Pickford Tuberculosis Sanitarium: First to Treat Black People in South for the Disease

3 Posted by - November 14, 2018 - LATEST POSTS

The opened in 1896 in Southern Pines, North Carolina. The purpose of the sanitarium was to treat African Americans with tuberculosis. The Pickford Sanatorium was “the only one in the South built and equipped for the special treatment of diseases of the throat and lungs for people.” The Ladies’ Pickford Sanitarium Aid Society of Raleigh, North Carolina, an organization, furnished the first building.  The 1899 General Assembly also recognized the sanitarium as a charitable intuition and endorsed its mission.  It also supported the hospital’s policy of quarantining the sick.

Until the discovery of antibiotics in the 1950s, tuberculosis treatment centered on controlling the spread of the disease. Since tuberculosis is airborne, home confinement and sanatoria were often used in the 1800s and 1900s to limit the spread of the disease while treating the ill patient. Patients were required to pay in advance fifteen dollars a month. The sanitarium consisted of a dining room, nurse’s department, kitchen, and housing for the patients. The sanitarium usually its doors annually from December 1st to May 1st. The hospital only had 24 beds but they would take up to 30 patients at a time. The sanitarium was able to survive through donations from both blacks and whites wanting to help those with the disease and keep it out of their communities.





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