The arden is a community of private residences, summer homes and public spaces surrounded by forests and greenery, with an annual fair that celebrates its unique character. The fair is held the first Saturday after Labor Day. It’s a holistic exposition that showcases the best of local craft, food and music, with art galleries and workshops for children.
The name arose from the ancient forest of Arden that once covered a large area in England, including Warwickshire, parts of Shropshire, Staffordshire and Worcestershire. In modern times, the term Arden identifies the area of Harriman’s estate, a 450-acre tract on the top of a hill overlooking Lake George.
Harriman had a fondness for art, and he filled the house with murals by (Barry) Francis Barrett Faulkner (1881-1966), a bas-relief of himself by James Earle Fraser (1876-1953) and corbel carvings of bighorn sheep in his library. He also commissioned a fountain by (Charles Cary) Rumsey and designed a colossal marble fireplace for the entranceway.
The village is also a popular spot for outdoor recreation, with several trails and paths for hiking, biking and horseback riding. It’s also a great place to see wildlife and plants. For instance, the arden is home to the rare purple sage that grows on a distinctive Triassic white heterolithic sandstone. The stone is also used for many of the buildings in the village. The arden also includes the renowned Arden Shakespeare, which sets the gold standard for annotated editions of the Bard’s plays. Each volume offers a modernized text and comprehensive commentary notes glossing meanings, discussing staging issues and explaining literary allusions.