Aug 052014
 

Disclaimer: The hospital discussed in this post will be referred to under the pseudonym “SIM hospital.” I do this only rarely, when a location is on active grounds and/or fairly unexplored/unknown, as I don’t want to be responsible for vandals and scrappers finding an undisturbed place and going all Carrie Nation in there and and ruining it for everyone.

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The SIM hospital was constructed in the 1830’s, on some island near a city in one of the states. It originally served as a marine hospital, catering to naval personnel and commercial sailors. It also served temporarily as a quarantine station. The day I was there, I made friends with a local who told me that there was an underground tunnel running from the hospital to the boat docks, for secluded transportation of sick sailors. He told me it was a medically unnecessary means of transport, but done as a precaution for the building, since years prior, some citizens of the town burned down a nearby quarantine hospital out of fear of sick immigrants bringing new diseases to the island. He informed me that the tunnel was bricked up midway many years ago, but you can still see the entrance at the waterfront. I forgot to go look for it and I’ll be forever mad at myself.

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The hospital sometime during its active days, date unknown, photo c/o wikipedia 

As the hospital expanded, buildings on the campus served a variety of purposes including a standard medical department, addiction treatment facilities, a psychiatric emergency center, a maternal care ward, community employment programs and others public services.  I hope you guys appreciate my deliberate effort to not repeat any nouns in that last sentence, despite the limited lexicon of places to go when your body or brains are broken.

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The original building was also once used as an experimental bacteriological laboratory, which was set up in the attic, because of course it was. Everyone knows when you’re messing around with science, you have to do it in the basement or the attic, or else it’ll probably all go and planned and that’s boooooring. Case in point- Frankenstein’s monster? Created in a castle basement. Honey I Shrunk the Kids? A suburban attic.

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Dental chairs in the attic.

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Attic corner full of old laboratory glassware and medical paperwork.

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Glass tuberculin syringe, which was used to test for tuberculosis exposure. A small amount of TB protein is injected under the top layer of skin. If the patient has TB, they’ll develop a red bump at the injection site sometime over the following 48 hours. (For the record, this syringe was still packaged/unused when I found it.) 

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The hospital still functions today in a larger building on the grounds, mainly as a psychiatric and addiction out-patient facility. The property, including the old marine hospital and other abandoned structures including (but not pictured because they suck) nurses housing and medical wards were purchased by the Salvation Army a few years ago in an attempt to turn the land into a community center. The plans stalled out and the property remain mostly abandoned, although the grounds are meticulously maintained.

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Nurses’ quarters. Totally wrecked inside, not even worth one photo.

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The basement halls of the hospital are currently lit up by utility lights, although for what purpose, I’m not sure. There didn’t appear to be any activity in the building.

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At the very least, lights like these are good for warding off scrappers, because it means the building is still connected to to power, so they ought not go tearing into the walls in search of copper, as that would be a suicide mission.

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Dental cleaning apparatus in the attic. 

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Old, foot powered, industrial sewing machine. I mean, they’re all foot powered, but this one looks like a bicycle. I suppose I could research it right now but I’m already losing interest.

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Ugh this hand-painted sign is amazing I want it gimmie. I hate knowing it’s down there in the basement where I can’t enjoy it with my eyeballs in my own apartment.

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For more photos of this hospital, go to the Flickr set or share them on Imgur.

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Disclaimer: If any information on this post is incorrect, if you have more info or would otherwise like to tell me something, feel free to contact me.

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