Mary Burgess, the "first cottage nurse," was just a few months shy of completing her nursing training in Michigan when she became ill. She eventually came to the Adirondack Cottage Sanitarium [later Trudeau Sanatorium] in October of 1899, at her doctor's insistence. Burgess didn't want to come to Saranac Lake in the first place, but ended up calling it a "blessing in disguise."
Once Burgess was well enough, she began providing nursing care to "slightly indisposed" patients in the cottages at the San. In an article in the 1925 edition of Journal of the Outdoor Life dedicated to the 40th anniversary of Trudeau Sanatorium, Mary wrote, "Among the patients, at least during my residence, there was a wonderful spirit of good cheer which would do anybody's heart good. This combined with the careful supervision of all in authority, and as a background the bracing air of the pine-scented Adirondacks, the scenery and the sunsets--well! Patients just must get well at Trudeau."
Burgess later owned a cure cottage on Park Avenue. Learn more about her on our wiki.
More nursing history is coming all week long!
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