“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Westland in Wayne County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

Eloise Poorhouse/Hospital

Eloise Poorhouse/Hospital Marker image. Click for full size.
By Al Barrera, October 11, 2007
1. Eloise Poorhouse/Hospital Marker
Inscription.  (Front):
In 1839 Wayne County purchased the Black Horse Tavern, a stagecoach stop, Located here on the Chicago road, for use as a poorhouse. Early on the poorhouse accepted not only the county's indigent, but the infirm and mentally ill as well. During the late nineteenth century, the number of residents grew, and new buildings were constructed to meet the demand. In 1894 a post office opened on the grounds with the name Eloise, a name that became synonymous with what developed into a 902-acre, 75 building complex. By the late 1920's Eloise's population had peaked at 10,000 patients and 2000 staff, A city in itself. Eloise had its own farm, cannery, bakery, cemetery, employee housing, police and fire departments, trolly and train stations, and 16 kitchens that served 30,0000 meals daily.

Wayne County's medical complex, "Eloise", was founded as a poorhouse in 1839, it eventually became one of the largest public health-care facilities in the U.S. The most advanced medical and psychiatric treatments were used here. During the twentieth century Eloise physicians pioneered the use of X-rays for diagnostic purposes,
Eloise Poorhouse/Hospital Marker image. Click for full size.
By Al Barrera
2. Eloise Poorhouse/Hospital Marker
radium for the treatment of Cancer, "open air" treatment for Tuberculosis. Psychiatric patients underwent electroshock and insulin shock therapy as well as music, recreational, and television therapy. Psychiatric care ended in 1979, and the General hospital closed in 1984. Most of the complex's 75 buildings were razed by the mid-1980s. More than 7,100 patients are buried in the Eloise cemetery, their graves marked only by numbered blocks.
Erected 2006 by State of Michigan. (Marker Number S699.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Science & Medicine. In addition, it is included in the Michigan Historical Commission series list.
Location. 42° 17.158′ N, 83° 20.9′ W. Marker is in Westland, Michigan, in Wayne County. Marker is on Michigan Avenue (U.S. 12) near Merriman Road. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 30712 Michigan Avenue, Westland MI 48186, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Norwayne Subdivision (approx. 0.6 miles away); Johnson's Tavern (approx. 1.9 miles away); First Congregational Church (approx. 1.9 miles away); Old Wayne Village Hall (approx. 1.9 miles away); Wayne Industries (approx. 2.4 miles away); Henry Ford's Honeymoon House
Eloise Poorhouse/Hospital Marker image. Click for full size.
By Al Barrera, September 11, 2006
3. Eloise Poorhouse/Hospital Marker
(approx. 2.9 miles away); A Nankin Pioneer (approx. 3˝ miles away); Perrinsville School (approx. 3.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Westland.
Regarding Eloise Poorhouse/Hospital. This was the first hospital in the United States to use x-rays to diagnose medical conditions.Elijah McCoy the inventor was a patient here, as were countless African-Americans and ex-slaves.The first mental health patients were housed in the barn around the rear of the property, many of whom were Civil War veterans.
Hospital and Marker - from west image. Click for full size.
By Joel S., November 26, 2014
4. Hospital and Marker - from west
Hospital Street Entrance image. Click for full size.
By Joel S., 11
5. Hospital Street Entrance
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on December 8, 2008, by Al Barrera of Brownstown, Michigan. This page has been viewed 4,514 times since then and 20 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on December 8, 2008, by Al Barrera of Brownstown, Michigan.   4, 5. submitted on December 4, 2014, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
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Sep. 29, 2020