Saranac Lake Time Line
1819 - Jacob Smith Moody settles in Saranac Lake.
1822 - Captain Pliny Miller and family arrive.
1832 - Black Hawk War erupts in American mid-west.
1835 - Second Seminol War begins, continues through 1842.
1836 - Battle of the Alamo
1837/38 - Patriot War in Lower and Upper Canada
1840 - The first hotel is built across the street from Pliny Miller's sawmill.
1841 - Town of Harrietstown formed, Pliny Miller elected supervisor.
1843 - The second school is built, in the center of town.
1845 - Florida is admitted to the Union
1848 - Captain Pliny Miller sells his mill and builds a small hotel.
- Edward Livingston Trudeau is born in New York City.
1849 - William F. Martin comes to Saranac Lake and leases Pliny Miller's hotel.
- Virgil C. Bartlett leases Captain Pliny Miller's hotel (through 1852).
1852 - Colonel Milote Baker buys a lot from Gerrit Smith on which he builds a small hotel.
- William F. Martin opens the Saranac Lake House ("Martin's").
1854 - First Post Office established, at Baker's store.
- The village school is moved to Lake Street, where it becomes known as the School on the Hill.
- A great forest fire in April completely destroys the little settlemesnt at the McLenathan Falls.
- Start of the Sioux Wars, which continue until 1890.
1856 - There are fifteen families living in the region, in settlements near the Moodys, the Bakers, and the Millers.
- Hillel Baker establishes an informal library in Colonel Milote Baker's store.
1859 - Paul Smith's Hotel is built, and Charles Dickens visits and camps.
1860 - South Carolina secedes from the Union.
1861 - U.S. Civil War begins.
- First use of "Saranac Lake" as the postmark for the village, having previously been just "Saranac."
1865 - U.S. Civil War ends.
- Milo Miller returns from the Civil War and builds a trading post.
- Dr. E.L. Trudeau nurses his elder brother through the latter's terminal case of tuberculosis.
1870 - Georgia becomes the 11th and last of the Confederate States to be readmitted to the Union.
1871 - E.L. Trudeau graduates from medical school and marries Charlotte Beare.
- Dr. Trudeau and his family stay at Paul Smith’s Hotel all winter as the only guests.
1876 - Battle of the Little Bighorn
- First Centennial of the United States of America
- Saranac Lake population reaches 700
- St. John's in the Wilderness, a small log chapel which seats 40, is consecrated.
1878 - Saranac Lake's first church is built, Church of St. Luke, the Beloved Physician.
1882 – Dr. Robert Koch, of Germany, publicizes his research findings that tuberculosis is caused by a bacterium.
- Dr. E.L. Trudeau reads Koch's report, and becomes first American to isolate the TB baccilus; he also reads reports on the Brehmer Sanitarium's fresh air cure.
1885 – The Adirondack Cottage Sanitarium opens, consisting of an administration building and three small cottages.
- Dr. Trudeau grows tubercle bacilli in his home laboratory; he is the first to do so in the United States.
1886 – Dr. Trudeau conducts the Rabbit Island Experiment showing that a healthful environment can improve the chances of surviving tuberculosis.
- First Harrietstown Town Hall built.
- First Presbyterian Church in Saranac Lake is organized.
1892 - Village incorporated; Dr. Trudeau elected first village president.
- John Booth of Ottawa introduces skis to Saranac Lake.
1893 - The Saranac Lake and Lake Placid Railroad brings the first rail service to Lake Placid.
- Trudeau's house and first laboratory burn to the ground.
- Saranac Lake Electric Company formed to generate electricity at the site of Miller's sawmill.
1895 - Newpaper Adirondack Enterprise established.
1896 - Architect William L. Coulter arrives in Saranac Lake.
- New Main Building at Adirondack Cottage Sanitarium is built.
- Pontiac Club established.
1897 - First Winter Carnival.
- Adirondack National Bank founded.
1898 - Spanish-American War
1900 - Galveston hurricane kills eight thousand.
- Founding of Knollwood Club.
1901 - President William McKinley assassinated; Theodore Roosevelt receives word while on Mount Marcy; becomes the 26th President of the United States.
- Reception Hospital is built.
