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Taking the Air: 1905

Taking the Air: 1905

Ray Brook, New York, circa 1905. "Saranac Lake, state tuberculosis sanatorium, Adirondack Mountains." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative. View full size.


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Family connection

OMG. My aunt was at this place in the late 1930's when she was a little girl. Whenever we were driving up to Lake Placid as a kid, we would pass this place. My mother would tell us the story about her sister be sent to the sanatorium as a child. We kids thought is was a sad story, and wondered what it was like for a child to be in a place like that.

I saw my aunt this spring, she is pushing 90.

Big Six

Christy Mathewson, Hall of Fame pitcher for the New York Giants, contracted tuberculosis as a result of being exposed to mustard gas during WWI. As a result, his baseball career was over, and he died in 1925 in Saranac Lake, where he'd gone to seek a cure, or at least treatment, for the disease.

The big house

The building has been used as the Adirondack Correctional Facility since 1971.

It's Hard to Believe

Such a hale and hearty looking group of young men could be so seriously ill! I do hope in that beautiful setting in that handsome institution they were able to regain their health, but not lose their lives in the Great War at the same time. My mother's two older brothers were about their age then and had TB later in life, the younger died at 40 in '37, the other at 68 in '59.

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