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.
Today, the planet is taking a crash course on the limitations of modern medicine and the complications of human disease. It is a good time to look back and see what Saranac Lake’s history might teach us about public health.
From our place in the world of modern medicine and science, it can be easy to see healthcare in the past as quackery. Many visitors to the museum skeptically ask, “Was there anything to it? Was there any benefit to the Saranac Lake treatment?”
Saranac Lake’s tuberculosis economy depended on the labor of many essential workers. In honor of today’s heroes, here are a few favorite stories of brave helpers in local history.
Nurses and doctors risked their own health providing care and companionship to tuberculosis patients far from home. Our museum archive is full of hundreds of photos and stories of these courageous women and men. In her book, Wish I Might, Isabel Smith writes warmly about her doctor, Francis B. Trudeau. He is somewhat overshadowed in history by his famous father, founder of Saranac Lake’s TB industry, Dr. E. L. Trudeau. But Francis was widely respected for his kindness and his fierce dedication to his patients. Ms. Smith described his “inimitable hearty roar of good spirits which, then and always, enveloped me like a blaze of sunlight.”
While it can be easy to feel helpless when shut inside during the COVID-19 pandemic, a group of crafters in the Tri-lakes area of the Adirondacks have sprung into action, sewing and distributing cloth masks to essential workers around the area.
The project started with Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake and has quickly grown to include other “frontline” workers, said Gail Brill, who along with two other women, is helping to organize the project.
“I touched base with a friend who works at the hospital, asking what they need,” she said. They adapted a pattern for fabric masks to create one designed to fit over N-95 masks to extend their use.
From there, word spread and requests started coming in from other places. Brill said the group is currently working with places that care for and house vulnerable populations, such as Sunmount and Mercy Living Center in Tupper Lake, St. Joseph’s Addiction Treatment Centers, and Will Rogers retirement community in Saranac Lake.
Thinking fast on your feet comes with the territory of being a small business owner/farmer. So the folks behind the Saranac Lake Farmers Market were able to quickly pivot into a format that allows for social distancing and ensures customers have access to fresh, locally made food.
The “Farmers’ Park-it” takes place from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturdays at the Hotel Saranac. Shoppers place their orders using this form by 9 p.m. Thursday night and drive up during the market hours for curbside delivery.
The Waterhole, the popular local bar located at 48 Main Street in downtown Saranac Lake, is set to celebrate their 50th Anniversary from Thursday, May 28th through Sunday, May 31st. » Continue Reading.
Paul Smith’s College’s Global Center for Rural Communities (GCRC) and the Adirondack Economic Development Corporation (AEDC) have partnered to launch an “Idea Lab” at Paul Smith’s College to support entrepreneurial efforts in the Adirondack region. » Continue Reading.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is constructing an accessible full-service restroom at the Lake Flower Boat Launch.
The restroom will be built in the western corner of the boat launch property near the sidewalk along River Street and is expected to be ready for use during next year’s boating season. DEC will connect the restroom to the municipal water and sewer supplies. The facility, with restrooms for both men and women, will have four toilets and two sinks. » Continue Reading.
The Saranac Lake Winter Carnival Gala Parade is set for Saturday, February 8th at 1 pm. The parade will take place at Broadway and Main Street from Ampersand Avenue to Lapan Highway. The procession is a crowd favorite and tradition of the Winter Carnival, featuring many creative floats, quirky performers, community members and more. » Continue Reading.
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