Celebrity Dining: Dr. Southern California: Heading west for the cure (2019)

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Celebrity Dining: Dr. Southern California: Heading west for the cure (2019)

Celebrity Dining:

Spring 2018–Winter 2019

Heading west for the cure

Celebrity Dining: Lyra Kilston

Postcard from 1913 featuring images of the 
Loma Linda Sanitarium in California. Founded in 1905, 
the sanatorium later grew to alter into Loma Linda University.

Climate is to a country what temperament is to a man—Fate.


—Helen Hunt Jackson, Glimpses of Three Coasts

In the spring of 1602, Basque carrier provider Sebastián Vizcaíno became sent on a mission to diagram the California movement for Spain. Several months later, he and his crew docked in a placid bay he named San Diego and some of them went ashore to explore the international terrain. There, they encountered an edifying girl who regarded “bigger than a hundred and fifty years feeble.”[1]

As Vizcaíno’s journal recounts, the males crossed the sandy seaside and had been met by a immense team of native folks armed with bows and arrows. Emerging from the team became the wrinkled, aged girl, who approached the sailors as an envoy. She became worried of the faded-skinned, strangely dressed intruders and wept as she walked. The Spaniards, in flip, had been disturbed by her extraordinarily obsolete appearance. Her title went unrecorded, but her deeply creased stomach became described as taking a stare “like a blacksmith’s bellows.” The sailors supplied her beads and one thing to eat to present their gathered objectives. Tensions broke, and civil relatives between the 2 cultures had been established, as a minimum for the day. The story of this impossibly long-lived girl is also one in every of the earliest sources of 1 in all Southern California’s most enduring myths: the land’s ability to toughen longevity.


Centuries handed without exceptional outdoors ardour in the place beyond that of Spanish colonizers. But in the mid-nineteenth century, a trickle of immigration became into a flood, remodeling the newly identified insist. Gold in Northern California became one trap. One other became the assorted to explore and doc this wild land perceived as “original” and “empty.” Adventurers wrote in rapturous ingredient of how crops of grapes and citrus would burst from the effectively off soil, of restful weather patterns, and of the quite quite so much of landscape of mountains, deserts, forests, and ocean. The mysteriously long lifespans of the indigenous inhabitants had been also great constantly, including a supernatural air to the already bright land at the threshold of the continent.


Clinical doctors, too, fed into the lore. “The climate is so wholesome that illness is rarely ever stumbled on and one sees many persons who absorb reached an age of over a hundred years,” wrote Dr. J. Praslow.[2] Praslow had arrived in San Francisco from Germany in 1849 to put together treatment. He soon place out to rep a comprehensive “medico-geographical” (as he termed it) place of the insist, turning into one in every of the first medically educated observers to link California’s geography and climate to its residents’ longevity. In the course of his explorations, Praslow stumbled on “folks here who had been from a hundred to A hundred and fifteen years feeble and who had been tranquil very active.” He concluded from his records of everyday temperature, sun publicity, and agriculture that very perfect effectively being might perchance well 
be expected for incoming Pacific Soar settlers.


In the end of the identical time, American doctor James Blake reported identical findings about Northern California in The American Journal of the Clinical Sciences:


I’m but expressing my candid belief when I insist that I imagine California shall be stumbled on more conducive to the ideal physical and intellectual pattern of the Anglo-Saxon flee than any other phase of the globe. There is no longer a day in the one year by which the powers of the mind or of the body are enervated by warmth or numbed by cool. And when the agricultural resources of the country shall change into developed, and the swamp lands reclaimed and introduced below cultivation, I imagine that every exterior impact, detrimental to the preservation of effectively being, shall be diminished to a minimum.[3]


Extra south, Italian-born doctor Peter Charles Remondino, who cofounded San Diego’s first non-public sanatorium in the leisurely 1870s, described the locale in a clinical journal as a “paradise of feeble age.” He believed the place became able to “atmosphere support, as a way to talk, the march of our age for a generation or more.”[4] Furthermore, he claimed that the extended lifespan of the native folks would be accomplished by white settlers, leading them to original heights of physical and mental perfection. The provision of this gorgeous effectively being became proclaimed to be purely geographical, never genetic or cultural. It became the climate, the land, the area, that enabled such long lifespans. One simplest wished to relocate to reap its advantages.


