Married: William H. Haase

Children: Peter

Marie Saussenthaler was the talented daughter of a St. Louis family whose means were derived from the brewing of beer. She had graduated from the Beethoven School in her home city and had gone to study in Paris and Vienna on her way to becoming a concert violinist. In Europe, she met Alfred Donaldson, a fellow violin student, with whom she had much in common and with whom she became friends. Donaldson returned to New York, and Marie went back to St. Louis, to the boy next door who had followed her to the Continent to become her husband. Their paths, though, would join again when her husband, William Haase, became ill with tuberculosis and came to Saranac Lake with his wife for the cure.

In May of 1907 William Haase purchased the Ehrich camp, where Robert Louis Stevenson had visited his friends the Ehrichs, on Lower Saranac Lake. Upon taking possession, the Haases began a rebuilding project which eventually transformed the property into the beautiful buildings and lovely grounds that became Pinehurst. As he was feeling stronger Haase began to take an active interest in local business opportunities, supported many betterment programs in his adopted village, and made numerous friends among local residents.

In November of 1908 a son was born to the couple at Pinehurst. Peter, their only child, later became well-known in the area as an ardent sportsman sharing his hunting and fishing trips to his Canadian camp with many local friends. He also maintained a separate camp, Birch Knoll, on the opposite shore of Lower Saranac Lake; it is now owned by Trudeau Institute.

As a wealthy and prominent matron in the village, Marie Saussenthaler Haase was a founding member of the Village Improvement Society. In the first decade of this century, the firm of Frederick Law Olmsted studied the village and drew up the first of Saranac Lake's "master plans". Emphasis was given to parks, naturally — especially the development of parks along the river corridor. In 1907, a group of prominent village women formed the V.I.S. to promote and initiate the park aspect of the "Olmsted Plan", as it came to be called. As part of her own personal work to improve the village, Marie Haase landscaped the vacant space behind the Haase Block (now a parking lot, except for the River Walk, a park strip along the river).

Upon her death it was learned that Marie Haase had willed $25,000 to the General Hospital of Saranac Lake, $10,000 to the Saranac Lake Society for the Control of Tuberculosis, $10,000 to the Saranac Lake Free Library, $15,000 to Dr. Charles C. Trembley, as well as many thousands more dollars to a long list of people who had helped or befriended or worked for the Haase family through the years.

From papers by Philip L. Gallos for Historic Saranac Lake on the Haase Block and the Donaldson Block.

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