Tuberculosis put Saranac Lake on the map.Through the middle of the 20th century, ailing people seeking a “rest cure” reclined on cottage porches in the community to take in the crisp Adirondack Mountain air. Saranac Lake grew into a mini-metropolis of medical care, with a dozen trains chugging in and out daily, a famous mountainside tuberculosis sanitorium, hotels — and three undertakers.“It was a bustling place,” said 89-year-old Howard Riley, who worked more than seven decades ago as a “tray boy,” delivering food to patients. “Very, very upbeat. And that might sound funny to somebody else, because the whole place was built on a disease.”The local boom ended with the rise of effective antibiotic treatment, but residents still honour the village’s novel legacy. This year, the local history group purchased the old home and medical office of TB treatment pioneer Dr. Edward Livingston Trudeau for conversion into additional museum space.Separately, developers purchased the sprawling site of Trudeau’s sanitorium with plans to refurbish and reuse buildings integral to the area’s past as a magnet for sick people.“It’s just still really a big part of our identity,” said Amy Catania, executive director of Historic Saranac Lake.Spread by coughs… Read full this story
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