There are many "scrapbooks" in the Adirondack Room of the Saranac Lake Free Library but what a misnomer for these wonderful pieces of history.
Ralph Kelly gave a stack of old obituaries and other announcements he had saved over the years and someone arranged them neatly into this loose-leaf book with the extra care that each page is encased in clear plastic. Most of the pieces are dated from 1896 to 1906. Obituaries of early settlers in Saranac Lake are an accurate source of history and Mr. Kelly threw in a few other tidbits such as
An advertisement in an 1896 Enterprise
"Abraham Lincoln was over 6 feet 4 inches in height. Talking with some friends one day, the subject under discussion was how long a man's legs ought to be. Mr. Lincoln said he had given much thought to the matter and had come to the conclusion that they should be long enough to reach from the body to the ground."
"Edward Wallace was accidentally drowned in Lake Flower, July 4th, between the hours of two and three. He hired a boat from John DeVarney and was practicing to enter the boat race which was soon to take place.
"He had made the turn around the flag and started to come back when he stood up in his boat for some unknown reason and fell into the lake head foremost. The only witness to the drowning was a Miss Bently, who is at the White cottage, who says the body rose once to the surface and then disappeared. She at once spread the alarm and a vigilant search was made without avail until eight o'clock when Capt. Morse offered the services of his electric launch, and applied a search light from the battery of the launch and with the aid of Miss Bently, located the body in a very few minutes.
"The body was brought to the boat house and Corner Mourhous at once empaneled a jury which rendered a verdict of accidental drowning. The body was then removed to Undertaker Fortune's to be prepared for burial. The funeral took place at the St. Bernard Church and interment was made at Union Falls. A large procession followed the remains to the grave. Wallace was about 28 years old and leaves a sister and brother. His father, John Wallace, was killed a short time ago while blasting near the Ampersand."
Also on July 4, 1896
"Lydia Manning, an aged lady who resided at West Harrietstown for the past 50 years, passed away on July 4th at her home in that place. Her funeral took place Monday, the Rev. John Bamford officiating."
April 18, 1896
"Our street was thrown into deep mourning on Friday morning of last week by the sudden death of Mrs. John Egglefield. She lived about one half mile from Peck's Corners on her farm, and for some time had lived alone as her son, the only one on whom she could depend, owned a farm on the Forest Home Road and is obliged to live there and she loved her old home too much to go with her children.
"She had just completed her home in which she expected to live for many years yet, but God ordained it differently. She has two daughters in the West, both of whom will attend the funeral. She will be greatly missed in this community as she was an old and esteemed friend and neighbor as well as a faithful member of the Methodist Church. Her children have the heartfelt sympathy of all in their great bereavement."
And on a happier note, Wedding bells
"A very pretty wedding took place at the home of the bride's aunt, Mrs. Lucy V. Shaw, West Plattsburgh, N.Y., Tuesday evening, December 9, 1902, Rev. E. E. Manning officiating. The contracting parties were Miss Cora Maud Shaw and William J. McMaster, both of Saranac Lake, N.Y.
"The bridge was daintily gowned in white and carried white roses. The bridesmaid, Miss Elsie Shaw, sister of the bride, wore pearl gray and carried pink carnations. A.S. McMaster acted as best man.
"After the wedding supper Mr. and Mrs. McMaster departed mid a shower of rice and heartiest congratulations, taking the train for New York.
"After rheir return they will reside at their pretty new home 'Rathwarren' at Forest Home."