Click on image for a larger picture or more pictures

Hopemont State Hospital, Hopemont, WV

 
Hopemont sign
Added 11/02/15
 

Some info from the web

Hopemont State Hospital is in Preston County, West Virginia. It is located to the east of Terra Alta, WV. It was originally created as the West Virginia State Tuberculosis Sanitarium. According to the Geographic Names Information System, Hopemont has also been known as Rinards Crossing.

In 1911, the state Legislature funded a 60-bed sanitarium at Hopemont, which opened in 1912 in Terra Alta, WV. Hopemont was the state tuberculosis sanitarium from 1912 until 1965. It was located on farm land at a high altitude because low temperature and the high altitude were thought to help cure the TB patients. The location, called Snowy Creek, was in close proximity to the train, making the facility readily accessible.

Established in 1911 by an act of the Legislature as the State Tuberculosis Sanitarium. In 1921, name was changed to the Hopemont Sanitarium and to the Hopemont State Hospital for the chronically ill, aged, and infirm in 1965.

 

Submitted 02/20/12

Excerpts from an interview of Wilhem F. Rosenblatt, who was a physician in Hopemont from late 1953 to 1958 (edited by Eva M. Rosenblatt).

     I came from Germany with my daughter Liz on the Queen Mary in May 1953. First we spent a few days with my cousin, who had sponsored my immigration to the U.S., and his family. And then I started looking for a job. Within a few weeks I knew what I wanted to do. I had to work somewhere where I could live with my family, after they all arrived from Germany, on hospital grounds with room and board.

     But first I worked in a hospital in Ossining, New York, visiting my daughter on weekends. The rest of the family [wife and 3 children] came half a year later, the day before Thanksgiving 1953. My cousin and I greeted them in New York, and took them for a day to his house. Then they came with me to West Virginia.

     I had found a position in the mountains of West Virginia, not too far from the Maryland panhandle in a sanatorium called Hopemont, not too far from Morgantown, where there was a medical school - initially a two-year and later a four-year medical school. The students came up to us once in a while and learned about tuberculosis.

     Hopemont was a large tuberculosis hospital for West Virginia. Initially it was all white, but gradually some black people were admitted, too. Race was never a big problem in that part of the country. The area was very beautiful. We had a house a nice three bedroom house, with room enough for us parents and our four children. The youngest child, Eva, was just half a year old when they came. The other ones started their kindergarten and school experience in West Virginia.

     At that time there were many far-advanced cavitary cases, many of whom died there on the spot. At the time, we also had a children's ward in every sanatorium. It was understood that that was not really necessary, because children didn't have to be in the hospital unless the hospital was better for them than their home, which it sometimes was. These were children with primary TB.

     We also had a house for the incurables, a number of older men, maybe ten to fifteen. They had a little house by themselves and could live however they wanted, but were under control and got their medicine. "Incurables" were sputum positive and probably had some resistance. Nothing could get them out of the hospital anymore. There were two alternatives: either you had to stay there until you died or you had to leave.

     The state or some other political body always paid for the treatment of tuberculosis. Every once in a while a case came up where the patient didn't want to stay but was infectious and we had to consider enforced hospitalization. But it's a difficult thing to defend. You had to go to the district attorney and complain. Someone had to make a complaint that the person was infectious and has to be kept interned in the hospital. Then the question was "how long?" For a while we thought it was good enough for them to stay until they were non-infectious, sputum-negative. But this is not enough because if you let them go after two months and they don't continue to take their medicine, they will become infectious again, but be somewhere else where they are not known yet. So this was a problem in West Virginia, of course.

     INH came in '52. But when I was in Hopemont, there were no tuberculosis clinics outside the hospital, or in the hospital, either. You were hospitalized or you were free and left alone, which was bad.

     In West Virginia, the most terrible cases were the tuberculosis meningitis which, unfortunately had not died. They were left with enormous residuals mentally and physically, blind, deaf, paralyzed, mentally retarded, crippled, most of them children. We did do autopsies. We had a pathologist, a very intelligent pathologist, from Morgantown, who came up every one in a while. It was very important to do this, to see what we really had treated. At that time we treated with INH, PAS, and streptomycin.

     Our chief was a former TB patient who was very strict. He had to be in the hospital for a year and a half, so his patients were also supposed to be in the hospital for a year and a half. With a good regimen of INH, streptomycin, and PAS that was in no way necessary, so many patients left against medical advice.

      Besides of medications for TB, we also did pneumothorax, thoracoplasty - and this was the beginning of the resection time. I just got into the development of surgery for tuberculosis, which was the beginning of the great improvement in the overall scenario of tuberculosis. You could, even in seemingly hopeless cases, correct quite a bit. I had a thoracoplasty case where they took the upper four ribs out. After a while it was clear that it was not enough, they collapsed and took the next three out. If that was not enough sometimes they started doing a thoracoplasty on the contra-lateral side. Many of these patients must have had surgery four or five or six times. We had several chest surgeons. One was a man from the capital city of Charlestown, West Virginia.

     We also had a ward where on the average we had between twenty and thirty children at any given time. And then, gradually some died. Some were sent to institutions for the mentally retarded. Most of them stayed there until they died.

