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June 26, 2012 Article:

      HISTORIC BUILDING REMAINS IN LAKE GEORGE VILLAGE

The Bazaar is a long time fixture in Lake George.  Constructed of rugged field-stone quarried from east Lake George and brought over on the ice by sleighs,  the building on Canada Street of Lake George Village has seen many tourists and visitors overtime.

Built in 1819 by Halsey Rogers, an early settler, it housed a post office and general store and several kinds of shops in its early days and also survived some fires.

 

Lake George Bazaar – Canada Street

For eighty years the Kurosaka family leased  the building from the Benham family and ran a gift/souvenir shop. This long venture began with George Kurosaka Sr and his wife Sato. George came to the United States in 1922 from Japan  He resided first on the West Coast and then moved to New York City. Here he  contracted  tuberculosis and was advised to move north to the mountains. After seeing photos taken by Itsuzo Sumy, Japanese  photographer who settled in Chestertown,  he moved to Lake George in 1925. In 1927, he married Sato Tago, his cousin, who was born in Ueda, Japan in 1902.

Together they operated the Nara Gift Shop.

George’s health shortened his life and he passed away in 1969 leaving Sato to carry on the business by herself for 19 years..

The Kurosakas had four  children  – Peter who died as an infant in 1930, George, Jr. who died in 1997, and Robert who presently  resides in Lexington, Massachusetts and a daughter, Grace Watanabe of Tokyo, Japan – and two granddaughters..

Sato’s  shop sold small items for tourists.  These consisted of leather products, postcards, pencil sets, jewelry and souvenir items stamped “Souvenir of Lake George”.  Other fine items were imported from Japan.  Outside the Bazaar on the landing was the soccer machine built in 1928.  Its animated figures  amused many tourists over the years.

A mail box also enabled people to send their postcards right from the shop.

During WW II, George was called to be interned along with many Japanese in the country at that time.  The community of Lake George gathered around this hard working family and George was spared having to leave his home.  After the war, Sato became a US citizen in 1954.

Sato retired from the business, closing  The Bazaar in 1988. She was honored at that time in a village ceremony.   Lower James Street next to the Bazaar was named Kurosaka Lane and  Sato received a Beautification Award “ for keeping her business and home on Schuyler Street looking beautiful.”  She died in 1994 at age 91.

Memorabilia related to the Nara Gift Shop and the Kurosaka family and their life in Lake George is currently on exhibit at the Lake George Historical Association Museum.

The Bazaar today houses D’s Dogs.

Lake George Bazaar – Canada Street

© June 26 2012, Warren County Historical Society.

The Bazaar article was written by Marilyn Van Dyke for the Warren County Historical Society.

 

 

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