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Good Coal and Wood: 1909

Good Coal and Wood: 1909

New York circa 1909. "Broadway -- Saranac Lake, Adirondack Mountains." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.



The structure is a truss. A truss can carry a load on its top or bottom. In this case the bridge is attached to the bottom of the trusses. Must be a pretty shallow distance to the water.

Saranac Lake today

I lived and worked in Saranac Lake for a number of years earlier in this decade and was last there in October.

I love this picture. Most of these buildings, including the one in the distance, are still extant. Whiteface Lodge and its turret were removed in the 1930s or later.

The Saranac River bridge was replaced in the late 1920s or early 1930s. The new and present bridge definitely has plaques honoring the Harrietstown supervisor and councilmen.

Great photo

I love these very old LARGE photos because it allows the viewer to immerse themselves in that time period, even if only for a moment. I love putting myself into the photo. How I wish there was actually a time machine. I'd be the first one in it.

New Bridge

Wonder when the bridge got replaced.

I just realized

that it's a bridge.


Does anyone know what is the purpose of the construct next to the horse and buggy on left side of the street?

[It looks just like the thing on the other side of the street! It's the bracing for a small truss bridge. - Dave]

As opposed to that bad coal

Imagine a time when we didn't know there was any downside to coal! (Wait, some people still don't, apparently!)

I would appreciate a high-res scan of that utility pole with the comically tiny transformers. (Apparently this utility was one to split hairs when it came to phase balancing.)

Thanks Dave!

The way the secondaries are connected makes me think these are standard (for the era) 2200 volt transformers wired to an 1100 volt circuit (obsolete even back then). That explains three tiny transformers for separate two-wire services.

Vital Services

Note the taxidermist -- very important in this vacation area frequented by wealthy sportsmen who wanted proof that they got their bear, elk, or other quarry.

One of those sportsmen was Theodore Roosevelt, then Vice President. A park ranger was sent out to tell him that President McKinley, who had been shot earlier by an anarchist, was dying and he had should return to civilization. This was on Sept. 13, 1901.

Sans Whimsy

That building in the distance, with the corner tower, is gone. The tower doesn't appear to be usable, but just adds a nice, charming touch. Whimsy is good.

Ice Cream

I concur with the sign. Ice Cream can cure what ails you.

Is that you, Ernest?

Ernest Crice, the hustling newsboy. Oh to step back into this era for just a few hours! Stop at Ernest's to get the paper, then go to the Ice Cream Parlor for a sundae before picking up your things from A. Fortune's Public Market, putting them in your horse-drawn carriage and heading home once again.

You would have to be careful crossing the street though. The mix of mud and manure could be noisome on a hot summer day, I am sure.

Standard Time

If I'm reading it right, the watch hanging from the hardware store is six hours and thirteen minutes fast.


That spot today (right around 20 Broadway); many of the same buildings are still there. Street is certainly in better shape!

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Good coal

Sometimes you have to shop around.

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