Halcyon Sanitarium

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Halcyon Sanitarium
Opened 1903
Closed 1937
Current Status Closed
Building Style Single Building
Location Halcyon, CA
Alternate Names
  • Halcyon Hotel and Sanatorium



History

The three-story Coffee T. Rice home, which now stands in the middle of a mobile home park along Highway 1, was bought by the Theosophical community and became the Halcyon Hotel and Sanitarium, attracting patients from throughout the United States. Dr. Dower specialized in treating alcoholism, drug addictions, nervous disorders and tuberculosis. Patients were encouraged to take long walks on the Oceano Dunes and along the beaches to commune with nature.

Because of Dr. Dower’s involvement in tuberculosis treatment, he purchased the first X-ray machine in Central California and employed what was then considered state-of-the-art treatment, including electrotherapy and hydrotherapy. The treatment facility for the tubercular patients was separated from the other wards. Patients were served healthy food and given light exercise, and they slept in outdoor pavilions with canvas roof covers that rolled back in good weather. Patients were treated without regard to financial status, placing a heavy burden on the Theosophical community. The community’s magazine, The Temple Artisan, sought sponsors for patients, stating that $10 a month would support treatment for a person in recovery.

The hospital’s activities ended with Dr. Dower’s death in 1937. By 1949 the Sanatorium was sold and the Temple property was consolidated into the present-day pattern of about 95 acres with the Temple owning 30 of the 52 homes.