Seeking some historical perspective on the current pandemic, Historic Saranac Lake recently hosted an imaginary panel discussion at St. John’s in the Wilderness Cemetery. Three generations of Doctors Trudeau shared their thoughts on change and continuity in science and public health.
CAST OF CHARACTERS
DOCTOR 1: Dr. Edward Livingston Trudeau (1848-1915) Leader of the sanatorium movement in the U.S., founder of the Adirondack Cottage Sanitarium and the Saranac Laboratory. (Pictured, left, in the Saranac Laboratory. HSL Collection.)
DOCTOR 2: Dr. Francis Berger Trudeau (1887-1956) Saranac Lake physician and leader of the sanatorium after his father’s death. (Pictured, center. Courtesy of the Saranac Free Library)
DOCTOR 3: Dr. Frank B. Trudeau (1919-1995) Prominent local physician and founder of the Trudeau Institute. (Pictured, right, opening the doors of the Trudeau Institute for the first time. HSL Collection.)
“I have been so upset by world events that my mind has been almost completely paralyzed.” — Béla Bartók
In the midst of the dark days of World War II, a frail man named Béla Bartók came to Saranac Lake for his health. Although he was one of the greatest composers in human history, many Saranac Lakers might have seen him as just another invalid, tiny and pale, wrapped in his dark cape against the cold Adirondack weather. Bartók and his second wife Ditta fled their native Hungary eighty years ago, as fascism and antisemitism swept across Europe. He had dedicated his life not only to composing, but also collecting and arranging the folk music of Eastern Europe. Nazi Germany was threatening to erase the cultures of the Roma and other peasant peoples of the region. In the face of such terror, Bartók was depressed, impoverished, and sick with a form of leukemia that acted like tuberculosis. He and his wife moved from one cramped, loud, New York City apartment to another. He had ceased composing.
For generations, small businesses were the principal employers in every North Country community. They were an economic engine; bringing in money from local, out-of-area, and international consumers. They employed local workers, who in turn spent money in the local region. And they supplied local communities with tax funds that were used to grow even more economic opportunity.
NorthWind Fine Arts Gallery will be hosting an upcoming juried art show, under the theme: “The Healing Wilderness.” Organizers are inviting artists of any type of media to submit work inspired by the power of the wild places to heal after tumultuous times.
The gallery is located in the heart of Saranac Lake, a village founded on its healing powers since the 20th century when it was discovered that fresh air could help ease tuberculosis.
Selected works will be displayed in a digital format at the NorthWind Fine Arts Gallery during Saranac Lake’s Winter Carnival, as well as online and via social media. Award-winning pieces will be showcased on North Country Public Radio’s virtual art gallery, the UpNorth Gallery.
Point Positive, Inc. with vetted entrepreneurs KLAW Industries and Just a Moment Music, held their bi-annual pitch session on October 28. The event was virtually held on Zoom at The Carry in Saranac Lake, with the help of Point Positive Coordinator Melinda Little and Maura Maguire from the Shipley Center at Clarkson.
The meeting contained 15 member investors, and began with a brief presentation from Kip Testwuide (The Vice-Chair of the Trudeau Institute Board) on the status of the Adirondack Health/Trudeau Institute High-speed COVID-19 Testing Lab Initiative, promising a tremendous resource for North Country businesses, schools, and universities.
Back in March, the Saranac Lake Development Board approved a new “Hospital” to open its doors in town: the innocent-sounding Adirondack Pregnancy Center (APC). However, a closer look at the APC reveals a very nefarious motive, one that poses a great danger to Saranac Lake and the Adirondacks at large.
The efforts of young people mobilizing for climate action and resilience, inspired by the Wild Center’s Youth Climate Program and its annual Adirondack Youth Climate Summit, is seen as a key contribution to this designation. The climate program has brought together over 180 students from over 30 NYS schools to increase their climate literacy and leadership abilities since 2008.
Cedar Young, a youth leader in the Village of Saranac Lake says the following about the certification: “By receiving bronze certification, Saranac Lake has shown leadership in raising public awareness of climate change and lowering our community’s carbon footprint.”
