WVBRAXTO-L ArchivesArchiver > WVBRAXTO > 2000-07 > 0964416813
From: "E. C. Rogers" <>
Subject: Re: [WVBRAXTO] TB Hospitals in WV
Date: Sun, 23 Jul 2000 22:33:33 -0700
Thanks for the information. I may try checking on my father's records.
Does anyone know if TB is still a significant problem in West Virginia??
It has been interesting to see this series of messages because of my
family's problems with TB.
My gggrandfather John Rogers died of it. My grandfather Matthew died of
it leaving my grandmother with a baby boy and a 4-year old boy to raise.
My father, Chester Rogers, was in Hopemont when I was born and was sent
home to die with his family a year later in 1929. I have the letter
from a doctor stating that they could do no more for him. My mother
caught it - probably from him - and died after suffering with TB for 8
My father did not accept the medical death sentence and read everything
he could put his hands on about treatments - he did not want to die and
leave a young family. He got lots of rest, best diet he could, sunshine
and fresh air. He even slept with his bedroom window open in
mid-winter. Snow at times would blow in on his bed. I was too little
to know about such things, but my grandmother knew a lot about the wild
herbs which grew all around us, so I imagine she used some of them to
Whatever the total home treatment program was, it worked!! He died 41
years after Hopemont sent him home to die and from causes not related to
When it was necessary to leave Braxton County to find work during World
War II, he chose to move us to the desert Southwest because he had read
that TB susceptible people do better there. That seems to have broken
the TB curse for our family branch. I never got it although I was
exposed to it for 10 years as a child.
> I had the same problem, only a bit in reverse. I knew my grandmother died of TB
> and had a date in 1926...Braxton Co., but couldn't (still can't) find her death
> Several years ago, an Ohio Co. librarian sent me copies from a WV information book
> they have (I'll have to double check on name...not written on pages but somewhere
> in my notes, I'm sure). Judging from the text, the book was written around 1960.
> One page is a map indicating the locations of WV Public Institutions. She also
> included one full page of history for each of the Sanitariums. Presumably, there
> are other pages of history in the book for the other institutions on the map.
> I'll send the entire text out to various WV sites sometime in the future, but
> wanted to get a quick list posted right away.
> Pinecrest Sanitarium: A 644-bed TB hospital located approximately two miles SE of
> Beckley in Ralleigh County on Routes 19-21 (By-pass). It was created by an Act of
> Legislature in 1927, with the doors opening in 1930. In the late 1950's,
> Pinecrest established a Medium Security Treatment Center for "recalcitrant" TB
> patients...those who refuse to do do anything to prevent the spread of the disease
> to family, friends and community and must be admitted by court order. This
> Security Treatment Center was apparently in addition to the main facility, because
> the history indicates that any citizen of WV was eligible for treatment there upon
> his physician's recommendation, and would be treated free of charge.
> Hopemont Sanitarium: A 322-bed hospital assigned to provide facilities for the
> northern part of WV, it is high in the Allegheny mountains of Preston County,
> situated on a 600-acre tract of land near the town of Terra Alta. It was founded
> in 1913 to doctor all stages of TB in adults and children. Additionally
> established Maximum Security Treatment Center to handle penal inmates with TB.
> They are so nice there that a couple of phone calls to this hospital's medical
> records department (one to tell them what I wanted; one the next day to see what
> they found) was all it took for me to locate my grandmother's medical record,
> although the record contents from back then are quite sparse. (304) 789-2411
> Denmar State Hospital: A 235 patient (2 per room) facility healthfully situated
> on a rise overlooking the beautiful Greenbrier River and approximtely 2,200 feet
> above sea level in Pocahontas County. Atop the Alleghenies, it is located 16
> miles south of marlinton, 6 miles east of Hillsboro, and on WV Route 31-11. The
> 183-acre tract of land was deeded to the state in 1918 by the Maryland Lumber
> Company for the sum of $22,700, and the institution was established under the
> direction of Dr. S. J. Bampfield to provide care fo the Negro tubercular
> patients. These patients were housed in the Maryland Lumber Co. boarding houses
> and residences, until the 1938 WV Legislature appropriated money for the
> construction of a permanent concerete and steel building to house 150 patients,
> followed by another wing on/about 1952. In 1957 the State Legislature
> discontinued the facility as Negro TB Sanitarium and designated it as Denmar
> State Hospital to care for the chronically ill.
> Berkeley Springs Sanitarium: Established in 1776 in present-day Morgan County,
> providing curative baths for the great and near great, it is one of the few
> remaining spas for which WV was so famous during the 1880's and 1890's. It is
> situated near the center of town at the foot of Warm springs Ridge. The Lord
> Fairfax Grant provided that "These waters shall forever be free for the use of
> suffering humanity." The lack of accomodations at the baths and in the town has
> prevented this institution from becoming one of the major therapeutic water sites
> in the nation. As of the writing of this history, only seven permanent staff
> members handle an average of nearly 350 patients a month. (I don't think this
> would be where the average WV TB patient went...sounds too luxurious.)
> Other sites on the map for which I do not have the histories:
> Moundsville Prison, Moundsville, Marshall Co., WV (now closed as
> prison...becoming a tourist attraction.
> Industrial School for Boys, Taylor Co.
> Fairmont Emergency, Fairmont, Marion Co.
> Industrial Home for Girls, Harrison Co.
> Forestry Camp for Boys, Tucker Co.
> Children's Home, Randolph Co.
> Huttonsville Prison, Randolph Co.
> Home for Aged and Infirmed, Cabell Co.
> Welch Emergency Hospital, McDowell Co.
> State Prison for Women, Summers Co. (I think that's the one in Alderson, WV)
> Andrew S. Rowan Memorial Home, Monroe Co.
> Luck to all.
> Dennis Brubaker wrote:
> > Does anyone have any suggestions on where to look for information on TB
> > Hospitals in West Virginia? Specifically, I'm trying to find out if there
> > could have been a TB hospital in Nicholas, Webster or Braxton County around
> > 1900. I have a couple of books on the history of West Virginia but none of
> > them tell about the early hospitals.
> > My great-grandmother was living in Cowen, Webster County but for some
> > reason, she died in Nicholas County. She had just given bith less than a
> > month before her death. Death record lists consumption as the cause of death.
> > Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.
> > Thanks,
> > Cathy
> > ==== WVBRAXTO Mailing List ====
> > BRAXTON COUNTY SEARCH SITE
> > http://www.rootsweb.com/usgenweb/wv/braxton.htm
> ==== WVBRAXTO Mailing List ====
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