Tag Archives: Historic Saranac Lake

Documentary Shooting At Saranac Laboratory Museum

While George Washington Carver would become known as “the peanut man,” because of his extensive research into the practical uses and agricultural advantages of peanuts, Carver’s life work and legacy went far beyond the peanut in his search for ways to “help the man farthest down,” as he put it.

His early years were fraught with struggle and rejection, beginning with his birth to a slave mother near the end of the Civil War. He witnessed mob lynchings, was denied admission at a white college, and yet became a well-educated scientist and teacher of national and worldwide influence and renown.

Signature Communications of Huntingtown, MD, has been engaged by the National Park Service to produce a centerpiece video for visitors to the George Washington Carver National Memorial, located at Carver’s birthplace in Diamond, MO. Titled “Struggle and Triumph: The Legacy of George Washington Carver,” this 25 minute film will be accompanied by an educational video and supplemental educational package tied to national Common Core curriculum standards.

As part of the filming process, and to augment the archival images and film available, Signature is bringing Carver’s experience and legacy to life through re-enactments of seminal experiences in his life, filmed in authentic period settings. Childhood scenes have already been filmed with actors at historic villages and farms in Missouri, as well as at Carver’s birthplace in Diamond, MO. Because the lion’s share of Carver’s lifetime of achievement occurred at Tuskegee University, the filmmakers want to reinforce the significance of his laboratory research and teaching there. Unfortunately, none of the interior settings where Carver worked at Tuskegee have been retained in their historical condition. After a wide search, Signature decided on the Saranac Laboratory Museum at Historic Saranac Lake, and will be undertaking location filming there on November 14.

Dating from 1894 – near the time when George Washington Carver was preparing to move from the Midwest to Tuskegee – the Saranac Laboratory’s white glazed brick walls, wooden cabinetry and period-accurate hood cabinet are very much of the same historical style as those of Carver’s later labs at Tuskegee. Period photographs reinforce that similarity. To round out the illusion, the filmmakers will be outfitting a professional actor with period attire to represent Carver, and are also seeking several young college age men and women to appear as supporting actors representing Carver’s African American students at Tuskegee. Acting experience is not required for these non-speaking roles, and Signature Communications will supply appropriate wardrobe as well as $100 stipend and a credit in the film. Contact: John Allen, 410-535-3477, FlickKid@Signacom.tv.

Photo Caption: George Washington Carver teaching in his Tuskegee University Laboratory, c.1905. Library of Congress photo archive.

Historic Saranac Lake Offers Lecture Series

Historic Saranac Lake announced a new seminar series, titled “History Matters,” to be held in May in the John Black Room of the Saranac Laboratory. The three Thursday discussions will focus on various topics of interest in Saranac Lake’s past.

The talks are presented by Historic Saranac Lake in collaboration with Paul Smith’s College. The series begins on May 17, with “The Development of the APA”, a panel discussion with Sandy Hayes and Steve Erman, moderated by Jim Hotaling. On May 24, the topic will be “History of Homesteading in the Adirondacks,” with Brett McLeod of Paul Smith’s College. On May 31, the theme is “Remembering the Olympics,” a panel discussion with Howard Riley, Jack LaDuke and Jim Rogers.



Three Thursday Discussions beginning at 7:00 p.m. in the John Black Room of the Saranac Laboratory, 89 Church Street, Saranac Lake. Entrance is $5 / person, members of Historic Saranac Lake free. Light refreshments will be provided.

Historic Saranac Lake to Hold Annual Meeting

Historic Saranac Lake will hold its Annual Meeting on November 1 at 7:00 PM, in the John Black Room of the Saranac Laboratory Museum in Saranac Lake. The meeting will feature a presentation of historic films by Jim Griebsch, featuring newly digitized footage of the Trudeau Sanitorium in 1929. The Kollecker film footage is shown courtesy of the Adirondack Room of the Saranac Lake Free Library.

An independent film and video director, Jim has spent time digitizing, restoring and editing 16mm spools of film from the 1920’s through the early 60‘s which have been archived in the Saranac Lake Free Library’s Adirondack Room.

Born in Saranac Lake, Jim is an award winning producer, director and director of photography with numerous film, television and interactive credits to his name during his 40+ year career. He co-founded and owned Heliotrope Studios Ltd., in Cambridge, Mass. He worked on the feature film Cold River in Saranac Lake. His work has taken him around the world. Jim and his wife Carol have returned to Saranac Lake to live and as he continues to travel to Boston to work with MediaElectric Inc., on a variety of projects.

Jim Griebsch recently joined the Board of Directors of Historic Saranac Lake. In its 31st year, Historic Saranac Lake is an architectural preservation organization that captures and presents local history from its center at the Saranac Laboratory Museum.

The meeting is open to all members of Historic Saranac Lake and the public at large. Light refreshments will be served. For more information, please contact Historic Saranac Lake at (518) 891-4606.

Enhancing Main St: Making Upper Floors Work Again

Enhancing Main Street: Making Upper Floors Work Again is a free workshop that will be presented by the Preservation League of New York State on Tuesday, September 20, 2011 from 9:00 am – 3:30 pm at the Saranac Laboratory, 89 Church Street, Saranac Lake, NY.

