The Warsaw Sanitarium which was located on the hill west of the county fairgrounds (now the village park) was constructed in 1890. Besides the main building, there were the doctors' and nurses' home southwest of it, a bath house between the two buildings and a "pest house" back of the wood where people with contagious diseases were cared for. The view on the hill overlooking the valley was a beautiful one. The cost of constructing the buildings was $30,000 financed by fifty residents of Warsaw
Dr. John C. Fisher, a native of Warsaw, was the founder. From 1884 to 1890, he was professor in the Protestant Medical College in Beirut, Syria. On his way home, he investigated various sanitariums in Europe where salt baths were being given. He came home with the idea of starting a sanitarium in Warsaw where such baths would be furnished as there were none in the country. The old home farm, which had come into the possession of his stepmother after his father, Samuel Fisher, second, died was conveniently located about a half a mile from the Hawley Salt Works from which an abundance of salt brine could be piped by gravity to the sanitarium.
By January 1891, the first salt bath sanitarium in the United States and Canada was completed and opened April 1st of that year. It could accommodate 100 guests. Gas was made on the ground for lighting. Besides salt baths, there were Turkish, Russian, electric thermal and cabinet baths. There were also facilities for treating various other diseases than those benefited by bathing. It was a good place to come simply to rest and relax. Every little while well known performers came for the entertainment of patients. The general public was usually invited too. The building had hot water heat, a hydraulic elevator, electricity, a telephone and a good gymnasium. It was a prosperous institution for some years. On February 1, 1897, it caught fire and burned to the ground though much of the contents were removed. The insurance on the bulding was sufficient to reimburse the people who had invested money in it.
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