Photo by Larry Goodwin.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Luther Forest and the entities that followed, spans close to 120 years. In honor of this milestone the Mackay family has teamed up with local historian Field Horne to document its history.
“Our father found Field or Field found my father and the project began. It’s really interesting to see it written down. Although it is in draft form still, the memoir is important to our family and to the community,” Marissa Mackay said.
“It’s a large chunk of this area’s history and the choices that were made by our predecessors had a huge impact on the evolution of this area,” she added.
The Mackay family is a family of entrepreneurs and were pioneers in the sustainable forest management movement.
“The thought of looking to the future, spanning the five generations, starting with our Great-Great Grandfather Tom C. Luther and his acquisition of land over time, planting of millions and millions of trees that to this day his family enjoys and manages sustainably,” Mackay said.
“There are some things that have been uncovered that are new in this archival documentation but in all honesty, we must have always just spoken of it often... The documents and photos came mostly from our storage here at the office or at our Grandmother’s house,” she said.
According to Mackay, her family saves everything especially when it has to do with work.
“It has been on the ‘to do list’ so to speak, to have the files put in safe storage,” she added.
Mackay and her older brother Cailean Mackay took over for their father three years ago. Cailean also currently manages Saratoga Lake Golf Club, which was built by their father Alec Mackay and opened in 2000, while Marissa manages Saratoga Water Company and the siblings come together for the forest.
“The water company was created to service the development that our Grandfather, Bill Mackay began and our father, Al Mackay completed,” Mackay said.
What’s next for the family? “That is a loaded question,” Mackay said.
“Luther Forest, the simple answer is diversify while maintaining a strong hold on where we come from, meaning our forestry background and sound management of the property,” Mackay added
As for the water company, it continues to see growth of about 3 percent annually, according to Mackay.
“We have a lot of capital improvements on the horizon. In the next month we will have out permanent backup supply service to Global online. In the next year, we will oversee at least two water main extensions, a well pump upgrade and begin the process to integrate another 250K storage to our Fox Wander Facility as well as do a significant upgrade to the controls in that facility,” Mackay said.
Both Marissa and Cailean hope to have a similar, lasting and positive impact during their time at the forest.