Cherish is my favorite word, and I cherish the ability of turning the routine into a beautiful moment.
Nature creates in me, a spiritual and meditative time to bring peace, harmony and balance, into an otherwise ordinary day~
Mary Howell Cromer







Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Waverly Hills Sanatorium~

This was my beloved grandmother Hazel Howell.  She died many years before I was born from Tuberculosis at the now world famous Waverly Hills Sanitorium~ 


Waverly Hills Sanitorium took 2 years to build and opened in 1926. The top 3 floors had open air solariums where all patients were taken daily for 13 hours, 365 days a year. The electric blanket came about as a result of these patients needing fresh air every day, even in the cold winter months~

This bottle of wine on display was dated 1923, the same year that my grandmother passed away in what was to have been the first Waverly Hills Hospital.  They began the building of the larger building one year later, right next to the first building~




The morgue was having to deal with over 24 deaths per day at the worst time of the TB epidemic and 64,000 patients lost their lives in this hospital before a cure was found~




This is the one room where all surgeries were performed. The physicians would use a method by which they would puncture and then deflated the lung and then place sandbags on the patient for a long number of days and then re inflate the lung in hopes that the lung would be stronger~



The "body chute"...used first for deliveries of food and things needed to run the facility. When it came about that one patient was dying every hour, those living became discouraged and so since the morgue was at opposite end of the chute, the administration decided that this would be the best way to exit the bodies, so the surviving patients did not have to witness it~




Many of the patients had large rooms with their own bathrooms. Others were housed in wards depending on their individual needs. Once the patients became near death, they were moved to small, more private rooms, and new patients moved in to the larger rooms, never leaving any empty beds, they were constantly filling up, as patients passed away~



Room 502 is the one room where even a worst tragedy occurred while all of the disease was going rampant. It may be the most famous section of the hospital. One of the head nurses hanged herself in this room in 1928. She was 29, single and pregnant, possibly by one of the leading physicians there. Then in the same room in 1932, another nurse who had worked in room 502, jumped to her death from a hospital balcony~
 


Women lived on one floor, some with children, while other children were in a children's ward, if they had no family. Men had their own floor~




 
I invite you to check out more 'Skywatch Friday' posts from around the world at:


http://skyley.blogspot.com/

19 comments:

  1. oh my goodness! i'd heard of this place, obviously, and some of the history behind it. but it certainly makes it much more meaningful when you have a real family member who went through the ordeal there!

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  2. What an eerie place that must be to visit. You're photographs are excellent, very atmospheric.

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  3. Your grandmother was so beautiful Mary, she would be a stunner. But, to stay in there were about to die, it makes me sick.

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  4. Oh my. So many tragedies in one place! How sad your grandmother died there.

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  5. Wow this is amazing. I know of this place to having had to pass it when I working in the south end as a home health nurse. It is spooky looking now. It is good to hear personal stories of the place.
    QMM

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  6. Oh gosh - what an ordeal in such forbidding buildings. Fascinating post!

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  7. nice post thanks for sharing..happy holidays...

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  8. Nice pictures, I find them beautiful and very poetic sadly, I love the old and worn over time. Your photos are very good.

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  9. What a history and amazing post and photos. Have a great weekend and happy Skywatching!

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  10. Hi there - what a great post. I don’t think we have any idea what a world without antibiotics would be like - full of buildings like this I assume. We should use these medicines far more wisely than we do.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Australia

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  11. Very interesting history of this hospital. Your grandmother (quite attractive, I have to say!) reminds me of my ex-girlfriend!

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  12. What an interesting post with so many informative and well captured photos.

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  13. I am guilty of often romanticizing the 'old days' - and I have to remind myself "no antibiotics" to remember that it was not all beautiful and fun. Your visit to this abandoned building has produced some very evocative photos.

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  14. What a sad, sad tale Mary.
    I'll write as soon as I get a moment to myself.

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  15. Wow. What a sad story, but quite interesting.

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  16. Amazing how terrible the TB epidemic was, and I guess the attempt to cure it. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

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  17. A very interesting post! And a lovely blue sky above it all!

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  18. Thank you to all for your very kind comments and interest in this very special post. I may be sharing it again in the future. It is a very compelling place, a special place in my heart and it means so much to share it~

    Mary

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