I biked from Saranac Lake to Burlington, Vermont, on the first day of fall. (Well, I meant to end up in Burlington, but a wrong turn added some miles and hills and left me on some suburban road east of the city in Williston.)
My route through the Adirondacks was State Route 3 to the Lake Champlain Ferry at Plattsburgh, and it took me through much of the Saranac River Valley, with colorful fall views of a river whose health and fish our magazine will profile in-depth in our next issue. I shot some video along the way.
Saranac Lakers might’ve noticed that words appear before their eyes on sidewalks through downtown Saranac Lake when it rains. How did it come to be there? Two groups came together to make something magical happen–the Raining Poetry Project.
The Adirondack Center for Writing and the Saranac Lake Arts and Culture Advisory Board partnered to bring this project to life. Inspired by similar projects across the country, the collaboration brings unique public art installations to Saranac Lake.
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 WWII, open air schools were built in the United States and Europe to protect children from tuberculosis. Even in Saranac Lake, where temperatures in the winter tend to stay well below freezing, some children attended unheated, open air classrooms.
In the mid-1920s, the Saranac Lake School District built an open air school at River Street, at a cost of $12,000. All Saranac Lake children were weighed periodically and X-rayed annually. Those found to be underweight attended the Fresh Air School. The building, now used for a nursery school, is located behind the former River Street School. In 1937, the Fresh Air School moved to a new six-room addition built at Petrova School.
Open air education wasn’t just for preventing illness and improving health. It was also widely used in summer camps as a natural extension of the camping experience. At local camps over generations, children have learned skills outdoors, such as arts, crafts, sports, and music.
A winning sports team, like a beautiful ice palace, grows out of a strong community. It’s no surprise that Saranac Lake has a long tradition of athletic achievements. From team sports like bobsledding, baseball, hockey, football, and curling to individual competitions like speed skating and barrel jumping, Saranac Lake history is full of athletic men and women who left their mark.
Today, Covid-19 is disrupting so many traditions, and sporting events are some of the hardest to give up. The cancellation of competitions is heartbreaking for athletes, and it’s hard for the spectators too. In small towns like Saranac Lake, sport brings generations together to enjoy a brief moment when all that matters is the kids on the field or the ice. No matter how fast or slow, each child shines for a moment. Over time, parents come to know each other’s children, and we cheer for their victories too.
Saranac Lake Community Solar has partnered up with AdkAction to complete a local community solar project which will create 10 acres of pollinator habitat.
These 10 acres will provide a local source of clean energy for the village of Saranac Lake, as well as its surrounding communities. The solar farm will provide homeowners, renters, and businesses solar energy without the cost of equipment, installation and maintenance, and thanks to the support of AdkAction’s pollinator project, this will be the first pollinator-friendly solar farm in the Adirondacks.
Friends of Moody Pond, in Saranac Lake, is an organization dedicated to the conservation and protection of Moody Pond and the surrounding neighborhood from invasive species- specifically Eurasian watermilfoil.
This invasive species was found in Moody Pond in 2018 and makes up at least 3.5 acres (14 percent) of Moody Pond, according to the Adirondack Park Invasive Plant Program.
A rapid response is essential in managing and eradicating aquatic invasives, and Friends of Moody Pond will be raising funds to educate the public and provide a rapid management response to that end.
Graveyards are for the living. It’s something I think about every autumn, when Pine Ridge Cemetery comes alive with children on our annual fifth grade field trip. Ahead of time, the students research a person buried there. As we walk down to the graveyard from school, excitement builds. Upon arrival the kids race around, looking excitedly for their person. It’s like a bizarre version of an Easter egg hunt.
With the help of friendly and unflappable volunteer, Jim Clark, the kids eventually find their gravestones. We stop at the resting places of Charlie Green, Julia Miller, Don Duso, and many others. We notice the memorials for veterans, fire fighters, and children. Jim Clark fills in with stories he remembers. The simple lesson of the day is that our lives matter.
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