This Museum Monday, we're sharing another story from our Annual Meeting. This one came from our Oral History Coordinator, Kayt:
"A few months ago I had the opportunity to interview Denny and Erlene Senseney. They came to Saranac Lake to see Will Rogers; Denny’s father, Sam Senseney, had taken the cure at Will Rogers Memorial Hospital. While at Saranac Village at Will Rogers, they happened to hear about the museum and came to pay us a visit. We were lucky to get to talk to them while they were here, and ended up sitting down for a last-minute oral history interview!
While curing Sam learned ceramic and leather work. When he returned home to Kansas, Sam brought these new skills with him. He got a job at a TB Sanatorium teaching patients the ceramic and leatherworking skills he learned here in Saranac Lake!"
You can hear a snippet of Denny and Erlene's interview here.
[Photograph of Sam Senseney, courtesy of Denny Senseney]
It's Tuberculosis Thursday, so we're wishing you a Happy Halloween from Trudeau Sanatorium and all of us at Historic Saranac Lake! It looks like these patients were celebrating in 1950 with a spooky performance and some frightful jack o'lanterns. Have a safe and fun Halloween, and be sure to pay us a visit during downtown trick or treating today!
[Historic Saranac Lake Collection, TCR 240. Courtesy of the Eckmann Family]
This week's Tuberculosis Thursday feature comes from our Art of the Cure exhibit! This photograph shows William Kollecker helping a customer in his shop on Main Street. Kollecker came to Saranac Lake at age 16 for his health, and stayed on to photograph life in Saranac Lake for nearly 50 years! He opened Kollecker Kodak and Gift Shop where he sold prints, stationery, and gifts and handled film processing.
To learn more about William Kollecker, his store, and his photography work, visit our wiki! And be sure to visit our Art of the Cure exhibit, open now!
[Historic Saranac Lake Collection - TCR 331]
April is Occupational Therapy Month, and our Art of the Cure Exhibit opens in just two months! Did you know that the Scholfield Memorial Workshop at Trudeau Sanatorium may have been the first time that occupational therapy was used for mentally well patients? Dr. Lawrason Brown implemented the use of occupational therapy for TB patients at Trudeau Sanatorium, and patients had the opportunity to study a range of handicrafts from leatherwork, bookbinding, photography, basket-weaving, decorative work, and more!
The Scholfield Memorial Workshop was built in 1909 as a gift of Mrs. Walter L. Goodwin. It was named for Herbert L. Scholfield, a patient and skilled craftsperson. In this image, patients in the Workshop practice weaving as part of their treatment at the Sanatorium.
In “Portrait of Healing,” Victoria Rhinehart described the possible origins of occupational therapy as such: “The true origin of occupational therapy remains open for some dispute. Numerous sources credit Dr. Brown for its birth at the Adirondack Cottage Sanitarium in 1904. A more accurate statement would be to credit Dr. Brown, certainly as the first who created the concept of outdoor occupational therapy, and likely the first to utilize occupational therapy with tuberculosis patients, and perhaps the first to use occupational therapy with patients who were mentally well. The actual origin of using this type of therapy on a patient population came well before Dr. Brown's time. . . . Susan E. Tracy, who organized occupational therapy classes in her training school for nurses at the Adams Nervine Asylum in 1906, was considered to be the first occupational therapist. However, as the work of Dr. Brown, with his occupational therapy experiment with tuberculosis patients in 1903 to 1904, predates the work of Susan Tracy and others, there is some merit to sources that credit Brown with the birth of modern occupational therapy.”
To learn more about the Workshop, visit our wiki!
And be sure to stay tuned for more on our upcoming special exhibit, Art of the Cure, which highlights TB patient artists, writers, musicians, architects, and more! Art of the Cure will open in late June 2019.
Among his many other accomplishments, Baldwin was appointed Assistant, and later Director, of the new Saranac Laboratory. After Trudeau's death, he was elected chair of the executive committee of the Trudeau Sanatorium. In 1916, he started the Trudeau School of Tuberculosis; later the same year he founded the Edward Livingston Trudeau Foundation with Dr. Walter B. James, an endowment for tuberculosis research.
To learn more about Dr. Baldwin, visit our wiki!
And stay tuned on Monday for news of an exciting donation!
Our Women's History Month feature today is Elizabeth Temming Koop, known as Betty. Koop was cured of tuberculosis at the Trudeau Sanatorium, where she met and married Martin Koop in 1944. The couple worked together making hand-wrought jewelry and eventually opened the Temming Art Studio. After retiring from the jewelry business in 1971, Koop and her daughter Theresa owned and operated the Cinderella Shop in the Hotel Saranac until 1981. She moved from Saranac Lake in 1982 to live with her daughter in Malta.
Temming Jewelry was a must-have accessory in Saranac Lake, including custom name-plate bracelets for local girls. To see more examples of items made by the Temming Art Studio, and learn more about Koop's life, visit our wiki!
And be sure to stay tuned for our upcoming special exhibit, "Art of the Cure," opening this June! This exhibit will feature TB patient artists, writers, architects, and more, while exploring the occupational therapy programs that were a key component of TB treatment here in Saranac Lake. The exhibit will feature works by Betty Koop, Charlotte Geffken, Amy Jones, and many other women (and men!) who came for the cure!
Over time, conditions changed, and it began taking patients for longer periods, and treating fewer per year; in 1943 its name was changed to Prescott House, in honor of its benefactor. By 1949, a shortage of funds led to the closing of the hospital, and the trustees sought another use for the building. The Saranac Lake Study and Craft Guild was in need of additional space, and on March 27, 1950, the building and all other assets of the Hospital were given to the Guild.
The Guild maintained a center there for several years, offering business education, academic and technical subjects, including X-ray technician training in addition to the traditional arts and crafts courses. However, the development of effective antibiotic treatments for tuberculosis led to a gradual reduction in the number of patients interested in the Guild's offerings, and courses were dropped until only the X-ray school was left. On October 9, 1968, Prescott House was given to the newly formed North Country Community College; the X-ray program became part of the curriculum. However, the college decided that, due to the building's need of maintenance and its distance from the campus, it would put the property up for public auction.
On January 4, 1969, the building was acquired by Chester Fobare and Richard Yorkey, who carried out extensive repairs. The building became a girls' dormitory for NCCC for a time. In 2017, Debra Thuet purchased Prescott House and turned it into a short and long-term lodging facility and restored the integrity of the building.
Prescott died in New Bedford, MA at the age of 89. Her obituary noted that she “was a very outgoing person, with a lively sense of humor and a keen mind… She was especially fond of poetry.”
To learn more about Prescott’s life’s work and the history of the Prescott House, visit our wiki!
Stay up to date on all the news and happenings from Historic Saranac Lake at the Saranac Laboratory Museum!