Mississippi by Air: State Sanatorium

ADMINISTRATION BUILDINGS, STATE SANATORIUM near JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI. The State Sanitorium is located high on a ridge in the dry clean air of the pine lands. The modern, fireproof buildings are in appearance rather like Southern Colonial homes, and includes a library, moving picture theatre, auditorium, and the Sanitorium publishes its own newspaper.

ADMINISTRATION BUILDINGS, STATE SANATORIUM near JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI. The State Sanitorium is located high on a ridge in the dry clean air of the pine lands. The modern, fireproof buildings are in appearance rather like Southern Colonial homes, and includes a library, moving picture theatre, auditorium, and the Sanitorium publishes its own newspaper.



Categories: Hospitals/Medical, Magee

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17 replies

  1. Oh, my goodness–it makes you just want to check right in for a relaxing weekend, does it not? :-J

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  2. Is this Whitfield? or the TB hospital a south on HiWay 49?

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  3. Where is this complex, or is it gone? And what is the date of the postcard? Thanks!

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  4. Is any of this still standing?

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  5. Much of this complex was designed by State Supervising Architect Theodore C. Link around 1921.

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  6. This is the Sanatorium aka The Boswell Center in Sanatorium, MS. The only structure still standing(in the postcard) is the dining hall.

    http://www.apps.mdah.ms.gov/public/prop.aspx?id=33137&view=facts&y=1010

    http://www.brc.ms.gov/Pages/CampusTour.aspx

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  7. Very pretty grounds and buildings. So different from new construction for medical buildings built today.

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  8. This appears to be a postcard, but what a strange subject to feature. I wouldn’t want to send this home to the family if I was visiting Jackson! Still, it gives an interesting glimpse into the past. Beautiful buildings and grounds and all the amenities seem to conceal what was really there.

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    • It wasn’t an asylum, it was for tuberculosis patients. There were even children staying here who were considered at risk for TB. The pine uplands were considered healthy for people with respiratory problems, and TB was not understood as a virus. The campus was actually something the state was proud of from its opening in the early 1920s, and I could see patients sending these postcards home to family with updates about their condition.

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      • I think it is like many of the experiences of different times–how we view it is dependent on our historical perspective. Because I had family members who were sent (involuntarily) to TB sanitoriums and understand firsthand how it affected them and their children’s lives, I experience it differently. While we cannot really judge earlier institutions with our current standards, I think it also important to acknowledge Beth’s comment that it was indeed intended to conceal what was really there, as were (and probably still are) all institutions.

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        • As I wrote my comment I did think about the historical perspective; we have many specialty care facilities in my city that refer to themselves as places of rehabilitation or extended care. Each specializes in a certain health care aspect. Some are known just by their name (for example: we have a very well known facility known simply as Warm Springs) with no clue as to what their services really are. Our perspective of health care and treatments has certainly changed, mostly for the better.

          From the limited description of the post card I assumed that the facility was for mental care, my apologies for assuming incorrectly! The term “sanitorium” covers all areas of treatment and rehabilitation.

          I also had an experience with an ex-family member who lost her mother at an early age to TB (she died in a State Hospital), and through family stories I know the heartbreak of TB in the early 1900’s. The Mississippi State Sanitorium certainly was well-planned and appears to have been an appealing place if you had to send a family member for treatment. As with the loss of any historic building, I am sad that the facility was not preserved. Certainly there are many stories to be told about it.

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  9. I’ve added a Google map of Boswell Center in the post itself so you can explore the current campus. Although there have been several buildings lost, most recently Theodore Link’s wonderful “Lakefront Cottage,” the three-story nurses’ dorm demolished in 2009, the campus retains a number of its original and early buildings.

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  10. My grandmother was a nurse there in the 1940s so my mother and her sister lived there while they were in junior high and high school. They had tennis courts, a swimming pool and a golf course–my mom had very fond memories of living there.

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