Tuberculosis Huts

USA - Kentucky - Mammoth Cave NP TB huts

Tuberculosis Huts in Mammoth Cave National Park

“One can hardly imagine a more dank and gloomy place in which to recuperate from a deadly disease, yet Dr. Croghan believed the cave’s constant 54-degree temperatures could cure consumption, an illness we now call tuberculosis. The doctor had 11 huts built inside the cavern and 15 patients moved in. Dr. Croghan’s “consumptive colony” was a dismal failure. Two patients died within the first year, all 15 got worse, and Dr. Croghan himself died from tuberculosis in 1849.

“The remains of Dr. Croghan’s “consumptive cabins” can be seen while touring the cave. In front of one of the cabins is a slab of stone upon which the bodies of the dead tuberculosis patients were placed before they were removed from the cave. They call it Corpse Rock. Some say, if you listen long enough, you can hear coughing in this section of the cave.”

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