Connecting effectively being to locale is in most cases traced support to Hippocrates, who wrote the treatise On Airs, Waters, and Areas around 4 hundred BC. It prescribed how simplest to settle with winds, water sources, seasons, and sun publicity for achieving most robustness. The impact of his notion fluctuated over the centuries but gained immense sway in Europe and the United States in the mid- to leisurely 1800s, as rates of illness soared and doctors usually proved helpless. By 1860, the belief that effectively being became reckoning on area became widely popular. Jap American cities, with their humidity, long wet winters, and dense populations, augured inescapable illness. Clinical doctors prescribed journeys to the West or Southwest for climatotherapy, citing the “radically healing and reinvigorating influences” of new dry air, appropriate sunshine, and original scenery.[5]

Earlier than long, newspaper ads, books, and plod guides had been exalting Southern California’s climate cure. Readers in other areas in the United States and in Europe had been told of constant sunshine and finish to-instantaneous effectively being recoveries. (One journalist in Pasadena, a city east of Los Angeles, satirized the deluge of arrogant miracle-cure testimonies by stating, “When I left home I had but one lung and it nearly long gone. … I even were two weeks in Pasadena [and now] absorb three lungs.”) Southern California became garlanded with romantic monikers and in contrast to suited web sites in one other country: “The Better Italy,” “The Land of Sunshine,” “The Unique Palestine,” and “A Mediterranean land without the marshes and malaria,” amongst others. Aided by the original transcontinental railroad, tens of thousands of oldsters began to cross west, permanently remodeling the place. It is estimated that between 1840 and 1900, about a quarter of these original arrivals got here on account of illness; they soon had been identified as “effectively being seekers.”[6] One historian, noting the rookies’ perception that locale alone might perchance well replace clinical care, facetiously instructed a nickname for the place: “Dr. Southern California.”[7] The guarantees of miraculous recovery had been inflated, undoubtedly, and their large acceptance might perchance seem naive. But many desperately sick American citizens, having tried every other identified cure, pinned their final hopes on this arid, sun-drenched “doctor.”


escaping miasma

The nineteenth century witnessed a grim march of epidemic ailments without solve. Undoubtedly one of many most feared and in model became tuberculosis, a leading cause in the support of death in Europe and the United States. Is known as “consumption” and the “White Plague,” tuberculosis might perchance well abolish impulsively, or recede and return over many years. It became believed to be hereditary, but inflamed by wretched residing and working prerequisites. In 1882, it became stumbled on to be contagious, but no cure became stumbled on for near to seventy years. Contagion became so acute that an infection might perchance well unfold correct from respiratory the air finish to an invalid. Overcrowded city areas had been the most devastated, and women folk had been more than males on account of the constraint of their indoor lives.

Clinical put together at the time usually harmed bigger than it healed. Bloodletting, purging, and blistering had been long-established, destroying the cramped energy patients had left. Doses of addictive laudanum and poisonous mercury had been liberally prescribed. Clinical doctors tranquil believed the medieval notion that sickness became usually induced by “miasma”—depraved vapors bobbing up from decomposing topic. (Some believed that a mere breath of miasmatic air, whether it drifted from a sewage-stuffed city river or radiated from steaming jungles in the tropics, introduced on the body to commence as much as decompose and ferment.) 


On the identical time, city populations had been increasing exponentially, whereas cities’ antiquated systems of plumbing, sewage, and trash series, no longer to point out their cemeteries, struggled unsuccessfully to settle tempo. The situation of tenements in lower Manhattan became critically dire, as outlined in a Unique York insist legislative committee story from 1857: “The shadowy, undrained courts oozing with air pollution; the darkish, slim stairways, decayed with age, reeking with filth, overrun with vermin; the rotted floors, ceilings begrimed, and customarily too low to let you face correct.”[8]

The antidote to this drab city existence, rife with contagion and illness, beckoned. For these that might perchance well absorb the funds for to rep there, Southern California supplied an alluring solve. The sky became cloudless, nights frigid, days perfect, nature exceptional. No slums or commerce but existed to stain the air. An official insist effectively being story of 1870 proclaimed California the “Sanatorium of the World.”


starting up of the sanatorium

In Southern California, early effectively being seekers embraced the sunshine, new air, and diverse to sleep outdoors. To reap the advantages of explicit microclimates, and they lived a cramped of nomadically, circulating between varied hotels, boarding properties, or crudely erected tent cities. Some traveled by horse-drawn home wagon, wandering the barren place to settle air and sun baths. A family in Pasadena pitched a carpet over tree branches and lived beneath the peaked safe haven for six weeks. An sick Massachusetts man roamed the bucolic Ojai Valley with a cow, subsisting simplest on its raw milk till he claimed a miraculous recovery.

