Chiefly known for: Stonaker was the president of Northern New York Telephone; he came to Saranac Lake to cure at the Adirondack Cottage Sanitarium from 1907 to 1910. He and his wife designed the Stonaker Cottage in Glenwood, where they were the second to build. He made the first recorded ascent of Mount Baker on skis on March 11, 1916. A photo of this exploit can be found in the Adirondack Collection of the Saranac Lake Free Library. He was a founder of the Saranac Lake Golf Club and the president in 1920 of the Saranac Lake Good Roads Association. His TB was successfully treated by a thoracoplasty operation, after which the family left Saranac Lake.
Source: The Stonaker Cottage NRHP Form
In April of 1915, E. A. Stonaker [sic], Superintendent of Traffic, Mountain Home Telephone Company, published an article in The Telephone Review titled "The Winter Carnival and the Telephone at Saranac Lake" which included the following history:
The first telephone service of any kind in Saranac Lake was given by a Mr. F. M. Bull, who established a small switchboard in his pharmacy and had a line running out to Bloomingdale and Rainbow Lake, localities a few miles distant. The call for central was "Hello, Bull." In 1893, Mr. Bull died and Mr. F. M. Jackson, then local manager of the Postal Telegraph Company, and Mr. Joseph Merkel, took over the telephone business. The number of subscribers, then about ten, was ultimately increased to about thirty.
In 1897 the business men of the town got together and formed the Franklin Telephone & Telegraph Co., of which Mr. F. E. Kendall was the first president. Mr. Alfred Donaldson was the next president, and during his term of office he was greatly aided by suggestions from Mr. J. C. Lynch, now General Superintendent of Traffic of the Bell Telephone Company, of Pennsylvania, and at that time Traffic Engineer of the New York Telephone Company.
In 1903 the Hudson River Telephone Company bought control of the Franklin Company, and in 1909 control passed to the New York Telephone Company. Service up to this time had been given from magneto boards of various types, but in the winter of 1909-10 the Number 10 Western Electric common battery board was cut into service.
In the meantime, competition in the telephone business had sprung up in Saranac Lake. A local organization, known as the Mountain Home Telephone Company, was formed in 1906 and started to give service from a Dean common battery board. In 1913 the Mountain Home Telephone Company took over the competing properties in the four northern counties of Clinton, Essex, Franklin, and St. Lawrence, and the properties at Saranac Lake were consolidated in the former New York Company board, an additional section being added for the purpose.
Thus is universal service being given to this community of winter enthusiasts, well named, for, as an old Adirondack guide is fond of saying, "We have only tew seasons here, y'know, winter and August." #
New York Times, no date, 1937
Word was received today of the death of Edwin R. Stonaker, Rochester mechanical engineer, yesterday in Tucson, Ariz. The body will be taken to East Orange, N. J., for burial.