Irene Byron Hospital - Tuberculosis Sanitorium

Formerly at 12101 Lima Road, Street View photo from Google map shows current view. A new facility Byron Health Center broke ground in 2018 at Lake Avenue and Beacon Street. See the Tuberculosis section of our Diseases of Allen County page.

At the end of the 19th century, one in seven people around the world had died of tuberculosis, and the disease ranked as the third leading cause of death in the United States. While physicians had begun to accept German physician Robert Koch’s scientific confirmation that TB was caused by bacteria, this understanding was slow to catch on among the general public, and most people gave little attention to the behaviors that contributed to disease transmission. They didn’t understand that things they did could make them sick. Copied from the beginning of the article: How Epidemics of the Past Changed the Way Americans Lived Past public health crises inspired innovations in infrastructure, education, fundraising and civic debate by Katherine A. Foss, Zócalo Public Square posted April 1, 2020 on shared October 20, 2022 on Smithsonian Magazine on Facebook.

  1. Irene Byron books at the Allen County Public Library
    1. Irene Byron Hospital, 362 F77
    2. Irene Byron Tuberculosis Sanatorium, Fort Wayne, Allen County, Indiana, 977.202 F77IBB, 1926
    3. Minutes of board of managers' meetings of Irene Byron Tuberculosis Sanatorium : from January 1, 1927 to Dec 15, 1931, 977.202 F77IBC
    4. Record Book, 977.202 F77IBA, 1996
    5. Report, 1923, 977.202 F77ib
    6. Transactions of the board of managers of the Allen County Tuberculosis Hospital, later the Irene Byron Tuberculosis Hospital1915-1919, 1919-1926, 2 volumes, 977.202 F77ibe, 977.202 F77IBEA
  2. 1938 photos of the Main Building, Sunny-side, and the West Hall Girl's Building from the Joan Hostetler Collection at The Indiana Album.
  3. Sixteen photos from Irene Byron Tuberculosis Sanitarium search are similar to Indiana Album photos above at the Ball State Digital Media Repository.
  4. Irene Byron Tuberculosis Sanatorium (Fort Wayne, Ind.) book titles but no previews as Google eBook
  5. Named for Irene Byron, the land was a well known home to a large county-owned facility for tuberculosis patients between 1919 and 1976. One proposed move was to Wells Street. Byron Health Center move to old YWCA campus could boost sale of county land by Kevin Leininger published February 8, 2017 in The News-Sentinel newspaper.
  6. The original grounds on Lima Road had at least one graveyard. In 2020, the county hired American Locating Services of Indianapolis, to use ground-penetrating radar to look for caskets or bodies according to the newspaper article County to look for possible graves Commissioners hire surveyor to study Byron property by Rosa Salter Rodriguez published February 22, 2020 in The Journal Gazette newspaper. It also stated: The need for the study came a few months ago when a longtime area resident told county officials he remembered seeing a second graveyard on the site when he was a teenager in the 1960s to 1970s.
  7. Collection # M 0384, OMB 0003 AMERICAN LUNG ASSOCIATION OF INDIANA RECORDS, 1904–1980 shows Box 17, Folders 1-7, and OMB 0003, Folder 1 are for the Fort Wayne Irene Byron TB Sanitorium or Allen Co. TB Assoc. at the Indiana Historical Society.
  8. Irene Byron Tuberculosis Sanatorium-Physician Residences, also known as the Kidder and Draper-Sherwood Houses, were two historic homes located in Perry Township, Allen County, Indiana. They were designed by architect Charles R. Weatherhogg and built in 1934-1935 as housing for the medical director and head staff physician. Weatherhogg had earlier designed the sanatarium complex. The Kidder house was a two-story, Tudor Revival style frame dwelling with brick and stone cladding. The Draper-Sherwood House was a two-story, Colonial Revival style frame dwelling with one-story side wings. Surrounding the houses was a contributing formal landscape design. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2004and delisted in 2013. Copied from Irene Byron Tuberculosis Sanatorium at Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.
  9. See Inside Abandoned Indiana Hospital Before Its Demolished by Melissa Awesome, Published: April 13, 2022, has videos and photos.
  10. Commissioners: Former Irene Byron site on Lima Road set to be sold after demolition by Jamie Duffy, posted: Jul 15, 2022 on CBS WANE-TV NewsChannel 15.
    Irene Byron Health Center (1.2022)

    Irene Byron Health Center (1.2022) image taken January 1, 2022 from the Fort Wayne: Irene Byron Health Center series of photos by Daniel Baker on flickr.
  11. Foreign and Forelorn A walk with the Wayward Wanderlust blog posts below:
    1. Byron Health Center and Allen County Infimary / Poor Farm demolition, December 22, 2022
    2. In Memoriam: Irene Byron Tuberculosis Sanatorium and Hospital lists the patients who died at these hospitals. This information has been gleaned by searching the death records for the State of Indiana, often one at a time, to find patients whose death certificates give their location of death as the Sanatorium or Hospital, December 22, 2022
    3. 12371 and 12407 Lima Road, Fort Wayne, Indiana: The Irene Byron Sanatorium and TB Hospital, December 22, 2022
    4. “To a land where the sky is blue”: Patricia Irene Byron’s Story December 22, 2022
    5. Byron Health Center and the Old Allen County Infirmary, 12101 Lima Road, Fort Wayne, Indiana July 25, 2022
  12. Over 70 interior photos posted February 4, 2023 on True Fort Wayne Indiana History on Facebook.
  13. Another 80 photos taken in 2021 were posted February 4, 2023 on True Fort Wayne Indiana History on Facebook.

7-minute video Byron Health Center last days presented by Andy Goodwin exclusive last pictures by Honor Rolls March 1, 2023 on YouTube.

24-minute video Abandoned building explore & demolition of County old TB Hospital by Honor Rolls December 18, 2022 on YouTube.
The Byron Healthcare Facility was established in this location in 1916 in Fort Wayne Indiana Allen County. It was an anti Tuberculosis unit. Evolved into a show case facility in the 1930s but fell on hard times until 1954 when the Allen County Home as it was called. In 1974 Allen County Health Center merged with Byron Health Care Center

Founded in 1892, closed August 31, 2014. Constructed some of the city’s most prominent buildings including the Embassy Theatre; the Fort Wayne Water Treatment Plant; the former Waterfield/Wolf & Dessauer/Lincoln Financial building now known as Citizens Square; North Side, Bishop Luers and Paul Harding high schools; projects at Trine University and the University of Saint Francis; the Mizpah Shrine; the (former) GTE building; and many buildings and expansions at and around St. Joseph, Lutheran and Parkview hospitals. From Irmscher built to last Contractor on Embassy, many major projects, closes by Linda Lipp published September 12, 2014 in Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly.

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