Born: August 9, 1910 in Havana, Cuba
Died: 1994, age 83
Married: Helene A. Anderson
Camilo Panerai is best remembered as the owner and operator of the exclusive Alta Vista Lodge cure cottage on Franklin Avenue. Mr. Panerai was born August 9, 1910 in Havana, Cuba, the son of Camilo and Elvira Panerai. On September 22, 1933, Camilo arrived in Saranac Lake seeking a cure for tuberculosis. He was 23 years old, and a student at the Havana University School of Architectural Engineering. In 1933, he stayed for a brief time at the Gonzalez cure cottage at 144 Main Street. Within a month, the Gonzalez' moved to 14 Park Place, and it is unclear how long or where Camilo continued his cure. He returned to Havana to finish his studies and work at the Purdy and Henderson architectural firm in Havana, from 1934 to 1941.
By 1941, Mr. Panerai had returned to Saranac Lake, again in search of his health. This time he cured at the Alta Vista, one of the most exclusive cure cottages in the village. Mr. Panerai met a dietician employed at the Alta Vista named Helene A. Anderson. The couple married and soon took over ownership of the Alta Vista, operating it from 1941 to 1958, when it was destroyed by fire. Interestingly, Tuberculosis Society records list Helen Panerai as not only the owner of the Alta Vista in 1941, but a patient as well. On April 4, 1941, she cured at the Alta Vista for tuberculosis.
The couple lived out their years in Saranac Lake, both living into their eighties. Helen died in 1991 at age 81. Camilo died at age 83 in 1994. At the time of his death he was living at 117 Forest Hill Avenue. Mr. Panerai was a prominent businessman in the community, but he did not actively cultivate connections to visiting Latin Americans, and he did not cater to Latin Americans in particular. A survey of Latin American patients shows eight having stayed at the Alta Vista, two before his ownership in 1944. The six Latino patients that stayed at the Alta Vista in the forties and early fifties were from all over Latin America — Venezuela, El Salvador and Cuba, and one four and a half year old boy from Colombia.
The [Saranac Lake Study and Craft] Guild News, April 25 or July 25, 1941
"Camillo [sic] Panerai is a professor of architecture at the University of Havana. His curing has been so successful that he will be able to return to his duties in the fall."
- "Camilo Panerai" (obituary) Adirondack Enterprise 22 February 1994.
- Camilo Panerai, TB Card.
- "Helen Panerai" (obituary) Adirondack Enterprise 20 July 1991.
- Latin American Patients