2. Saratoga County Homestead Sanatorium

Saratoga County Homestead

The Saratoga County Homestead Sanatorium off of County Highway 16 in Barkersville, New York has been abandoned since 1973. To get a handle on the tuberculosis crisis which plagued New York at the end of the 19th century into the early 20th century, the state legislature mandated in 1909 that every county must open sanatoriums and hospitals to care for the sick. This site opened in 1914 to offer refuge to those suffering in Saratoga County.

In 1936, the sanitorium got an upgrade. Wooden structures were replaced with brick and embellished with decorative moldings, marble columns, and large windows. Solariums were built to circulate the fresh Adirondack mountain air. Patients at the hospital were under a strict regimen that consisted mostly of resting and a small amount of light exercise. Dancing, alcohol, cigarettes, and even foul language were prohibited.

A crumbling staircase inside Saratoga County Homestead Sanatorium
Main stairwell, Saratoga County Homestead, 2020

By 1960, the development of antibiotics such as streptomycin led to the phasing out of sanatoriums across the country. Many other tuberculosis hospitals in New York were closing or, like the Neponsit Beach Hospital in Queens which became a nursing home, were being converted for other uses. The last of the tuberculosis patients left Saratoga County Homestead in August of 1960 and the next year it became the Saratoga County Infirmary.

The infirmary treated geriatric patients until 1973 when it closed for good. For nearly half a decade now, the site has been derelict, a victim of vandalism and decay. The 28-acre property was purchased in 2019 but is put up for sale again in June 2022. The current says new buyers can recoup the purchase cost by hosting haunted tours of the abandoned hospital.