A real, honest-to-goodness picture page
I often say to family and friends that I wish there was a video of Saranac Lake from the 1940s and ’50s to show what a bustling community existed with hardly an empty storefront and 10,000 interesting residents — 7,000 population by census, but thousands more living here as TB patients that were not included in the census [as prisoners are not] — and a constant flow of relatives visiting the patients — visitors who kept the five downtown hotels busy: The Hotel Saranac, the Alpine, the St. Regis, the Arlington and the Berkeley.
Kenneth W. Goldthwaite was the first publisher of the Enterprise and in 1914 he published a beautiful booklet [6 x 12], on glossy paper, entitled “Picturesque Saranac Lake.” The following is a glimpse of a few local pictures from 104 years ago.
Excerpts from the introduction by Mr. Goldthwaite:
“Saranac Lake, N.Y. as a town of villas, hotels and boarding houses, the principal resort of the Adirondacks, and has a cosmopolitan population of not less than 6,000 at all seasons of the year. It is situated in the geographical heart of the Adirondack Mountains; has an elevation of 1,600 feet above the level of the sea and is surrounded by irregular mountain ridges varying in heights from 2,000 to 5,000 feet and including the famous summits of Whiteface, Marcy, McIntyre, Ampersand, Dix, Haystack, Skylight, the Gothics, Santanoni, Seward and Nipple Top in the vistas.
“Saranac Lake is, thanks to its climate and its many resources of sport, an all-the-year-around pleasure and health resort, better and more accessible to hunters and anglers than Maine or New Brunswick, more effectual for the valetudinarian [a person in poor health] and closer at hand than Switzerland of the Western United States, combining the charms and virtues of all as a resort in Sumer and Winter, together with the [you branding experts get a load of this] ‘something peculiarly characteristic’ which has endeared the Adirondack region to the American.”