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The village lies within the boundaries of the Adirondack Park, 9 miles (14 km) west of Lake Placid.
The area was first settled in 1819 by the Jacob Smith Moody family from Keene, New Hampshire. The village of Saranac Lake, with Lake Flower below and Lake Colby above, from Scarface Mountain to the Southeast. In the 1930s the NVA no longer existed and was taken over by a group known as the Will Rogers Memorial Commission. Telephone service was introduced in 1884, and the Chateaugay Railroad reached Saranac Lake from Plattsburgh in 1887. In 1892, John Rudolphus Booth, the Canadian lumber king, rented a cottage at Saranac Lake, where his daughter would cure for several years. Starting in the 1890s and for the next 60 years, Saranac Lake was known as "the Western Hemisphere's foremost center for the treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis".[6] An effective antibiotic was first used on human TB patients in 1921, but only after World War II did it begin to be widely used in the US. But the village's preeminence in tuberculosis care had lasting consequences beyond the many large, handsome private cure cottages that were left vacant after the patients were gone.
Saranac Lake became an especially busy town in the 1920s, with the construction of the Hotel Saranac and several new, permanent buildings after multiple fires destroyed a large part of downtown. Beginning in 1936, Albert Einstein had a summer home in Saranac Lake, renting the cottage of local architect William L. In 1954, Saranac Lake hosted the world premiere of the Biblical epic film The Silver Chalice, Paul Newman's film debut. Many tourists come to the village, which is very picturesque owing to its setting and the preservation of unique older architecture. Summer visitors enjoy canoeing and other forms of boating, hiking in the forest, climbing in the nearby mountains, and visiting the local shops and restaurants. During winters, cross-country and downhill skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, snowmobiling are popular activities. A non-profit Village Improvement Society, dating from 1910, currently owns and maintains eight parks. The cartoonist Garry Trudeau, who draws the Doonesbury comic strip, was raised in Saranac Lake and has maintained his connections there.
After the local Ames Department Store closed due to bankruptcy and residents were forced to travel 50 miles to Plattsburgh for many consumer goods, the town was approached by Walmart, which offered to build a 250,000 square foot supercenter, but the community declined the offer, fearing that Walmart would negatively impact local business and increase traffic. The Adirondack Scenic Railroad (a seasonal tourist attraction) to Lake Placid originates from the village train depot.
The closest major metropolitan city is Montreal, Canada, 103 miles (166 km) to the north. As of the census[30] of 2000, there were 5,041 people, 2,369 households, and 1,182 families residing in the village.
The median income for a household in the village was $29,754, and the median income for a family was $42,153. Saranac Lake features a humid continental climate (Dfb) under the Koppen climate classification. The village of Saranac Lake, bottom, with Lower Saranac Lake, above, from Baker Mountain, to the East. As of the 2010 census, the population was 5,406.[1] The village is named after Upper, Middle and Lower Saranac lakes, which are nearby.

These two villages, along with nearby Tupper Lake, comprise what is known as the Tri-Lakes region.
In 1827, settlers Pliny Miller and Alric Bushnell established a logging facility with a dam and sawmill, forming the basis for the village. Edward Livingston Trudeau arrived to treat his own tuberculosis; in 1884, he founded his Adirondack Cottage Sanitarium, starting with a small cottage, called "Little Red", where two tubercular sisters from New York City became the first patients.
Fowler was a real estate speculator and developer who owned several properties around Saranac Lake. In 1936, one year after Will Rogers' death, the building was renamed the Will Rogers Memorial Hospital. Thereafter, sanatorium treatment began to lose its importance, being phased out completely by 1954, when the sanatorium's last patient, baseball player Larry Doyle, left. The effect of the hundreds of patients and doctors from all over the world who came to live in the village, many of them prominent in business, literature, science or other fields, many of whom stayed for years, cannot be overestimated. Several of the stars, including Virginia Mayo, visited the village and participated in the winter carnival parade. New York's governor, Andrew Cuomo, has visited there ever since he was a teenager and regularly vacations there with his family.[11] The Hotel Saranac is a memorable early 20th century Art Deco structure. Much of the village fronts on Lake Flower, which was created by a dam in the Saranac River and named after Governor Roswell P. In the summer, the Village of Saranac Lake offers free concerts in Riverside Park on Lake Flower and the Berkeley Green park.
There is also an annual 10-day winter carnival, an event that has brought people together in celebration of winter since 1897.[16] Each year the carnival is given a theme - 2011's theme was "Medieval Times". The extensive parkland along the lakefront, now owned by the village, is the result of the Society's earlier efforts.
As an alternative, a community-owned store was organized and shares were sold to community residents. Essex County Road 33 enters the village from the southeast, and Franklin County Road 47 joins NY-86 immediately north of the village. While the region's cool, clear air was part of what made Saranac Lake famous, it can be a challenge. Little Red, the first "cure cottage", was built on a small patch of land on the backside of Mount Pisgah, which was purchased for Trudeau by several of his hunting guides. The NVA (as it was known) held benefit programs in New York City so that one large building could be built.
A laboratory was built in later years and named the O'Donnell Memorial Laboratory in honor of R.J. Electricity was introduced on September 20, 1894, by installing water wheels on the former site of Pliny Miller's mill. Among the last of the prominent patients who sought treatment for tuberculosis was Manuel Luis Quezon y Molina, the first Filipino president of the Commonwealth of the Philippines, who died in Saranac Lake of the disease on August 1, 1944. Legs Diamond visited his brother Eddy, who had tuberculosis and attempted a cure at a local cottage sanatorium.[10] During the 1920s, entertainer Al Jolson and president Calvin Coolidge were semi-frequent visitors to the village — Jolson once performed a solo for three hours at the Pontiac Theater on Broadway. The former sanatorium is now the corporate call center for the American Management Association. Camping is also a popular pastime in the Saranac Lake region (List of area's state campgrounds).

