Prior to becoming “Inlet” in 1902, Native Americans enjoyed the area as their summer hunting camps. The nineteenth century brought white men as guides and sportsmen. One of the most famous was Fred Hess who built “Hess Camp” that eventually became today’s “The Wood’s Inn”.
Early clientele were wealthy and would come for month or summer-long vacations. The eventual construction of roads, as well as The Great Depression had a detrimental effect on the steamer lines and railroads, and thus on tourism.
After World War II, tourism rebounded, as middle class families bought cars and took to the open road for family vacation.
Most original structures have not survived the years, partly due to fires. Those that have include The Woods Inn, Parquet Hotel, Holl’s Inn, Mary’s Gift Shop and the Inlet Supply Company.
Stiefvater's has been a family owned and operated resort since 1933. It was founded by Helen Stiefvater, with the help of her two sons Edward and Robert . In 1956 Helen expanded her 60 foot of lakefront parcel with the purchase of adjacent land giving her a total of 4.5 acres and 330' of lakefront on Fourth Lake of the Fulton Chain of Lakes.
The property was formerly known as Camp Assisium. It had been owned by Father Josen May of Utica Catholic Charities as a boys and girls camp for 25 years.
Prior to that the parcel was a Rest Camp for Francisian Sisters of Saint Elizabeth's Hospital and run by Sister Della Rosa who ministered to lumberjacks.
Click here for a more detailed history of Inlet.