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eighteen months' residence in the woods- | through observation and experience. He to put it as you and I would put it-has dwells especially upon the dryness of the cured a man in the last stages of consump- soil to be found there—a condition which tion; it has checked, as the faculty might he regards as of the greatest importance in phrase it, a case of far-developed pulmo- the home of a phthisical invalid. Of the nary phthisis. The lucky fellow who climate of the Adirondack region, the pathus falls heir to a new lease of life thanks per regards it as moist and cool, with a God, and goes back to his old trade of re rain-fall somewhat above the average for porting—this time to report his experience other portions of the State; a dry period in health-hunting in the Adirondack Wil- in summer, when the days become hot, derness.
but the nights remain almost always cool; It is now nearly two years since Dr. A. a winter in which the cold is almost unL. Loomis, of New York city, read before interrupted, no thawing of any consethe State Medical Society a paper entitled quence taking place before March; then, “ The Adirondack Region as a Therapeu- owing to the sieve-like nature of the soil, tical Agent in the Treatment of Pulmona- the snow disappears rapidly. There is no ry Phthisis.” This paper was afterward preponderance of clear days at any season, printed in the Medical Record. One out while cool, cloudy weather is the characside the pale of the medical profession teristic feature of the climate. In all this may not be permitted to praise a purely there would appear to be nothing to rectechnical dissertation, but the writer can ommend this locality to the phthisical panot forego this opportunity to bear testi- tient; but it is the absolute purity of the mony to the individual benefit which he, air here which accomplishes the good reat least, derived from the distinguished sults. Pine, balsam, spruce, and hemlock physician's essay. Without it, it is pret- trees abound, and the atmosphere is heavity sure that this magazine article would ly laden with ozone. The resinous odors never have been prepared. What Dr. of the evergreens, admitted to be most benLoomis had to say about pulmonary dis- eficial to diseased mucous membranes, are ease naturally carried with it much brought into contact with the air-passages, weight; and what he had to say of the and the patient lives within a zone which St. Regis country certainly awakened a separates him from the impurities of the very profound interest in that subject outer world. In a communication from among physicians throughout the coun- Dr. Edward L. Trudeau, who has himself try. Dr. Edward W. Victor, of Brooklyn, given the St. Regis country a trial of some who started the writer on his way to the years for the cure of phthisis, he tells Dr. wilderness, and Dr. William H. Watson, Loomis that from personal experience he of Utica, now Surgeon-General of this believes that any comparison of the relaState, who encouraged the patient to car tive good effects of the climate of Minnery out the project, were by no means the sota, Colorado, or the South, with that of only doctors of repute who were made en the Adirondack Wilderness, is decidedly in thusiastic by Dr. Loomis's paper. Within favor of the latter. Dr. Loomis next prothe scope of an article like this, it is, of ceeds to give the results obtained from a course, impossible to give more than a fair trial of this region. He cites twenty brief summary of Dr. Loomis's compre-cases of persons who have tested the wilhensive statement. * After expressing it derness experiment, and of these, after an as his belief that climate is the most im- extended trial, he reports ten as recovered, portant factor in the treatment of pulmo- six as improved, two as not benefited, and nary phthisis, and giving a brief descrip-two who died. It may be a matter of surtion of the three varieties of the disease prise to a large number of persons acwhich he clinically and pathologically quainted with Dr. Loomis that he himself recognizes, the professor proceeds to point was at one time threatened with consumpout the advantages of the St. Regis coun- tion. “The only survivor of a family," try as they have become known to him he tells us, “every member of which, save
perhaps one, had died of phthisis, I had * To those readers who may desire to possess the come to regard my case as a critical one. paper in its entirety I would say that it appeared in A Southern trip had not relieved, if it had Vol. XV., Nos. 17 and 18, of the Medical Record, pub- not aggravated, my phthisical symptoms. Jished by William Wood and Co., of New York city. Copies of these numbers could be obtained a few In this condition I went into this region, months ago, and probably can at this time.
