Savannah's Old Candler Hospital in Savannah, GA
For those visiting Savannah, Georgia a rich history awaits. One such place is the Candler Hospital. Serving as Georgia's first hospital, established in 1804, the Candler has the additional distinction of being America's second-oldest continuously operating hospital. At one time it was a seaman's hospital and a poorhouse. It even served as a POW camp for Union soldiers.
When the Yellow Fever epidemic came to Savannah's port in 1876, Candler Hospital was the destination of the afflicted. Quickly and quietly, the sick and dying made their way to the hospital. Soon filled to capacity, the hospital had to utilize the infamous tunnel as a makeshift morgue, storing hundreds of bodies at one time. The tunnel ran underground from the hospital to underneath Forsythe Park which was across the street. Carriages would enter the park at night to remove the bodies so the citizens of Savannah were not alerted to the epidemic's size. After the epidemic, the Candler Hospital was reportedly used as an insane asylum where it is believed medical experimentations took place.
Today the Candler Hospital is part of several of Savannah's ghost tours. Even though the tunnel has long been blocked, stories of what remained in the tunnel fuel the imagination of all who visit. And, although it stands empty today, Candler Hospital is still one of the most visited historical sites in Savannah.
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