Between 1873 and 1945, Saranac Lake became a world renowned center for the treatment of tuberculosis, using a treatment that involved exposing patients to as much fresh air as possible under conditions of complete bed-rest. In the process, a specific building type, the Cure Cottage developed, built by local residents seeking to capitalize on the town's fame, by physicians, and often by the patients themselves. Many of these structures are still extant, and their historic value has been recognized by listing on National Register of Historic Places.1

Fifty-nine of these structures named below are listed on the National Register of Historic Places as individual cure cottages. Others can be found in National Register-listed Historic Districts. Many others exist in Saranac Lake and surroundings, but were not listed on the National Register.

Note: The name assigned to each of these cottages gives the impression that it was called by that name throughout its service as a cure facility. In fact, it was common for a house to be operated by several different people over time, and the name of the cottages changed accordingly. We have tried to assign the name each cottage was best known by, but some idea of the history of the property can be gained by looking at the "Other names" entries. See the discussion at Disinfection Records for more on the sources of this information.

See also Cure Cottage History

Cottage Pre-911 Address Current Address Notes
Dr. A. H. Allen Cottage 22 Catherine Street 11 Woodycrest Road A 1909 Scopes and Feustmann-designed cure cottage.
Ames Cottage 43 Church Street 19 Church Street

A Queen Anne style cure cottage built about 1906.

 

Baird Cottage 111 Glenwood Road 67 Glenwood Road A virtually intact cure cottage built in 1930, near the end of the cure cottage era.
Barngalow 108 1/2 Park Avenue 40 Cliff Road A two-story cure cottage that was originally a barn, converted to residential use in 1910.
Bogie Cottage 59 Franklin Street 25 Franklin Avenue A 1908, Craftsman-inspired cure cottage.
Camp Intermission Northwest Bay Road Camp Colby Road A Great Camp built for theatrical agent William Morris, designed by William G. Distin
Peyton Clark Cottage 9 Rockledge Road 36 Rockledge Lane

A  Tudor Revival-style,  cure cottage designed by William H. Scopes. The owner's wife had tuberculosis.

 

Colbath Cottage 30 River Street 63 River Street

A Queen Anne-style cure cottage built about 1896.

 

Coulter Cottage 34 Shepard Avenue 82 Shepard Avenue

A two and 1/2 story cure cottage designed by William L. Coulter and built between 1897 and 1899 as his residence.

 

Denny Cottage 76 Bloomingdale Avenue 141 Bloomingdale Avenue

A cure cottage built about 1910.

 

Distin Cottage 11 Kiwassa Road 186 Kiwassa Road A cure cottage designed by architect William G. Distin for his father, photographer William L. Distin.
Drury Cottage 29 Bloomingdale Avenue 52 Bloomingdale Avenue

A cure cottage built c. 1912.

 

Ellenberger Cottage 183 Broadway 212 Broadway

A Queen Anne style cure cottage built before 1917.

 

Fallon Cottage Annex 31 Franklin Street 83 Franklin Avenue

A 1901 cure cottage. 2

 

Feisthamel-Edelberg Cottage 11 Neil Street 203 Neil Street

An intact cure cottage built before 1915.

 

Feustmann Cottage 28 Catherine Street 83 Catherine Street A private cure cottage designed by architect Maurice Feustmann for use by his own family.
Freer Cottage 40 Kiwassa Street 267 Kiwassa Road A largely intact private cure cottage built before 1925
E. L. Gray House 15 Helen Street 27 Helen Street A cure cottage designed by Scopes and Feustmann, built between 1911 and 1913.
Hathaway Cottage 6 Charles Street 168 Charles Street

A largely intact, Queen Anne-style cure cottage built about 1900.

 

Hill Cottage 36 Franklin Avenue 76 Franklin Avenue

A 1913 Craftsman-style cure cottage.

 

Hillside Lodge Harrietstown Road 2030 State Route 86

An intact cure cottage built about 1920.

 

The Homestead 3 Maple Hill 17 Maple Hill Road

A boarding cure cottage built in 1890.

 

Hooey Cottage 24 Park Place 4 Prescott Pl

A 1916 cure cottage.

 

Hopkins Cottage 5 Birch Street 58 Birch Street

A cure cottage built in 1923.

 

Jennings Cottage 16 Marshall Street 23 Marshall Street An 1896 Bungalow-style cure cottage.
Johnson Cottage 6 1/2 St. Bernard Street 46 St. Bernard Street

A largely intact cure cottage built before 1896.

 

Kennedy Cottage 26 Shepard Street 98 Shepard Avenue

A 1897 cure cottage that was used by the National Vaudeville Artists  before the construction of the Will Rogers Hospital.

 

Lane Cottage 4 Rockledge Road 5 Rockledge Road

A 1923 cure cottage built by Edward Shaw for his wife, who had tuberculosis. The Shaws had two young children; fearing that they would contract TB from Mrs. Shaw, a separate house was built for them, nearby.

