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Local woman's calendars look at Saranac's history

SARANAC - Sylvia Newman loves the town of Saranac. So much, in fact, she enjoys sharing its beauty with others.

Since 2005, Newman has compiled images from days long gone by and even present day to create an annual calendar. The project started as a way to raise $25,000 to restore a local Civil War monument, with the 2006 calendar highlighting images of the statue and receiving an overwhelming response, said Newman.

"We raised the money in a year between the calendars, fundraisers and people giving donations," she said.

Newman decided to continue her endeavor the following year, with the 2007 calendar featuring images of some of Saranac's historic houses. It continued with a 2008 calendar featuring local watering holes along what was known as "the River Run."

"The River Run consisted of bars between Cadyville and Loon Lake," explained Newman, "and, on the River Run, people would stop and have a drink at every bar along the way and back."

"Of course, that was back in the '50s when you could do that," she said.

The 2009 calendar featured images of the infamous flood that devastated the town on July 12, 1947, and, this year, one-room schoolhouses were highlighted in a calendar titled "Early Schools of the Saranac Valley."

"I think there was 17 or 18 at one time," said Newman. "Finding photos for that one was the hard part. A lot of people didn't have cameras back then."

The 2011 calendar, which recently was completed and made available, bears the theme "Have You Ever Wondered?" The calendar features photos taken by former Press-Republican photographer Rob Fountain, among other images, of buildings and structures throughout the town that many people may wonder how they came to be or what they are, said Newman.

"I know people have wondered about them because I know I have," said Newman.

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