Sisters of Mercy...

The Sisters of Mercy came to Manitou at the behest of Fr. Francolon, who had donated his first Manitou home for their use as a sanitarium, primarily for the treatment of tuberculosis. They received their first patient in August of 1895 and by March 1896 they were beginning a large addition to the facility.

The Sisters were renowned "for the excellence of their table, the cleanliness of their rooms and their motherly care of the health-seekers." They did not, however, accept acute cases, which they felt were better served by the hospital in Colorado Springs.

The Sisters helped to expand the cultural horizons of Manitou society by offering "lessons on piano, violin, mandolin, guitar and banjo" according to an advertisement in the July 11, 1896, issue of the Manitou Springs Journal.

Miramont was vacant from 1900 until 1904 when the Sisters were urged by a Dr. Geierman to purchase Miramont for use in conjunction with German priest Sebastian Kneipp’s (pronounced Ka-nipe) water therapy system, which consisted of drinking prodigious quantities of Manitou's mineral waters, as well as bathing in them several times each day. It was never used as a Kneipp center, however.

In 1907 an electrical fire destroyed Montcalme sanitarium, which was located where our upper parking lot is now, and the Sisters moved their patients into Miramont where they served for the next 20 years.  For the prior three years changes had been made to the building to accommodate patients during their treatment period, but it was utilized only during the summer.  It became known as Montcalme Sanitarium to keep the familiar name.

By 1928 it became economically impossible to continue with the sanitarium, and the Sisters used the building for a short time as a boarding house for the wealthy, then as a vacation and retreat house for clergy, and eventually vacated.  It stood empty until it was sold in 1946 to private owners.

Located on the far back corner of the upper parking lot is the last remaining TB hut original to the Sisters of Mercy, where patients who required isolation lived during their stay for treatment.

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