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Cure Porch on Wheels allows residents to record their stories

Historic Saranac Lake’s Cure Porch on Wheels will allow residents to record their stories through an antique phone. (Enterprise photo — Kevin Shea)

SARANAC LAKE — The mobile version of this village’s cure porches will allow people to remember the past while recording the present.

Kayt Gochenaur, oral history coordinator for Historic Saranac Lake, said cure porches in the past had been so those sick with tuberculosis could still interact with the community, although still encased in glass. Now HSL’s new Cure Porch on Wheels will allow residents to record their stories through an antique phone.

Gochenaur said there will be prompts for people to answer regarding their lives in the area. People can also listen to what others have said. It will allow the history of the area to be recorded.

Gochenaur will also interview people in Saranac Lake and surrounding areas such as Vermontville and Bloomingdale. She will interview those who have been here for decades, as well as those who are newer arrivals. She wants to interview people of all backgrounds and demographics. She doesn’t just want mayors or treasurers. She wants shop owners, librarians, mechanics, etc.

“My goal is to capture a picture of what the town is like today,” Gochenaur said. “The history of a community is the people in it.”

Historic Saranac Lake’s Cure Porch on Wheels will allow residents to record their stories through an antique phone. (Enterprise photo — Kevin Shea)

The cure porch is a Saranac Lake twist on a British artists project. Gochenaur said Historic Saranac Lake Executive Director Amy Catania drew inspiration from a British artist’s open-air porch where artists could come from all over and play music. The mobile porch will have a similar possibility, as artists can rent the porch and perform there.

The porch is mobile to help bring it to surrounding communities. It can be heated and is handicap accessible. There is also a platform that can be added to create a makeshift stage for performers.

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