History Between the Lines: Women’s Lives and Saranac Lake Customs (Excerpt)

From History Between the Lines: Women’s Lives and Saranac Lake Customs, by Caperton Tissot,  Graphics North, 2007. pp. 316-317.

Eleanor Munn’s Story

Hotel evenings were memorable, with live music provided in the downstairs dining room as often as five nights a week. Bruce Lavigne and his band were some of the more popular musicians. Bruce eventually married a local girl, moved to Malone and had a successful furniture and appliance business.

In 1944, Manuel Quezon, exiled President of the Philippines came to the area to improve his health. He stayed at the McMartin Camp on Lower Saranac Lake under the care of the eminent Dr. John Hayes in consultation with Quezon’s own personal physicians. Many dignitaries in his entourage were housed at the hotel. They were a lively crowd, adding a good deal of merriment and fun for both guests and staff. Excellent dancers, they could be found evenings upstairs in the second-floor ballroom teaching everyone how to gracefully execute steps to the rumba, mamba, cha-cha-cha, and especially the tango. It exposed Eleanor to a whole new scene; and, energetic and fun loving, she was right in there learning. She loved to dance then, and she still does today!

As a result of the Japanese invasion, Manuel Quezon moved to Washington, D.C. where he conducted his government in exile. Ill with tuberculosis, he traveled twice to Saranac Lake to cure, once in 1943 and again in 1944.

Known as the “Eagle of the Philippines,” he never recovered and died in Saranac Lake on August 1, 1944.

Caperton Tissot
Author: Caperton Tissot

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