and into camp, and when, before the sum
mer months had passed, I came out of the Adirondacks, or North Woods, free from cough, with an increase in weight of about twenty pounds, with greater physical vigor than I had known for years, I very naturally became an enthusiast in regard to them..... From time to time, since that summer eleven years ago, I have sent phthisical invalids into this region. At first I sent them only during the summer months; but I found that while temporary relief was afforded, and in some instances marked improvement took place, in cases of fully developed phthisis the latter was not permanent, and although the winter months might be spent at the South, yet before another summer came around, the disease progressed. Not until 1873 was I able to persuade any phthisical invalid to remain during the winter. The effect of the winter climate on this invalid showed so markedly the benefit to be derived from a winter's residence in this region, that from that time, each winter, others have been induced to remain."
With respect to the several cases reported by Dr. Loomis, it may be said that in a majority of instances no improvement was perceptible until some time after the patient had taken up his residence ical authority pointing the way to possiin the region. Each case had a long his- ble recovery. When he first read these tory of getting better or worse, but each cheering words, the Reporter had already advance toward recovery was more mark- been in the clutches of consumption for a ed than the former. The ten absolute year and a half. His was but the repeticures were effected in catarrhal phthisis, tion of the old, sad experience of a thouand it is this form of the disease which sand others who disregard the first small seems to be most benefited by the wilder- warnings of the dreaded disease ; who ness. Almost without exception, the im- think nothing of the slight but persistent provement appeared more rapid in winter cough, of the hardly perceptible weakenthan in summer. “I shall have accom- ing of the body, of the occasional flushes plished my purpose," says Dr. Loomis, in of fever, of the lessening appetite, of the conclusion, “if by this hastily prepared quickened pulse and shortened breath. paper I shall have awakened in my pro- Consumption? Bless your soul, from no fessional brethren the spirit of investiga- branch or twig of his genealogic tree was tion as regards this extensive health-re- it possible for the Reporter to draw the storing region within the boundaries of wasting sap of phthisis. He had always our own State, which we have been pass- taken as a matter of course, as we all take ing by, while we have sent phthisical in- it while it is within our grasp, the pricevalids far from home and friends, to re- less boon of health. He had done the gions far less restorative."
giant's swing in his college days, digestImperfect as this abstract is of Dr.ed dreamlessly lobster salad at midnight, Loomis's paper, it explains more clearly stood the strain of newspaper work and perhaps than otherwise could be done boarding-house fare, and never thought the motive which prompted the Reporter of calling upon the doctors for assistance. to journey into the wilderness at the time Yet the insidious disease crept upon him when the physicians had given him only unawares, robbed him of his robust health, a month longer to live. Here was some and drove him from New York to begin thing to kindle anew the flickering flame the weary, uneven fight for life. Before of hope. Here was the highest of med- I that June day when he alighted at“ Paul”
Smith's, he had travelled the beaten road | ment which surpassed that of either phywhich consumptives have gone over for sicians or friends. Appreciating, howgenerations. Cod-liver oil and quinine ever, as he did, that it was the last card had done as much and as little for him as he had to play in the game, and sustainfor others. He had spent a summer in ed as he was by the presence of a brave the White Mountains, and, encouraged and loving wife, he doubtless received by some temporary improvement, had more praise for his pluck than he derashly returned to New York, and to his served. If he had died, the St. Regis
desk in a newspaper office. But the dis- dwellers would have remarked, with reease was merely trifling with its victim. freshing unanimity--and possibly the docIn the winter of 1878–79 it laid him low-tors would have echoed the remark-“We so low that when he set out for his trip to told you so." Not dying, he has lived to the Adirondack woods it was a matter of receive the congratulations of the comgrave doubt whether he would live to munity upon what each individual memreach his destination.
