Lost Letter Reveals Insights into the Baker Cancer Hospital’s Past

Baker Hospital Eureka Springs

EUREKA SPRINGS, ARKANSAS – In a remarkable discovery, a letter written by a cancer patient, Luther J Baggett, in 1938 during his stay at the Baker Cancer Hospital, has shed light on the history of the Crescent Hotel. This new find, graciously given to the hotel by descendants of Luther J Baggett, provides insights into the treatments and costs associated with the hospital during that era.

The Baker Cancer Hospital, previously owned by the notorious charlatan Norman Baker from 1937 to 1939, claimed to have a cure for cancer. The hospital was known for its unconventional methods and controversial practices.

Luther J Baggett’s letter, addressed to his family in Lakeside, Arizona, paints a vivid picture of life at the hospital. What makes this letter even more intriguing is that it was penned on Baker Hospital letterhead, and the paper itself is in Norman’s favorite color, purple, adding a unique touch to this historical artifact.

Baggett mentions the slow mail service due to the hospital’s remote location and expresses his longing to hear from his loved ones. He also shares details of his daily routine, which included treatments such as castor oil, tonics, needle treatments, and carrot juice.

One striking aspect of Baggett’s letter is his description of the hospital’s approach to treatment. He notes that all the medicines and food at the hospital were derived from vegetables, herbs, roots, and bark. The hospital’s focus on natural remedies and its holistic approach to healthcare are highlighted in his account.

Financial concerns also come to the forefront in the letter. Baggett mentions the cost of his treatment, which was a matter of concern for him. He reflects on the expenses, anticipating the need for additional funds for the remaining weeks of his treatment.

Ancestry.com research shows that Luther J Baggett passed away on February 24, 1939, not long after penning this letter. His story adds a poignant layer to the history of the Baker Cancer Hospital.

This letter serves as a valuable historical artifact, shedding light on the past practices of the Baker Cancer Hospital and the experiences of its patients. It offers a unique glimpse into a bygone era of medical treatment and the challenges patients faced while seeking treatment at the hands of Norman Baker.

The Crescent Hotel is grateful to the descendants of Luther J Baggett for generously sharing this important piece of history. It continues to preserve and share its rich history, including artifacts and stories from its Baker Hospital days, providing visitors with a deeper understanding of its unique past.

To see a scans of the letter and read a transcript, visit the Crescent Hotel’s blog

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