Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Ditching Liquor and Dope: The Sanitarium behind Mission Mill

The corner of southeast Ferry and 14th is one of the odder intersections in the city. The pavement is bumpy and an asphalt patch curves across it as if sewer mains had suddenly become bendy. The intersection occupies a slight rise just behind Mission Mill, and it is, in fact, where the mill race gathers itself for the final downward rush to power the mill's turbine.

Wedged into the southwest corner of the intersection, and alongside the mill race, are some magnificent trees and a fairly old home. The home at present may not look very distinguished, but it has an interesting story.

A century ago the newspapers would run large supplements on New Years Day. They wrapped up the events of the previous year, looked to some of the likely events in the coming year, and profiled people and businesses. These profiles are much like today's advertorial.

One such profile was for Dr. C.S. Rice and his new sanitarium. The copy represents an interesting hybrid of real estate ad and patent medicine promotion. It also occupies an interesting place just on the cusp of Prohibition. We are inclined to think Dr. Rice was likely a quack. The early form of hype is too obvious; the move to LA more than a little suspect. One wonders if Dr. Rice was himself a dope fiend!

Here's the house today. It looks the same, and the only obvious exterior modification is a wheelchair ramp on the south side.

New Sanitarium Has Been Erected

Dr. C.S. Rice Completes Fine New Home Centrally Located

Salem has in her midst a man who is doing a great work in the fight against the great curses – dope and liquor habits. Dr. C.S. Rice, whose home and sanitarium is located at 215 South 14th street, is the administer of a remedy that is claimed to knock either habit in from 48 to 72 hours. A cure is guaranteed and no charge is made until the patient is satisfied that he is fully freed from the habit with which he is afflicted. The remedy is a secret preparation invented by a Missouri specialist in this line, and only a few people are acquainted with its use, and only the inventor knows the recipe for it. When he dies his wife will take up the preparation, and with her demise the recipe will be given to the world. Dr. Rice has more work of late than he could attend to, and as a result he is worn out and will soon leave for Los Angeles for the benefit of his health. He has cancelled all engagements after the first of the year, and as soon as things can be shaped so that he can get away he will take his family and leave for the southern city.

Dr. Rice conducts his treatments at his home where he has everything fitted up to properly care for the patient. A cure is made in but a short time, but Dr. Rice requires a few days with the patient until the effects of the cure are over at to constantly administer to the case. At the invitation of the doctor, the writer took a careful survey of this new and beautiful addition to Salem’s homes. The entrance hall, in its pleasing proportions, immediately impresses the visitor that he is in the home of a man who blends taste with convenient appointments. The rooms on either side are so arranged as to gain favor with any prospective seeker of a modern home. The stairway in the central position serves four bedrooms and in each room is installed both gas and electric light, while they have a separate compartment for baggage and clothing. Sanitary arrangements of this new dwelling house are perfect and every modern equipment for one of the latest of Salem’s homes has been installed. Although centrally located, this new sanitarium is away from any bustle or noise to disturb the patients in his convalescence. The property has cost some [?] built on a lot 90 x 200 feet; a good concrete basement eliminates all possibility of dampness; Andersons have installed one of their popularly known furnaces for heating the house throughout. Altogether, Dr. Rice is to be congratulated upon acquiring such convenient premises for fighting a scourge of the human race and recovering those that usually prove worthy when reentering the ranks of good citizenship.

After his return from the South the doctor will be ready to resume his practice. Anyone afflicted with the drink or drug habit will do well to consult him. No charge is made for discussing a case with a prospective client, and if so desired Dr. Rice will call at the patient’s home. It should be added that Dr. Rice has one of the best known doctors of the city as his consulting physician. He also states that he is willing to visit the home of any sufferer, and will bring those results so gratifying to all concerned. His phone number is 2001.
We looked in the Polk Directories from 1902 - 1924, but there were no obvious matches. Rice doesn't appear to have stayed long.

If you know more about the house, drop us a comment!

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