- Mark Twain summers on Lower Saranac Lake. (see Mark Twain Camp)
1902 - First car arrives in Saranac Lake, driven by honeymooners Mr. and Mrs. Herbert J. Sackette.
- Work begins on the Panama Canal.
1906 - San Francisco earthquake; the city burns, three thousand die; among the worst natural disasters in the history of the United States.
1907 - Ampersand Hotel burns to the ground
- Saranac Lake Free Library Association founded.
- Sixteen year old Ed Lamy breaks the amateur speed skating record for the mile.
- A forest fire on Mount Baker threatens the village.
- Seneca Ray Stoddard's Adirondacks, Illustrated describes the village as "a hustling town of 4,500 inhabitants and thoroughly wide awake to its own prosperity. It has five churches, a graded school, water supply for street, dwellings and hotels, sewers, electric lights, a live weekly newspaper —The Adirondack Enterprise, general telegraphic and telephonic communication with the outer world, stores to meet all needs, and metropolitan in tendencies with a healthy flavoring of the wild west." The capacity of the Sanatorium is put as "over one hundred."
1910 - The old Mill Pond is cleared of stumps and renamed Lake Flower.
- Village Improvement Society is formed, with the goal of fully implementing the Olmstead Plan for the village's parks.
1912 - George A. Gray flies a biplane from Malone to Saranac Lake.
1914 - Panama Canal completed.
- World War I begins in Europe. America declares strict neutrality.
1915 - Dr. Edward Livingston Trudeau dies; the sanitarium is renamed "Trudeau Sanatorium" in his honor.
1918 - American troops enter World War I
- Global Spanish Flu Pandemic kills 21 million.
1919 - First float plane lands on Lake Flower.
1920 - Prohibition starts.
- Saranac Lake Ski Club established.
- The Conservation Commission builds open camps on Fish Creek Ponds, near Upper Saranac Lake.
1921 - Ski Club hosts Ski Jumping and Cross-country ski competition.
1922 - U.S. Eastern Amateur Ski Association formed in Saranac Lake.
- St. Bernard's School founded.
1923 - Maternity Wing added to Saranac Lake General Hospital
- Ed Lamy sets world barrel jump record at 27 feet, 8 inches on Lake Flower.
- The First United Methodist Church begins construction of its new stone church building.
- Berkeley House gutted by New Years Day fire.
- Alpine Hotel built, the tallest building between Albany and Montreal.
1927 - The first radio station, WNBZ 1240 Radio, begins broadcasting.
- Al Jolson performs a three-hour benefit in Saranac Lake
- The old high school is torn down and the Hotel Saranac is built on the site.
- Will Rogers Hospital is built, the last of the institutional sanatoria.
1928 - The new Harrietstown Town Hall is built.
- A 4.5 magnitude earthquake occurs at Saranac Lake, March 18.
1929 - Stock Market crashes; the Great Depression ensues, lasting twelve years.
1931 - Citizen's Unemployment and Relief Committee and the Lend-A-Hand Society are formed.
1932 - Saranac Lake Sewage Treatment Plant is built.
- Saranac Lake Village Board passes Daylight Savings Time by a single vote.
1933 - Prohibition ends.
- U.S. unemployment rate reaches 25%, wages and hours of work are reduced for another 25%.
- Civilian Conservation Corps begins work on the Saranac Lake Islands public campground.
1935 - A second floor is added to the John Baxter Black room, used for office space for the Trudeau School of Tuberculosis.
1938 - A new dam is completed on the Saranac River.
- Camp Eagle Island is donated to the Girl Scouts.
1939 - World War II begins with Nazi invasion of Poland.
1941 - Pearl Harbor attacked; U.S. enters World War II
- Saranac Laboratory hosts symposium on tuberculosis in industry.
1943 - Composer Béla Bartók summers in Saranac Lake.
- Streptomycin, the first antibiotic treatment for tuberculosis is first identified on October 19, 1943.
- A Saranac Laboratory study links asbestos and cancer; the study's sponsor suppresses the results.
1944 - Seligman family sells Fish Rock Camp
- Victory in Europe May 5, 1945, followed by Victory in Japan, August 16, 1945.
1946 - Paul Smith's College enrolls first class.
- Trudeau Sanatorium reaches fifteen thousandth patient.
1947 - New York Conservation Department acquires airplanes for spotting forest fires.