This program will provide immediately useful information for property owners, developers, and preservation professionals including historic site managers, architects, consultants and accountants dealing with preservation project financing.

This workshop is in very high demand across New York State and this is the only time it is being offered in the North Country in 2011. While the workshop is free, seating is limited, and participants must register by Friday, September 16, 2011 for the 9/20 program.

The workshop’s featured presenters will include:

* Historic Preservation Program Analyst William Krattinger from the NYS Historic Preservation Office, who will discuss the advantages of Historic District designation-

* Joe Fama, architect and Executive Director of the Troy Architectural Program in Troy, who will explain how New York’s building codes and preservation can work together-

* Karl Gustafson of NYS Homes and Community Renewal, who will provide information on the New York State Main Street Program- and

* Gary Beasley, Executive Director of Neighbors of Watertown, who will discuss making the best use of upper floors.

Enhancing Main Street: Making Upper Floors Work Again is presented by the Preservation League of New York State and sponsored by Historic Saranac Lake- Adirondack Architectural Heritage- Empire State Development Corp., NYS Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation- and NYS Homes and Community Renewal.

Saranac Laboratory Focus of Tour, Book Event

Historic Saranac Lake is preparing for the visit of Patricia Reiss Brooks on July 20th. Brooks, the author of Mountain Shadows, will head a walking tour starting at the Saranac Laboratory Museum, 89 Church Street, Saranac Lake at 10:30 am. The free event includes an inside look of the Morse Cure Cottage on Shepard St. that is just like the cottage where the characters in Mountain Shadows play out their lives. The walk will continue on to the Cure Cottage Museum on Helen Hill.

The walk will be followed by a brown bag lunch at the Saranac Laboratory, where Brooks will talk about gathering information for the creation of Mountain Shadows and will include glimpses into the life in the area in the twenties. Brooks will entertain questions and autograph copies of Mountain Shadows. A portion of all sales will benefit Historic Saranac Lake.

Mountain Shadows is an historic love story that portrays the Cure Cottage life for TB patients as well as the Prohibition era rum-running, the Lake Placid Club, the Adirondack area at the time, and the early treatment of tuberculosis in Saranac Lake.

Brooks is a native of Lake Placid and a graduate of St. Bernards and Lake Placid Central. Her father, Julian Reiss came to the area in the twenties to “take the cure.” He stayed to raise his family, never leaving the mountains that gave him back his health.

Historic Saranac Lake, the event’s sponsor, is a not for profit architectural preservation organization that captures and presents local history from their center at the Saranac Laboratory Museum. In case of rain, just the chat with the author and booking signing will start at noon at the Saranac Laboratory, 89 Church St.

Historic Saranac Lake Unveiling Photo Exhibit

On June 22, 2011, Historic Saranac Lake will unveil a new John Black Room Exhibit, “The Little City in the Adirondacks: Historic Photographs of Saranac Lake.” Created in collaboration with the Adirondack Room of the Saranac Lake Free Library, the exhibit features almost fifty framed historic photographs of Saranac Lake residents and buildings during the early part of the twentieth century.

The exhibit portrays a vibrant little city with a prospering and diverse economy. Saranac Lake grew quickly in the early 1900s to accommodate thousands of health seekers that came to the village seeking the fresh air cure for tuberculosis, made famous by Dr. Edward Livingston Trudeau. The exhibit features the unique architecture of the village as well as photos of local residents at play and at work.

The photographs represent only small portion of the rich photo collection of the Adirondack Room of the Saranac Lake Free Library. Library curator, Michele Tucker graciously loaned the photos to Historic Saranac Lake, and a team of dedicated volunteers has worked to install the exhibit. Many of the photos were originally printed and framed by the late Barbara Parnass, who was one of the founding Board Members of Historic Saranac Lake in 1980.

The photograph exhibit replaces an earlier exhibit on World War I in Saranac Lake. The exhibit will be on display for twelve months. Plans are underway for a new, comprehensive exhibit on Saranac Lake history to be installed in the John Black Room in 2012.

The Saranac Laboratory Museum opens June 22. The public is invited to visit the new photo exhibit and the laboratory museum space during regular hours through October 7, Wednesday through Friday from 10:00 to 2:00, or any time by appointment. Admission is $5 per person, members and children free of charge.

Photo courtesy of the Adirondack Room, Saranac Lake Free Library.

Historic Tour of Saranac Lake Cure Sites

Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH) and Historic Saranac Lake (HSL) are offering a “Pioneer Health Resort Tour” in Saranac Lake, NY on Wednesday, June 15, 2011. The tour will be led by Mary Hotaling, former executive director of HSL, and current director, Amy Catania. It will include many of the buildings and sites that made Saranac Lake America’s “Pioneer Health Resort.”

The village’s late 19th- and early 20th-century history is closely tied to the treatment for tuberculosis developed by Dr. Edward L. Trudeau. The tour will include the Trudeau Institute, where we will see the first cure cottage, Little Red, and the bronze sculpture of Trudeau by Gutzon Borglum. We’ll visit the former Trudeau Sanatorium, Saranac Laboratory, the Cure Cottage Museum, and the Bela Bartok Cottage.

