Ashland State Tuberculosis Sanatorium

(Image from Google Earth, 2019)


The District Four Tuberculosis Sanatorium located in Ashland opened in late July of 1951. Former Kentucky Governor S. Willis spoke at the dedication ceremony. The hospital, as with the other hospitals, had a capacity of a hundred beds. Those beds were allocated to each of the district’s eighteen counties and were largely dependent upon the 1940 census information. On the day of its dedication, the hospital began accepting patients immediately and it was noted that the hospital could be expanded to care for as many as 140 patients.

District Four Counties

  • Boyd
  • Breathitt
  • Carter
  • Elliott
  • Floyd
  • Greenup
  • Johnson
  • Knott
  • Lawrence
  • Letcher
  • Lewis
  • Magoffin
  • Martin
  • Menifee
  • Morgan
  • Pike
  • Rowan
  • Wolfe

Sanatorium Design

Note: Each of the five “new” hospitals shared the same design and layout. You can visit our Madisonville State Tuberculosis Hospital page for photos of the interior.

The main hospital buildings were noted as being an “off-center T” and upon entering the main entrance, a patient or visitor would emerge into the admittance room or the outpatient clinic where all new patients are registered. This room had yellow-glazed tile walls, linoleum tile floor, and a noiseless celotex ceiling. A plaque hanging on the wall revealed site selection date.

The first floor, in addition to the aforementioned areas, included an X-Ray reading and record room, gown and wash rooms, treatment room, utility rooms, combination beauty parlor and barber shop, storage rooms, X-Ray and developing room, two dining rooms for personnel (one finished in pink and one in blue), a large ultra-modern kitchen, and numerous other rooms. General offices were located in the main hospital’s second floor, including administrative offices. Patients rooms were located on the second, third, and fourth floors. There were two-bed and four-bed wards with no private rooms. Each of the floors containing patients had a registered nurse on duty at all times. Waiting rooms for visitors were located at the half-way point on the floors. Minors were not allowed at any time, even with adults. Each floor also contained a service-kitchen, dining room for patients, and a dining room for hospital personnel all decorated in pastel shades. Each floor also contained a drug store and fluorescent lighting.

The operating room had the latest equipment and a dental clinical was located on the third floor. The patients rooms were decorated in shades of golden buff, light rose and pastel blue. The northern end of each floor contained a solarium with yellow leatherette chaise lounges. The eight-room home for the medical director is beautifully decorated and completely equipped from the playroom basement all the way to the second floor.

Contributed by Shawn Logan |

⁘ Works Cited ⁘

  1. The Lexington Leader, 9 December 1949
  2. The Lexington Leader, 12 December 1952
  1. The Courier-Journal (Louisville, Kentucky), 27 July 1951, p. 21.
  2. United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service, and Jenna Stout. “National Register of Historic Places Multiple Property Documentation Form .” National Register of Historic Places Multiple Property Documentation Form , Kentucky, 2016, pp. 1–18.

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