The Historic Cure Cottages of Saranac Lake

Between 1873 and 1945, Saranac Lake, New York became a world renowned center for the treatment of tuberculosis, using a treatment that involved exposing patients to as much fresh air as possible under conditions of complete bed-rest. In the process, a specific building type, the “Cure Cottage” developed, built by local residents seeking to capitalize on the town’s fame, by physicians, and often by the patients themselves.

Many of these structures are still extant, and their historic value has been recognized

by listing on National Register of Historic Places.[2]

“Patients that improved enough boarded in local homes called

‘Cure Cottages’

from fresh, local produce that was naturally nutrient-dense.”

The trend these days is to bring back the natural goodness of local foods -

but  “health and healing go BEYOND just local.

 “We need to re-learn the preparations  that accompany good foods

for health and healing of a modern world”

It is 1886 and Mrs. S.T. Rorer, Principal of the Philadelphia Cooking School has just copyrighted The Philadelphia Cookbook – A Manual for Home Economies.

It follows her first book, Diet for the Sick – a treasure trove of advice and recipes for convalescence and nurture of patients with communicable diseases in the age before modern drugs.
Then, the only hospital for such diseases, was a Sanitorium located in mountainous Northern Europe and in the old-growth forests of America – namely Saranac Lake, NY.

Nearly all taking ‘the fresh-air cure’ suffered from mild to acute cases of tuberculosis, and were between 18 and 35 years of age – consumption was a disease of the young, and it was devastatingly fatal much of the time.


Patients that improved enough boarded in local homes called ‘cure cottages’ where their meals were physician-directed and made, as those in the sanitoria, from fresh, local produce that was naturally nutrient-dense.
I am pleased for this opportunity to share back through time the recipes and time-honored methods of food sourcing and preparation that made up fully one-third of all disease treatment in the age before researchers discovered causes and treatments of disease through microscopic investigation.

Equal parts of good fofods plus rest and mild exercise in fresh mountain air made up the balance of the only healing modality available at the time.

A healing modality good for all of us – regardless of  our current state of health.

Join us in the Adirondack Mountains!

Lynn Cameron, Advocate of Health through Good Foods, Essential Oils and BEMER Magnetics

Cathy Hohmeyer, “Old World” Chef and co-owner of a “Healing Woods Retreat”

 History of Saranac Lake and the famous Cure Cottages

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