Such makeshift regimens, reliant on climatic remedies, had been also practiced in the hotter aspects of Europe. But a more formalized effectively being infrastructure became being developed in Europe’s colder climes, mixing the effectivity of a sanatorium with the comforts of a lodge. A rural atmosphere became paramount, reflecting the rising medico-geographical perception in nature remedies, to boot to the naturopathic technique of holistic, drugless treatment.


Commercial for Dr. Brehmer’s sanatorium in Görbersdorf, ca. 1880. The textual teach to the upright of the image reads: “The first sanatorium constructed for consumptives is open all one year with its frigid weather garden conservatory. The results of the frigid weather cure are in no means unhealthy to those of the summer cure. Room and board from forty two marks per week. Put up and telegraph area. Reveal letters and inquiries to 
Dr. Brehmer.”

In the course of the nineteenth century, a hydropathic doctor named Countess Marie von Colomb arrived in Görbersdorf, a village tucked into a pristine valley finish to what is now the Polish-Czech border. Colomb had studied with the infamous self-taught Silesian peasant Vincenz Priessnitz, the “father of hydrotherapy,” and became making an strive for a plan to open a sanatorium of her possess.[9] Görbersdorf, surrounded by the lushly forested slopes of the Stone Mountains, supplied magnificent air and new water, and like Priessnitz’s standard sanatorium, became at high altitude. 


Colomb’s water-cure sanatorium prescribed a regimen of wet compresses, drinking copious quantities of spring water, plenty of cool showers and baths everyday, spirited hikes, and drowsing with home windows open in all seasons. Contented with the sanatorium’s development and its restful atmosphere, she invited her brother-in-law, Dr. Hermann Brehmer, to focus on with. A botanist became doctor, Brehmer became also searching for a healthful locale to commence up receiving patients. His clinical research on the treatment of tuberculosis became centered on the notion of an “immune area.” After touring the valley and seeing Colomb’s sanatorium, he agreed that the positioning might perchance well offer the elusive immunity he sought. 


Launching his put together in Görbersdorf in 1854, Brehmer began to take care of a small preference of consumptive invalids. His machine included water remedies and hiking (or “methodical hill-rock climbing” as he known because it), to boot to a diet of milk, fatty foods, vegetables, and a nightcap of cognac. In time, he became able to form a immense piece of land and undertake the construction of an impressive, thick-walled sanatorium. As notice unfold of this original form of tuberculosis treatment, and its supreme facility and plan, Brehmer’s Heilanstalt für Lungenkranke (literally, “therapeutic institution for the lungsick”) grew, sooner or later housing plenty of hundred patients. 


Fusing the grandeur of towering Gothic structure with aspects of a homey Alpine chalet, Brehmer’s sanatorium supplied everything required for a long protect. As well to to a clinical laboratory, amenities included a meteorological observatory; an infinite library; males’s and women folk’s parlors; communal eating rooms; non-public bedrooms (whose home windows had been to dwell open all night); and its possess dairy, saved below strict hygienic supervision. No carpeting became permitted (a fibrous den of germs!), and air shafts and ventilators saved new air cycling thru the constructing.[10] The sanatorium became surrounded by an infinite wooded area laced with walking paths that supplied the open air squawk Brehmer “prescribed,” the intensity of which he calibrated to his patients’ gradually bettering energy. Brehmer believed that traditional physical task in the high-altitude air would toughen the hearts of tubercular patients, which in flip would heal their lungs. This became no longer strictly upright, but then again his regimen did toughen the effectively being of many patients who arrived in the early stages of the illness. 


