The place began in 1839 when a log cabin known as the Black Horse Tavern and its property was converted into a poor house and 35 of the overcrowded tenants at the Wayne County poor house in Hamtramck were transferred to the newly constructed buildings. For years it was known as the Wayne County Poor House until a post office was opened in 1894 and named after Eloise Dickerson Davock the daughter of Detroit’s postmaster.
In 1913 there were three divisions: The Eloise Hospital(Mental Hospital), the Eloise Infirmary (Poorhouse) and the Eloise Sanitarium (T.B. Hospital) . Over the years the complex continued to grow with about 10,000 residents at its peak during the Great Depression. It had its own police and fire department, railroad and trolley stations, bakery, amusement hall, laundries, and a powerhouse. It also had many farm buildings including a dairy herd and dairy barns, a piggery, a root cellar, a Tobacco curing building, and employee housing.
Eloise was one of the first if not the first hospital to use x-rays for diagnosis performed by Dr.Albarran. Patients came from Detroit and other communities to have x-rays done. It also housed the first kidney dialysis unit in the State of Michigan and was a pioneer in the field of Music Therapy.
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