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Fargo Medical Sanitarium


On this date in 1900, the citizens of North Dakota had available to them the latest in medical treatment. By today’s standards however, some of the treatments seem a little suspicious.

The Fargo Forum reported the opening of the new North Dakota Medical, Surgical and Electrical Sanitarium. Of course the new sanitarium also was equipped with the latest Turkish and Russian baths.

The sanitarium was located in downtown Fargo, on the third floor of the new Edward’s Building overlooking Broadway. The Turkish and Russian baths were located in the basement. An elevator was available from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., to comfortably deliver the patients upstairs to the treatment rooms. If you were an out-of-town patient, you could be met at the train station for personal delivery to the sanitarium.

The new sanitarium’s manager was Mr. Borns, who indicated that he was now ready for every medical emergency which may come to a sanitarium physician.

Doctors who worked at the new facility were prepared to provide all of the approved “curative methods” in medicine and surgery. Patients were assured that every device for the use of x-rays and “treatment by electricity” was at their disposal. Every type of “chronic disease” was treated using a variety of methods.

The new sanitarium boasted that the best results could be obtained by the “combination of forces” found in medicine, surgery, electricity, massages and baths. When it came to the baths, the patient had access to quite a variety: Russian, vapor, sulphur, needle, and electric.

Massage treatments and the latest methods of magnetic healing could be found at any time in the new establishment. Mr. Borns assured patients that even if they had suffered for years with an incurable disease, perfect cures had been found in establishments such as his.

Mr. Born was prepared to offer names of satisfied customers, but his strict rule was that no names would be made public without the written consent of the patient.

It all must have sounded quite new to the people of North Dakota. But one can’t help but wonder how many patients scheduled themselves in for a second “electrical bath” treatment.

Written by Dave Seifert

The Fargo Forum and Daily Republican, Saturday Evening, October 27, 1900. pg. 8.