Pokegama Sanatorium

After spending years actively working to fight the tuberculosis epidemic, Dr. Henry Longstreet Taylor found himself frustrated with the slow pace of progress in his home state of Minnesota and decided to take matters into his own hands.  In 1905, he utilized his own money to open a private institution on the outskirts of Pine City.  It would inherit its name from the lake whose shores would border the property.

Pokegama
Photo Credit: Minnesota’s Tuberculosis Sanatoriums (mnsans.com)

Spanning 35 acres, Pokegama Sanatorium would privately cater to a limited 36 patients. With a price of $30 to $50 a week, it was a staggering amount when compared to the county sanatoriums that rarely charged the maximum $7.  With this price tag though, came a long list of luxurious amenities never seen in the overcrowded and understaffed county facilities.

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The original 15 open-air cottages were comfortably warm with steam heat and woolen blankets, private bedrooms, and bathrooms that only had to be shared between two or three people.  A private farm catering only to the sanatorium provided high quality food and the reception hospital added in the early 1920’s would have many modern amenities including elevators, a long-distance telephone system, and a high class surgical suite.

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With ground being gained in the fight against tuberculosis and World War II creating a shortage of both supplies and staff, Pokegama would officially close its doors in 1944.  Soon after shutting its doors, Pokegama was sold to a group called the Redemptorist Fathers, who intended to use it as a school for priests.

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The site would again exchange hands and under the name “Pine Manor” it would function as a chemical dependency center.  Compared with its Sanatorium predecessor, Pine Manor provided a relatively cheap treatment cost of roughly $2,000 compared to other privately owned centers in the state that charged anywhere from $4,000 to $7,000.  Even with this advantage, Pine Manor would only last until 1986 when financial troubles would cause it to close its doors for one last time.

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All that remains of the once sprawling estate is a shell of the once grand brick reception hall.  Covered in graffiti and filled with the debris of old furniture and nights of partying, the hospital is certainly in its final stages of life.  The peeling paint in the common asylum colors and walls covered in large windows still maintain a beautiful quality though.

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After more than 20 years spent in empty and lonely solitude, how many more years does this forgotten sanatorium have left?  Will it live to see another 20 years or does it have a limited amount of time left on the its clock?

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6 thoughts on “Pokegama Sanatorium

  1. Bryce Mulé May 23, 2018 / 12:13 AM

    What is the Address??

    Like

    • Jessica Mae Olson May 23, 2018 / 5:30 AM

      Hello Bryce. I do not give out addresses to help preserve these locations. It is very easy to find the location with a little googling though.

      Like

  2. Greg May 24, 2018 / 12:09 AM

    This is on private property and the owners have installed CC cameras in several areas. Also, many people have been arrested for trespassing. I would stay out if I were you…

    Like

    • Jessica Mae Olson June 13, 2018 / 6:38 PM

      It’s unfortunate that people feel the need to destroy places like this and thus require the need for cameras and harsh punishments.

      Like

  3. lynn fink June 2, 2020 / 4:47 PM

    I was the home owner of the 1st place to the west From 1983 until the owner finally was basically forced by the county to shut it down. It was a continual “war” between the property owners in “pine Shore estates” and the owner of the other building (now demolished) which was used as a drug rehabilitation facility. The source of trouble was the owner made a deal with Hennepin County
    to populate with customers who were 100% from the Hennepin County jail. All hardened criminals and there was no security. Owner claimed he ran a wonderful rehabilitation program which appeared to be pure fiction.

    Eventually the problems got so bad that the County forced him to shut it down.

    John Fink

    Like

    • Jessica Mae Olson June 2, 2020 / 5:02 PM

      Wow, what a story! Thank you for sharing! It’s so odd to think of someone bring a jail population into an area without and security. I can understand how that would rapidly become an issue.

      Like

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