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Waverly Hills Sanitarium (Part 2)

I’d also like to comment on the 63,000 death figure. Originally I was skeptical of this number too. My research led me to think this was the number of deaths in the entire state of Kentucky during the era. I then discovered that Waverly Hills was the regional TB hospital for the entire state and was where all the serious cases (requiring isolation) were sent. Because it was the primary state hospital, the figure may have come from this article (http://whsmemorial.tripod.com/id30.html). In reading through the Waverly website and the memorial website (now linked below), the staff and former patients note in correspondence that at the height of the outbreak, 12 to 14 deaths each day were not uncommon. The historical information notes that at the bottom of the “Death Tunnel” notes that hearsts were parked and awaiting “constant stream of” bodies 24/7 for a number of years. In lieu of that, the journals of former medical staff and patients indicate there was quite a number of daily fatalities.

As I noted in the first post Waverly is haunted. Not just mildly haunted, but it reeks of the spiritual detritus of tens of thousands of live that touched this place. When we first entered the grounds my daughter and I commented to each other that we were being watched. When we entered the place on the tour, the place has a very ‘close’ feeling to it, it’s like you’re jostling to get through crowds of the unseen. On several occasions there even seemed to be mild interaction between we the living and the spirits retained there.


In these dark halls, the past lingers

Memories fade, but the spirit(s) lives on [18 Behind the cut] )
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Halloween Night 9pm Eastern

http://www.scifi.com/ghosthunters/sanatorium/
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Waverly Hills Sanitarium

Folks, I’ve been saving the best of the trip for the last. I hadn’t planned for this part of the essay to be delayed till the week before Halloween, but I can appreciate the irony. Near the end of my visit home to the Louisville area, my daughter and I paid a visit to one of the most haunted and certainly most unique “abandoned” sites in North America.

Waverly Hills Sanitarium was a TB hospital from the 1926 till it closed in 1961. It briefly reopened as a geriatric care center until the State of Kentucky forced it to close in 1980 (due to severe cases of patient neglect and abuse). Approximately 63,000 TB patients died within the walls of Waverly Hills.



Welcome to the House of the Dead [14 behind the cut] )
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Main Street Live

Main Street in Louisville, Ky. is a throw back to another era. It was the commercial wholesale hub of the city once. Cargo and goods from barge and steam shops would be carted and hauled a block or two from the Ohio River and distributed or sold in the city. In the mid 1980’s, this area started saw a revival which continues to this day. Not all of the buildings though have prospered or even survived. In the past 10 years alone, many of these old buildings have been renovated to become museums, offices, lofts and such. In an eight block stretch, I’ve been amazed at the changes.


Cast iron columns and embellishments

Street survivors [16 Behind the cut] )
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Main Street Live Undead

Main Street in Louisville, Ky. is a throw back to another era. It was the commercial wholesale hub of the city once. Cargo and goods from barges and steam ships would be carted and hauled a block or two from the Ohio River and distributed or sold in the city. Intermittently, the area would face the wrath of nature and the Ohio would flood the ground floors of the mercantile buildings there. Times change and business shifted away from the area for nearly 60 years. In the mid 1980’s, this area started saw a revival which continues to this day. Not all of the buildings though have prospered or even survived.



Downtown on the river [11 Behind the cut] )
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During my trip back home to the Louisville area, I had the opportunity to climb into the car and wander the open roads between Louisville and Lexington. Lexington was the eventual goal, but with an entire day to myself, time slowed down to comfortable slices based on whim not a deadline. In part, it was pleasant exercise in photographing the beauty of the region I grew up in, and documenting any abandoned sites I happened to see along the way. In this same manner is how I’ve chosen to present those images, one post will be the lost and abandoned; while the next will be the normal and natural. The abandoned locations will also appear in the photo blog [livejournal.com profile] abandonedplaces

Abandoned Marathon Station

This station certainly dated from the late 60’s and has probably seen more than a few incarnations. The area it’s located on is on the margins of Frankfort, Ky. When I say margins, I’m speaking more to the roughness of the neighborhood versus the former outskirts of the town.

Fill’er up, it’s going to be a long drive [12 behind the cut] )
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During my trip back home to the Louisville area, I had the opportunity to climb into the car and wander the open roads between Louisville and Lexington. Lexington was the eventual goal, but with an entire day to myself, time slowed down to comfortable slices based on whim not a deadline. In part, it was pleasant exercise in photographing the beauty of the region I grew up in, and documenting any abandoned sites I happened to see along the way. In this same manner is how I’ve chosen to present those images, one post will be the lost and abandoned; while the next will be the normal and natural. The abandoned locations will appear in the photo blog [livejournal.com profile] abandonedplaces as well as here.

Frankfort sights and textures


Tin ceiling – this was the ceiling of an upscale but very old restaurant in Frankfort. Elegant, yet nostalgic in it’s character

This old town [12 behind the cut] )
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During my trip back home to the Louisville area, I had the opportunity to climb into the car and wander the open roads between Louisville and Lexington. Lexington was the eventual goal, but with an entire day to myself, time slowed down to comfortable slices based on whim not a deadline. In part, it was pleasant exercise in photographing the beauty of the region I grew up in, and documenting any abandoned sites I happened to see along the way. In this same manner is how I’ve chosen to present those images, one post will be the lost and abandoned; while the next will be the normal and natural. The natural locations will appear in my photo blog [livejournal.com profile] desert_vision


We’ve all seen them along the side of the road. The 1940’s / 50’s era motor lodges with the bright shiny neon signs, would draw in the weary traveler with glowing neon close to the road side.

This old town [13 behind the cut] )
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While on my visit back to the Louisville (KY) area this summer, I had the chance to explore some sites near home and around the region. My daughter spotted this site while wandering the area with relatives. We backtracked using her directions and found this little gem. Not many shots, but it was worth the drive.

Borden Gas Station and Tackle Shop



Small town, different name [5 behind the cut] )
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In the fading light of darkness


The light is dimmed

Rot [11 Behind the cut] )
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<In the fading light of darkness

Some places just radiate sadness and loss. This house was that way. This was probably someone’s family home and the place they sought to retire to. What dreams passed with them to where ever they went?


Ring before entering

Jeffersonville [13 Behind the cut] )
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While on my visit back to the Louisville (KY) area this summer, I had the chance to explore some sites near home and around the region. Some were ‘old friends’ and others were surprises. When my teenage daughter got into the act and located several sites while she’d been shuttled around the area with relatives.

The 14th Street / Pennsylvania RR Bridge Towers



Stains, drains, and trains [9 behind the cut] )

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