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Historic Sites of Manitoba: Ninette Sanatorium (Ninette, RM of Prairie Lakes)

The Sanitorium Board of Manitoba operated several tuberculosis sanitoria in Manitoba from the early 1900s until the 1960s. These sanitoria were established and administered to house and care for those living with tuberculosis (TB). At that time, effective treatments were not available to treat TB. Instead, patients were isolated from the general public and prescribed rest and good nutrition.

The Ninette Sanatorium opened in May 1909 near the community of Ninette in what is now the Rural Municipality of Prairie Lakes. Buildings on the site were designed by Brandon architect W. H. Shillinglaw and built by Brandon contractor William Bell. The first patient was admitted on 24 May 1910 and an official opening ceremony occurred a month later.

Over the next several decades, the facility grew into the largest sanatorium in the province, comprising over a dozen buildings. Financial costs to operate the Sanatorium were originally borne by municipalities from which its patients came, based on a levy system. In 1939, the Manitoba government assumed all costs, apart from those incurred in the treatment of veterans and Aboriginal people who were the responsibility of federal authorities.

With advances in medicine, the sanatorium was eventually not required. The facility closed in 1972, by which time it was functioning mainly as a retirement home for its remaining patients. From 1973 to 2000, it operated as the Pelican Lake Training Centre. With a staff of over 100, the Centre provided living accommodations and training to intellectually-disabled people, former residents of the over-crowded Manitoba Development Centre at Portage la Prairie. Only some of the buildings were used during this period and many of the others fell into disrepair and were torn down. After this facility closed, the remaining buildings were used for a time as a Christian conference centre and retreat. They are now vacant.

There are several monuments on the former Sanatorium site. One monument, erected in 1960 by former patients of the Ninette Sanatorium, commemorates the 50th anniversary of the facility, and was dedicated to its staff, including physicians Alfred L. Paine, Edward L. Ross, Donald L. Scott, and D. A. Stewart. Another monument near the former administration building commemorates Dr. Stewart, the first Superintendent of the facility. He is also commemorated by a historical marker erected at the site by the Historic Sites Advisory Board of Manitoba.

Medical Superintendents

Period

Medical Superintendent

1910-1937

David Alexander Stewart (1874-1937)

1937-1946

Edward Lachlan Ross (1902-1974)

1946-1972

Alfred Leroy Paine (1901-1988)

Photos & Maps

Ninette Sanatorium

Ninette Sanatorium (no date)
Source: Janet Moore

Ninette Sanatorium

Postcard view of the Ninette Sanatorium (no date) by Ernest Jerrett
Source: Gordon Goldsborough, 2009-0034

Ninette Sanatorium

The former administration building at the Ninette Sanatorium, constructed in 1909 and expanded in 1918 (October 2011)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Ninette Sanatorium Memorial Cairn

Ninette Sanatorium Memorial Monument (October 2011)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Ninette Sanatorium Memorial Cairn

D. A. Stewart memorial monument (June 2013)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough

Site Location (lat/long): N49.40317, W99.60705
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Memorable Manitobans: David Alexander Stewart (1874-1937)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Ninette Sanatorium Memorial Monument / Belmont Hillside Cemetery (Belmont, RM of Prairie Lakes)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Stewart Memorial Marker (Ninette, RM of Prairie Lakes)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Abandoned Manitoba

Famous Places: The Manitoba Sanatorium, Ninette by Tim Trivett
Manitoba History, Number 7, Spring 1984

Sources:

Holy Ground: The Story of the Manitoba Sanatorium at Ninette by David B. Stewart, J. A. Victor David Museum, 1999.

We thank Margaret Bernhardt-Lowdon, Rob McInnes, and Janet Moore for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 17 December 2016

Historic Sites of Manitoba

This is a collection of historic sites in Manitoba compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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Please note that inclusion in this collection does not mean that a particular site has special status or protection. Some sites are on private property and permission must be secured from the owner prior to visiting.

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