The Vagabond – Local TB hospital has interesting history


By Danny Crownover

Etowah County’s tuberculosis hospital located on Lookout Mountain opened in June of 1926. The site was om a five-acre tract on the western brow of the mountain, overlooking Little Wills Valley. The facility took the place of a fresh air camp that was destroyed by fire.

The property was donated by C.K. Crossfield and Fred Agricola. A.D. Simpson was the architect and Walter Temple was the builder. The contract called for its completion within three months.

The main body of the structure was to consist of a large reception hall, a dining room, a kitchen and a pantry. There were to be two wings, each containing space for eight beds, one wing to be used for male patients and the other for female patients. The idea was to create a 16-bed hospital with modern equipment. The main part of the building was to be 20 by 70 feet with each wing 60 by 20 feet.

The funds was raised by popular subscription through the untiring efforts of a committee composed by H.S. Patterson, Mr. Hairman, Mrs. W.P. Gwin and W.K. Ives.The work was started with $16,000 cash in hand.

The plan was to provide first for the destitute tubercular patients and then, if room remained, to take paying patients. Dr. T.Y. Greet was president of the Etowah County Tuberculosis Association, which was responsible for the hospital.

During its 22 years of existence, this hospital, small though it was, did a monumental work in arresting and curing tuberculosis. It has had a great educational value in that patients have been taught how to look after themselves and, in arrested cases, have in turn taught their own families how to prevent and treat tuberculosis.

The hospital spread the gospel of sanitation and preventive measures, and its work on the whole was very valuable to the entire county. The facility had a sizeable organization of out-patients and developed experts in the treatment and care of those who have suffered attacks from the disease.

The building and equipment were improved from time to time. The original building was replaced with a large and modern tuberculosis hospital that served Etowah and eight nearby counties, with the state and federal governments cooperating in building and maintaining the hospital. When tuberculosis was contained, the new building eventually became Mountain View Hospital.

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