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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

CLEVELAND WATER CURE ESTABLISHMENT

CLEVELAND WATER CURE ESTABLISHMENT

The CLEVELAND WATER CURE ESTABLISHMENT, founded in 1848 by Dr. Thos. T. Seelye, was a combination sanitarium and resort for the treatment of various ailments and diseases through HYDROPATHY. Such establishments became fashionable in the U.S., particularly in Ohio and New York, during the 1840s and 1850s. Seelye built his sanitarium, a 3-story brick building, near a soft-water spring in a wooded glen between Wallingford Ct. and Sawtell Ave. (E. 51st St.). In a rural setting, the sanitarium was known for its beautiful landscaping, including curving walks and drives. The Cleveland Water Cure specialized in "treatment of diseases peculiar to females," including ailments related to childbirth. In 1851 the charge for "board, medical advice, and all ordinary attendance of nurses" was $8 per week, payable weekly. In addition to hydropathy, diet and exercise were also emphasized. Despite the disapproval of many Cleveland physicians, the Cleveland Water Cure enjoyed a regional popularity for nearly 2 decades. In 1868 it was sold to a national Jewish organization for $25,000 and became the Jewish Orphan Asylum (see BELLEFAIRE).