Monday, May 23, 2016

Dayhoff: Historical markers dedicated for the Henryton Nursing School, Tuberculosis Sanatorium

Dayhoff: Historical markers dedicated for the Henryton Nursing School, Tuberculosis Sanatorium

By Kevin Dayhoff May 22, 2016

About 50 folks huddled along the shoulder of Henryton Road at the entrance of the historic Henryton State Hospital complex May 14 to dedicate two roadside historic markers. The sun shined brightly on the ceremonies in a rare reprieve in the recent streak of endless days of rainfall.

No, the celebrants were not there to dedicate an ark, but it nearly took an act of God to get the state of Maryland to tacitly acknowledge the very existence of the historic segregated facility for the treatment of African Americans suffering from tuberculosis and the segregated nursing school that was once located there — far out of sight of urban Baltimore and the seat of state government in Annapolis.

Noted civil rights leader John Lewis Jr., the 2nd vice president of the Carroll County NAACP, was the master of ceremonies. Other community leaders, such as Pam Zappardino, Charles Collyer, Virginia and Charles Harrison, Jean Lewis, Del. Susan Krebs R-District 5, the Rev. Douglas Sands and Maryland NAACP president Gerald G. Stansbury were on hand to share in the ceremonies.

This writer began looking into the history of the hospital in the early 1970s when it caught my attention during an assignment to research the history of hospitals in Carroll County for a project for what was then-Carroll County General Hospital.

Over the years, researching the history of hospital has difficult. What little information on the hospital that was found was often conflicting, inconsistent, and only appeared in anecdotal accounts; often without a comprehensive context. Many historians contacted in the 1970s were barely aware of the facility.

Also see: “Memories of Henryton State hospital fading with buildings demolished,” article by Kevin E. Dayhoff in the Baltimore Sun.

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