John K. Porter was born in 1819 and died in Waterford in 1891. He was a graduate of Union College. In 1864, the governor appointed him as a judge in the New York State Court of Appeals. He later headed the law firm of Porter, Lowery Soren and Stone. He was most well known for the prosecution and conviction of Charles Guiteau, murderer of President James A Garfield.
Judge Porter lived on a 260 acre estate he developed in the hamlet of Adirondack. The property contained lakefront, pine forest, farmland and maple woods. The spacious main house was built in the manner of the Victorian 1880s to please his second wife. The front veranda commanded a marvelous view of Schroon Lake.
Today the house, carriage barns and other buildings have been torn down, and several parcels of the estate sold off. A stone-walled driveway that encircled the main house is still visible. The stone boathouse remains as an excellent example of Adirondack architecture.