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
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
Many years ago, Saranac Lake, NY, rallied to fight a deadly disease – tuberculosis – which killed one in seven people in the late nineteenth century.
Highly contagious and with no known cure, fear and stigma surrounded TB. Unlike the new virus we face today, many of its victims were young people in their 20s. Like today, quarantine was often seen as an appropriate solution, and sometimes people were isolated against their will. A person’s ethnicity, race, and socioeconomic status affected the kinds of treatments available. [Read more…] about Saranac Lake Local History Has Lessons For Today