Cresson TB Sanatorium Remembered
Newspaper 52
The following article, written by Kathy Mellott, was published in the Johnstown Tribune Democrat on October 22, 2013. Click the following link to go to the newspaper website:   __________________________________________________________________

                          Cresson San group seeks funds for marker
                                      Kathy Mellott

An account has been established at a local bank in hopes the public will make contributions toward the cost of a historical marker denoting the Cresson Sanatorium, which was established to treat tuberculous a century ago.

Former residents and employees of the San, as it is known, are working to raise $1,800 needed for the state to have the roadside marker manufactured and installed near the entrance to the site.

“To me, it’s a dream come true. This has been a real team effort,” said Cresson resident and retired registered nurse Etta Albright. “I will be so relieved when the marker actually gets installed.”

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission approved two historical markers for Cambria County in September, one for the San and another for a site on the Underground Railroad in Geistown.

Tight funding at the state level now places responsibility for paying for the makers on local efforts, commission spokesman Howard Pollman said recently.

A small group of volunteers began the application process months ago. Approval came only after they spelled out the role the San played in the treatment of and a cure for TB not only statewide but also internationally, Albright said.

The fund has been set up at the 1st Summit Bank, according to Chuck Felton, a Texas resident who spent 16 months at the San during his high school years.

Felton started a website on the San three years ago, a step that resulted in a reunion two years ago and a 100th anniversary celebration earlier this year.

The marker will be like the icing on the cake, Albright said.

The group has set about raising the money but has yet to finalize the wording that will appear on the marker, she said.

When completed, it will be placed along Admiral Peary Highway near the entrance to the now-closed State Correctional Institution-Cresson.

The San was built in 1913 on land donated by steel magnate Andrew Carnegie and operated by the state Department of Health until the early 1960s as one of three TB sanatoriums in Pennsylvania.

Now numbering more than two dozen buildings, the property was

used for about a decade for those with special needs.

It became a prison in the 1970s but now is dormant following the June 30 closure by the state Department of Corrections.

Donations can be made to the account at: 1st Summit Bank, 7538 Admiral Peary Highway, Cresson, Pa. 16630.

Checks should be made payable to Cresson San Reunion with the term “marker account” on the memo line, Felton said.