Robert Louis Stevenson Cottage (Baker Cottage), Saranac Lake

Address and Opening Hours

11 Stevenson Lane,
Saranac Lake,
New York 12983,
USA

Hours: 9.30-12 and 1-4.30, July 1-September 15; closed Mondays.

The Museum is also open throughout the year by special appointment with the Resident Curator.

Saranac Lake

History

Stevenson stayed here with his mother, Fanny, and Lloyd from October 1887 to April 1888. While here he wrote several essays for Scribner’s Magazine (‘A Chapter on Dreams’, ‘The Lantern Bearers’, ‘Beggars’, ‘Pulvis et Umbra’, ‘Gentlemen’, ‘Some Gentlemen in Fiction’, ‘Popular Authors’, all later included in Across the Plains); he began writing The Master of Ballantrae; and he and Lloyd worked on The Wrong Box. It was during his stay here that he quarrelled with his friend and collaborator W.H. Henley.

The first Stevenson museum to open (1915), it received donations from Lloyd and Belle after the death of Fanny.

RLS Collection

The Museum contains the original furniture from Stevenson’s stay, books and ms materials from the Stevenson Society of America (seven albums of photographs and newspaper cuttings), two of Stevenson’s mother’s scrapbooks of reviews (and photocopies of the Monterey Scrapbooks), paintings, photographs, Davos woodcut blocks, and memorabilia (boots and beaver coat worn at Saranac; velvet jacket; a yachting cap from the South Seas period); bronze plaque by Gutzon Borglum (1916). The mantelpiece has burns where Stevenson left and forgot lighted cigarettes.

The Scrapbooks are: Scrapbook I (1874-1881, with large sections on An Inland Voyage and Travels with a Donkey), Scrapbook III (1886-7, with much on Jekyll and Hyde andKidnapped), Scrapbook VII (‘1894: In Memoriam’). The Museum also has another scrapbook presented by Col. Walter Scott with a multitude of interesting articles spanning decades. (Four other scrapbooks are at Monterey with a fifth scrapbook mostly of biographical cuttings on the Stevensons and Balfours.)

Contact

Michael Delahant, Resident Curator.
Tel: (+001)518-891-1462

The Stevenson Society of America is also based in Saranac Lake. For more information, see the Stevenson Societies page in the Footsteps section.

Image courtesy of Will Tissot