The tour begins at 10 a.m. and ends around 3 p.m. Be prepared for uphill walking. The fee is $35 for AARCH and HSL members and $45 for nonmembers. Tour attendees will also receive a copy of Cure Cottages, by Phillip L. Gallos. Reservations are required for all tours by calling AARCH at 834-9328.

Photo: Little Red cure cottage, Saranac Lake.

Historic Saranac Lake Gets Preservation Grant

Historic Saranac Lake (HSL) was recently awarded National Endowment for the Humanities Preservation Assistance Grant. The grant will support the services of a professional consultant and the purchase of storage materials for the HSL collection.

Eileen Corcoran, of Vergennes Vermont, will conduct a general preservation assessment and to help draft a long-range plan for the care of the HSL collection. She will also provide on site training to staff in methods and materials for the storage of collections, best practices for cataloging collections, and proper methods for the arrangement and description of archival collections.

Historic Saranac Lake houses a collection of letters and manuscripts, photographs and objects pertaining to the early scientific research of tuberculosis and care of TB patients in Saranac Lake, as well as a variety of items relating to the architecture and general history of the community. A number of these items are rare survivors of the many, many examples that once existed, such as an inspection certificate, or a record of patient treatments. They tell the story of a community of healing.

The Historic Saranac Lake collection is used for exhibitions, educational programs and by researchers. Historic Saranac Lake currently maintains two exhibitions at the Saranac Laboratory Museum. The main laboratory space is a model of a very early science lab. Visitors explore and gain an appreciation for the history of science by observing artifacts and letters on display such as early microscopes and laboratory equipment, early scientific journals and photographs of important men in the history of science.

An alcove in the laboratory has been arranged as an exhibit on patient care, another important facet of Saranac Lake’s TB history. Items from the collection are displayed such as a cure chair, photos of cure cottages, letters from patients, sputum cups, a pneumothorax machine for collapsing the lung, and items made by patients in occupational therapy. Visitors gain an understanding of the patient experience taking the fresh air cure in Saranac Lake.

The main floor meeting space contains another exhibition, “The Great War, WWI in Saranac Lake.” This exhibit includes letters from local soldiers, medals, photos, and a complete WWI uniform and supplies such as a gas mask and mess kit. The exhibit interprets this important time period in history and how it impacted Saranac Lake.

Historic Saranac Lake is a not-for-profit architectural preservation organization that captures and presents local history from their center at the Saranac Laboratory Museum. Founded in 1980, Historic Saranac Lake offers professional knowledge and experience to the public in support of Historic Preservation, architectural and historical research and education. HSL operates the Saranac Laboratory Museum and an online museum of local history at hsl.wikispot.org.

NEH is an independent grant-making agency of the United States government dedicated to supporting research, education, preservation, and public programs in the humanities. Preservation Assistance Grants help small and mid-sized institutions—such as libraries, museums, historical societies, archival repositories, cultural organizations, town and county records offices, and colleges and universities—improve their ability to preserve and care for their humanities collections.

Historic Saranac Lake to Hold Annual Meeting

Historic Saranac Lake will hold its Annual Meeting on November 9 at 7:00 PM, in the John Black Room of the Saranac Laboratory Museum. The meeting marks the organization’s 30th year, and will feature a talk by Caperton Tissot on her new book, Adirondack Ice: a Cultural and Natural History.

Ice has determined the course of Adirondack history in many surprising ways. This book traces the evolution of that influence, touching on everything from ice industries and transportation to recreation and accidents. In 360 pages of personal stories, observations and over 200 historic and contemporary photos, the author pays tribute to a fast disappearing era.

Ms. Tissot will be available to sign books afterward, and will donate a portion of the profits sold at the meeting to Historic Saranac Lake.

Historic Saranac Lake is a not-for-profit architectural preservation organization that captures and presents local history from its center at the Saranac Laboratory Museum.

The meeting is open to all members of Historic Saranac Lake and the public at large. Light refreshments will be served.

Former Trudeau Sanatorium Patient Publishes Novel

Annapolis, Maryland resident, Florence Mulhern, will be at The Saranac Laboratory, 89 Church Street, on October 23rd, 2010, at 2:00 for a book signing of her just published novel, The Last Lambs on the Mountain. Ryerson University Scholar Dr. Jean Mason will introduce the author.

Mulhern spent two years at Trudeau Sanatorium while a tuberculosis patient. She has written a riveting and absorbing novel bringing her fictional characters together, sharing their varied backgrounds, living with constant hope, despair and uncertain futures. Her character’s lives intertwine as they are forced to live through difficult surgeries and experimental medicines always with the unceasing hope a cure is found allowing their lives will return to normal.

Mrs. Mulhern began her writing career many years ago and is the author of numerous published articles and two historical books. The book is now available for purchase in the Museum Store of the Saranac Laboratory, operated and major book sellers. All proceeds benefit Historic Saranac Lake.

Photo: Saranac Lake (Church Street from River Street). Courtesy Historic Saranac Lake.