Dr. Spengler’s authorized sanatorium in Davos, in-constructed 1868. The constructing became destroyed in a hearth in 1872, and original, bigger amenities had been erected nearby. Courtesy Gemeinde Davos Dokumentationsbibliothek.

Brehmer’s recommendations, and his synthesis of clinical science with the therapeutic properties of a suited locale, sparked a sanatorium movement that unfold across Europe. (The term sanatorium is from the Latin sanare, to heal.[11]) It proliferated first in mountainous areas, where the sunlight became stronger and the air so magnificent it became acknowledged to model like champagne. High-altitude villages like Görbersdorf and Davos, Switzerland, grew to alter into infamous effectively being hotels, attracting invalids (who might perchance well absorb the funds for the costs) from across the continent. 


Davos’s renown began with Dr. Alexander Spengler, a German doctor assigned to serve the small, mile-high farming village. Astride his horse, alongside with his clinical salvage in tow, Spengler visited patients in the snowbound valley and began to place an bright lack of tuberculosis. As a replacement, it became long-established, he seen, for locals to possess “a wonderful, symmetrical body, a bulging chest and a solid coronary heart muscle,” to boot to impressive stamina for scaling steep mountain slopes without turning into breathless.[12] Became as soon because it that you would perchance perhaps imagine that, like Görbersdorf, this became an immune area? 


Spengler might perchance well soon build his hypothesis to the take a look at. In the course of the bleak frigid weather of 1865, he received two feeble German invalids who had heard rumors of the illness-free valley. Exhausted from the 9-hour sleigh bound to attain Davos, they had been taken below Spengler’s care. They followed the doctor’s instructions—most importantly, exposing themselves everyday to the pure, bracing mountain air—and recovered after one season. Their triumphant story unfold in every single place. Meanwhile, Spengler broadcast his victory to the clinical neighborhood, and place about constructing a kurhaus (“curehouse”). It possessed long, large porches for open air leisure, where patients lay on chaise lounges for hours imbibing sunlight and brisk air. His therapeutic regimen became weird. He prescribed “stabulation,” or drowsing in cow sheds to inhale the pungent vapors of the animals’ urine, taking cool showers even when the spray would flip to ice, and being massaged with marmot stout—a effectively off and without issues absorbed liniment rendered from the alpine rodent and believed to be healing.


Alexander Spengler’s sanatorium soon made Davos into a center for effectively being and leisure for the prosperous. This poster from around the flip of the century touts town’s top quality amenities for tourism and sports activities. Courtesy Swiss Nationwide Library.

In the raze, lawful rail connections enabled Davos to invent into one in every of Europe’s most in model locations for effectively being seekers. On the starting place, they got here simplest in summer, but perception in the antiseptic advantages of the unsullied, frosty air soon introduced them in droves in frigid weather as effectively, when they would fight thru thigh-deep snow and sleep with home windows flung large open. Extra sanatoriums opened to secure the ever-increasing flood of patients. Their structure evoked the lavish lodge-like mannequin of Brehmer’s in Görbersdorf, but enhanced the patients’ publicity to sunlight and mountain air thru south-going thru home windows, porches, and balconies. Frequently, the rooms featured hygienic interiors, with linoleum flooring and disinfectable furnishings. Dietary regimens varied, but every institution monitored its patients’ meals closely, and prescribed schedules of leisure, promenades, hydrotherapy, and ceaseless publicity to new air. To mitigate the isolation and the constant shadow of death, familiar domestic distractions had been supplied. One account of an alpine sanatorium described patients “clothed in long flannel dresses, … as much as their necks in water in a protracted-established bath, where they dwell for plenty of hours together. Every bather has a small floating desk sooner than him, from which his book, newspaper or coffee is enjoyed.”[13]

Rapidly, “taking the cure” at a sanatorium became entrenched in European tradition, claiming its possess customs, tools, and rituals. It grew to alter into as long-established as leaving in the support of 1’s home and family for an unknown period would be. 


cottage remedies

Earlier than it made its means out to California, the European sanatorium cure first got here to the thickly wooded mountains of northern Unique York, when Dr. Edward Livingston Trudeau opened his Adirondack Cottage Sanitarium in 1885. A few years earlier, the younger doctor, who had a lean manufacture, a glum moustache surging into sideburns, and a grave prognosis of pulmonary tuberculosis, had acknowledged goodbye to his partner and adolescents. He became going, he told them, to “bury” himself in the Adirondacks. Trudeau assumed his final months had been upon him; any hope had been overwhelmed by the memory of helplessly witnessing the identical illness abolish his youthful brother. Trudeau described the place he became entering as “an unbroken desolate tract, and regarded as most unhealthy for a chest invalid,” but he loved the elegant landscape dearly. He stayed at a lodge amid the white pines “in remark to lead an open-air life in the immense wooded area.”

