Martin's Hotel

Saranac Lake Time Line

1819 - Jacob Smith Moody settles in Saranac Lake.

1822 - Captain Pliny Miller and family arrive.

1827 - Captain Pliny Miller has built a dam for water power and a sawmill on the Saranac River, creating the Mill Pond (later called Lake Flower).

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

1838 - The first school in the village, the School in the Pines, is established; Mary A. Miller is the first teacher.

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.

Paul Smith's Hotel, circa 1892

1849 - William F. Martin comes to Saranac Lake and leases Pliny Miller's hotel.

1850 - William F. Martin starts construction of the Saranac Lake House, known as Martin's, on the shore of Lower Saranac Lake.

- 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.

- Ensine Miller builds a house on Bloomingdale Avenue opposite the Baker Bridge.

- Paul Smith builds his first hotel, "Hunter's Home", on 200 acres near Loon Lake on the North Branch of the Saranac River.

- 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.

- Virgil Bartlett builds Bartlett's on the Saranac River between Upper Saranac Lake and Middle Saranac Lake.

- A great forest fire in April completely destroys the little settlemesnt at the McLenathan Falls.

- Start of the Sioux Wars, which continue until 1890.

Wagon with four Guideboats at Bartlett's Carry. Adirondack Daily Enterprise

1855 - James Wardner settles in Rainbow Lake to cure consumption and to hunt, trap, fish and farm.

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.

1858 - William James Stillman, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Louis Aggasiz and others camp at Follensby Pond with several guides; this was known as the Philosophers' Camp.

1859 - Paul Smith's Hotel is built

1860 - South Carolina secedes from the Union.  An account of a trip from the Paul Smith's Hotel to Tupper Lake appears in Charles Dickens All the Year Round.

1861 - U.S. Civil War begins.

- First use of "Saranac Lake" as the postmark for the village, having previously been just "Saranac."

1862 - Wardner’s Rainbow Inn built, later the site of the Independent Order of Foresters' Rainbow Sanatorium.

1864 - Prospect House, precursor to the Saranac Inn, commonly known as Hough’s, opens on Upper Saranac Lake

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.

1867 - Milo Miller's trading post burns down; he builds another at 44 Main Street.

Dr. Edward Trudeau

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.

1873 - Dr. Edward Livingston Trudeau comes to Paul Smith's Hotel as an invalid, having been diagnosed with tuberculosis the previous year.

1874 - Edward Edgar spends the winter at Mrs. Lucius Evans Cottage, becoming the first TB patient known to spend the winter in Saranac Lake.

1875 - Charles F. Gray builds the Berkeley House. 1

- 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

- Milo Miller builds the structure that is used as the library in 1881; later it becomes the Post Office Pharmacy.

1877 - William F. Martin launches the first steam powered boat, the "Water Lily", on Lower Saranac Lake

- 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.

1879 - With Paul Smith’s help, Marc Cook goes into “Camp Lou” on Osgood Pond to cure TB.

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.

Ski Jumping from Maple Hill, 1899

1883 - Dr. Edward Livingston Trudeau's home and office is built at 105 Main Street.

1884 - The Adirondack Cottage Sanitarium is founded; the first cure cottage, Little Red, is built.

Hotel Algonquin, 1904. - Alexander's, later renamed the Hotel Algonquin is built on Lower Saranac Lake.

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.

- Rail service comes to Loon Lake from Plattsburgh, via the Chateaugay Railroad.

- Regular telephone service established; a small exchange started some years earlier by F.M. Bull was taken over by the Franklin Telephone and Telegraph Company.

- Prospect House on Upper Saranac Lake is sold to Dr. Samuel B. Ward and the Upper Saranac Lake Association; the name is changed to Saranac Inn.

1887 - The Chateaugay Railroad reaches Saranac Lake; Francis Berger Trudeau arrives on the first train as an infant.

- First Harrietstown Town Hall built.

- Ampersand Hotel opens at the north end of Lower Saranac Lake.

1887-1888 - Robert Louis Stevenson winters at the Baker Cottage where he writes "The Master of Ballantrae," for Scribner Magazine.

