Born: 1892

Died: December 21, 1979

Married: Frank Birk

Children: Robert, Harold

Louise Sovan Birk came to Saranac Lake from New York City in 1918 when she was diagnosed with tuberculosis, having been given a most doubtful prognosis. She was treated by Dr. Charles F. Wicker, who gave her encouragement, along with the ususal advice about nutrition, exercise, and sleeping in the cold air of an enclosed porch.

She cured in a small cure cottage on Elm Street owned and operated by Mrs. Nokes. She survived, and Frank Birk joined his wife in Saranac Lake in 1920 together with their young son, Harold F. Birk. A second son, Robert, was born in 1921. Grateful for her health, and enjoying the climate and the mountain views, they settled in the area, buying property in Saranac Lake on Bloomingdale Road. It had been a farm, and he converted the original farmhouse into a restaurant called the River Mount Inn. The couple also operated the adjacent Birk's Swiss Chalet.

Adirondack Daily Enterprise, December 24, 1979

Louise Birk

SARANAC LAKE - Louise Birk, 85, a former resident of Bloomingdale, died Friday at St. Patrick's Manor in Framingham, Mass.

She lived in Bloomingdale from 1927 to 1973 when she moved to Massachusetts to make her home with her son, Harold.

Mrs. Birk was born in Austria, a daughter of Aloysius and Frances Penca Sovan. Her husband, Frank Birk, died in 1952.

In addition to her son, Harold, who lives in Wellesley, Mass., survivors are another son, Robert of California; a sister, Mary Bresar of Lemont, Ill.; eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at St. Paul's Church in Bloomingdale this morning at 10 o'clock by the pastor, the Rev. Peter Ward. Interment will be in St. Paul's Cemetery in May.

Her family requests that those wishing to remember her make donations to St. Paul's Church.

The Keough and Son Memorial Chapels had charge of local funeral arrangements.