[14]

To his surprise, he survived and regained his effectively being.

Trudeau read widely about European sanatoriums and sought to institute a identical put together in the United States. The restful plan on the shore of Saranac Lake, where he had lain for plenty of days below the tremendous trees observing out at the water, supplied itself as ideally righteous for treating patients. “I then unfolded … my thought of constructing just a few cottages at Saranac Lake … where I might perchance well take a look at Brehmer’s and Dettweiler’s leisure, open-air, and sanatorium recommendations.”[15]

The first constructing constructed for Edward Trudeau’s Adirondack Cottage Sanitarium. In-constructed 1884, the Minute Red, because it became identified, hosted its first two patients in February of the next one year.

The doctor purchased ninety acres on the lake with the support of merchants and the buildings for his institution began to upward push, with amenities for administration, research, and caregiver working in opposition to, to boot to a laboratory with the latest clinical equipment. Desperate to settle a ways from a large constructing with darkish hallways and small home windows, like Brehmer’s gothic constructing in Görbersdorf, Trudeau most in model the homier form of “cure cottages.” These properties varied in model and size—from a gingerbread Queen Anne place to Swiss chalet to English geographical region—but all featured, crucially, fine air circulation and place for open air repose. In the course of the long, frigid frigid weather, patients reclined outdoors, swaddled in blankets and fur. 


The patients’ regimen became strict: alcohol, smoking, cursing, and intimate relatives had been forbidden. (The phrase “cousining” referred to illicit romantic affairs amongst patients; in maintaining with one provide, a secluded gazebo on the grounds became known as the “cousinola.”) The doldrums of open-air reclining had been also alleviated with wanted arts and crafts lessons, formal dinners, and an enforced tradition of optimism. 


Trudeau’s sanatorium gained in reputation, even supposing the success of his recommendations became barely restricted in that he simplest popular patients in the very earliest stages of the illness, some of whom would absorb improved regardless. Many weird doctors and effectively being officials visited his Adirondack Cottage Sanatorium and quickly Trudeau’s recommendations had been replicated across the country. Note became also unfold by massive title patients. The creator Robert Louis Stevenson, as an instance, stumbled on his effectively being enormously improved at Saranac Lake and customarily instructed this “American Davos.”


However, no longer every “lunger” (as some tuberculars known as themselves) might perchance well absorb the funds for to plod to sanatoriums and pay the costs for room, board, and clinical treatment. A network of free sanatoriums paid for by charitable, non secular, or insist institutions emerged, but beds stuffed mercurial. As a replacement, the massive majority of the had been cared for at home by family, despite the looming threat of contagion. Or, in the occasion that they are going to need the funds for the squawk impress and continue to exist the plod, they’d perhaps relocate to the natural sanatorium of Southern California.


the sanatorium belt

In 1880, exceptional of Southern California outdoors of downtown Los Angeles became tranquil a restful landscape of sleepy ranches dotted with adobe properties and dusty unpaved roads. But the next decade noticed appropriate exchange as rookies poured into the place, increasing town’s population bigger than seven times over.

[16]

Unique properties, roads, colleges, churches, and hotels had been impulsively constructed across the place, whereas irrigation systems greened the parched ground into a verdant patchwork of citrus orchards and farmland. Limitless effectively being hotels, boarding properties, lunger colonies, and nature-cure regimens also unfold across this phase of California, forming what grew to alter into identified as the “Sanatorium Belt.”

Pottenger Sanatorium, ca. 1923. Demonstrate that both aspects of the institution’s title had been misspelled by the issuing postcard company. Courtesy California Direct Library.

