Weimar Institute walk - January 2021

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On the first day of the new year nine of us had a brief and enjoyable walk on Weimar Institute property, located a few miles east of Auburn, Ca., in the Sierra foothills, at elevation 2,200 ft.   

At the start of our walk it was chilly, but rolling hills topography soon warms you up. We had changeable skies, a blend of overcast light and moments of sunshine finding us. 

note - you can enlarge any part of a picture by left-clicking in and then out again. 

irrigation flume   pine needles in  Manzanita trees winter sunbeam on Jean
  the fern-like ground-cover is called "mountain misery" winter day Manzanita tunnel  
Linda & grandson Dominic his friend Liam showing us a special purchase after the break
    Cemetery in the woods      
Rich's photo wood & brass marker        

The cemetery here is vast, covering acres of open woods. About 1,500 people are interred, mostly TB victims.   

Starting a hundred years ago (1920s) the Weimar Joint Sanitorium was established as a Public facility, to take care of TB patients, funded by 13 mostly local California Counties. 

At peak occupancy, in 1948, there were 550 patients, in 24 buildings, with 300 support & admin staff, a substantial operation. No surprise that the Sanitorium became a major source of employment in surrounding foothill communities.

The WJS remained a TB facility until 1957, when cures for TB became available, and then it gradually morphed into a general hospital, operating until the 1970s. 

The cemetery here is referred to as a "potter's field", which often means a burial site for indigent or unknown persons. Here it means that instead of having individual headstones, each burial site has a 2x6 inch wood post and a mounted brass disc with an assigned location number. The last photo above shows this. Of course, all you need to manage this is a database and maps....even hand-written.

Apparently, following the closure of the medical facility in the 70's, some burial records were lost, resulting in confusion for relatives of those buried here, for decades.  

In 2012, the Colfax Area Historical Society, with help from members of local VFW Post 2003 & American Legion Post 192, participated in a Project to search Placer County records, which Project successfully recovered the missing data as to who is buried where.  

The Cemetery is now part of the Colfax Cemetery District, and the online database is GPS linked, so you can easily look up or be guided to the site of an ancestor who is buried here.   

The overall 450 acre property is in the hands of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, and a few partner agencies. The impressive lodges & admin. buildings remain in use, and appear to be well-kept. 

after lunch, a  group photo interesting light  Dominic  
  local irrigation district water supply outdoors on NYD 2021 Rich  
  the flume again / stylish Institute residence  

We were out for three hours, getting in almost four miles of walking, which included a few extended uphill grades. One trail was named Cardiac Hill, another the Cardiac Bypass Trail, and, we also saw a Mountain Misery trail.  The group generally did a perimeter loop, mainly on the Frontier Trail.   

reference - Weimar Joint Sanitorium history is from Wikipedia & other online sources. 

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