Today is Tuberculosis Thursday, so our Women’s History Month feature is Elizabeth Newcomb! Newcomb founded Stony Wold Sanatorium in 1901 on 1800 acres of a hillside overlooking Lake Kushaqua, just north of Brighton in the Town of Franklin. Her idea was to create a charitable sanatorium for the treatment of underprivileged young women suffering from TB. She was encouraged by her husband, Dr. James Edward Newcomb and by Dr. E.L. Trudeau, and received support from many prominent people of New York City as well as from AT&T, DuPont, Gould, Biggs, Potter, Pond, Morgan, and Rockefeller. Elizabeth Newcomb herself succumbed to TB in 1938 and was buried between Stony Wold Hall and the lake, at her request, where she “could look out over the waters of the quiet lake” Kushaqua (Algonquin for “beautiful resting place”).
Stony Wold closed in 1955 with the advent of new drugs and was sold to the White Fathers Catholic Order, missionaries to Africa. It then became St. Joseph’s Seminary until 1972. By 1974 the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation became owner of most of the property and the buildings were torn down. Stony Wold Hall and two cottages remain in private ownership.
Sherwood Davies, who grew up at Stony Wold, remembered that Newcomb “spent her summers at a camp on the Lake and the winters in New York City. She was transported in a straight eight Packard car and chauffeured between Lake Kushaqua and New York New York Central every spring and fall.”
To learn more about Elizabeth Newcomb and Stony Wold, visit our wiki!