The month kicks off with a walking tour on May 1 as part of Saranac Lake’s “Daffest” Festival. A walking tour leaves Riverside Park at 10:30 AM. The group will stroll along the shores of Lake Flower, learning about some of the cure cottages that once catered to TB patients. The tour ends at the Bartok Cabin, where the great composer, Béla Bartók, spent the last summer of his life. The tour is $5 per person or free to Historic Saranac Lake members. A boxed lunch is available following the tour for $15.
On Tuesday, May 13, Historic Saranac Lake will host “Preservation Celebration,” a daylong forum on architectural preservation featuring workshops on wood window restoration and Main Street revitalization, as well as a hard hat tour of the Hotel Saranac restoration project. Admission to each workshop is $5. The window workshop is free to contractors. The hotel tour is free of charge but open only to attendees of one or both workshops. Space is limited and reservations must be made by calling HSL at 518-891-4606.
Historic Saranac Lake will host its annual “History Matters” Seminar Series for four Thursdays in May, a free speaker series at 7:00pm in the John Black Room. The first talk, on May 8, is “World War I: 100 Years Later.” Brian Mann of North Country Public Radio will lead a discussion of how World War I changed our society and continues to resonate today, a century later, in our culture and politics. The conversation will be based around three popular accounts of the war that attendees are invited to read or watch in advance: All Quiet On The Western Front (book and film); Gallipoli (book and film); and The Reluctant Tommy (book)/ Passchendaele (film).
The second talk of the History Matters series, on May 15, is titled “Images of America: Saranac Lake.” Neil Surprenant will conduct a book signing and new presentation of images from his book. The final two talks of the series are made possible through the support of the New York Council for the Humanities’ Speakers in the Humanities program.
On May 22, Dr. Tim Madigan, Associate Professor of Philosophy, St. John Fisher College presents “Frankenstein Lives! The Continuing Relevance of Mary Shelley’s Novel.” A lead-in to Historic Saranac Lake’s 2015 “Medical Marvels” exhibit, the talk explores our ongoing fascination with the mysteries of scientific invention.
On May 29, Dr. Bruce Austin, Chairman and Professor of Communication at Rochester Institute of Technology presents “The American Arts and Crafts Movement in New York State.” This talk is hosted in collaboration with the Lake Placid-North Elba Historical Society.
Two additional tours will be offered in May, which are $5 per person or free to children and members of Historic Saranac Lake. A Downtown Walking Tour is scheduled for Tuesday, May 13. Meet at 10:30 Riverside Park Bandshell for a walk through historic downtown. Finish with a tour of the historic Saranac Laboratory on Church Street. A tour of the grounds of the former Trudeau Sanatorium is scheduled for Tuesday, May 20. Meet at 10:30 inside the Park Avenue gates of the AMA, where street parking is available.
Founded in 1980, Historic Saranac Lake is a not-for-profit architectural preservation organization that captures and presents local history from their center at the Saranac Laboratory Museum.