Glen Lake State Sanatorium, Minnetonka, Minnesota

From Placeography

Jump to: navigation, search
Edit with form

Glen Lake State Sanatorium

Administrative Building of Glen Lake
Minnetonka, Minnesota
Hennepin County, Minnesota
State/province: Minnesota
Country: United States
Year Established: 1916
Year Ended: 1991

Minnetonka Hennepin County

The Glen Lake State Sanatorium and Oak Terrace Nursing Home, Minnetonka, were established in 1961, when legislative action authorized leasing of the facilities to the state (Laws 1961 c618) for use as a combined tuberculosis and geriatric care program. Glen Lake Sanatorium had served as the tuberculosis hospital for Hennepin County since 1916, but studies indicated that the sanatorium could no longer be operated economically as a tuberculosis hospital alone. The legislative action also provided for the merger of the Minnesota State Tuberculosis Sanatorium program at Ah-gwah-ching in Walker with the program at Glen Lake.

On January 1, 1962, Glen Lake State Sanatorium began operations with 136 tuberculosis patients. At the end of 1963 there were 100 tuberculosis patients and 251 geriatric patients. The tuberculosis program consisted of drug therapy, surgery when indicated, and a controlled rest and exercise program. Patients were taught the nature of their disease and how to prevent the spread of infection. The statewide services for inpatient tuberculosis care continued until spring, 1976, when its patient census reached zero because the responsibility for tuberculosis care had been transferred to general hospitals and outpatient clinics.

The 1965 state legislature authorized the renovation of the sanatorium’s children’s building for use as a training and rehabilitation center for retarded adolescents under the sponsorship of the public school districts of the Twin Cities Metropolitan area. The Cooperative School Rehabilitation Center was established on July 1, 1965. The first students were enrolled in September. The center’s goal was to prepare seriously retarded young people for employment and other adult roles and responsibilities. During the 1970s approximately 350 students were enrolled each year. In August, 1978, the program was moved to other locations.

n March 1977, the superintendent’s residence was leased to Alanon as a counseling center for alcoholics and their families. The same month, the nurses’ residence was leased to Nexus, Incorporated, a rehabilitation program for released felons.

The medical care program of Oak Terrace Nursing Home was designed to provide skilled nursing care for geriatric patients who were discharged provisionally from the state mental hospitals and from the institutions for the retarded. The program also worked with other community agencies. An employee of the Hennepin County Welfare Department acted as a liaison between the nursing home and other counties.

lthough the sanatorium and nursing home were considered to be separate institutions, they operated as one administrative structure under the control of the Department of Public Welfare. A medical director and an administrator directed the operations of both programs.

The nursing home was closed on June 20, 1991 [Laws 1989 c282 a6 s11] and ownership reverted to Hennepin County.


Site History

Information for this section was taken in part from an article written by Betsy Adams and the Saint Louis Park Historical Society website.

1903 Dr. Henry Longstreet Taylor convinced the State to establish the first state tuberculosis sanatorium.

1906 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 Glenwood Park.

1907 The first sanitarium in the State - the State Sanitarium for Consumptives - was opened in Walker, but was soon inadequate.

1908 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 Glen Lake.

1913 The State passed the Sanitarium Law, facilitating the construction and maintenance of county sanatoriums.

1914 Hennepin County began construction of what was to become the Glen Lake Sanitarium on land that spanned the Eden Prairie/Minnetonka border.

1916 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:

1917 West Cottage opened, adding 50 beds

1921 Central section of main infirmary opened, adding another 100 beds

1922 Lenora Hall Christian Memorial Children's Building built with funds donated by the Citizen's Aid Society, adding 60 beds

1923 The Minneapolis Journal donated radio equipment to bring radio to every bedside.

1924 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.

1925 Outpatient facilities established at the University.

The 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 status.

1927 Despite outpatient care around the city, the facility was overcrowded and forced to use porch space to care for patients.

1929 The highest number of patients was recorded: 718.

1931 Vocational building built with funds donated by the Citizens' Aid Society.

1938 Over 8,000 TB patients had been admitted. The grounds encompassed 160 acres. 1950: The Glen Lake Children’s Camp was closed.

1955 East and West cottages closed for patient care.

1959 Children's Building and several floors in the main building closed for patient care.

1961 The number of patients was 144. St. Louis Park resident S. Earl Ainsworth served on the Hennepin County Sanatorium Commission.

1962 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.

1976 The last TB patient was discharged from Glen Lake.

1993 The entire Glen Lake complex was demolished. It had served over 17,000 people in its 75 years.

Superseded by

The area was transformed into a golf course.

Memories and stories

Photo Gallery

Related Links


  • Minnesota Historical Society Agency History Records
  • Glen Lake
    Personal tools
    [ snubnosed]