SCHROON LAKE - Charlotte Rowe and Jean Hall competed on the golf course for years. Now, like then, they're virtually even.
Rowe and Hall were each presented with the Adirondack Walking Stick Award by the Schroon Lake Seniors Citizens Club Nov. 19.
The award is given to the community's oldest resident. Both are 94 years old, although Rowe is 23 days older.
They've taken the honor from Alice Hannaman, who died this year at age 102.
"It's a real honor," Rowe said of the award. "I'm glad to get it."
"It's quite a honor just for growing old," Hall agreed.
Rowe has spent her entire life in Schroon Lake. She owned Rowe's Lake Breeze cabins for 52 years and was active in the community.
She was a town assessor 26 years, served as senior citizens club president for 17 years, was a charter member of the Schroon library board and was active in the Veterans of Foreign Wars and chamber of commerce.
"You name it and I did it in Schroon Lake," Rowe said.
Rowe was joined at the ceremony by her son, Dave.
Hall was born and raised in Olmstedville. She moved to Schroon Lake after World War II. She and her husband, Harrison, had five children.
She worked for years at Schroon Lake Central School as a teacher assistant and was a Brownie leader.
"It's been a good life," Hall said.
The awards were presented by Cathy Moses, town supervisor.
"It's a real honor just to be with these ladies," Moses said. "They're wonderful people."
Rowe and Hall each received a plaque. Their names will also be added to the Adirondack Walking Stick Award plaque at the town hall, were the actual walking stick - cane - is on display.
The tradition of presenting a cane to the oldest person in a community was started in 1909 by Edwin Grozier, publisher of the Boston Post.
A gold-headed ebony cane was sent by Grozier to each town board with the request that it be presented to the oldest male citizen of the town, to be used by him as long as he lives (or moves from the town), and at his death it be handed down to the next-oldest citizen of the town. The cane belonged to the town and not the man who received it.
Nancy Belluscio, a member of the Schroon senior club, became aware of the tradition when her aunt received a cane for being the oldest resident of Reedfield, Maine.
Belluscio chairs the Adirondack Walking Stick Award committee.
Belluscio, who has researched the tradition, said only six New England towns still present the cane to their oldest citizen.
The Schroon Lake Senior Citizen Club award is slightly different than the original honor. A cane will be kept on display in the Schroon town hall along with a plaque listing those who have held it.