”:

“Now listen to the jingle, and the rumble, and the roar,
As she dashes thro’ the woodland, and speeds along the shore,
See the mighty rushing engine, hear her merry bell ring out,
As they speed along in safety, on the Great Rock Island Route.”

   I got to call a few of those wonderful square dances as a kid dressed in my western outfit with encouragement from the Lytle sisters and their parents from down in Lewis, NY.  My favorite was “Kissing in the Moonlight”, and I got to shut the lights off in the hall as the couples danced the night away and  kissed over the musical bridge of the song.  There were many other events held at the Grove.  Boat races, political rallies, Shriner’s conventions, wedding receptions, church and school picnics and the day trips of Montrealers on a weekend to enjoy an escape from the city to the Adirondacks are all a part of King’s Grove history.   The Grove was later operated by my brother James King and passed through other hands before coming to a final close.  I hope you enjoy this trip to the Grove days at Chazy Lake and invite you to share your memories with us.

         Plattsburgh Press-Republican

             Friday, June 12, 1970



17 responses

3 03 2009

I remember the first square dance held at King’s Grove. The men who worked at the concentrator at Lyon Mountain wanted to have a picnic and dance. They helped build an open pavilion about 1000 sqft. For music, Mae M. sat in the dump box of a truck with a piano playing country square dance tunes. I believe that Ed F. also played his fiddle. That was so popular that nearly everyone wanted to dance there. They came from most of northern New York, parts of Quebec, and Vermont. One of the local bands was The Merry Mels. The one from Vermont was The Western Aces who had a radio show out of Burlington. At the height of this, there were dances on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The most on the dance floor at one time I can recall was 18 squares. And yes, I got kissed in the moonlight. As time passed, the building was torn down and recycled into a good-sized hunting cabin which unfortunately burned down.

6 04 2009
James Exford King III

hey umm my name is james exford king III i found this website n thought maybe it was connected to me in someway maybey u know my dad James Exford King II or my grand dad james Exford King idk lol umm if anything rings a bell contact me back please

17 07 2009
Catherine Yvonne Tavernier

I am Catherine Yvonne Tavernier (Kippy). James King my uncle that I loved a lot gave me the name Kippy (I think I was 3 or so). I remember coming from Minn. every summer and as old as 5 or 6 I was put to work at King’s Grove. I worked in the kitchen, cleaning the bath house, picking up trash. The best times was when Grandpapa would have clam bakes and the campgrounds were full of people. One summer (I think I was 6) I was swimming. I started to drown and my Uncle Jim saved me. There is so much more to tell and will share next time.

18 03 2010
Rosemary Chase Wood

I grew up in Lyon Mountain. We went to King’s Grove to dance on Friday and Saturday nights back in the 1960’s. Les and I had our wedding reception at King’s Grove on July 29, 1967. I have a lot of good memories of King’s Grove!

19 03 2010
Richard King

Thanks for writing, Rosemary. I went to LMHS with a Farley Chase. That is ancient history now. Sometimes I was the bartender at wedding receptions at King’s Grove. Those were good days with lots of memories.

23 06 2011
Eileen Noel Brassard

Richard I grew up in Chazy Lake aiso… I am Richard and Clara Noel’s Daughter Eileen the yongest out of three – there was my Brother Dickie and my sister Peg. I Remember the GOOD OLD DAYS at kings Grove also. Are you Ernest King’s son?

23 06 2011

Eileen, I’m Don, Richard’s younger brother. I did the webpage on King’s Grove.
We’re sons of Exford and Catherine King who originally owned the Grove. As a kid, I knew Noel’s store very well. The building was actually built by my great-grandfather Sullivan King. He had a tavern in the lower level, and a picture of ‘Old’ Sullivan’s family was still hanging in Gerald’s kitchen when I visited a couple years ago.

26 06 2011
Eileen Noel Brassard

Frank Noel that was my grandfather. As kid we used to go there a lots. This is guite a website u have going. Very nice to look back at.

16 04 2010
Noreen Nephew Barcomb

Thanks, Don, for sending me a link to this site. It is great. I believe I have a picture of you and I dancing together at the Grove….I was perhaps four years old and you must have been about seven. I’ll look it up and if I find it, will send you a copy.

23 08 2010
Al Macintyre

My girlfriend Susan and I used to camp at King’s Grove with our parents when we were teens in the mid sixties. I can remember hearing the folks at the Grove singing “Wolverton Mountain” and replacing the words with Lion Mountain. I also remeber the old electric beer signs in the Grove that looked as if Miller beer was actually flowing into a glass.

Thanks for the memories.

Al & Susan Macintyre

23 02 2011
Eileen Ashline Penn

How absolutely wonderful to find this treasure! I returned to Chazy Lake in November 2009 to celebrate my 60th birthday. I was born at home in Chazy Lake, the second daughter of Medos and Leda [DuBrey] Ashline. I had not been “home” since 1989, …..I spent days driving around recapturing memories. So much was unrecognizable, but if I closed my eyes, the smells and the sounds revived my childhood memories. I attended [District #5] Chazy Lake School, and remember the excitement of our “last day of school picnic” when my [Great] Aunt Frieda Brooks would drive the school bus and transport us to King’s Grove, …..and our teacher Mrs. [Delia] King delighted us with an eventful play-day among the pines.

It was always such a treat when our entire family would to go to King’s Grove; shootin’ pool, sippin’ a “Nehi” and enjoying the ever fascinating live music! And several years later my two Grandmothers, Bessie [Brooks] DuBrey and Emma [Fisher] Ashline Olshewski were photographed together for the very first time during my wedding reception at King’s Grove.

9 03 2011

You’ll have to refresh my memory on the connection. We did have cousins named LaVarnway who lived on the Tom Miller Road.

17 05 2011
Carolyn & Joe Varin

We enjoyed reading about Kings Grove and families. We had many a good time at Kings Grove. Going to make the michigan sauce today. Hope it comes out as good as Mrs. Kings.

16 12 2013
Jessica King

This is so very special for me. I’m so thankful to have such a wonderful piece of history to pass on to my children about papa. I am the youngest daughter (jessica ) of the late James Exford King II and think there no place better than the lake. Like so many King’s before me i have a ton of childhood memmories from growing up in Chazy lake. My dad was so very proud of where he came from.

29 04 2016
Jamie Willette

This article will forever be saved. I am the oldest daughter of James Exford King II. There are many memories from my childhood that I am grateful to be able to share with my boys. I feel very lucky to have had Chazy Lake as part of my childhood and I hope to never forget the stories I was told as a little girl.

1 04 2017
Mark P Lynch

Great job putting this website together. And it brings back a lot of memories and faces.

17 09 2018
Nancy Breen Dupras

Nancy Breen Dupras, I went to the Grove weekly as a teenager. In 1954 I met my husband, Bill Dupras, there. Ray Varin was in the band and made sure my first dance with Bill was Kissing in the moonlight, Thanks Ray, we just celebrated or 60th Wedding Anniversary. The band that played when I went there was Don Strong, Jared Keysor, Al Martin and Ray Varin. I’ll always remember the fun at Kings Grove.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s