An exhibition of models by John Wheeler of the lost buildings of Saranac Lake was revealed on Friday, November 30th. The exhibit, titled “Remember When?” will be displayed for the holiday season in the windows of the former Sears building at 66 Main Street.
Eighteen models of the lost buildings of Saranac Lake will be on display along with historic photos and captions. The collection of models represents four years of painstaking work by local resident and history enthusiast, John Wheeler.
Historic Saranac Lake showed some of the models last summer in a short term exhibit at the Saranac Laboratory Museum.
John Wheeler serves as the building superintendent of the Harrietstown Town Hall, and in his spare time, he researches and carefully recreates the historic buildings of Saranac Lake. Wheeler recently joined the board of directors of Historic Saranac Lake, and he sees the temporary exhibit as a way of raising awareness about Saranac Lake’s unique history and the work of the organization.
Photo of Model of the Berkeley Hotel by John Wheeler provided.
If we learn anything from the past, it’s how easily things slip away and change, not always for the better. Living only in the present, it’s too easy to disregard the old and familiar. It’s too easy to take no account of the future over that which is our grasp at the moment. If you have no sense of where you’ve been, how can you tell where you’re going?
It’s a kind of collective amnesia, a mental fog. It can’t be cured by putting up signs and kiosks. It takes an effort to learn from the past, in order to build a future.
I haven’t had a chance to see these buildings yet, but I would like to. I salute Mr. Wheeler for the time and effort he has put into this.
Dear Mr Wheeler
My grandfather, Clarence E. Welsh was the proprietor of the Berkeley House Hotel when it burned in 1925. He had leased the building from the owner, Walter Sagendorf. I came across this article today with a photo of the model you made of the Berkeley. I would have loved to see the exhibition, but I live in Switzerland. Is there any way I could get more photos of your lovely model?
Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. If you can send me your email address, i will send you what i have in photos. John Wheeler