Saturday was World Laboratory Day, so what better way to celebrate than with a photograph of our home, the Saranac Laboratory! This photograph was taken by tuberculosis patient Fletcher Durbin sometime around 1911. The image shows how the Laboratory originally looked before its expansion in the 1920s.
Learn more about the history of the Saranac Laboratory on our wiki!
[Historic Saranac Lake Collection, 2020.2.84]
William Kollecker (seated with camera) and employees (and a strange little friend) outside of the Kollecker Kodak and Gift Shop on Main St., August 1914. Kollecker came to Saranac Lake for his health as a young man, and started his career working for Lake Placid photographer William Cheesman. Kollecker's shop sold photographic prints, postcards, gifts, and of course, genuine Kodak products. Kollecker was a prolific photographer and his shop was known for its elaborate window displays, especially around Christmastime. The store closed when Kollecker died in 1962.
Learn more about William Kollecker on our wiki.
[Historic Saranac Lake Collection, 2020.9.2.92]
We had a great time meeting new friends and seeing old ones at our open house on April 6. More than 50 people stopped by to check out the Trudeau Building before renovations begin to convert the historic building as part of the expansion of our museum! Thanks for stopping by everyone, and stay tuned for news of progress with the project!
We want to hear from you! Please fill out this short survey and let us know your ideas for the new space.
This #MuseumMonday, we're sharing a peek at the exciting digitization work happening behind the scenes at the museum! We purchased this overhead camera mount setup with support from the Northern New York Library Network. It allows us to photograph items that are difficult to place on a flatbed scanner, such as photo albums and scrapbooks. The foam cradle supports the spines of bound materials to keep from damaging them while we work.
Have you checked out our online catalog yet? We're adding new items every day!
This Tuberculosis Thursday, we have an exciting new group of digitized materials on our online catalog! The Tarsilla and William J. Schuster Collection documents the couple's experiences as patients at the New York State Hospital at Ray Brook (AKA Ray Brook Sanatorium).
William first arrived as a patient at Ray Brook in 1908 while he and Tarsilla were engaged to be married. He returned home to Schenectady after a year, and they married. They had welcomed two children by the time he was readmitted as a patient in 1913, and he did not return home until 1916. Tarsilla was admitted as a patient for a short period in 1914 as well. William documented life at Ray Brook with his Brownie camera, and often sold his photographs as postcards to make some pocket money.
These photographs, postcards, and letters document their relationship, their experiences, and the connections they made with fellow patients during these years. We are grateful to the Cromie family for loaning us this rich collection to scan and make available to the public.
Browse the collection on our PastPerfect Online database.
[Tarsilla and William Schuster in Ray Brook, c. 1914. Historic Saranac Lake Collection, 2021.1.93. Courtesy of John Cromie.]
It's National Library Week, so we're celebrating our favorite one, the Saranac Lake Free Library! This c. 1914 photograph of the Library shows it as it looked in its early days before the addition. We love the SLFL in all of its states!
We're so thankful for libraries and library workers, this week and always! Happy National Library Week!
Historic Saranac Lake Collection, 2020.2.79.]
This #MuseumMonday is a not-so-glamorous behind the scenes, but we want to share a big THANK YOU! Last week, we started the day with sewage backing up into our basement at the Saranac Laboratory Museum. The Saranac Lake Village DPW came right out and cleared the drain, and then Snickles Plumbing & Heating modified our pipes to keep it from happening again! THANK YOU again to the DPW crew and the folks at Snickles for working hard to save the day AND our basement!
Did you know that the 1950 census is now available to the public and searchable online?! Census records are one of the tools we use to help locate tuberculosis patients and important local residents throughout history, so we're very excited and grateful to explore this awesome resource!
Check out the National Archives' website for the census for tips on how to search for your family members. We've already found some matches for research requests! This page shows patients at the New York State Hospital at Ray Brook, for example.
Find an exciting match, or need some help looking for someone who lived or cured in Saranac Lake? Drop us a line!
Stay up to date on all the news and happenings from Historic Saranac Lake at the Saranac Laboratory Museum!