The Winter Carnival parade reflects the theme, and Garry Trudeau, the creator of the comic strip Doonesbury who grew up in the town, creates artwork with characters from his comic strip doing things related to the theme for a button that can be purchased each winter.
Winters are quite cold and it is not uncommon for the village to be the coldest place in the continental United States.[31] Spring is late and cool, summer short with cool evenings, and fall is early and crisp. The village boundaries do not touch the shores of any of the three Saranac Lakes; Lower Saranac Lake, the nearest, is a half mile west of the village. Martin built one of the first hotels in the Adirondacks — the Saranac Lake House, known simply as "Martin's" — on the southeast shore of Lower Saranac Lake.
As more and more patients visited the region, including author Robert Louis Stevenson in 1887, Trudeau's fame grew.[4] Soon, the sanitarium had grown so that it was entitled to its own post office, which would sort and deliver mail to its many patients.
It was opened up as a night club, then as a timeshare, and finally apartments, at which time it was abandoned and fell into ruins.
Paul Smith, an important figure in the history of the village, purchased the Saranac Lake Electricity Co. Allen Cottage, Berkeley Square Historic District, Bogie Cottage, Peyton Clark Cottage, Coulter Cottage, Cure Cottage at 43 Forest Hill Avenue, Denny Cottage, Fallon Cottage Annex, Freer Cottage, Hathaway Cottage, Helen Hill Historic District, Highland Park Historic District, Hill Cottage, The Homestead, Kennedy Cottage, Lane Cottage, Larom Cottage, Dr. The carnival's main attraction is the ice palace, which is made with blocks of ice taken from Lake Flower and illuminated with colored lights, along with various winter activities and competitions.[17] These include a parade, which normally has several bagpipe and drum marching bands and the popular Lawn Chair Ladies, along with more usual floats and local school bands.
The weather is famously changeable, and even short-range weather forecasts are often proven wrong. The northern reaches of Lake Flower, which is a wide part of the Saranac River downstream from the three Saranac Lakes, lie within the village.
Martin's would soon become a favorite place for hunters, woodsmen, and socialites to meet and interact.
The Trudeau Institute, an independent medical research center, evolved from Trudeau's work for the sanitarium.
By the end of the 1920s the dream came true and the Tudor Building was built and still stands today. Each year a Winter Carnival King and Queen, who preside over carnival activities, are selected from village residents based upon their contribution to Saranac Lake, while the prince and princess are from the two local colleges, North Country Community College and Paul Smith's College. Lake-effect snow is common, and the town gets a substantial amount of it in the late fall and early winter. The town of Saranac is an entirely separate entity, 33 miles (53 km) down the Saranac River to the northeast. In 1964, the Trudeau Institute began researching the functions of the immune system and how it guards against many infectious diseases, including tuberculosis. In 1995, it was sold to the Kaplan Development Group so that it could be turned into a retirement home for senior residents. At the same time, the village began to stabilize, with public schools, fire and police departments, and other municipal facilities forming. However, the lake moderates temperatures enough to avoid the vicious cold of places like Old Forge, Crown Point, Philadelphia (New York), and Paul Smiths.

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