Pickford Tuberculosis Sanitarium

Written By Adrienne Dunn

A mutual benefit society, the Pickford Tuberculosis Sanitarium opened in 1896 in Southern Pines, North Carolina, with a specific mission: to treat African Americans with tuberculosis.

Benefactors Anna M. Pickford and Alice T. Brockway of Massachusetts donated the hospital in memory of the late Charles J. Pickford.  In 1897, the sanitarium was granted a charter from the General Assembly.  The Ladies’ Pickford Sanitarium Aid Society of Raleigh, North Carolina, an African American organization, furnished the first building. The 1899 General Assembly also recognized the sanitarium as a charible instution and endorsed its mission.  It also supported the hospital’s policy of quarantining the sick.

According to the North Carolina Board of Public Charities, the Pickford Sanitarium opened annually from December 1 to May 1.  The sanitarium charged in advance fifteen dollars a month.  The sanitarium consisted of a kitchen, dining room, nurse’s department, offices, and buildings to house patients.  According to the institution’s 1905 report, twenty-six people were treated.  Although the hospital had only 24 beds, its maximum capacity was thirty patients. The sanitarium survived solely from the generous donations from blacks and whites.