Please note that several of these sites also include mention of the paranormal. They are classified under the historical section because they do have historical content that I personally feel is more important than the paranormal content.|
MountainSanatorium.net Gift Shop
The above gift shop helps support the MountainSanatorium.net site. History lovers, please drop by and help keep this fine website up and running!
AbandonedButNotForgotten.com- Essex Mountain
Epinions.com- Essex Mountain
Postcard Collection: T-V
Scroll down to Verona, the city where the Sanatorium was located, to see the historic postcards in this collection.
Links To Abandoned Buildings
While the above does not contain new information on Essex Mountain, it does, however, bring up very good points about the dangers of exploring abandoned buildings. Please pay attention for your own safety and legal well-being.
A biographical website about the painter who painted the Essex Mountain dining room mural (see the last photo on this page).
MedHunters.com- Essex Mountain
While I am heartily interested in the paranormal activities associated with this institution, it is my sincere wish to be as respectful as possible. In this spirit, I have tried to keep to historical facts and documented evidence. If this needs correcting, or I missed something, please email me the information and a credible source. Thank you!
Contents of this page:
- Essex Mountain Timeline
- About the Sanatorium
- Reported Hauntings
- Photos of Essex Mountain
- 1873: Newark City Home for orphans and troubled youth established in Verona, New Jersey
- 01/09/1900: Main building of the home burned down, no casualties
- Board of Trustees for the home decided to change it to a cottage dormitory system instead of a mass housing system
- 10/30/1900: Cornerstone laid for the Newark City Home for Girls
- Building is completed and opened in January of 1902, but because of the low number of female orphans and delinquents, the building was phased out and stood vacant by 1906
- 1906: 842 deaths and 3,000 reported cases of TB in Newark, no adequate facilities available
- 1906-1907: Mrs. E.A. Prieth and Miss Mary Wilson propose to create a TB sanatorium in the vacant Newark City Home for Girls
- Proposal draws criticism and threats of court injunction from citizens in the city of Verona
- 11/1907: First patients admitted to Newark City Home for Consumptives at midnight under cover of darkness to prevent a court injunction (more paperwork would be required to actually evict the physician and patients, and it was never pursued)
- Patients and physician had to leave again for remodeling efforts- the building was redone quickly and reopened for TB treatment on 01/21/1908. The initial year of opening, the facility held 129 patients
- 1917: following legislation making TB a county responsibility, the Newark Board of Health suggested to the Board of Chosen Freeholders turn the hospital over to the county for enlargement to handle the needs of the approximately 4,000 suffers of TB in Essex County's 21 communities
- County enlargement consisted of 11 new major buildings and was completed and Essex Mountain Sanatorium opened for patients in 1922
- 1930: The last of the major buildings (the Hospital Building, largest on the site, and the Community Building, which housed the chapel and auditorium) are completed and the complex covered almost 200 acres- mostly farmland worked by prisoners from the North Caldwell penitentiary where the sanatorium grew its own produce
- 1970's: the decline of TB patients due to advances in science creating more adequate prevention and care of the disease left the majority of Essex Mountain's buildings empty and the county struggling to find ways to use them
- Vacant wards of the sanatorium now used to house patient overflow from nearby Overbrook, a psychiatric hospital located in Cedar Grove, NJ. The Medical Staff Building was used as housing for Overbrook's doctors and their families. Much of the farmland was in use as a composting site for Essex County
- 1975: The Male Employee Home building is turned into Turning Point, a rehabilitation center for drugs and alcohol
- 1977: The last TB patient was released from Essex Mountain Sanatorium, and all operations ceased.
- 12/01/1982: Essex County locked the gates to the sanatorium facility, leaving it essentially abandoned
- 1987: B-budget slasher flick "Doom Asylum" is filmed inside the Essex Mountain facility and on the surrounding grounds (unless you're a major history lover and like seeing pictures of the old buildings, or are a horror-movie buff who can appreciate cheesy effects for laugh value, DO NOT BOTHER WITH THIS MOVIE)
- 08/1993: Essex County began demolitions work on the Essex mountain Sanatorium
- 04/10/2002: Final demolitions work was completed and the facility was completely destroyed
- In May, 2002, the grounds of the Essex Mountain Sanatorium are dedicated to a hilltop reservation
- 2004-Present: Essex County has performed cleanup exercises and begun construction on facilities designed to help in low-environmental-impact recreation in natural settings. Please see the Hilltop Conservancy site for more detailed information regarding the future of the Essex Mountain site.
ABOUT THE SANATORIUM
Essex Mountain Sanatorium was a facility far ahead of its time. The average patient recovery rate was 50% over its years of operation. It provided treatment for patients suffering tuberculosis well into the era of the Civil Rights Movement. TB was still a threat as recently as... well, NOW! (Remember the idiot who went flying cross-continental with a contagious case of TB just to get married? Yeah- before 1977 they just might have sent him here instead of Federal Quarantine!) Not to mention the hopsital was a caretaker for veterans of WWI who had lung injuries. Take into account also that over the course of its use, it provided a home for psychiatric patients and drug addicts and alcoholics. Essex Mountain Sanatorium was truly a beacon of hope for all those who walked into its doors. And for those who never made it back out of them, it was home. Now that the facility is gone, it is a safe haven for animals and plants, and so continues to serve as a hope for the future.
Below, the Essex Mountain Main Complex, year unknown
Below, Essex Mountain Sanatorium patients, year unknown
Below, the mural from the Essex Mountain Sanatorium's dining room, now destroyed. (The History of New Jersey, 1939 by Michael Lenson)
All photos appear courtesy of www.mountainsanatorium.net, and are displayed with much gratitude! The originals, in their proper size, are all available for viewing through the aforementioned site.