We all have food on the brain this week, so whether your dining room is big enough to fit a crowd, like this one at the Hotel Ampersand, or just a table for one, we hope you have a safe, happy, and historic Thanksgiving! The Ampersand Hotel and Cottages, as it was more commonly known, opened in 1888 on Lower Saranac Lake. After a major fire in 1907, it operated as a series of cottages.
[Historic Saranac Lake Collection, TCR 300.]
All are welcome! Admission to the Saranac Laboratory Museum will be free of charge. Share your memories of Saranac Lake holiday history. Visit with staff and neighbors in the John Black Room, listen to holiday music, and grab a complimentary treat as you go! See the event poster. All attendees will receive 10% off any purchases in our museum gift shop! Masks are required.
Small Business Saturday is just a week away! We carry books, art, stationery, and more in our shop, all perfect for the local history lover on your list! We're offering 15% discounts (20% for HSL Members) on all in-store purchases on Saturday, November 27. Or, use code 'SBSaturday' to get 10% off your purchases on our website (from 12:00AM to 11:59PM) that day.
PLEASE NOTE: We can't guarantee on-time delivery for any orders placed after December 15, so be sure to order as soon as possible!
Image of the week: Tarsilla Schuster and an unidentified woman sitting on the porch of the "Idle Rest" platform tent at the New York State Hospital at Ray Brook, c. 1914. Tarsilla and her husband William were both patients at Ray Brook in the early 1900s. This photograph is one of the hundreds now available to the public on Historic Saranac Lake's Online Collections Database. More catalog records are being added every day! Visit the Database to dive in and browse the collection!
[Historic Saranac Lake Collection, 2021.1.76]
Exciting news — our Online Collections Database is here!!! Click here to jump in and check it out!
This is NOT a complete list of everything in our collection, and it is growing every day! Right now, we have about 500 records for photographs, letters, and objects online, but we will be adding more daily, so be sure to check back often! We’ll also share when we add exciting new materials on social media.
The front page has tips on how to use the search functions, or you can click “random images” to see a random selection of digitized materials. Want to learn more about an image, or don’t see what you’re looking for? Email us! This is just the beginning; we have tens of thousands of objects in our collection.
Thanks to the Northern New York Library Network for their support of this project! We can’t wait to share more of our collections with the public!
In honor of Veterans Day, our Tuberculosis Thursday feature is John Baxter Black. Black served in various roles with the French and American armies in World War I after attending Princeton University. He contracted intestinal tuberculosis after attending the French Artillery School, and was sent home to recover in May of 1918. He came to Saranac Lake and stayed for five years, renting three different houses.
By 1923, he was feeling recovered, and went to Montreal for a final corrective surgery. Unfortunately, Black died of complications from the surgery on May 16 of that year.
His family dedicated the expansion of the Saranac Laboratory, including the John Black Room, in his memory. This portrait of Black hangs in the room today.
There are many Saranac Lakers who served in our military throughout history. Learn about them on our wiki: https://localwiki.org/hsl/Veterans
Image of the week: "Old Friends and Fresh Flowers are Good Medicine," by Richard H. Ray, showing patients Jack Longhine and Tom Burden. Ray was a patient at Trudeau Sanatorium and Ray Brook Hospital in the late 1930s. He documented patient life with his camera, photographing doctors, nurses, and patients. He compiled his memories of taking the cure in the book "Saranac: 1937-1940."
Ray's photographs are featured in the Art of the Cure exhibit, highlighting the use of occupational therapy with TB patients, at the Saranac Laboratory Museum. The exhibit is closing after this week, so the last day to see it is Saturday, November 13! The Saranac Laboratory Museum is open Tuesday-Saturday from 10AM-5PM.
[Historic Saranac Lake Collection.]
Did you know?! This week is the last week to see our Art of the Cure exhibit! We're open Tuesday through Saturday from 10AM-5PM every day. This exhibit will not be shown again, so get in while you can!
We will be showing some temporary exhibits in the John Black Room while we work on some upgrades to the space. Stay tuned!
If you can't see Art of the Cure in person, you can check out a virtual version here!
Stay up to date on all the news and happenings from Historic Saranac Lake at the Saranac Laboratory Museum!