ber thereof was confident would be the After two weeks spent at Paul" result. Smith's, during which time his condition Before attempting a description of what was so precarious as to make the experi- life here is, or endeavoring to point out ment of camp life seemingly foolhardy, some facts which may be of service to the Reporter pitched his tent, and began those who care to give the experiment a the trial of the wilderness cure. He was trial, it is all-essential that the Reporter made as comfortable as, under the cir- should impress upon his readers one or cumstances, he could be, but it was weeks two preliminary truths. The first of before any positive improvement in his these is that the writer of this article is condition manifested itself. In those not a physician; and while, therefore, his weeks he displayed a faith in the experi- | personal experience may serve as a proof
of what the wilderness cure has accom-spot for the patient's camp, it will be well plished in an individual case, he does not to keep within a radius of a mile or two consider himself competent to advise oth- of a hotel-in the St. Regis region, for ers, nor would he presume to recommend the purpose of definiteness, we will say them, to make the experiment without within a mile or two of “Paul" Smith's. consultation with a trusted physician. The ground should be high, bordering a Secondly, it is to be borne in mind that if lake, abundantly supplied with trees, and, anything like a fair trial is to be given if possible, accessible from the main road the experiment, the patient must make up by wagon. It would be better to build a his mind to spend at least a year in the camp within five hundred feet of the howoods. For, as a rule, without the win- tel than to strike out too far from the ter residence, little permanent good can centre of supplies. The high ground is be accomplished. Again, the consump- desirable to catch the breeze, and thus tive who comes into the wilderness must avoid the insect nuisance. As the mountcome with faith large enough to bridge ain ponds serve largely for highways of him over weeks, and perhaps months, travel, a camp should be so located as to wherein his condition will remain appar- bring a boat into play. Hundreds of deently unchanged. Still, again, he must sirable points not yet occupied are to be make up his mind to put up with certain found on the Upper and Lower St. Regis inconveniences, and to depend largely lakes, Spitfire and Osgood ponds. The upon himself for resources of amusement. Reporter's camp stood on the last-mentionIf he can not bring himself to endure such ed, covering a bluff forty feet high, which an exile with a reasonable degree of cheer- projected into the water, peninsula-like. fulness, or if upon the first indications of Perhaps a description of this wilderness improvement he shall pack his traps and abode may serve best to convey to the ungo out of the woods, it would be wiser not initiated reader some fair idea of what an to try the experiment at all. With these invalid's camp may be. Look, then, if conditions thoroughly understood, let us you please, at Camp Lou. see what awaits the invalid who pene Standing, as has been said, on a bluff trates these backwoods in the search for which stretches into the deep clear waters health.
of the little mountain lake, the natural To begin with, camp life is to be con- advantages of the spot for the purpose sidered as perhaps the most important desired could hardly be surpassed. Alfeature of the wilderness cure. When most always a cool breeze sweeps across the Reporter first came into the woods, his the water, making the air, even in the ideas with regard to this matter of camp- hottest days, deliciously fresh. Standing out were vague in the extreme. Hav- ing here, the eye of the observer can noing faithfully read all the books on the where in the broad range of vision disAdirondacks that he could find, the im- cover aught to mar the face of nature pression left was a jumble of woollen as fashioned by nature's God. Nothing blankets, rubber coats, hemlock boughs, hints of man's laborious toil. Not a house, salt pork, and a frying-pan. To-day he nor barn, nor fence, nor foot of cultivated is glad to be able to report that camping ground. Nothing but the sentinel pines, out, so far as it relates to the St. Regis and all the fragrant family of evergreens, country, may be absolutely dissociated the blue mountains, the clear transparent from pork, frying-pans, and all other lake, and the overarching sky. The earth is abominations. Here, forty miles in the carpeted with a luxuriant growth of moss, wilderness, one may surround himself intermingled with pine needles, stubby with all the comforts and nearly all the partridge-grass, and graceful ferns. Faluxuries that he can enjoy in his own cing the lake, and in line with the precipcity home. This assertion is made, of itous bank, stand the bark buildings and course, on the assumption that the camp canvas tent which collectively make up is to be permanent, and built within easy the “ camp.”
