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Except for its generally hilly terrain, the Dresden NY of today has very little resemblance to the small community that existed here at the beginning of the 19th century when colonization was making a slow start north of South Bay.
Where paths were first hacked out with primitive tools to provide a mean forgetting from place to place on foot and later for horses and ox-cart travel, the present Route 22 now links existing paved roads between Whitehall and Ticonderoga. This road, built around 1930, has been improved until today it is one of the best maintained roads in the county.
Most small farms in the area have grown up due to lack of cultivation except the land cleared
There is still some lumbering in the area - another active industry in Dresden's past - but most of the logs go into pulpwood production taking place out of town. A major portion of the logs go to the International Paper Company in Ticonderoga where many Dresden residents are employed. In fact, most are residents commute to neighboring communities for employment in the schools, offices and the Great Meadow Correctional Facility at Comstock.
Today, tourism is the principal industry in Dresden. Lake George borders Dresden on the west and South Bay and Lake Champlain border it on the east making the town a very popular year-round fishing area. Huletts Landing on Lake George also draws many people to Dresden to enjoy the Washington County Beach each summer. The County maintains the beach which includes bathhouses, a lifeguard, and a pavilion on the lake for barbeques and other public gatherings.
Cottages have replaced the large old wooden hotel that used to be situated at Huletts Landing. The cottages, many of them privately owned, have acce by a good paved road from Route 22 at Clemons over the hill to Lake George. The state of New York built and maintains a public boat launching site near South Bay Bridge. When the fourth bridge over South Bay was completed 1973, the access structures to the old bridge were left and they currently ma a good parking area for the boatless fishermen that come to try their luck in the area's waters.
One of the distinctive traits that sets Dresden apart from so many other tourist spots is that it has no motels or formal boarding places in town. There are four taverns with limited overnight accommodations for visiting fishermen, but there are no area high-rise hotels to spoil Dresden's beautiful natural setting.
Away from Lake George and South Bay, the area's mountains beckon visitors to hike their many trails, sitesee from their spectacular views and fish in their streams and ponds. There is also a variety of wildlife for hunting in season and for just watching at other times. This includes healthy flocks of wild turkeys that have been making a comeback since an absence of over 100 years.
In Dresden today, there are two organizations that have been active for a long time. The Ladies Home Circle, organized in 1906, is still very active. Also, the Dresden Homemakers, whose parent organization is the Home Bureau, has been active for about 60 years. Also active are the fire companies in the area. The two fire companies-The Dresden Volunteer Fire Company and Huletts Landing Volunteer Fire Company - have kept pace with the needs of their communities to provide excellent emergency services to the entire area.
The volunteer fire companies and their concern mirror the civic spirit and community involvement that exemplifies the town of Dresden.