Maud E. Alton was a nurse whose husband was had tuberculosis. She ran a successful cure cottage on Park Avenue for a time but ran into financial difficulty when she tried to expand her operations too rapidly.
Malone Farmer, January 30, 1918
A boarding house venture, launched with an optimism that the succeeding months proved utterly without foundation, has resulted in an extreme case of bankruptcy in Saranac Lake. Mrs. Maud E. Alton, a trained nurse, who, with her husband, undertook to carry out the elaborate plan, will file a petition in bankruptcy within a day or two, through her attorney C. S. Thurston. Her total indebtedness will be set forth as $9,000. Of this amount from $2,000 to $2,500 is secured. The creditors are practically all residents of Saranac Lake. Mrs. Alton, who is a trained nurse, and her husband, who is incapacitated by ill health, last spring opened a boarding house on Park avenue. Conducting the place on a small scale they were successful. They then planned to conduct five expensive cottages, grouped between Nos. 2 and 28 Park avenue, much after the manner of a sanitarium. They installed a modern electric laundry equipment and an electric cooking outfit. They secured 35 patients, who were charged $16 a week, which included nursing. Expensive furnishings, obtained on a mortgage basis, were installed and the most modern facilities arranged. It was a venture of vast proportions in which the optimism of Mr. and Mrs. Alton carried them away and also led many creditors astray. The expense got beyond the means of Mrs. Alton but the boarding houses were continued in the hope that the [?] would cut down the overhead expenses. But conditions became worse until it was finally necessary to [the remainder of the article is illegible]