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Spring Grove Hospital : grounds1870

Spring Grove's Grounds

grounds1870.jpgBy some accounts, this photograph was taken in the1870s, but maybe somewhat more recent. (It appears in several publications from the turn of the 19th Century, so it is at least that old.) The masonry structure in the center of the pond was probably an intake for the Hospital's water supply. This spring-fed pond was located where the electric substation stands today, just west of the current Wade Avenue entrance to the Hospital, and across from the north side of today's MPRC Building. (The water from the pond was diverted in the 1950s and it was filled in with dirt, so that it no longer exists.)

The photographer stood approximately where the Shade Shop is located today. The view is to the east, looking towards what is today Maple Street and the Wade Avenue Entrance. The current MPRC Building would be to the right. A small dam is visible at the far end of the pond. A close-up of the picture reveals that the black "spot," seen behind the dam, is a bridge over the stream.

A roadway that led across the bridge is also visible in close-up. The roadway was located several hundred feet to the east of where Maple Street is today, and it led to the "Frederick Turnpike" (Frederick Road), just as Maple Street and Wade Avenue do today . (Wade Avenue was called Asylum Lane in the late 1800s -- not to be confused with the current Asylum Lane at the other end of the campus.) The stream ran under the bridge and in the general direction of where the Hamilton Building now stands, to another pond.

Although the stream has been channeled through a large underground pipe under Maple Street near the current Wade Avenue Entrance, it still runs in its original bed in the woods to the north of the Hamilton Building, and the second pond is still in existence, also in the woods behind the Hamilton Building. History buffs may enjoy "discovering" the old bridge and part of the roadbed, both of which still exist in the woods just to the north of the Hamilton Building (parallel to Walnut Street). An 1898 map of the Hospital Grounds shows the approximate locations of the ponds and streams.