Website Devoted to the Cresson TB Sanitarium, its History & its People

It was called “the san” and it’s part of a haunting and nearly forgotten chapter in Pennsylvania history.

Cresson Sanitarium The Cresson Sanitorium for tuberculosis patients was located 140 miles from Harrisburg, between Johnstown and Altoona. Thousands of people were sent there between 1913 and 1964. Some stayed for years. Some died there. In a reflection of the fear and stigma that surrounded tuberculosis, some who died were never even claimed by their families. They remain buried on a nearby hillside.

Charles Felton, who lived there for 18 months in the mid-1950s, has breathed new life into the facility by creating a Web site devoted to it. Felton, a 71-year-old retired aerospace engineer who lives in Texas, began the site for personal reasons. In his later years, he had been nagged by questions about the facility, where he was forced to live while his classmates graduated from high school.

Read the full article by David Wenner in the October 24, 2009 edition of

55 thoughts on “Website Devoted to the Cresson TB Sanitarium, its History & its People

  1. Good Afternoon,

    My great grandmother passed in the Sanitorium from what I believe is September 3, 1928. It could be under multiple different last names most likely Quaranto, Mastrovito, or Pecori. After she passed away my grandpa and his twin brother were awarded to the state because their biological father was not in the picture. I really have no info on much of their past at all. If you have anything at all I would really appreciate it. Thank you.
    God Bless,

  2. I really wish I had known about the tours of Cresson Sanitorium back in 2011 because I would have loved to have been there. I was a patient in Cresson Sanitorium from 1945 through 1950. I have a lot of memories of being there even though I was very young. I was at the age of 3 when I went in. I also had an aunt who passed away while she was there and I contracted TB from her. I used to stay with her and spent a lot of time with her.

  3. Hi. My great great grandfather died here of turberculosis in 1926. I was wondering if I could get any info?

  4. Have pictures of patients, staff 1920 to 1960,s. Great aunt, MaryPetro was a nurse there and I inherited a photo album that needs to be shared.

  5. My grandfather was in Cresson in the early to mid 50’s for TB. He spent a few years there, only to be released, because he never had TB. It ended up he had Silicosis from working in the coal mines. So, I wonder how many other people spent years away from their families senselessly.

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