 

Larom Cottage 112 Park Avenue 247 Park Avenue A cure cottage built between 1905 and 1910.
Larom-Welles Cottage 110 Park Avenue 50 Cliff Road A 1905, cure cottage, built for the priest of St. Luke's Church, later the home of Dr. Edward Welles, a pioneer in thoracic surgery.
Dr. Henry Leetch House 3 Johnson Road 12 Labrador Lane A 1932 cure cottage designed by William G. Distin for Dr. Henry Leetch, who specialized in treating tuberculosis, and who had the disease himself.
Leis Block 3-5 Bloomingdale Avenue 12 Bloomingdale Avenue A 1902 commercial building with apartments built with "cure porches", it originally housed Henry P. Leis pianos and a pharmacy on its first floor.
Leis Cottage 26 Algonquin Avenue 401 State Route 3 A private, shingled cure cottage built about 1906.
Lent Cottage 18 Franklin Avenue 114 Franklin Avenue An apartment house, built about 1920 as a cure cottage
Little Red Algonquin Avenue 154 Algonquin Avenue The original cure cottage of the Adirondack Cottage Sanitarium founded by Dr. Edward Livingston Trudeau.
Magill Cottage 37 Riverside Dr. 74 Kiwassa Road A cure cottage built about 1911.
Marquay Cottage 6 Slater Street 67 Slater Avenue A 1914, Queen Anne-style cure cottage built of rusticated cast-concrete blocks, with an octagonal corner tower.
Marvin Cottage 15 Franklin Street 119 Franklin Avenue A cure cottage built about 1900.
McBean Cottage 89 Park Avenue 192 Park Avenue A Colonial Revival cure cottage with Craftsman-style touches, built between 1915 and 1925.
Morgan Cottage 100 Park Avenue 211 Park Avenue A 1915 bungalow designed by Scopes and Feustmann as a cure cottage.
Musselman Cottage 25 Riverside Dr. 60 Kiwassa Road A boardinghouse-style cure cottage built about 1907.
Noyes Cottage 16 Helen Street 35 Helen Street A cure cottage built in 1898.
Partridge Cottage 15 South Street 30 Clinton Avenue A 1925 Colonial Revival apartment house, with three apartments used as a cure cottages for three families.
Pittenger Cottage 14 Forest Hill Avenue 494 Forest Hill Avenue

A cure cottage with five cure porches, built about 1920.

 

Pomeroy Cottage 26 Baker Street 55 Baker Street A Craftman-style house built about 1910, it may have been designed as a private cure cottage by William G. Distin.
Radwell Cottage 2 Charles Street 178 Charles Street An intact 1896 cure cottage.
Ryan Cottage 62 Algonquin Avenue 29 Algonquin Avenue An 1893 Queen Anne-style cure cottage.
Sarbanes Cottage 72 Bloomingdale Avenue 129 Bloomingdale Avenue A cure cottage built about 1930.
Orin Savage Cottage 33 Olive Street 117 Olive Street A cure cottage built about 1910.
Schrader-Griswold Cottage 49 Riverside Dr. 116 Kiwassa Road A 1906 Queen Anne-style cure cottage.
Seeley Cottage 27 Olive Street 127 Olive Street An intact cure cottage built in 1890.
Sloan Cottage 21 View Street 31 View Street A Coulter and Westhoff-designed single-family cure cottage built in 1907.
Smith Cottage 12 Jenkins Street 25 Jenkins Street A cure cottage for a single patient built about 1903.
Stevenson Cottage Stevenson Ln. 44 Stevenson Lane A cure cottage used by Robert Louis Stevenson in 1887.
Stonaker Cottage Glenwood Road 92 Glenwood Dr A private home built in 1916 for the president of Northern New York Telephone who used it as a cure cottage.
Stuckman Cottage 6 Clinton Avenue 17 Fawn Street A cure cottage built between 1897 and 1900.
Walker Cottage 67 Park Avenue 134 Park Avenue A 1904 Colonial Revival-style house that evolved into a cure cottage. 3
Wilson Cottage 8 Williams Street 21 William Street An intact Queen Anne-style cure cottage.
Witherspoon Cottage 3 Kiwassa Road 164 Kiwassa Road A boardinghouse-style cure cottage built in 1910.

There were many more houses that were used as cure cottages in Saranac Lake. Many of them can be found on the pages of this site: see Streets.

For other properties on the National Register of Historic Places, see Other historic properties.


WATCH Curiously Adirondack: The Adirondack Mountain Village of Saranac Lake Remembers Its Curative Past produced by Josh Clement and Ed Kanze.

Most of us have heard William Faulkner's famous line about the past not being dead. His wisdom is nowhere more apparent than in the Adirondack Mountain village of Saranac Lake. Here, from the 1880s to the 1950s and a little bit beyond, tuberculosis patients arrived from near and far to rest on porches, breathe crisp pine-scented mountain air, and get well or die trying. Antibiotic therapy eventually put the village's sanitariums and cure cottages out of business. Still, in architecture, memory, story, and a heart-breaking poem penned by a brilliant young woman who didn't get well, the village's rich past remains vibrant and alive.

Comments


2013-08-29 18:29:29   I want to see the Williams Cottage —174.108.78.123

Footnotes

1. National Register of Historic Places Multiple Property Documentation: Cure Industry Resources in the Village of Saranac Lake, Essex and Franklin Co., NY, 291 KB, John A. Bonafide, Mary Hotaling, and Rachel D. Bliven
2. Gallos, Philip L., Cure Cottages of Saranac Lake, Historic Saranac Lake, 1985, ISBN 0-9615159-0-2.
3. Gallos, Philip L., Cure Cottages of Saranac Lake, Historic Saranac Lake, 1985, ISBN 0-9615159-0-2.