Although Glen Lake was not situated in St. Louis Park,
its residents were patients at the facility. Information for
this section was taken in part from an article written by
Regarding patient records, researcher Mary Krugerud provides
The Minnesota Historical Society has
various records. Medical summary cards -- which
include patient name, age, stage of disease, discharge, and
some other medical information -- are closed for 50 years
from date of creation. The cards are arranged by discharge
year, so that complicates access. Patient information cards
and medical meeting minutes are closed for 50 years from
date of last entry. There are also admission and discharge
records with restrictions. Even after 50 years they are not
open to the general public because of data privacy laws. I
am applying for access to restricted records as a
researcher. I hope to finish a book about sanatorium life
that I started about 20 years ago, and even access to the
meeting minutes would be valuable. I have to sign an
agreement to not disclose information on individuals, so I
wouldn't be able to help anyone out that way. Individuals
can sign a similar application that specifies their
relationship to a person and thus gain access for themselves
or for a professional genealogist.
For information specific to St. Louis
Park, see Public Health.
Tuberculosis, TB, or consumption as it was often called, is
a bacterial infection that attacks the lungs, although it may
also attack the kidneys, bones, lymph nodes, or the brain.
It is generally transmitted though inhalation of
bacteria-carrying air droplets. Its impact on Minnesotans
was deadly: between 1887 and 1899, more than 20,000
Minnesotans had died of the disease.
Dr. Henry Longstreet Taylor convinced the State to establish
the first state tuberculosis sanatorium.
Mrs. George H. Christian established a summer camp for
children with tuberculosis on the Mississippi River near
Lake Street in Minneapolis. In 1909 it was transferred to
The first sanitarium in the State - the State Sanitarium for
Consumptives - was opened in Walker, but was soon
Hopewell-Parkview Hospital in Minneapolis opened
specifically to treat victims of Tuberculosis. The new
hospital, located in northeast Minneapolis, was described as
"a shack or lean-to for 20 patients" in a pamphlet about
The State passed the Sanitarium Law, facilitating the
construction and maintenance of county sanatoriums.
Hennepin County began construction of what was to become the
Glen Lake Sanitarium on land that spanned the Eden
On January 4, 1916, the first Tuberculosis patient was
admitted to the East Cottage of Glen Lake Sanitarium,
arriving on a sleigh during a raging snowstorm. At its
opening, it had 50 beds in three cottages. The first
Superintendent was Dr. H.O. Collins, who resigned in
September. Dr. Ernest S. Mariette served from 1916 to 1949.
Subsequent construction and events include:
West Cottage opened, adding 50 beds
Central section of main infirmary opened, adding another 100
Lenora Hall Christian Memorial Children's Building built
with funds donated by the Citizen's Aid Society, adding 60
The Minneapolis Journal donated radio equipment to bring
radio to every bedside.
Major remodeling and expansion took place, adding the west
infirmary wing, nurses' home (Naysmith Hall), men employees'
building, staff wing (Townshend Hall), auditorium, dining
hall, superintendent's building, and power plant. Glen Lake
had become an immense, modern medical facility, the largest
in the State.
Outpatient facilities established at the University.
Glen Lake Children’s Camp opened in Eden Prairie on June 12,
1925, with the stated purpose “to provide a summer in the
country for infected children to help them prevent their
infection from developing into active disease.” That first
year, 85 children, ages 4 to 14, attended the camp. The camp
is still standing and listed on the National Register of
Historic Places. See web sites on
history and its current
Despite outpatient care around the city, the facility was
overcrowded and forced to use porch space to care for
The highest number of patients was recorded: 718.
Vocational building built with funds donated by the
Citizens' Aid Society.
Over 8,000 TB patients had been admitted. The grounds
encompassed 160 acres. 1950: The Glen Lake Children’s Camp
East and West cottages closed for patient care.
Children's Building and several floors in the main building
closed for patient care.
The number of patients was 144. St. Louis Park resident S.
Earl Ainsworth served on the Hennepin County Sanatorium
With the advent of antibiotics, tuberculosis was no longer a
deadly contagious disease, and the State’s sanitariums began
to close. Leech Lake closed in 1962, its patients
transferred to Glen Lake. At the same time, Oak Terrace
Nursing home was opened at the Glen Lake site.
The last TB patient was discharged from Glen Lake.
The entire Glen Lake complex was demolished. It had served
over 17,000 people in its 75 years.
The site is now a golf course.