Where the Present Meets the Past Negative : F1695
Peer Into the Past : Historic Images of Fort Smith
Title:
Wildcat Branch of Boonville Sanitarium
Date:
1937
Photographer:
McCann
Collection:
McCann Collection
Description:
Wildcat Branch of Boonville Sanitarium
Property of:
Fort Smith Museum of History
History:
In 1935, the city of Fort Smith offered 80 acres and two unused barracks to the Arkansas Tuberculosis Sanatorium in Booneville, Arkansas to create a hospital annex for TB patients in an isolated location - Wildcat Mountain - which sat 4 miles southeast of town.

In 1937, the Works Project Administration (WPA), a 'New Deal' program that created employment during the Depression, constructed ten additional buildings to complete the Wildcat Mountain Annex of the Arkansas Tuberculosis Sanatorium. The Annex, or 'The San' as it was often called, opened March 26, 1937 and could house up to 100 patients (and was usually filled to capacity).

The patients' buildings were a "veranda type barracks with porches and open-air areas....to sun and rest," which was the prescribed cure for tuberculosis at the time. Concerned with the contagious nature of the disease, signs posted around the Annex stated, "Do not spit on the grass."
Click to Enlarge
Wildcat Branch of Boonville Sanitarium, 1937Wildcat Branch of Boonville Sanitarium, 1937