Cure Cottages of Saranac Lake NY

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Cure Cottages of Saranac Lake NY
Cure Cottages of Saranac Lake NY Riverside Dr. #29 (81.139d) - Image Source

Collection Facts

Dates of Original:
c. 1895 - 1925

Historical Context

Before 1946, when a drug based cure for tuberculosis was found, Saranac Lake was a renowned center for the only known way to cure tuberculosis, fresh air and complete bed rest. The Cure Cottages are buildings, mostly still present today, that became private sanatoriums for those sick with tuberculosis.

The Cottages are focused on the fresh air and bed-rest treatment, having multiple porches, balconies, and sunrooms, with enough room to place multiple patients on cots and hammocks.

The Cure Cottage "Cure Porches" were glassed-in rooms that were mainly added on to the house on the ground floor, or were modified from existing house features. These rooms were fitted with sliding glass windows that enabled the air to be regulated within the room. A standard treatment for the patients included at least eight hours resting within the Cure Porch.

Scope of Collection

The collection contains black-and-white photographs of Cure Cottage buildings in the Saranac Lake region. Most of the collection is undated but appears to date from the late 19th century to early 20th century. There are a couple color photographs also included in the collection of a more recent vintage. The images depict views of the buildings, mostly exterior views, but some interior views are present, Most of the buildings are named and have their street noted.