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Old 11-24-2008, 05:43 PM
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Anyone living in the Louisville area ever toured this wonderful building? I would love to hear your stories about it.
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Old 11-24-2008, 07:33 PM
Location: New Albany, Indiana (Greater Louisville)
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I've tried to get to it but the road going up the hill to WHS is usually fenced off. Right now there is discussion of making it into a hotel
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Old 11-25-2008, 05:08 PM
Location: Dayton, OH
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I've been there many times since I lived very close by, but only inside a few, when it was an old peoples home. The views used to be spectacular, over into the Wavery Hills hill country, and to the Knobs beyond, and also across the Ohio river valley to the Indiana bluffs to the west. It was great.

The place is probably pretty tragic inside by now, but the lobby area had some nice neo-gothic detailing. My high schools' foreign language clubs used to go there to sing Christmas carols to the old folks around this time of year (funny that you should be asking around now), and what I remember was the place flooded with morning light. It probably wasn't that nice to stay in, though, as it was closed due to poor standards and treatment.

The so-called death tunnel: Me and some school chums explored that "death tunnel" (really a utility & service tunnel running up from the steam plant and railroad siding in a hollow below).

There was also a few of abandoned out-buildings or outlying sanitorium buildings (including old barns gone to seed) that I used to explore, and some of the backwoods was planted in Virginia Pine and cedar, which gave the woods a neat feel when you hit those little groves (particularly after a snow).

Back in those days the place didn't have the supernatural connotations it has now (maybe to a few, but this was not widespread in the neighborhood). Waverly was just a nice place to cycle up to and coast down on the switchback road. The grounds were still being maintained, grass cut, brush trimmed back, so you had a fairly pleasant drive up and down to the place, from Dixie or the back way (the route I took) from Pages Lane. In the spring the dogwoods would bloom and daffodils would come out.
In some ways I imagined it like some grand European castle, sort of a Gothic suburban Neuschwanstein towering over Dixie Highway.

Since the back of the property backed up on a park/golf course with tennis courts we used to go up there for tennis. A branch libary was in the golf course building, too.

As you can see Waverly Hills was part of a bigger picture of a very nice landscape to have close at hand, for walking or bike riding, of golf or tennis if you liked that, and a library. Or fishing at Waverly Lake behind the golf course.

I know this doesnt sound so spooky or creepy, but I don't know the place that way.

Last edited by JefferyT; 11-25-2008 at 06:29 PM..
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Old 11-25-2008, 06:33 PM
Location: Dayton, OH
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I should tell a quick pre-sanitarium history of the name.

The site was part of a farm owned by a Mr Page, hence Pages Lane. On this farm the local Confederate volunteers mustered in the early days of the Civil War, before marching down to Tenessee to fight for the lost cause (I think they ended up at Shiloh...not sure about that...)

Later, after the war I think, the Page's hired a young schoolteacher from Nashville to teach at a private one-room school house on their property (this was before public schools), open to the kids on the neighboring farms as well as their own.

This teacher was a fan of Sir Walter Scott's "Waverly" novels, and named her school the Wavery School. The Pages liked the name and borrowed it for their farm, calling it Waverly Hill. So, when the county bought the land for the sanitorium they kept the name.
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Old 11-26-2008, 03:37 PM
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The UofL Library has a few pictures of the inside. Search there: University of Louisville Libraries
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