Cresson TB Sanatorium Remembered
I received the following story from James Holsinger in July 2010.  His email address is


Dear Charles,

Jul 7, 2010


Thank you so much for the recent newspaper article.  My sister, who lives just outside of Greensburg, PA called and told me about it.  Our mother, Sabina Patricia (Patti) Barrett, deceased since 1995, spent time there in the 1940's. We don't know too much about her time there, even how long she was at the san (possibly a year to a year and a half?). We know she was there in 1943, since we have a dated picture of her there, but other than that, not much. We know that our father, Joseph Holsinger (also deceased), who was her high school sweetheart, took the train from New Castle, PA to visit her a number of times, and that her mother and 2 sisters went once or twice to visit, but no pictures to record the events. She did tell us about the pneumo treatments and how awful they were.


In 1972 we took a vacation to New York City, and on our way we stopped at Cresson to find the sanatorium. It was quite unsettling for mother to see that it had become a mental health facility, but kind of humorous to us kids (kids can be unfeeling at times, don't you know...) I think she was more surprised than anything.


I am attaching a couple of pictures of our mother while she was there.  I have a number of other pictures of the friends and acquaintances she made while there, but in the interests of privacy I am not supplying these. If anyone who visits your website recognizes my mom in these photos, they can get in touch with me, James Holsinger, at I could then possibly supply them with some photos. It would be great to hear from anyone that remembers her.


Thanks again Charles for the wonderful website. Hope it continues to grow.



James A. Holsinger

1.  Patti in one of the hall corridors.  Judging by her dress, she was out of the ward and on meals at this time.
3.  This photo and #4 were taken at an event at Grace Chapel.  The large camera for formal pictures indicates it might be a wedding.
2.  After months in the ward, most patients couldn't get enough of the beautiful summer weather and scenery that the mountaintop location provided.  No wonder Patti is smiling.
4. Weddings of patients in Grace Chapel did occur occasionally and certainly provided a happy ending