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The Hospital on the Hill

Would you believe the unusual treatments tuberculosis patients endured in the early Twentieth century? From operations with no anesthetics to electroshock therapy, Waverly Hills Tuberculosis Sanatorium patients suffered greatly at the majestic hospital. For the patients, it was a living hell.
Tuberculosis (known as TB,) was one of the worst diseases known to man. Until the early 1960's, TB was the number one cause of death in the United States. In 1900, Louisville, Kentucky had the highest TB death rate in the country, due to its location in a low-lying, swamp-like area, which was the perfect environment for the germs that caused TB to grow.
In 1910 the Governor of Kentucky authorized the building of an isolated TB sanatorium in the hills outside Louisville. Later that year a wooden, two-story, Tutor styled building was opened to with the capacity to house 30 TB patients. It was built on one of the highest hills in the area if Louisville. There was a law passed that stated no residential or commercial buildings could be built within a half-mile of the hospital to prevent the spread of disease.
In 1912 the administration of the hospital soon realized that the hospital was severely overcrowded with over 100 patients. After applying for a grant from the US Government, the officials of the hospital received an $11 million grant for the construction of a larger 400 patient building and a complex of other buildings around it to serve as storage or dormitories for the doctors and nurses.
Officials bought another 129 acres if land directly across from the older hospital for the new hospital. Construction on the new hospital began in 1924. The new building complex was designed to be a self-contained town with its own power plant, a self-contained water treatment system, a laundry facility, a dormitory for the doctors and nurses, small cottages around the larger building for the administration and people who stayed while visiting patients, and its very own sewer system. The new hospital opened in 1926 and was considered to be the most advanced TB hospital in the nation. If a patient had any chance of surviving the disease, the new hospital, known as Waverly Hills, was the place to go.
Treatments in the early twentieth century were primitive at best, which meant Waverly Hills was a place to send people to...

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Category:   American

Length:   7 pages (1,545 words)

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