This week's Tuberculosis Thursday is a special one. Yesterday we were honored to spend the morning with Betty Gaffney talking about her time as a patient at Trudeau Sanatorium in 1947-1949. Betty came to Saranac Lake after she contracted tuberculosis at the end of her nurse's training at Bellevue. We sat down to record an oral history with Betty and her sister Pauline, and we really enjoyed hearing about their memories of that time.
Betty graciously donated some photographs to our collection, and said she had nothing but good feelings about her time here. We also took a ride over to Trudeau Sanatorium so Betty could tour the campus for the first time in more than 72 years! We had a great morning with Betty and her family, and we can't wait to share more. Thanks for visiting us and sharing your story!
[Images: Betty Kelly [Gaffney] about age 21 on the steps of Baker Memorial Chapel, c. 1947. Historic Saranac Lake Collection, TCR 712. Courtesy of Betty Gaffney. Betty Gaffney at age 95 in front of Baker Chapel, August 25, 2021]
The smell of lilacs is in the air all around Saranac Lake, so we thought we'd share this springy photograph of Trudeau Sanatorium for Tuberculosis Thursday. This photograph shows the path to the post office through the Sanatorium campus sometime between 1906 and 1928. Little Red is just visible behind the dining room annex of the Administration Building.
This photograph is also a sneak peek at a really important collections donation we just received. Our Archivist/Curator Chessie is working on inventorying the donation, so stay tuned for more news!
[Historic Saranac Lake Collection, TCR 682. Courtesy of Trudeau Institute.]
We want to say "welcome aboard!" to our new Transcription Technician, Mikayla Ploof! Mikayla is joining us for the next 6 months to transcribe approximately 13,000 patient and cure cottage information cards from the T.B. Society, donated to us earlier in the year by the Voluntary Health Association. These records date from approximately 1913 to 1956, and include applications for treatment at Trudeau Sanatorium, registries of nurses and cure cottages, and records items loaned to patients.
The transcription of these incredibly important records is made possible by a generous grant from the Northern New York Library Network, and will allow HSL staff to quickly search for records for genealogists and researchers. This grant will also fund the eventual launch of our online collections database.
We also want to say thank you to our awesome volunteers who are helping with the transcription of these and other patient records!
We're joining in with the Museum of the City of New York for a virtual #MuseumThanksgivingParade! These parade shots come from Winter Carnivals past and present, from 1913 to 2019!
Learn more about Winter Carnival parades throughout history on our wiki.
Halloween is tomorrow, so we're feeling spooky! Check out this ticket for a Halloween dance put on by the Village Improvement Society in 1927. Would you go play cards with the ghosts at Hotel Saranac for just $1.75?!
Bonus--to see photos of patients at Trudeau Sanatorium in costume for Halloween, head over to our wiki.
[Historic Saranac Lake Collection. Courtesy of Philip Griffin, TCR #272]
If you're like us, you've done a bit of spring cleaning while you're spending more time at home. If you're also like us, you may be thinking about the best ways to store and care your historic photographs, letters, books, and more that document your family and community history. We hope that you're also thinking about the final home of your family's papers. Donating them to an institution such as Historic Saranac Lake can ensure their preservation and use for generations to come!
No matter what's on your mind about historic objects, we're here to help! Do you have a question about how to store a particular object, or want to ask how to donate or bequeath materials to our collection? You can contact us here on Facebook, or email our Museum Administrator/Archivist, Chessie.
[Photograph: Barbara Baldwin Knapp and Gunnar Knapp meet with Chessie Monks-Kelly to donate papers from the Baldwin Family to Historic Saranac Lake in 2019.]
It's Tuberculosis Thursday, so we thought we'd share more about cure porch design! This week's Letter from the Porch got us thinking about porches and how their design varies, especially locally. This photograph came from a series examining the differences in cure porch architecture, and we thought it was interesting to see a porch under construction. This photograph was taken at Trudeau Sanatorium, or as it would have been called then, Adirondack Cottage Sanitarium, prior to 1904.
Want to learn more about the defining features of cure porches? Visit our wiki! Do you have a cure porch on your home? What features does it have?
[Historic Saranac Lake Collection, courtesy of Ted Comstock.]
It's Museum Monday, so we're excited to share a project we've been working on behind the scenes. We were all saddened by the closure of Post Office Pharmacy in December, but we are happy to share that we've been working with Jim Bevilacqua to preserve the history of the last of our historic independent pharmacies in Saranac Lake. Over the last couple of months, our Museum Administrator Chessie and Museum Assistant Nathan have been working to survey, select, and rehouse items from the decades of pharmacy history in the building.
We have selected hundreds of items to add to the collection at Historic Saranac Lake, including bottles, prescription logs, pharmacy tools, photographs, correspondence, and more. These objects document the history of pharmacies, patient care, and daily life in Saranac Lake since the 1880s, including trends and innovation in the treatment of TB patients. We still have a lot of work to do on this collection, but we are already planning ways to display items from and do research with this historic collection. Stay tuned for more updates as we work with these items and make interesting discoveries! And a HUGE thank you to Jim for his enthusiasm and support in preserving our history.
In the mean time, you can learn more about the history of Post Office Pharmacy on our wiki.
PS - Did you know that P.A.S. was the second antibiotic found to be effective against tuberculosis? Check out that label!
Stay up to date on all the news and happenings from Historic Saranac Lake at the Saranac Laboratory Museum!