These bark structures, half access of some one of the hotels. It also a dozen in number, vary in size from presumes, as does, indeed, this entire nar- eight to twelve feet square. They serve rative, that the camper-out is an invalid, respectively as a store-room, a diningand that his backwoods life is to be made, room, a pantry, a kitchen, and servants' first of all, to contribute to the success of sleeping quarters. They are constructed the great health hunt. In selecting a of a frame of poles with bark coverings,
are floored, lighted by windows, and made | high, and the upright poles, which run to secure by doors. The most pretentious the apex of what would be the roof, if of the group has a porch in front pro- tents had roofs, eleven feet and a half. vided with rustic seats, while one stand- As a protection to the tent proper, as well ing nearest the brink of the high bank is as a means of insuring absolute security left open at the sides and ends in arbor against rain, a second covering of canvas fashion, and serves as a dining spot when or heavy cotton cloth, technically known the weather is fair. Nothing can be pret- as a fly, is stretched over the ridge-pole, tier in their way than these bark build- and brought down to within three feet of ings, and yet they can be erected by any the ground. You will observe that the competent guide, and at insignificant ex-guy-ropes are not fastened to stakes, as pense. All the implements of domestic you have been accustomed to see them in nature may be found in the kitchen and lawn tents, but are secured to stout horpantry, and if you descend the secure izontal poles running parallel with the stairs to the water's edge, you will find side walls, and a trifle higher than the an ice-house, wherein may be stored pro- latter. These poles, resting upon others visions in goodly quantities. A hundred driven perpendicularly into the earth, are feet back of the buildings stand the dog- about eighteen inches from the walls of kennels, and the less sportsman-like but the tent. Again, notice that the bottom quite as essential hen-coop. Returning of the canvas is drawn tightly down and to a spot twenty feet from the bank, you tacked to the planks which form the outcome upon the tent. This is so impor- er boundary of the floor.
All the guy. tant a feature of the wilderness experi- ropes of both tent and fly are so arranged ment that the Reporter may be pardoned as to be readily adjusted to any desired for giving a pretty minute description of tension, for the effect of the atmosphere its construction and purposes. Without upon canvas necessitates frequent loosena good tent, the invalid's camp life can ing and tightening of the stays. This not possibly be made satisfactory. After stove-pipe, you see, runs out from a zincspending half the nights in the last year circled hole in the tent wall horizontally and a half under canvas, it would be em a distance of four or five feet, and is then inently at variance with the genius of his turned upward by an elbow, to serve as calling if the Reporter neglected to em a chimney. So much for the exterior; phasize the fact that he believes his own now step inside.
The entrance is guarded improvement, as well as that of many by a piazza as wide as is the tent, and five others who have found health in the Ad- feet in depth. That word “guarded" is irondacks, is due more to the tent than to not a misuse of language, for, without the any other single agency.
In inclement raised piazza, the interior of your tent weather the invalid in camp seeks shelter would be tracked with sand, rained upon, in his tent; or he lounges there in cool if you wanted the flaps open, and, in days to read or write; he spends his even- short, left to the mercy of many disturbings there, and his nights there: altogeth- ing elements. If you come with your er, he passes three-fourths of his time in mind filled with such notions of camping his tent. Were he not in camp, he would out as came the Reporter into the wilderspend a like period in-doors. The differ-ness, this interior view will surely surprise ence is, that the tent, while it gives him you. Not the hint of a hemlock bough all the protection he seeks, still furnishes here, you see. First, the floor is securely the diseased lungs with air which, for all laid of seasoned, matched boards, as a floor practical purposes, is as pure as that out should be, painted a steel blue, and liberof-doors ; while the house, to which he ally covered with rugs and Brussels mats. would necessarily turn in the city, poi-To your left, compassed round with zinc sons, during this three-fourths of the day, protectors, and resting upon a stone the delicate and already wasted lung tis- hearth, is an open stove, attaching to the
pipe you saw without.
It is a cheery Here is the tent. Look at it inside and stove, perfectly safe, and pleasantly sugout, a little critically, if you please, for it gestive of wood fires. In a corner stands will bear the test. It is what is known a bedstead, bark-covered, provided with as a “wall” tent, the walls being nothing hair mattresses, generous - sized pillows, more or less than sides. The dimensions plenty of fine woollen blankets, and with are twelve feet square, the walls five feet | the white counterpane and ruffled shams