The Tuberculosis Hospital was constructed on 300 acres of scenic woodland in the early 1900's to treat the growing Tuberculosis epidemic in the United States. Tuberculosis is an infectious disease which generally affects the lungs, causing chronic bloody coughing fits. It also causes weight loss and due to this was known as "consumption" in the early years of its outbreak. The most common treatment generally involved "Heliotherapy" which was simply being exposed to sunlight for extended periods of time. And this was not without merit; exposure to sunlight does help kill the Tuberculosis causing bacteria as does Vitamin D which the body produces more of with sunlight exposure. For these reasons, The Tuberculosis Hospital was designed with large patios on each wing for patients to be relax in the sunlight and fresh country air.
It was only after WWII that widespread use of Tuberculosis vaccines would occur. The 1946 development of the antibiotic streptomycin effectively cured the disease. This finally ended the reign of TB and now that the disease was under control, many such hospitals closed around this time. This Tuberculosis hospital was therefore active only until the 1960's. Afterward it was converted to a developmental center for mentally and physically handicapped patients and it remained in that capacity until the mid 1990's at which point it was abandoned. Since the closure of the hospital, new drug-resistant strains of TB had emerged in the 1980s and now, it is estimated that roughly 1/3 of the world's population is currently infected. In 2014 alone, 1.5 million people died from the disease.
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This is part six of a 7 part, 2,600 mile, road trip report.