Undoubtedly one of many early boarding properties for consumptives became based in 1882 by Emma C. Bangs, who arrived from the east alongside with her sick daughter. Having purchased land overlooking a deep, dry gulch in Pasadena, Bangs had a two-story wood home constructed and began taking in tenants, many of whom got here for the frigid weather. One resident, Mrs. Jennie Banbury Ford, recalled this excellent chronicle:


When Mrs. Bangs’ boarding home became most flourishing, there had been many consumptives coming and going. It grew to alter into so depressing it became instructed that they band themselves together below the high of “the busted lung brigade,” and make more hopeful and overjoyed feeling. The suggestion became utilized and proved very a success. They elected officers, had a wonderful silk banner with “B. L. B.” embroidered on it and met all “busted lungers” with open arms. Those whose protect became ended had been started on their plenty of the way with smiles and cheers. Every member became compelled to label the by-authorized guidelines, which were fun as a minimum. They must “no longer sit down in a draft, must eat correct so exceptional milk and so many eggs everyday and predicament after every other’s comfort, and heaps others.” To support the relaxing alongside, Mrs. Bangs bought a parrot in Los Angeles who knew how to cough exactly like a “lunger” and contributed exceptional to the amusement. I don’t imagine a more grotesque membership ever existed, produce you? It lasted for plenty of years.[17]

The cheerfulness of the “busted lung brigade” aside, most effectively being seekers had a less elated time. The high population of invalids had attracted a flood of doctors, or these posing as such, whose recommendations of therapeutic had been usually eccentric and unregulated. Makes an strive to avoid losing a insist clinical board faced fierce and incessant resistance. In the first of its plenty of iterations, in the leisurely 1870s, it issued three separate licenses: for obsolete treatment, eclectic treatment, and homeopathic treatment.[18] Sadly, it became impossible to pursue and estimable the scores of unlicensed practitioners, some of whom vocally objected to the very belief of being examined and licensed in the first area. “In a country where sickness became as soon as nearly unknown,” seen British novelist Horace A. Vachell, “doctors, dentists, faith-healers, and quacks multiply and expand as the quails of yore.”[19] If an invalid became no longer below clinical supervision, by quite quite so much of or financial necessity, it became usually as much as them and their caretaker to race from inland warmth to coastal mist, mountain pines to valley shade, experimenting with atmospheres like scheme to be measured and decanted into an ethereal elixir.


As the century drew to a finish, the belief of tuberculosis modified. Recordsdata of the illness’s without issues communicable nature became dispersed widely thru public effectively being campaigns, amplifying issues over the hazard it posed. An ordinance against spitting in public areas became handed in Los Angeles in 1896 to stave off contagion. As historian Emily K. Abel facets out, by “spreading the message that contact with a tubercular would be lethal, effectively being educators transformed sufferers into menaces.”[20] Fright unfold faster than the lethal bacilli. 


After years of promoting the place quite explicitly to trap invalids, residents now complained that promoting effectively being products and services would simplest burden the place’s resources. Tales circulated of penniless consumptives with just a few adolescents in tow arriving by squawk and collapsing at the area. In the Los Angeles place, charitable institutions and the free county sanatorium had been over means and understaffed. In the raze, locals handed a law decreeing that simplest county residents of as a minimum one one year might perchance well rep free clinical treatment, searching for to ward off the actual movement of sick and impoverished rookies. Suspicion and hostility had been critically heaped upon non-white Californians, such as laborers of Native American, Chinese language, and Mexican heritage, who had been viewed as likely carriers of the illness. “We desire more population of the upright kind,” read a coded 1895 editorial in a promotional magazine known as The Land of Sunshine. “But we are explicit. We are anxious to absorb our chums advance; but no longer every person.”[21]

In remark to dangle the illness, consumptives had been encouraged to enter sanatoriums skirting town, staffed with doctors and nurses imposing their weird diets and strict everyday schedules. The Barlow Sanatorium, funded by charitable donations, opened in 1902 for indigent consumptives. They had been housed in secluded hillside bungalows, forbidden to spit, and began everyday with a fall into cool water. A one year later the Pottenger Sanatorium, place amid aromatic citrus groves on a south-going thru mountain slope, opened with eleven beds. Its founder, Dr. Francis M. Pottenger, had traveled to Southern California alongside with his partner in an strive and cure her consumption. As her effectively being failed, Pottenger devoted himself to researching the illness and its that you would perchance perhaps imagine remedies. Influenced by reading referring to the success of Brehmer’s and Trudeau’s recommendations and by his non-public observation of their institutions in Görbersdorf and Saranac Lake, he made up our minds to manufacture his possess sanatorium, righteous to the bizarre, effectively being-giving climate of his original home. 


