Category Archives: Minnesota

Lake Julia Tuberculosis Sanatorium

This is the place to share your memories or knowledge of the former patients and employees…and especially the dedicated Dr. Mary Chapman Ghostley… of the Lake Julia Tuberculosis Sanatorium in northern Minnesota.

As a young child, I lived on the San Dairy, the farm that supplied the sanatorium with milk for the patients. My dad ran the farm, located right on the sanatorium grounds, with my mother’s help.

The doctor’s son, Jim Ghostley, remembered how clean my dad kept the barn. Dad knew the importance of providing safe, nutritious food for the patients. He had been the San janitor, a part of this community made up of  tuberculosis patients and employees. My parents met at the San when Dad was a janitor and Mom worked in the kitchen. Many couples met there and were married, including my Uncle Louis who did some haying for the San. He married a lady named Inga, a nurse who had formerly been a patient. Inga’s sister Tressa, now nearly 100, worked at both the Lake Julia and Nopeming sanatoriums as a nurse after she had TB, and one of Inga and Tressa’s sisters died while a patient at the San. My uncle Norman, who also occasionally worked for the San, met his wife there when she worked in the laundry. My uncle Reuben was the gardener.

Work on my two books about the amazing patients and employees of the Lake Julia Tuberculosis Sanatorium has taken me from my home in Washington State back to my first home of Minnesota where I’ve interviewed patients and employees and their family members. I hope to make another research trip this year to tie up some loose ends in my rough drafts.

This website is a place to share your stories. I know there are many wonderful stories about Dr. Mary and others. Please share your stories here, and please check back often to read what others have added. All I ask is that you state your connection to the San (example: daughter of nurse; grandson of Dr. Mary; former patient; nurse at another nearby San) and that you include your name. By posting on this site, you give me permission to use your postings in published material. If you do not wish to post your name or information online, please email.

You may email me at Photos are encouraged.

Please post often.

See my other website:

                                              Pat Nelson


Filed under Family History, Family Memories, Minnesota, TB sanatorium, Tuberculosis