January 10, 2013

A greening of minds

Artists exhibit work as 'Guild Celebrates Charlie Green'

SARANAC LAKE — New Jersey Copestone Lodge 147 put $100 in fellow mason Charles “Charlie” Green’s wallet to “take the cure” for tuberculosis in Saranac Lake.

On June 11, 1922, he arrived in the village made famous through the pioneering-tuberculosis studies of Dr. Edward Livingston Trudeau, who established the Adirondack Cottage Sanatorium.

Green, after sustaining a broken hip, died in the General Hospital on Jan. 13, 1987. He is buried with his wife, the former Nita Parsons, in the Pine Ridge Cemetery.

The life of the charismatic grocer of Charles Green’s Foods of Quality is highlighted in “The Market Show: The Guild Celebrates Charlie Green,” an exhibition opening at 5 p.m. Friday at 52 Main St. in Saranac Lake. Green’s former grocery is the home of the Adirondack Artists’ Guild.

“He was born in Lancashire, England,” said Diane Leifheit, show curator. “He came to the United States (New Jersey) with his family and came to Saranac Lake later. He stayed for that month and stayed for another month.”

Leifheit gleaned basic facts about Green from his obituaries written by Shawn Tooley of the Adirondack Daily Enterprise and Ed Hale of the Watertown Daily Times.

During World War I, Green served with the New Jersey 78th Division Medical Corps. He joined Copestone Lodge in 1920.

After several months in Saranac Lake, lodge members sent Green an additional $150 to continue his curing and advised him to purchase some long underwear.

“He ended up staying,” Leifheit said. “He established a dry-goods grocery where our place is. It was the time of the cure in Saranac Lake. People were coming up to stay in the summertime.”

At his Main Street store, Green hired teens to deliver goods within the village.

“One was Howard Riley (local history columnist for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise),” Leifheit said. “He told me about all the times he had to run around as a kid. All these anecdotes have been really fun to dig up. Barbara Day, her mom and grandmom shopped there all the time.”

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