“My task,” recalled Pottenger, “became to adapt the buildings to the one year-spherical open-air life in Southern California.”[22] To this pause, he housed patients in canvas tents three facets of which were made of wire netting and open to the air. The ensuing publicity to sunlight and air, to boot to a diet of garden-grown vegetables, new dairy, and copious doses of the “Pottenger cocktail” (orange juice, soda, and castor oil) proved priceless. His institution, which sooner or later supported as much as a hundred patients, gained in model prestige on account of its contemporary recommendations and solid recovery price. Other institutions followed; by 1911, there had been as a minimum twenty-three amenities for the treatment of tuberculosis across California and some years later, of us that popular lower-earnings patients began receiving insist funds.[23]

And but, the lore of California’s miracle climate became being gradually eclipsed by a force to redefine the place’s identity. Working in tandem with a slew of authorized guidelines monitoring or apart from consumptives, promotional publications shifted gears. Now they hawked the miracles of plentiful industrial alternatives and low-sign land, hoping to trap hearty, industrious families as a replacement of the feeble and loss of life. California became recast as a area where the wholesome might perchance well rep even more healthy. If an orange grew into a remarkably shiny globe in the dull of frigid weather, if the oldest and greatest trees in the nation soared out of California soil, what then might perchance well happen to a solid and wholesome particular person? 


Now no longer had been determined invalids free to investigate healing microclimates or absorb brocaded lodge hallways with the pathos of their coughs. The years of unregulated effectively being making an strive for had been drawing to a finish, but the place’s reputation had been sealed.



This essay is a modified excerpt from Lyra Kilston’s latest book Solar Seekers: The Treatment of California (Atelier Éditions, 2019).

  1. Sebastián Vizcaíno, “Diary of Sebastián Vizcaino, 1602–1603,” in Spanish Exploration in the Southwest, 1542–1706, ed. Herbert Eugene Bolton (Unique York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1916), p. eighty one.

  2. J. Praslow, The Direct of California: A Medico-Geographical Myth, trans. Frederick C. Cordes (San Francisco, John J. Newbegin, 1939). The book became initially revealed in Göttingen, Germany, in 1857.

  3. James Blake, “On the Climate and Illnesses of California,” The Edinburgh Clinical and Surgical Journal, vol. seventy eight, no. 193 (October 1852), p. 303. Blake’s article became first revealed in The American Journal of the Clinical Sciences, no. forty seven (July 1852).

  4. Peter Remondino quoted in Kenneth Thompson, “The Conception of Longevity in Early California,” Bulletin of the Unique York Academy of Medicine, vol. fifty one, no. 7 (July–August 1975), p. 813.

  5. Doctor Daniel Drake quoted in Kenneth Thompson, “Climatotherapy in California,” California Historical Quarterly, vol. 50, no. 2 (June 1971), p. 117.

  6. These figures are drawn from Sheila M. Rothman, Residing in the Shadow of Death: Tuberculosis and the Social Experience of Illness in American History (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995), p. 132.

  7. John E. Baur, The Smartly being Seekers of Southern California, 1870–1900 (San Marino, CA: Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery, 2010), p. 12.

  8. Document of the Grab Committee Appointed to Ogle into the Situation of Tenant Homes in Unique-York and Brooklyn (Albany, NY: C. Van Benthuysen, Printer to the Legislature, 1857), p. 14. This portion of the story is quoting an undated newspaper article “from the pen of Mr. Spaulding, of the N.Y. ‘Courier and Enquirer.’” 

  9. Priessnitz advocated for cool water remedies, breaking from the established European spa traditions of seaside remedies and visits to pungent mineral springs. His recommendations invoked skepticism amongst many (local authorities usually raided his sanatorium to survey his sponges for sorcery or hidden treatment), but had been widely replicated and absorbed into other effectively being regimens.

