Sprague's Sanitarium

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Sprague's Sanitarium
Opened 1883
Closed 1960
Current Status Demolished
Building Style Single Building
Location Lexington, KY
Alternate Names
  • Our Lady of the Oaks Hospital
  • High Oaks Sanatorium


Founded in 1883 by Dr. Chenault, former superintendent of Eastern State Hospital, on South Broadway for the treatment of mental & nervous disorders. He died in the early 1890s and operation was turned over to Dr. Silas Evans. In April 1899 he was then succeeded by Dr. George R. Sprague after recommendation by a friend who was on staff at Danvers State Hospital. By 1912 Mrs. Chenault, who still owned the asylum, sold the property to a tobacco company who cleared the land for a large tobacco warehouse. Dr. Sprague purchased an 83-acre tract the following year just south of the old location on Harrodsburg Rd. Eighteen acres were reserved for the sanitarium with the rest developed for a market garden. It's operation continued until 1945 when the hospital closed due to Dr. George S. Sprague's ill health, son of it's founder. Later that year it was sold to the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, who also operated Our Lady Of Peace in Louisville. The sisters turned the hospital into a for the treatment of "nervous and emotionally disturbed" women. In 1960 St. Joseph hospital opened it's new building and the sanitarium was moved into this facility. The old building was used as housing for the sisters until it was demolished in 1971.