On the eleventh day of Saranac Lake-mas, your museum gave to you... the "penny piper of Saranac," Robert Louis Stevenson (at right)! Stevenson spent the winter of 1887-8 in the Baker Cottage overlooking the Saranac River under Dr. E.L.Trudeau's care. He began work on "The Master of Ballantrae" and wrote a number of essays while here.
Steven Chalmers, a writer who also came to Saranac Lake for his health, wrote an account of Stevenson's stay entitled "The Penny Piper of Saranac." According to Chalmers, Stevenson's principle activity aside from writing was playing a penny whistle, which displeased the Baker family. Mrs. Baker was supposed to have said, "He tootles the whistle better'n he plays the piano," to which her husband replied: "And a sight oftener!"
The Baker Cottage is preserved and is now home to a museum dedicated to Stevenson's life and works. It contains the world's first and largest collection of Stevenson memorabilia. Be sure to pay it a visit in the summer months!
To learn more about Stevenson's time in Saranac Lake and his sometimes tumultuous friendship with Dr. Trudeau visit our wiki: https://localwiki.org/hsl/Robert_Louis_Stevenson
[Pictured, from left: RLS' stepson, his wife Fannie Osbourne, and RLS on the porch of Baker Cottage.]
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