1889 - Wawbeek Hotel built on Upper Saranac Lake.

1890 - First Saranac Lake High School, on Main Street,  dedicated by U.S. President Benjamin Harrison.

- First Presbyterian Church in Saranac Lake is organized.

The Saranac Laboratory, 1907

1892 - Village incorporated; Dr. Trudeau elected first village president.

- Newspaper Adirondack Pioneer established by William Francis Mannix.

- John Booth of Ottawa introduces skis to Saranac Lake.

- The Mohawk & Malone Railway consolidates all the small railroads from Herkimer north and met the Adirondack & St. Lawrence Railway, and a Lake Clear to Saranac Lake branch is added.

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.

- Isaac Seligman builds Fish Rock Camp on Upper Saranac Lake.

1894 - Saranac Laboratory completed at 7 Church Street; it is the first laboratory in the United Stated for the study of tuberculosis. Edward R. Baldwin is named president.

- Saranac Lake Electric Company formed to generate electricity at the site of Miller's sawmill.

1895 - Newpaper Adirondack Enterprise established.

Administration Building, Adirondack Cottage Sanitarium

1896 - Architect William L. Coulter arrives in Saranac Lake.

- New Main Building at Adirondack Cottage Sanitarium is built.

- Pontiac Club established.

- Baker Chapel at Adirondack Cottage Sanitarium opens at Christmas.

1897 - First Winter Carnival.

- Adirondack National Bank founded.

1898 - Spanish-American War

- First Ice Palace, designed by William L. Coulter.

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)

Union Depot Postcard, 1913

1902 - First car arrives in Saranac Lake, driven by honeymooners Mr. and Mrs. Herbert I. Sackett.

1903 - William L. Coulter designs Camp Eagle Island for New York governor Levi Morton.

1904 - Union Depot built, serving the New York Central and the Delaware and Hudson

- Isaac N. Seligman's Fish Rock Camp on Upper Saranac Lake burns; it is rebuilt the following year.

- 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.

- Saranac Lake Electric Company is sold to Paul Smith.

- Sixteen year old Ed Lamy breaks the amateur speed skating record for the mile.

1908 - D. Lorne McGibbon, curing in Saranac Lake, conceives of a sanitarium in Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, Quebec.

- 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."

A. Douglas Bombard, 1909 (age 5). The car was his father's, reputed to be the first car garaged in Saranac Lake

1910 - The old Mill Pond is cleared of stumps and renamed Lake Flower.

- William F. Cooper, better known as Caribou Bill, establishes a silent movie set on Edgewood Road where more than a dozen movies will be made.

- Village Improvement Society is formed, with the goal of fully implementing the Olmstead Plan for the village's parks.

1911 - The Saranac Lake General Hospital opens on Winona Avenue; it has twelve beds and charges $10 per week.

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.

Edward R. Baldwin

1916 - Edward R. Baldwin founds the Trudeau School of Tuberculosis and the Trudeau Foundation.

1917 - Adirondack Cottage Sanitarium is renamed Trudeau Sanatorium.

1918 - American troops enter World War I

- Global Spanish Flu Pandemic kills 21 million.

- Edward R. Baldwin and Leroy Upson Gardner begin studying Vermont stone-cutters deaths, broadening the focus of the Saranac Laboratory.

1919 - First float plane lands on Lake Flower.

Fish Creek Pond Campground, circa 1930. Adirondack Daily Enterprise, July 29, 2005

1920 - Prohibition starts.

- Saranac Lake Ski Club established.

- Alfred L. Donaldson sketches Saranac Lake of 1920 in his History of the Adirondacks.

- 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

1925 - New Saranac Lake High School built on Petrova Avenue

- 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.

1926 - Harrietstown Town Hall burns down, destroying the offices and archives of the Adirondack Daily Enterprise.

Alpine Hotel, 1930s

- 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.

- The John Black room is built at the Saranac Laboratory in honor of former Trudeau Sanatorium patient John Baxter Black.

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.

- Twenty year old Martha Reben answers Fred Rice's ad seeking an invalid who wants to try "curing" in the woods, leading, 21 years later, to the publication of The Healing Woods.

