Living History: Tom Jacobs

SARANAC LAKE – Tom Jacobs was born Nov. 20, 1934 at Lake Kushaqua, north of Onchiota.

His father, Pearly Jacobs, was in charge of maintenance at Stonywold Sanatorium, and his mother taught eight grades in the one-room school nearby.

Founded about 1900 by Dr. Newcomb, Stonywold accepted only women and children tuberculosis patients until 1937, when men could become patients as well.

Tom and his older brother Carl spent many hours working for their dad and at a variety of other jobs, including work in the laundry sanitizing sheets for 18 cents per hour.

Drafted into the U.S. Army in 1953, Tom served three years in Germany in Morse code intercept before returning in 1960 when the family moved to Bloomingdale.

Among Tom’s more interesting work was a stint at Buster Crabbe’s camp as lifeguard after high school and a variety of jobs with state Department of Environmental Conservation’s campground program, the Olympic Regional Development Authority and the town of North Elba prior to retirement.

For more information, go to Historic Saranac’s Local wiki website for his brother Carl’s description of life at Stonywold Sanatorium.