Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

St. Louis Regional history comes alive in this joint production by KDHX and the Missouri Historical Society. Stories of our past are connected with the present in these well researched and entertaining short presentations about the people, places, and events that have shaped who we are and who we are becoming. 

May 24, 2022

In 1912, the threat of tuberculosis was very real.  One woman used her considerable wealth and influence create the first open-air “rest camp” for young working women to try to help the situation.  Just press play to hear the whole story. ------ 

Click on search links to see if there are episodes with related content: Katie Moon, Business, Women's History, Medical, Housing, People of Note, Health and Wellness,

Podcast Transcript: I’m Katie Moon, Exhibits Manager at the Missouri Historical Society, and Here’s History on eighty-eight-one, K-D-H-X. ——— 

July Thomson Collins wanted St. Louis women to get some fresh air. In fact, she believed their lives depended on it. The threat of tuberculosis was very real in 1912, especially for overworked, underfed, and poorly housed city workers. Some US cities tried to thwart the disease by providing facilities where workers could eat, rest, and spend time outdoors. But no such place existed in St. Louis. ———

July used her considerable wealth and influence to create the first open-air “rest camp” for young working women. As a regular customer at many of St. Louis’s retail stores, she became friends with the shop girls, who shared concerns about their health. Fear of tuberculosis was at the top of their list. As a mother of 4 daughters, July must have felt a particular responsibility to help these women, and quickly got to work. ———

After convincing the president of Laclede Gas Company to donate three acres of land in south St. Louis for a rest camp, July began the hard work of fundraising. Despite claiming that she didn’t have a mind for business, she raised nearly half of her $5,000 goal in just two weeks. When she received a check for $10,000, she created an endowment fund, which earned interest at 6 percent. ———

In less than a year the Night and Day Camp opened its doors at 9500 South Broadway, conveniently located close to a streetcar line that the women could ride from downtown. A newly built house on the property provided accommodations for 28 women, many as young as 15, and for the weeks they were there, all of their meals were provided, along with medical care and ample time to rest and recuperate and enjoy the natural environment. No men were allowed on the property, other than the regular visits of the attending physician. ———

Although the camp later shifted its focus to serving undernourished children, it remained in operation for more than three decades. ———

Here’s History is a joint production of K-D-H-X and the Missouri Historical Society. I’m Katie Moon, and this is eighty-eight-one, K-D-H-X, St. Louis. ———