SARANAC LAKE - Historic Saranac Lake has announced the opening of a new exhibit on Saranac Lake history in the John Black Room of the Saranac Laboratory.
The exhibit officially opens on Wednesday with an evening gathering open to all current members of Historic Saranac Lake.
Six large panels in the John Black Room outline the development of the village, from its early days as a small logging town to its growth as a destination for outdoor recreation and a center for scientific research and patient care. The final panel explores the village's effort to find new life after the decline of the tuberculosis industry. Interspersed among the exhibit panels are historic photos on loan from the Adirondack Room of the Saranac Lake Free Library.
A jitney from Trudeau Sanitarium is parked in front of Leonard’s Department Store on Main Street at Broadway.
(Photograph 83.801, courtesy of the Adirondack Room of the Saranac Lake Free Library)
"Hundreds of visitors come here each year eager to learn more about the community," Historic Saranac Lake Executive Director Amy Catania said in a press release. "This new exhibit will orient visitors to our fascinating history and help them understand who we are today. They are beautiful panels that really bring to life our local history."
Historic Saranac Lake plans to supplement the new panels with more artifacts and interpretation. The organization is raising funds to allow for the installation of case lighting and an expansion of this first phase of the exhibit.
Five of the panels feature large historic photographs courtesy of the Adirondack Room of the Saranac Lake Free Library. The final panel features a present day photo provided by Saranac Lake photographer Mark Kurtz.
The planning and design of the exhibit was supported by a Museumwise Get Set grant and by grants from the New York Council for the Humanities. The exhibit script was written by Field Horne in consultation with local history experts and Christopher Clarke. Kevan Moss Design led the planning effort and the design of the John Black Room panels. The fabrication of the exhibit panels was supported by a donation from a friend of Historic Saranac Lake, Henry Parnass.
The main laboratory space also features new interpretation for the summer season. Designer Karen Davidson created an exhibit panel interpreting the architecture of the Trudeau Sanatorium and another panel showing the human lungs that once lined the basement shelves. Visitors can tour a new "cure room" displaying artifacts such as a cure chair, medicines and medical devices that were a part of the patient experience.
Founded in 1980, Historic Saranac Lake is an architectural preservation organization that captures and presents local history from its center at the Saranac Laboratory Museum.
The museum is open year-round, Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and also on Saturdays through Oct. 6. Admission is $5, and members and children are free.
For more information visit www.historicsaranaclake.org or call 518-891-4606.