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One-hundred years ago, Cragmor Sanatorium here in Colorado Springs was a celebrated asylum for wealthy tuberculosis patients and one of the premier facilities in the West. The history of the sanatorium is colorful and perhaps legendary. It includes housing movie stars, Mafioso and millionaires in the 1920s to 1930s and later Navajo patients in the 1950s. Once it became part of the University of Colorado system in 1965, much of the original history was subsumed under the growing campus. This project seeks to understand some of the ephemeral features and material remains of the sanatorium that could help us put the history in context and better understand the fanciful stories that surround the sanatorium. As part of a survey and field school conducted by the anthropology department at UCCS and funded by the Colorado State Historic Fund, we identified, recorded, and tested several features and sites associated with the original functioning of the sanatorium. Using archaeological testing and historical records, we illuminate institutional practices as well as describe alternative healing strategies employed by physicians and patients at Cragmor.
An Assistant Professor and Curator in the Anthropology Department at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Dr. Larkin received her PhD in Anthropology and MA in Museum Studies from CU Boulder. She has done archaeological fieldwork in numerous regions including: the Southwest, Chihuahua, and Colorado including the Ludlow Massacre Site. Her research focuses on understanding community interaction, social change, and negotiating social discord through material culture. She was the second Project Director for the Colorado Coalfield War Archaeological Project (CCWAP) and is co-editor of the Archaeology of Class War, published in 2009 by University Press of Colorado and a recent article in the International Journal of Historical Archaeology called Decolonizing Ludlow.
Programs are held virtually using Webex on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 7 PM.
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April 20, 2021 at 7 PM
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Meeting number: 182 365 6720
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