Below: I took this picture of the abandoned DeJarnette Sanitarium a few years ago on a particularly gloomy day. I applied a filter on Instagram and ended up with this rather eerie looking photo:
A few days later we were walking around our own town, Charlottesville, and discovered that a historic structure now used as office space for a nearby Methodist church was originally a hospital known as the Magruder Sanitorium.
It turns out that the man who established that sanitorium, Edward May Magruder, was the uncle of Joseph DeJarnette, the doctor who advocated eugenics, forced sterilization on those he deemed “defective,” and practiced heinous acts on the mentally ill while he headed the Western State Hospital from 1905 to 1943.
Below: The former Magruder Sanitorium, founded by Edward May Magruder, the uncle of Joseph DeJarnette.
The DeJarnette family descended from French Hugenot immigrants who settled in Virginia during the colonial period, and they had been prominent in Virginia planter society for generations. Joseph, the son of Elliott Hawes DeJarnette and Evelyn Magruder, was born on his family's plantation, Pine Forest, in Spotsylvania County, Virginia (in 1862, Union Brig. Gen. George A. Custer and his troops seized and occupied the plantation and freed those who had been enslaved there by the DeJarnette family).
Could the odious “family values” rooted in and passed down from generation to generation in the DeJarnette family have also been ingrained in the Magruder family as well?
At Cvillepedia.org, a wiki “dedicated to sharing and building community knowledge and history about the people, places, and events in Charlottesville and Albemarle County,” there is an entry (HERE) for DeJarnette’s uncle Edward Magruder – founder of the Magruder Sanitarium. I find it interesting, though, that the post doesn’t even mention the sanitarium. Is there some ugly history – a la DeJarnette’s practices and beliefs – that is being veiled?
Hmm. I’m just curious.
By Emily Dickinson:
There is no Silence in the Earth – so silent
As that endured
Which uttered, would discourage Nature
And haunt the World.
I wonder what was endured at the Western State Hospital, the DeJarnette Sanitarium, and/or the Magruder Sanitarium that would "haunt the world."