Here is the link to “Designed to Cure” , an article by Michael Sherman and Nancy Boone written for the VHS:

Notes from interviews:

Greg Gossens:

They are not sure how the 1864  photo from Henry Janes Medical Notebook p. 367 was taken. Telephoto lenses had not been developed? How did it get so high? Book is from Bailey Howe Library UVM, special collections.

I have hiked up the hill to the east of Pleasant St and it looks very plausible that a photo could have been taken from there. I plan to go back up there and sketch the view I have from a certain place off a neighborhood trail I used. Photos don’ work because of all the trees, but I see the landmarks from the old hospital photo.

Greg says there are specific marks in his house showing how beds and heat vents were laid out.

Michael Sherman:

Has heard a Sloan building was pulled down E State to become part of Cross Baking Co at corner of E State & Main.

Berlin Historical Society Chair:

Fairgrounds and public areas were common, and various forms of entertainment took place, maybe at the fairground where the hospital was later built. There were several areas like this in the valley between Montpelier and Barre, serviced by a train? One was Benjamin Falls.

Notes from Michael Sherman and Nancy Boone’s article  “Designed to Cure” in the VHS #69 Winter/Spring 2001.

The Sloan General Hospital, opened in 1864 was one of 3 hospitals built in Vermont(there were 192 nationwide) to care for wounded and ill soldiers. The battlefield  camps and field hospitals were risky environments and soldiers were sent to the hospitals closer to their homes. 2/3 of military fatalities were caused by disease,  1/3 mostly from bullet wounds.

Vermont’s Surgeon General Samuel Thayer chose a raised plateau above Montpelier that had been a fair ground as an ideal location for the hospital. It had good air circulation, access to fresh water and proximity to the Central Vermont Railroad in Montpelier.

The Sloan General Hospital, named for WJ Sloan, US medical Inspector for the Department of the East,  opened to patients in June of 1864 and was run Henry Janes from Waterbury who was Surgeon in Charge. He had 3 years of wartime medical practice.

The hospital accommodated 500 patients. It was modeled in a spoke and wheel grouping of buildings,  the pavilion design, made up of a series of small raised wards and buildings connected by raised covered walkways. This design stressed the importance of fresh air, space so patients  would not be infected with disease by others, good ventilation, and light, accomplished by numerous windows and high ceilings, as well as the elimination of older designs where numerous patients were housed in large wards. The wards were 108′ long, 24′ wide and 12″ high walls, with exposed rafters in the high ceilings above. This design kept in mind the local Vermont lumber dimensions being produced by local mills, mainly in 12′ lengths. 108′ length = 9 12′ lengths, 24′ width = 2 12 foot lengths, 12′ high walls = 12′ board lengths. Each ward held 2 rows of 20 beds along the walls, each bed next to a window. They had double floors as a concession to the Vermont winter. They were painted a tan color, and materials list show listings for a lot of white paint  supplemented with a smaller amount of dark brown. The sash windows had 6 over 6 panes.Each ward had 2 ridge vents for air circulation. The simple eaves lacked the common cornice returns  of the Greek Revival style common at that time.

The hospital was decommissioned in December of 1865.



Mannie Garcia has done extensive research and has created displays about the Sloan Hospital.


The Hospital the became a College by William A Shepard – in Norwich University Library

Hospital Days by Louis May Alcott


Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps ( have 1905 printed out ) – Others online. 1925 at Leahy

Libraries etc

National Museum of Civil War Hospitals – Frederick MD

National Museum of Architecture

American Antiquarian Society

Newberry Library in Chicago

Clemens Library Ann Arbor

Vermont Resources

Montpelier Assessor records for finding house dimensions and est. build  date:

East Montpelier Town assessor map



Leahy Library at Vermont History Center (look for Sanborn Maps)
Book about College History

House list in”History of Sloan Hospital” in William Shepard papers, Kteitzberg Library Norwich University

Vt Division of Historic Preservation ” Vermont Historic Sites and Structures Survey. Here’s  website link to a PDF but cannot search if using find function. It takes a long time to load.

Marjorie at Leahy Library says they have a big book about history of college.