     The patients in West Virginia were essentially poor people, some of them very intelligent, some very, very nice and mutually helpful, and of course, other characteristics. I must say I liked the patients in West Virginia very much. I was still very new in the country, but they understood me and they appreciated what I was doing. Once in a while someone asked me, "Why don't you go into private practice? You can handle things". But I always told them "Because that isn't what I would like to do". What I liked, really without exaggeration - that was the type of patients I liked to work with.

     There were interesting characters, both among the patients and also in the personnel. There were also many non-Americans. At that time, TB hospitals were usually staffed with foreign graduates. Americans colleagues wouldn't go into such a lowly job with that kind of people.

     When I came, the one I really replaced was a Chinese physician. He was apparently a very nice guy and very well liked. Then shortly before I came, there was another German-Jewish physician who had spent some time in Shanghai before he immigrated to the United States. There was also a Hungarian physician, a very good man, who later on went on through Ohio and became, I believe, director of a hospital. The chief during my time in Hopemont was an American who had also had tuberculosis. It was a strange mix, an interesting mix.

     I left Hopemont in 1958.


Added 02/17/12

This was taken in the winter of 57/58. You can just see the top of our, or a neighbor's, house in the background.

 Eva M. Rosenblatt

 

 

 

 

 

 


Added 02/20/12

 Hopemont home near the dairy.

 Eva M. Rosenblatt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Added 02/17/12

Dear Dave,

I was researching my father's history and found your web site with the old pictures of the Hopemont State Hospital.

My father, Wilhelm F. Rosenblatt, M.D., was one of the TB physicians in Hopemont from late 1953 to 1958.
Since I have a picture of the house we lived in in Hopemont, I'll attach it in case you want to add it to your collection. The house was on the same side of the tracks as the dairy, just down the road a bit.

Eva M. Rosenblatt
Hamburg, Germany


Added 02/20/12
Eva M. Rosenblatt

This is a view of Hopemont taken from the southeast. Dairy barn in lower left.


Added 02/20/12
Eva M. Rosenblatt

Hopemont Dairy


Added 02/20/12
Eva M. Rosenblatt

Hopemont Dairy


Added 04/07/12
Becky Kelly

Hi Dave.  This is a picture from 1926.  My Great Aunt, Dora Edna Beaver Bowen is in the picture, she died August 3 of the same year of TB.  she is in the back row, in the middle, the woman with her head turned.



Added 11/02/15
David Hyre

I thought you would enjoy this picture of Hopemont nurses.  The nurse furthest on the right with glasses is Carrie Donise Butcher.

 David Hyre, Yuma, AZ


Aerial View
Bob Burket "Rent a Hubby"


Bob Burket "Rent a Hubby"

Back of postcard
Added 01-31-08

Aerial View
Added 11/02/15
   
Added 11/06/10
 


John Burns, JB Construction


Added 11/06/10

Added 11/06/10

Added 11/06/10
   
Added 11/06/10
 
Added 11/06/10

Added 11/06/10

Added 11/06/10


John Burns, JB Construction

 


Marion Nordeck Clutter Sharps


Added 11/06/10
 
Added 11/06/10

Hopemont Hospital
Added 11/02/15
 
Lakin Cottage
Added 11/02/15

Bill Taylor
08/04/09
 
Bob Burket "Rent a Hubby"

Front of postcard
Added 01-31-08

Added 11/06/10

Added 11/06/10








Added 11/02/15








Added 11/06/10
 
Jones Hospital
Added 11/06/10

Added 11/06/10
 
Added 11/06/10

Added 11/06/10
 
Added 11/06/10

Nurses home
Added 11/06/10

Nurses home
Added 11/02/15


John Burns, JB Construction


Bill Taylor
08/04/09

Receiving cottage
Added 11/06/10

Added 11/06/10

Dining hall
Added 11/06/10


Dining hall
Added 11/06/10




Dining hall
Added 11/02/15
When you open big picture click on it. It should show an even large picture

Added 11/06/10

Added 11/06/10

Added 11/06/10


John Burns, JB Construction

 

 

 
Added 11/06/10



Bob Burket "Rent a Hubby"

 

 


Tom Clutter

This is an old picture of Hopemont, many of the buildings are gone now. On the right is the large grove of pine trees next to the entrance of what is now the Alpine Lake Road.

   
Added 11/06/10






 
Added 11/06/10
 


John Burns, JB Construction

 

Added 11/06/10
 
Bill Taylor
08/04/09


Added 11/06/10
 

 

 

 


Larry &
Pat Hufford added 02/02/12

Clicking on this picture will take you to a large PDF file. Once it loads you can really zoom in on the picture! You can see an old truck going up the road.


Added 11/02/15
When you open big picture click on it. It should show an even large picture

Added 11/02/15
When you open big picture click on it. It may show an even large picture

Added 11/06/10

Added 11/06/10

Added 11/06/10

Added 11/06/10
 
Patients
Added 11/06/10

Patients
Added 11/06/10

Patients
Added 11/06/10

Lakin Cottage Sunporch
Added 11/06/10

Patients
Added 11/06/10

Patients
Added 11/06/10

 
Added 11/06/10











   
Added 11/06/10

If anyone has any old photos of the Alpine Lake - Terra Alta area stop by our office. I will scan them into the computer, publish them on our web site and give you credit for them. Better yet email the pictures to dave@clutterrealty.com - Thanks Dave Clutter

www.clutterrealty.com


Copyright 2000-2017 Dave Clutter. All rights reserved. www.clutterrealty.com