The site of the present Sampson State Park in Romulus, Seneca County, NY was formerly the site of the Sampson Navy Base. As the United States found itself at war following the attack on Pearl Harbor in late 1941, the U.S. Navy had an immediate need for sailors. Basic training bases, or boot camps, were constructed across the country to meet this emergency requirement. [Read more…] about Sampson State Park’s Remarkable Military, Education & Public Health History
Living at “Homestead,” Saratoga County’s Tuberculosis Sanatorium, was never easy – especially in winter.
In December of 1914 the first patients were admitted to the newly built facility. The site, located on land in the Town of Providence donated by Horace Carpentier years before, was in an extremely rural part of the county. There was no public transportation and the access road was impassable during winter. [Read more…] about Loneliness: Winter At Saratoga County’s Tuberculosis Sanatorium
The Grant Cottage State Historic Site, a 19th century residence where U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant completed his memoirs shortly before his death, has been named a National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service. [Read more…] about Grant Cottage Named National Historic Landmark
Saranac Lake, NY’s history is full of professionals in medicine and science who had a passion for learning and an intense curiosity about the natural world. [Read more…] about Doctors in the Garden of Science
During the era of TB in New York State the fresh air cure wasn’t all a bed of roses.
First-hand accounts left behind in letters, photographs, diaries, and memoirs paint a picture of life in Saranac Lake during the TB years. It’s an incomplete record that can lead us to believe curing was an overwhelmingly positive experience. It takes energy, time, and a degree of mental and physical well being to leave behind a personal record. People who were very ill, illiterate, or struggling with poverty did not have the same opportunity to create, or later preserve, accounts of their experiences. [Read more…] about Sad Side of TB Treatment History Has Echoes Today
As autumn approaches, schools are thinking about ways to keep students safe by maximizing time outdoors. The concept of outside instruction is not new.
Leading up to the Second World War, open air schools were built in the United States and Europe to protect children from tuberculosis.
In Saranac Lake, in the heart of the Adirondacks, where temperatures in the winter tend to stay well below freezing, some children attended unheated, open air classrooms. [Read more…] about Fresh Air Schools: Teaching Outdoors For Public Health
This week on The Historians Podcast, Amy Catania of Historic Saranac Lake explains how that upstate New York community became a center for the treatment of tuberculosis. [Read more…] about A History of TB Treatment at Saranac Lake
“The great tragedy of life is not that men perish, but that they cease to love.” — W. Somerset Maugham.
Before antibiotics, one of the more powerful medicines against tuberculosis was love. Happy patients tended to be more successful in overcoming the disease, so health care providers took every step to improve patients’ state of mind.
Patients stayed busy with occupational therapy and social activities. In the Adirondacks around Saranac Lake, cure porches were oriented toward the best views to boost patients’ sprits with natural beauty. And then there was cousining — a term for informal romances that developed between patients. [Read more…] about Cure Porch Cousining: Love In A Time of TB
Long after people die, the buildings where they made their lives often remain. Many visitors to the Saranac Laboratory Museum follow the footsteps of a family member who came to Saranac Lake with tuberculosis.
Often the only trace that remains is the address of a cure cottage and a porch where their relative once took the fresh air. [Read more…] about Saranac Lake’s Famous Cure Porches Have Stories To Tell
Since we first opened the Saranac Laboratory Museum doors in 2009, thousands have come to learn about Saranac Lake’s history as a center for tuberculosis research and treatment.
Visitors often ask about the cost of care and who was able to afford it. Was Saranac Lake’s fresh air treatment just for rich people? Did people of different ethnic groups and social classes have access to the cure? [Read more…] about Poverty, Tuberculosis, COVID-19 and the Luxury of Health