  10. Frederick Rufenacht Walters, Sanatoria for Consumptives: A Serious and Detailed Description On the side of an Exposition of the Commence-Air or Hygienic Treatment of Phthisis (London: Swann Sonnenschein, 1902), pp. 151–153.

  11. Sanatorium, sanitarium, or sanitorium? The distinction lies between the Latin roots sanitas (effectively being, sanity) and sanare (to heal, to cure). The manufacture varied by country, and in most cases even by doctor. With such identical words in employ, the results had been usually muddled. Here, sanatorium is outmoded to mean a nature-cure institution.

  12. Alexander Spengler quoted in “O Switzerland!”: Vacationers’ Accounts, fifty seven BCE to the Unique, ed. Ashley Curtis (Basel: Bergli Books, 2018), p. eleven.

  13. Quote from a Baedeker guidebook in Andrew Beattie, The Alps: A Cultural History (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006), p. 184.

  14. Edward Livingston Trudeau, An Autobiography (Garden Metropolis, NY: Doubleday Web page and Company, 1916), pp. 10–eleven.

  15. Peter Dettweiler became a health care provider who became one in every of Brehmer’s passe patients at Görbersdorf. He stayed on after his recovery and worked with Brehmer for a preference of years as one in every of his assistants, sooner than leaving in 1876 to stumbled on the Falkenstein sanatorium in Germany’s Taunus mountains. Where Brehmer emphasised spirited blood-pumping workout routines for invalids, Dettweiler pioneered the comfort cure—an arrive that might perchance well demonstrate more enduring. His sanatorium supplied deep verandas and cane recliners for patients to lie on whereas making the most of the mountain air. He also based Germany’s first “folks’s sanatorium” for invalids of low earnings—a mannequin that might perchance well proliferate at some stage in the nation and beyond.

  16. Los Angeles’s population became estimated to absorb elevated from eleven,000 to eighty,000 in the Eighties. Look Glenn Dumke, “The Enhance of the Eighties in Southern California,” Southern California Quarterly, vol. seventy six, no. 1 (Spring 1994), p. one zero five.

  17. J. W. Wood, Pasadena, California, Historical and Deepest (n.p.: revealed by the creator, 1917), pp. a hundred twenty–121.

  18. Look Linda A. McCready and Billie Harris, From Quackery to Fine Assurance: The First Twelve A protracted time of the Clinical Board of California (Sacramento: Clinical Board of California, 1995). “Eclectic treatment,” a term in employ from about 1830 to 1930, referred to a notion of botanical remedies and physical treatment, but became also outmoded to embody any arrive that became no longer obsolete.

  19. Horace A. Vachell quoted in Carey McWilliams, Southern California: An Island on the Land, (Layton, UT: Gibbs Smith, 1973), p. a hundred.

  20. Emily K. Abel, Tuberculosis and the Politics of Exclusion: A History of Public Smartly being and Migration to Los Angeles (Unique Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2007), p. 21.

  21. Emily K. Abel, Struggling in the Land of Sunshine: A Los Angeles Illness Myth (Unique Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2006), p. fifty three.

  22. Francis M. Pottenger, The Battle Towards Tuberculosis: An Autobiography (Unique York: Henry Schuman, 1952), p. A hundred and twenty 5.

  23. Look Philip P. Jacobs, A Tuberculosis Listing Containing a Checklist of Institutions, Associations and Other Agencies Coping with Tuberculosis in the United States and Canada (Unique York: The Nationwide Affiliation for the Look and Prevention of Tuberculosis, 1911), pp. thirteen–sixteen. For added reading on the amount and form of effectively being amenities in the Los Angeles place in the first a protracted time of the twentieth century, gaze Emily K. Abel, Tuberculosis and the Politics of Exclusion, pp. 39–fifty one.

Lyra Kilston is a creator and editor primarily based in Los Angeles. Her first book, Solar Seekers: The Treatment of California (Atelier Éditions, 2019), examines three moments in Southern California history and the many eccentric rookies—from interested nature-cure healers to fashionable architects to barefoot vegetarian hermits—who constructed up the place’s renown as a center for wholesome, natural lifestyles around the flip of the twentieth century. Her next mission is on 1970s ecological structure in the American West.

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