Sunday, January 4, 2015

Old postcard featuring Markleton Sanatorium in Somerset County, Pa.

This postcard was sent from Markleton, Pennsylvania, in Somerset County. Markleton, which once had a railroad station, is now nothing more than an unincorporated community/hamlet. It's not far from Mount Davis, the highest point in Pennsylvania.

The postmark appears to be May 12, 1919 (though it's a little faded). It was addressed to Mrs. Appleton Berger of Foltz, Pennsylvania. The message is written in ink, in small, tight cursive writing. And, interestingly, it is written upside-down, with relation to the orientation of the postcard and the address. Here's the message:
Mon P.M.
I know you are busy but I was mad this morning when Russells second letter came back. Here I have been sending telephone calls, special delivery letters etc after him all wekk and he has been at home and none of you fellows could even drop me a card. I was on the verge of going to Pgh. for the parade but thot I'd better not risk it as I had not heard definitely from you, but of course I supposed he had gone to Camp Shermas [?] as I did not hear from you. The operator at Rockwood said she could hear Edna fine this morning, but our line must be out of whack for I could not. Am relieved to know that Russell is home for I was beginning to think something had happened to him.
I'm not sure that the unidentified writer of this postcard was actually a resident of Markleton Sanitorium. According to the Asylum Projects wiki, the facility closed on March 27, 1919. And, as mentioned, this postcard appears to be from May 1919. But perhaps it took some time for everyone to get moved out of the hospital.

Here's some information on Markleton Sanitorium, from Asylum Projects:
"Markleton Sanatorium was originally a private hotel-like sanatorium where guests would visit for relaxation as well as treatment from every day 'illnesses' like stress. The sanatorium would later be converted for use by the US Army as a tuberculosis sanatorium. The sanatorium was situated on the main line of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, between Cumberland and Pittsburgh. It was nestled among the mountains at an altitude of 1,700 feet, which shut it in on both the east and the west, and was, therefore, not exposed to the cold winds of the winter. Its main building was a five-story, steam-heated, brick structure, with north and south frame wings, each of which was 150 feet long. Water was supplied from numerous springs high up on the mountain side. The sanatorium had baths of salt, electric, Turkish, and vapor."
I wonder if the building is still there. I think a 2015 road trip to Somerset County is in order. The greater Markleton metroplex sounds like an interesting place for exploration.


  1. The building is not there, I'm trying to find the coordinates so I can visit myself. I know I'm close, but I can't tell where the building was.


    The old road is grown in and you will have to walk on a logging road to get to the flat. It is .5 miles south of the bridge.

    I have hunted through the ruins of the building and only have a few bricks and the foundation of the building. I live in the area and there is nothing to be found. Sorry for the bad news but I was interested when I walk across the building so I asked around and found information on this.