Old Address: 94 Ampersand Avenue
Other names: Sister of Mercy Hospital, St. Mary's of the Lake, St. Mary's Sanatorium. Also, St. Margaret's Nursing Home (from Howard Riley's column in ADE 6/21/14).
Year built: before 1910
Sisters Hospital was built as a private residence, but sold before it was ever occupied to the Sisters of Mercy who had started Gabriels Sanatorium. It was intended for advanced cases of tuberculosis. Sr. Mary Catherine Lantry, who had worked as a nurse at Gabriels, was appointed Superior. A one thousand dollar gift from philanthropist Andrew Mellon helped start the institution. Other assistance came from the Knights of Columbus, the Elks Club, and especially William Morris. By 1916, there were thirty-one patients, and the building was enlarged by raising the roof and adding cure porches. It closed as a TB sanatorium in 1941 and subsequently used as a home for aged or chronically ill nuns. It closed in 1951.
The site can be identified by its stone wall on the south side of Ampersand Avenue. The old hospital is gone, and a new house, owned by the Hanning family, occupies the rear of the site, barely visible from the street.
In a series of talks he gave in the Saranac Lake schools years ago, the historian Maitland DeSormo told about his father, who was a patient at St. Mary's. They had come to visit him from Malone. While his mother stayed with his father at the hospital, Maitland walked down Ampersand Avenue to the shore of Lower Saranac Lake. He loved it and hoped to live there some day, which he eventually did — in the former Ampersand Golf House across Ampersand Bay.
Its entry in the 1911 TB Directory read
ST MARY'S OF THE LAKE (June 1910) For advanced cases only. Capacity:—16. Rates: From $5.00 to $25.00 per week; limited number of free patients. Supervisor: Sister Mary Catherine, 94 Ampersand Avenue, Saranac Lake. Application should be made to the Supervisor.
Malone Farmer, April 6, 1910
The new institution to be established by the Sisters of Sanatorium Gabriels at Saranac Lake promises to prove a most worthy charity. The house which they have secured is the Blauvelt cottage, which is one of the largest in the village, with a lot having a frontage of 300 feet on Ampersand Avenue. The cottage will be remodeled and an annex built, all to be ready for formal opening May 1st. The home will be devoted largely to the treatment of penniless tuberculosis patients in an advanced stage and will be in charge of experienced nurses. Medical attendance is to be given gratis by the physicians of Saranac Lake. This will make the seventh institution for the treatment of tuberculosis located in this northern portion .of the Adirondacks.
Lake Placid News, August 14, 1914
The card party for the benefit of the Sisters' Hospital will take place at the Boys' Club on Thursday evening, August 20. The following are the patronesses: The Mesdames E. R. Baldwin, R. M. Brown, E. H. Kennedy, Wm. Mulflur, A. K. Botsford, J. C. Russell, J. E. Howell, Chas. Trembley, J. L. Nichols, Wm. B. Trowbridge, C. F. Wicker, F. H. McKee, Mary Ledger, K. W. Goldthwaite, J. C. Morgan, Wm. Willson, W. C. Leonard, C. L. Sherrill, Fred Tremble, F. E. Hull, George L. Starks, J. H. Hallock, W.F. Roberts, D. H. Riddle, Eugene DeLaMater, and William J. Callanan, and the Misses Werle, Mulcahy, Schneidawind and Hazenfust.
2010-05-16 22:22:42 alot of it still exists under ground. our family owns the land now, and we marked off foundations, as well as boilers etc...... —126.96.36.199
2010-05-17 07:27:59 I don't suppose any of it would make a decent photograph, would it? —Mwanner