Read More: The Detroit News
Eaton Rapids — When Pam and Chris Sturgill first noticed the red brick mansion at the corner of South Main and West Plain streets, they fell in love with the structure. Not the fact that it’s said to be haunted by the ghost of Dr. Francis Blanchard, who plunged to his death down the building’s elevator shaft in 1919. The Springport couple drove past the former hospital for years, admired its imposing presence countless times. This spring they bought it for $143,000. They plan to spend the next several years restoring the century-and-a-half-old structure. Eventually, they intend to open the house as a historical bed and breakfast. As well as any ghosts that may live there. “I like old things,” Pam Sturgill said. “History interests me, and this place deserves better.” Known to most as “the old Stimson Hospital,” the roughly 5,000-square-foot Victorian-style house was a 20-bed hospital for nearly 40 years, under more than one name. More than 3,000 people were born there from 1918 to 1957, and thousands more were treated and healed, the Lansing State Journal reported. It’s also the place where, in 1919, Blanchard stepped from the third floor into an open elevator shaft and plunged to his death after finishing a surgery. The hospital closed in the 1950s due to disrepair, leading to the formation of what is now Eaton Rapids Medical Center. If you Google the Eaton Rapids’ landmark, you’ll read more about the strange noises, voices and happenings at the property than you will about its legacy as the community’s first local hospital.