Just as a scourge drove the birth of the Henryton Tuberculosis Sanatorium (Henryton) in Marriottsville, Henryton evolved into a local scourge during its decades of abandonment. During the early 1900s, Maryland’s African- American community suffered a tuberculosis outbreak four times higher than Maryland’s Caucasian population. With segregated hospitals as the order of the day, along with sub-par African-American health care, a policy to curb this escalating contagious disease demanded responsiveness. In 1922, the first “separate but equal” Maryland African-American sanatorium opened its doors for the under-represented and very ill African-American sector. For almost forty years, this institution, nestled within a wooded setting, effectively treated African-American tuberculosis patients.
In the 1960s, however, tuberculosis was on the decline, and the sanatorium transformed into Henryton State Hospital, which was charged with the treatment of adults with profound mental disabilities. With the concept of deinstitutionalization of large medical complexes taking nationwide root in the 1970s, fewer mentally disabled patients were hospitalized at the large Henryton complex. Henryton closed in 1985 and remained abandoned until its demolition in 2013.