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Sticklers book cover

Stories were being passed around about “cures” for consumption and other lung diseases.

Doctor Koch, I think he was from Austria or Germany, found that people who lived in the Alps hardly ever had a lung disease. He found that if lung sufferers travelled to and stayed in the Alps they would get relief. The longer the stay the better the results.

A doctor by the name of Trudeau and another by the name of Stickler studied Koch’s reports and methods. They then put them into practice and agreed with Koch’s conclusions.

This not only applied to lung diseases but also to other ailments; physical as well as mental fatigue. There was no proof or reason other than the clean air and quiet atmosphere of the deep woods must somehow help.

I and my parents knew that; but we were not doctors. In fact we did not think of it as a “cure.” We simply thought that it was the way the world was supposed to be. We had not spent much time in a large city.

I was hired by several doctors to build tiny cabins for patients suffering from consumption. Doctor Trudeau was the first one. He had found relief from his own consumption while he was in the Adirondacks. He believed so strongly in the health-building atmosphere of these North Woods that he moved here.

Doctor Trudeau saw what was happening to patients with lung diseases. They would come, they would get relief and then their money was gone. So their future was to go back home to the city – – – and more misery.

Doctor Trudeau knew that the working people could never afford a long enough stay in the Adirondacks to get relief. And complete cure was out of the question.

So at the request of the good doctor I built a tiny cabin for his first patients. It was immediately filled by two factory girls from New York City. I was told that they worked in some type of dusty fabric mill.

As I said, other doctors asked if I could build small cottages for them also. I did and they soon became filled. I had enough work in the late 1880’s to keep me busy.

In July of 1890 the New York Times presented an article that seemed to back up the opinions and findings of the doctors Koch, Stickler and Trudeau.

There was no proof but rather a logic based on actual results.

Much credit was given to the general atmosphere of the Adirondacks. It had clean air that was replenished by the trees surrounding the rest homes and cabins. The trees gave up an aroma of Balsam that seemed to satisfy the lungs. There was a surprising lack of dampness due to the absorbing nature of the sandy soil. The reasons went on and on but the only proof was in the results.

Many people seemed to be cured. If not completely cured then their symptoms were greatly relieved. If neither cure nor relief was found then there, at the very least, were a few months of rest and relaxation to be thankful for.

Thanks to Doctor Trudeau’s empathy for the working people there was a means for them to enjoy what only the rich could normally afford.

Tahawas and Tomosky c