1932 - Saranac Lake Sewage Treatment Plant is built.

- Saranac Lake Village Board passes Daylight Savings Time by a single vote.

1933 - Prohibition ends.

- William A. Rockefeller's Camp Wonundra built on Upper Saranac Lake.

- U.S. unemployment rate reaches 25%, wages and hours of work are reduced for another 25%.

1934 - Leroy Upson Gardner hosts the first Saranac Laboratory symposium on silicosis.

- 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.

1936 - Albert Einstein summers on Lower Saranac Lake.

Trudeau Sanatorium, 1902

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.

1942 - Saranac Lake Airport built near Lake Clear.

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.

Béla Bartók, 1927, photographer unknown (Wikipedia)

1944 - Seligman family sells Fish Rock Camp

1945 - Atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki; Albert Einstein receives the news at Knollwood.

- 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.

1948 - U.S. four-man bobsled team including Saranac Lake natives Jim Bickford, Billy, Donald V. Dupree takes a bronze medal at the Winter Olympics.

- 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.

- Hermit Noah John Rondeau moves away from his tiny shelter on the Cold River.

1951 - Rollins Pond public campground is established to handle the overflow at Fish Creek campground.

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.

- New York State Fish hatchery opens on Little Clear Pond near Saranac Inn.

1953 - End of Korean War

- Adirondack Daily Enterprise purchased by Roger Tubby and Jim Loeb.

Leroy Upson Gardner working in the Saranac Laboratory

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.

1957 - The American Management Association purchases the Trudeau Sanatorium property.

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.

1961 - Hotel Saranac is acquired by Paul Smiths College

1962 - Saranac Inn closes; property is auctioned off piecemeal.

- First Annual Willard Hanmer Guideboat Race.

1963 - Assassination of President John F. Kennedy

- Lake Colby State Environmental Education Center opens at the former Camp Intermission property.

- Sisters of Mercy sell Gabriels Sanatorium to Paul Smiths College

- St. Regis Hotel burns to the ground on January 14; it was called the worst fire in 40 years.

1964 - Trudeau Institute opens on the site of the old Hotel Algonquin. Experiments underway at the Saranac Laboratory are moved to the new Trudeau Institute.

Trudeau Institute's 25 acre campus on Lower Saranac Lake

- Sisters of Mercy change focus of Gabriels Sanatorium from tuberculosis to geriatric care.

1965 - Last passenger train to Saranac Lake. Union Depot closed.

- New York State Hospital at Ray Brook announces a fifty percent size reduction.

1966 - Trudeau Institute donates the Saranac Laboratory to Paul Smith's College.

1967 - The Saranac Lake General Hospital moves to its new location between Upper Broadway and Old Lake Colby Road.

Hodson Hall, North Country Community College, (formerly the General Hospital of Saranac Lake)

1968 - North Country Community College opens in the former Saranac Lake General Hospital building.

- 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.

- William Chapman White Memorial Adirondack Room, or Adirondack Research Room of the Saranac Lake Free Library is dedicated.

1971 - St. Joseph's Rehabilitation Center opens in the former Rumsey Cottage on Glenwood Drive

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.

- Saranac Lake Rugby Club hosts first Canadian-American Rugby Tournament.

1975 - End of the Vietnam War.

- Will Rogers Hospital closes.

1977 - First annual Alpo International Dog Sled Races held on Lower Saranac Lake

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.

1982 - Camp Gabriels opens on the site of the former Gabriels Sanatorium

Adirondack Canoe Classic, the home stretch, day three

1983 - First Adirondack Canoe Classic (90-miler) canoe race from Old Forge to Lake Flower.

Northwoods Sanatorium

1987 - Paul Smiths College builds dormitory on the site of the Northwoods Sanatorium and closes the former Saranac Laboratory building.

1989 - Trudeau Institute donates the Trudeau Sanatorium archives to the Saranac Lake Free Library.

- 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.

1998 - Historic Saranac Lake acquires the Saranac Laboratory.

- 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".

2007 - Paul Smiths College sells the Hotel Saranac to Sewa Arora.

- 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.

See also:




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.