Maple Crest Sanatorium

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Maple Crest Sanatorium
Established 1911
Opened 1913
Closed 1977
Demolished 2008
Current Status Demolished
Building Style Single Building
Location Whitelaw, WI
Alternate Names


The Manitowoc County Board signed a resolution in 1911, marking the start of the Maple Crest Sanatorium, located north of Whitelaw. County Board Supervisor Joseph Willott Jr. called attention to the high number of tuberculosis deaths at the time. A total of 50 deaths were reported from TB in 1910. There were 250 recorded cases of TB in 1911. Leading the movement for the creation of a TB Sanatorium were prominent local physicians – Dr. Harvey D. Brown, Dr. J.W. Coon and Dr. J.R. Currens. County Judge Chloupek also voiced his support of the project.

The County Board approved the construction of the Sanatorium at a cost not to exceed $12,000. Equipment would cost an additional $1,000. Miscellaneous expenses totaled $2,000. The Maple Crest Sanatorium was built in 1912 on an 11 acre wooden site. The facility was a wooden-frame, two story site. The first patient was admitted on February 20, 1913. By September 30 of that year, 27 patients had been seen. It was recorded that 7 of these patients had died.

An additional wing was added to the facility in 1913. This allowed for 25 beds and another maid. The trustees reported that 47 patients had been treated in 1914. In 1920, the County Board approved additional rooms and porches to be constructed. A separate brick building for nurses and janitors was erected in 1925. A major purchase in 1934 included an x-ray machine, for a cost of $4,000. The Manitowoc Shipyards and Maple Crest partnered together in 1944 for a war-time TB control program. More than 5,000 workers were x-rayed by a mobile unit at the yards.

In 1945 Maple Crest was honored on National Hospital Day. A newspaper article from the honor states that Maple Crest was the first county sanatorium in the state of Wisconsin. In the 1960s the County Board of Trustees of Maple Crest approved a new plan that would limit the beds for tuberculosis care to 10 and provide 30 other beds for skilled care and nursing home facility. Inpatient tuberculosis treatments ended in 1975 because the facility was no longer certified under Medicare. There were 4 TB patients that were relocated to a facility in Sheboygan. Continued operation of the site as a nursing facility was impractical with improvements to health and building codes in the 1970s. The facility closed its doors in 1977. The phase-out of Maple Crest was completed with the additional to the Manitowoc County Health Care Center. At the facility’s close in 1977 there were 35 patients and 44 employees.

It was reported that in 1979 a group was interested in the property for a supper club and cocktail lounge. The group was no longer interested in the investment a few months later. Other options discussed for the site included a pre-release center with as many as 50 prisoners.