Historic Saranac Lake announced the launch of a new project on the Cure Porch on Wheels titled, ”Pandemic Past and Present.” Funding for this project came from a 2021 Corridor of Commerce Interpretive Theme Grant from the Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership.
Historic Saranac Lake will host programs on its mobile museum space, the Cure Porch on Wheels, to explore local history in public health with new audiences. Visitors will view short videos and participate in interactive activities that will build connections between Saranac Lake’s history as health resort and the collective experience of the current the pandemic.
The project will be led by Historic Saranac Lake’s new Public Programs Coordinator, Mahala Nyberg. Ms. Nyberg stated, “As the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, Saranac Lake's sanatorium history is newly relevant. Our history as a community built on the treatment and research of a highly infectious disease helps to shed light on issues in public health today. The experience of the COVID-19 pandemic inspires us to explore untold stories in our local history and make new connections to broader themes.”
Historic Saranac Lake (HSL) will explore perspectives on pandemics, past and present within the 640 square miles of the Saranac Lake School District. The Lake Champlain Basin Program grant will support the creation of short videos about Saranac Lake’s TB history, highlighting the lives of patients whose TB experiences relate to common experiences in the present day. Four short videos will be created profiling each patient with photos and excerpts in their own words, captured in Historic Saranac Lake’s archival resources and oral histories. The videos will be installed in the Cure Porch on Wheels and online.
This project is a natural outgrowth of a new exhibit soon to be unveiled at the Saranac Laboratory Museum titled, “Pandemic Perspectives.” Following its closure through the winter due to the pandemic, the museum will reopen on May 25, 2021. The public will be asked to register for admission in order to help assure social distancing, and face coverings will be required.
Historic Saranac Lake’s mission is to preserve and present area history and architecture to build a stronger community.
This footage of Richard "Dick" H. Ray was filmed at the August 1987 TB Reunion held by Historic Saranac Lake. The video shows Dick giving a tour of his memories of his time as a patient at Trudeau Sanatorium and Ray Brook State Hospital in the 1930s. Watch for a fascinating first-hand account of "the cure." You can learn more about Richard Ray on our wiki.
Dick Ray went on to write a book highlighting his memories of his time in Saranac Lake through the photographs he took here. The book was published by HSL, and it and the DVD of this interview can be purchased online in our store.
Today we are celebrating an important day in Saranac Lake history--June 17 is Philip "Bunk" Griffin's 80th birthday! Happy birthday to a Saranac Lake legend!
Here is one of our favorite photos of Bunk as Guest of Honor at our Roaring 20s Gala at the Hotel Saranac in 2018. Bunk, we appreciate your love of our local history. Thank you for your website and Facebook posts that help connect so many people to all of the fascinating events and characters in our past.
If you're not familiar with Bunk's Place, do yourself a favor and read some of the great stories recorded there!
Happy birthday, Bunk!
Stay up to date on all the news and happenings from Historic Saranac Lake at the Saranac Laboratory Museum!