Thursday, July 14, 2022

History Matters: News from Historic Saranac Lake


So much is happening here at the museum, and we want you to be a part of it! As a member of Historic Saranac Lake, your involvement matters so much! We invite you to share your ideas as we plan for the expansion of the museum into the Trudeau Building. And please mark your calendar for our Membership Party on Monday, July 25.

Join today, and you will receive free admission to the museum, free admission to many events and tours, and a 10% discount in the museum store. Members at the $100 level and above also receive benefits at museums around the country through the North American Reciprocal Museum Association. Business Members receive special benefits! We will send you a membership card effective for twelve months from the date you join. Memberships are distinct from our end-of-year annual fund campaign or special fund drives. Member benefits are only available to those with active memberships!


Tour with Franklin Academy students, 2019

Registration is open for summer tours of Trudeau Sanatorium, Little Red, and the Trudeau Statue. We will also be offering tours of the Bartók Cabin with advance arrangements. Visit our events page for more information and to register.

Our calendar is filling up this summer – find everything on our events page.

Bartok Series Extends Through October:

Join us this summer and fall for a series of programs in celebration of Béla Bartók. The great Hungarian composer spent the last three summers of his life in Saranac Lake, in the Adirondack Mountains of Northern New York.

Béla Bartók

The program series includes recorded or live events, to be shared online free of charge. One program will be shared per month, through October, highlighting the great composer and his time in Saranac Lake. Presenters include musicians and scholars who have personal connections to Saranac Lake, Bartók, and his music. The next presentation is slated for tomorrow, Friday, July 15.

Friday, July 15:  
Musical Presentation by Catherine Beeson, violist.
A pre-recorded program that will be released on the museum’s YouTube channel.

Catherine Beeson, violist

To learn more about each of the programs and to register for the live events, head to our website.This series is supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Over $4 Million Raised!

A longtime volunteer with HSL has stepped forward with an amazing donation of $100,000 for the museum expansion project. This incredibly generous gift pushes our fundraising thermometer over the $4 million mark!

Temporary signage at the site of the future expanded history museum.

Our thanks to the hundreds of community members who have joined with us to help create this cultural center for the entire community! More than 200 individuals, foundations, and state agencies have contributed to the project with gifts of all sizes. Thank you!

Read the latest on the project and add your support on our website.


The Hanmer is Back!

After a 10 year hiatus, The Willard Hanmer Guideboat Races are coming back to Saranac Lake for their 60th anniversary! Open to both canoes and guideboats, register today via Adirondacks USA for the July 3rd race at Riverfront Park or come out to spectate! Also, as a special addition to the July 3 race revival, the Hotel Saranac will host a three-day boat show in the Hotel Saranac ballroom from June 28-30 (noon to 9 p.m. daily).

Natalie Bombard in the 4th Annual Willard Hanmer Guideboat Race, 1967. Historic Saranac Lake Collection, gift of Natalie Leduc.

The show will feature several vintage guideboats, a silent film showing Willard Hanmer building one of his boats, Gar Munn’s medley of films of past year races, a slideshow of historic images preserved by Historic Saranac Lake and Adirondack Experience and a display of perpetual race trophies that will again be awarded on race day. The boat show is sponsored by the Hotel Saranac and coordinated by Historic Saranac Lake and local guideboat enthusiasts. This show will round out the Celebrate Paddling ADK month and welcome water events into the month of July.

Our thanks to Sue and Kathy Dyer for reviving this wonderful Saranac Lake tradition!

The Historic Saranac Lake at the Saranac Laboratory Museum is located at ​89 Church Street, Suite 2, Saranac Lake, New York 12983.

For more information visit contact (518) 891-4606 – ​

Photo at top: Photo from the album of Betty Kelly Gaffney, c.1948, captioned: “Trudeau has a picnic on one of the islands. Jim, Jerry, Rita, Randy, Maria, Frances.” (All photos courtesy of Historic Saranac Lake.)

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Amy Catania is the Executive Director of Historic Saranac Lake.

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