- The first randomized trial of streptomycin against pulmonary tuberculosis. But is is soon discovered that after three to four months of treatment, a patient's disease would became resistant to the drug.
- A new terminal building constructed at the Saranac Lake Airport.
1950 - Start of the Korean War
- A 10,000 square foot hangar is built at the Saranac Lake Airport.
1952 - First truly effective drug therapy for tuberculosis is developed, combining streptomycin, PAS and isoniazid, is developed.
- Seventh Saranac Laboratory Symposium links asbestos to lung cancer; proceedings are not published.
1953 - End of Korean War
1954 - Trudeau Sanatorium closes.
- Dr. Francis Berger Trudeau is succeeded as president of the Trudeau Foundation by his son, Dr. Francis B. Trudeau who resigns his practice to work on the disposition of the sanatorium property and the rededication of the sanatorium funds to the support of the Laboratory.
1956 - Dr. Francis Berger Trudeau, the founder's son, dies.
1958 - Saranac Laboratory drastically reduces staff and curtails most research activity.
- Radio personality Paul Harvey is named king of Winter Carnival.
1959 - Start of the Vietnam War
- New York State constitution is amended to allow the use of Forest Preserve land for construction of the Northway.
- Bombardier patents a small snowmobile.
1962 - Saranac Inn closes; property is auctioned off piecemeal.
- First Annual Willard Hanmer Guideboat Race.
1963 - Assassination of President John F. Kennedy
- St. Regis Hotel burns to the ground on January 14; it was called the worst fire in 40 years.
1965 - Last passenger train to Saranac Lake. Union Depot closed.
- New York State Hospital at Ray Brook announces a fifty percent size reduction.
- Sisters of Mercy move long-term geriatric care patients to the Uihlein Center in Lake Placid.
1969 - Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walk on the Moon.
1972 - New York Central freight service ended.
1974 - Paul Smiths College renovates the Saranac Laboratory building for classroom space and dormitory space, and renames it the Trudeau House.
1975 - End of the Vietnam War.
- Will Rogers Hospital closes.
1978 - Saranac Inn burns to the ground despite the combined efforts of four fire departments.
1980 - Pendragon Theatre founded.
- Historic Saranac Lake founded.
1981 - Berkeley Hotel destroyed by fire.
- Saranac Lake Airport is renamed Adirondack Regional Airport.
1990 - Persian Gulf War
1992 - Alpo drops funding for the International Sled Dog Races.
1995 - Dr. Francis B. Trudeau dies.
- Saranac Lake is designated an "All America City".
1999 - Adirondack Scenic Railroad inaugurates the Saranac Lake - Lake Placid tourist train.
- Saranac Village at Will Rogers, a senior living facility, opens at Will Rogers Memorial Hospital.
2001 - Al-Qaeda attacks the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
2002 - Historic Saranac Lake begins renovation of the Saranac Laboratory as a museum site and headquarters.
- The Bela Bartok Cabin, restored by Historic Saranac Lake, opens for tours by appointment.
2006 - Walmart plans 120,000 square foot store in Saranac Lake; controversy ensues.
- The National Trust for Historic Preservation names Saranac Lake a "Distinctive Destination".
- Wawbeek Lodge is sold to a couple from California.
2008 - Wawbeek is demolished to make way for a new great camp.
2009 - Camp Gabriels closes.
- Saranac Laboratory Museum opens.
2012 - Adirondack Carousel opens.
2013 - Hotel Saranac bought by Roedel Corporation - 2016 opening planned.
- Donaldson, Alfred L. A History of the Adirondacks, New York: The Century Co., 1921 (reprinted by Purple Mountain Press, Fleischmanns, NY, 1992)
- Chilson, Gary, Carl George, Richard Tucker, Thomas Wheeler, "An Adirondack Chronology", Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks
- Saranac Lake.com - Timeline
- Adirondack Daily Enterprise, June 23, 2001
1. Per Phillip L. Gallos. However, the Registration Form for the National Register of Historic Places gives the builder as Milo Miller and the year as 1876. Alfred L. Donaldson indicates that Miller held a mortgage on the property, and foreclosed on it the year after it was built, which may account for the error. Frederick Seaver gives Gray as the builder, but gives the date as 1977.