Most of us have heard William Faulkner's famous line about the past not being dead. His wisdom is nowhere more apparent than in the Adirondack Mountain village of Saranac Lake. Here, from the 1880s to the 1950s and a little bit beyond, tuberculosis patients arrived from near and far to rest on porches, breathe crisp pine-scented mountain air, and get well or die trying. Antibiotic therapy eventually put the village's sanitariums and cure cottages out of business. Still, in architecture, memory, story, and a heart-breaking poem penned by a brilliant young woman who didn't get well, the village's rich past remains vibrant and alive.
SPECIAL THANKS TO THE FOLLOWING FOR THEIR INVOLVEMENT AND SUPPORT OF THIS PROJECT: Historic Saranac Lake, The Saranac Lake Free Library, Saranac Village at Will Rogers, Amy Catania, Debbie Kanze, Karen Lewis, Marsha Morgan, Michele Tucker, and Paul Willcott.
This edition of 'Curiously Adirondack' was created as a complement to the WGBH produced American Experience documentary The Forgotten Plague: Tuberuculosis In America. Television’s most-watched history series, American Experience has been hailed as “peerless” (Wall Street Journal), “the most consistently enriching program on television” (Chicago Tribune), and “a beacon of intelligence and purpose” (Houston Chronicle). Be sure to watch the latest episodes right here on Mountain Lake PBS.
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