The Lake Julia Tuberculosis Sanatorium

I woke up this morning with a bur under my saddle and I have been ready for a fight all day. It’s just one of those days I guess. This evening I was just cruising Facebook to see all the news, that really isn’t news, and most of which I don’t really care about. I found this:

One of the most absurd articles I have read in a long time. The first comment I made on this post they must not have liked because I see it wasn’t published. But they need to know that their story was completely wrong (I’m sure they do know this, but I wanted the satisfaction of letting them know I know too.) and that maybe the should do some better research before they go spreading such rumors.

I haven’t written much about the bigger history of our farm and maybe it’s time. I will get some more facts together about it for you. It’s really kinda interesting. I didn’t know what we were buying until we did. That may be more of a winter writing project. For now here’s my “fire” about the above.

The farm that we live on was part of the Lake Julia Tuberculosis Sanatorium. It produced the dairy and a lot of the food that fed those living and working at the facility. In fact the old gutters and remains of the manger are still in the barn today. Though the house has been added on to over the years the original part is still at the heart of it and the old plaster and lath walls still remain.

The blog post above it so far from the truth I can’t even sit still to think about it. There is plenty of lore out there about the place and truth if people actually care to hear what actually took place. If you want to write fiction than state that it if fiction. Don’t write fiction and let people believe it’s true! That’s a good reason that historic places and old houses are broken in to and vandalized; because of some crazy story that people believe to be true and want to see it for themselves.

It was a sanitorium years ago. Yes, there are incinerators there. It’s not like they the means to safely transport infectious materials and refuse to be disposed of in a different location like we do today. To some it may seem like a spooky place to others it’s just how things were (and are).

The next two links are from someone who lived on our farm in the very beginning. She has some real stories about how things were when everything was up and running. Take a few minutes to check them out before you get too sucked into the fiction.

Lake Julia Tuberculosis Sanatorium

Photo was taken by Bemidji Pioneer

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  1. I used to live in the Blackduck area, my sister still does. We are fascinated with stories of the San. and now your farm. Do you ever allow visitors ? We are just a couple adult sisters interested in your story. Do you know the current owners of the san. property ? Thanks for your time and I agree about the aboveGET YOUR FACTS people !!!

      1. Do you have contact info for the current owners yet? My moms grandma lived at the sanitarium and my mom would like to go visit and see what it looks like!

  2. Thanks for sharing this. My dad’s oldest sister died in the Lake Julia San in January of 1926. We spent a long time trying to track her down as dad was pretty young when she died and had very little info. After many, many searches of the Minnesotta death records we finally found her listed under the letter “M” – for “MRS.” Ada Forsberg. So I guess – never give up would be the moral of that story. I am still searching for any kind of records for her two children who died around the same time. I dont have much to go on with them.

  3. i would love to visit this place, but I would like to get permission to go there. does anyone know who owns it and how I can contact him or her?

  4. I would also love to visit this place !! I have read everything I can find on this and find it so interesting !! I am not sure who owns it now but would think they would welcome a neighbor !! Let me know if you learn who and if they welcome us who are intrigued with the history of the samitorium.

  5. I happened to find Lake Julia Sanitorium listed on a 1930 Census while searching genealogy today. It looks like the individual I’m researching was a patient there and lived in the Herdsman Home?

    The 1930 Census also listed the physician and his family……R. L. Laney, his wife and 2 foster children.

    I’ll do more research on the internet. Can you suggest any noteworthy websites? Also, is there any public records regarding patient deaths?

    Thank you very much.

    1. Hello!
      I know Beltrami County has public records listing patients and other records for the Sanatorium. I haven’t found many from the county online that were relevant to my searches but that’s not to say that they aren’t archived somewhere on the net. I will go through my files and see if I have noted anything that may be of use to you.

  6. I believe most of the records on patient admissions, discharges, and the like are at the Minnesota Historical Society in St. Paul. They would be in the Gale Library. I’m going to spend several days there in February and will try to post again after my research into what is available on the history.