Hall Cottage Hall Cottage Address: 51 Margaret Street

Old Address: 67 Margaret

Other names: Brown-Potter Cottage (1911), Mone Cottage (1912), Potter Cottage, Mrs. H. Brown (1912), Hathaway Cottage (1928), Bishop Cottage (1936), W.O.F. Hall Cottage - Black Cure Cottage; Robert Van Nortwick Home; DIS

Year built: 1920. But a house existed on this site in 1916, and possibly earlier.

From the Adirondack Enterprise, November 18, 1982

At 67 Margaret Street there stands a house that once belonged to African-Americans Bill and Sadie Hall. The house is a large one with a corner turret and a rather prominent, second-floor cure porch.

While it is not clear today whether the Halls actually took in cure patients they are remembered as a vital part of this community.

By profession, Bill Hall was a caterer and Sadie a maid. Bill had been the personal cook for Cardinal Gibbons of Baltimore. At that time, wherever the Cardinal traveled, Bill Hall went with him to prepare the meals — whether they be in lodgings or on a train. After Bill arrived in Saranac Lake, he built a solid reputation catering to many upper Park Avenue families.

One of those families was that of C.M. Palmer, a newspaper broker from St. Louis. Sadie Hall was Mrs. Palmer's companion and lady's maid.

The Palmers were very rich and not a little eccentric. Also, one of their two sons, Carl, was very ill with tuberculosis. They bought one of the mansions on the section of Park Avenue above Catherine Street so that they could all live in Saranac Lake while Carl took the cure.

The Palmers had cats. The cats slept in bunk-beds in a room with mouse-patterned wallpaper. They slept on pure silk sheets. During their mealtime, the cats would sit on high chairs. Linen napkins were held neatly in napkin rings.

The Palmers were extravagant with their pets. The Halls were extravagant with their friends. Their house was a haven for all the Black people of the village. It has been said that they lived the kind of life in which their hearts and home were open to everyone, and as their guest one was royally treated.

And, at year's end, Bill and Sadie would combine culinary forces and give a New Year's feast of ham, turkey, venison, roast beef, and all the trimmings. The whole neighborhood was welcome to the feast.

Sadie Hall was five feet three inches tall. Bill Hall was a few inches shorter. But while they were short on the outside, they are remembered as tall on the inside.

Sadie was at least a score of years younger than her husband. He was in his 90's when he died. Sadie joined him less than a year later.

Original text by Philip L. Gallos