The Disinfection Records of the Board of Health

Disinfection Records of the Village Board of Health. Rooms were disinfected every time a patient left, and an entry was made in ledgers kept by the Board of Health recording the name of the patient and the Cottage. The Adirondack Research Room of the Saranac Lake Free Library has four of these ledgers 1 from which it has compiled two databases— one of cottages, and one of patient names.

We have recorded only the cottage name and year for each cottage operator in the cottage database. The ledgers have far more data, recording the name of the patient who occupied the room before it was disinfected, the date of the disinfection, and the cottage operator at the time.

It also should be noted that these are handwritten records, made over the years by many hands, and the database was compiled by a number of volunteers. Transcription errors are inevitable. See, for example, the Hill Cottage, where under "Other names" can be found Neil Cottage (1911), O'Neil Cottage (1912), Riley Cottage (1928), Reilly Cottage (1929), Straight Cottage (1929), Hill Cottage (1930), Schwerd Cottage (1932). The first two are almost certainly the same, as are the two variants of "Riley." Also, in the many instances in which the house was leased by the operator, there was some room for variation in whether it was the owner or the operator, or even the real estate agent who would be listed under Cottage Name. Nevertheless, this data provides insight into the substantial turnover in cottage operators over time.


1. The ledgers run from 1/3/1911 to 10/31/1913, 4/2/1928 to 6/26/1948, and 6/29/1948 to August, 1955. The ledger for 11/1/1913 to 4/1/1928 is missing.