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White Cloud Sanitarium

White Cloud, Newaygo County, Michigan

This Historic Asylums web site focuses on historic mental health institutions. However, a few historic images of non-asylum facilities, such as this sanitarium, are included. Despite the fact that "sanitarium" today means the same as insane asylum to most, institutions such as the White Cloud Sanitarium were medical hospitals.

A historic image of the houselike jail in the same town is also included. This was not related to the sanitarium, other than the fact that it is historic and in the same town and might be of interest to those interested in White Cloud history.

From the text of one of the historic postcards: "The cures we are performing are astounding the people not only in this state, but in the United States. Patients come to our sanitarium from every state in the Union. In our college we give the most thorough course of any college of its kind in the world. We cure when others fail, and students taking our course of instruction and receiving our diploma can secure the same results. Write us for testimonials of those who were told by other doctors they must die and whom we have restored to health and happiness".

The sanitarium, which has long since burned down, was located on the site of what is now a mobile home area in northwest White Cloud. White Cloud, the county seat of Newaygo County, is located north of Grand Rapids (Kent County), east of Muskegon (Muskegon County), and south of Baldwin (Lake County).

Other sources of Newaygo County information:

The images below are of White Cloud Sanitarium Photo Postcard; Hewitt's Sanitarium Ad Card (1911), Sanitarium Drawing and Description (thanks to Terry Wantz), and Newaygo County Jail

On the "Sanatorium at White Cloud", from "Chapter VII. The Move to Stanberry" from History of the Seventh Day Church of God by Richard C. Nickels (quoted/copied with permission of the author):

A Church of God sanatorium was established at White Cloud, Michigan, around 1900. In accordance with the Seventh-Day Adventist practice of instituting hospitals and emphasizing bodily health and medicine, it appears that the Michigan brethren led a Church of God effort to establish a hospital. J.C. Branch became a medical doctor, and in the May 17, 1898 issue, he suggested that the Church of God build a sanatorium at White Cloud. The rest of the church seemed to support his move; the Stanberry church even subscribed the furnishing and keeping of a room in the White Cloud Hospital and Sanatorium, as it was called, known as the Stanberry Room. By September 25, 1900, the building was nearly finished, and sixty-six surgical operations had been performed. Elder Gilbert Cranmer became one of its patients and died there. Dr. J.C. Branch directed the sanatorium, assisted by two other doctors and three nurses.

The April 2, 1901 issue reported that the Sanatorium was a three-story, brick building. Micropal and chemical examinations were made to determine the cause of each patient's disease. Curative treatment included dietetics, Branch reported, while the "up to date laboratory" was used to fill prescriptions for the patients, "when it is found that medicine is necessary."

Vinton, Iowa; Stanberry; Hartford, Michigan; and the Nebraska and South Dakota Conferences provided money to furnish rooms in the hospital.

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