Moon's Lake House

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Moon's Lake House from an 1896 stereopticon slide

Moon's Lake House was a restaurant on Saratoga Lake in Saratoga Springs, New York.

According to local legend[weasel words], the creation of the potato chip was associated with this restaurant.[citation needed] The legend holds[weasel words] that a diner visiting the restaurant in 1853 was unsatisfied with the texture of the fried potatoes he had ordered and sent them back to the kitchen multiple times in protest. The chef, George Crum, allegedly became so annoyed with the customer that he sliced the potatoes much thinner than he usually would, deep fried, and salted them. This inadvertently led to potato chips, and the customer was finally satisfied. Because of this, many Americans called potato chips Saratoga Chips.[1][2]

The restaurant was built by Cary Moon in 1853 on a bluff overlooking the lake, and soon after it "displace[d] all other destinations as the late-afternoon goal of Saratoga Springs' daily carriage parade."[3]: p.95  Initially Catherine "Aunt Kate" Weeks and her brother George Crum shared the cooking duties. Crum later left to start his own restaurant in Malta at the south end of the lake.

The Lake House burned in 1893, but was rebuilt. There are conflicting reports, but apparently Moon continued to operate it until his death in 1895.

In 1907, the Lake House was sold to Edward J. Heffernan. In 1908, it burned a second time and was again rebuilt. In 1926, the restaurant burned a third time. In the 1930s, the property was sold to local personality Louis A. "Doc" Farone, the owner of Riley's and Newman's lake houses and an associate of underworld figure Meyer Lansky. Farone built a smaller restaurant on the property and rented it to a series of managers.

In 1981, the restaurant reopened as "Moon's", changed hands, and finally burned a fourth and final time in 1983.[4] A private house was later constructed on the site.

In 2006, Tilman Achtnich filmed a special on the potato chip Die Kartoffelchips des Mister Crum (The Potato Chips of Mister Crum) for the German television network SWR. Scenes included the site of Moon's, now only foundations, and Crum's restaurant in Malta, New York.[5]


  1. ^ 1956-, Smith, Merril D. (2013-01-01). History of American cooking. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-0313387111. OCLC 827334814.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  2. ^ D'Ambrosio, Brian. From Football to Fig Newtons: 76 American Inventors and The Inventions You Know By Heart. p. 61. ISBN 9781105737725. William Kitchiner's 1817 The Cook's Oracle includes a recipe for what can only be described as a potato chip. Whether one called it a potato chip or not, it would seem that a thinly sliced potato cooked in hot oil and served sprinkled with salt existed before George Speck or his sister Katie Speck Wicks "invented" the potato chip.
  3. ^ Waller, George (1966). Saratoga Saga of an Impious Era. New York: Bonanza Books.
  4. ^ "Moon's Lake House Destroyed by Fire". Schenectady Gazette. February 9, 1983. Retrieved October 1, 2012.
  5. ^ "IMDb: Die Kartoffelchips des Mr. Crum". Retrieved October 1, 2012.

43°03′21″N 73°43′46″W / 43.0559121°N 73.7294648°W / 43.0559121; -73.7294648Coordinates: 43°03′21″N 73°43′46″W / 43.0559121°N 73.7294648°W / 43.0559121; -73.7294648