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National Hansen's Disease Museum

5445 Point Clair Rd, St. Gabriel, Louisiana 70721 USA

“Once Home of Carville Leprosary!”

The museum's mission is to collect, preserve and interpret the medical and cultural artifacts of the Carville Historic District and topromote the understanding, identification and treatment of Hansen's Disease (leprosy) by creating and maintaining museum displays, traveling exhibits, publications and a Web site in order to educate and inform the public. The vision of the National Hansen's Disease Museum is to support the National Hansen's Disease Programs in its effort to enhance the publics' understanding of the history, treatment and rehabilitation of leprosy in the United States, and to commemorate those who lived at the national leprosarium as patients, as well as the health care professionals who made medical history as they battled leprosy. Located on the eastern bank of the Mississippi in Carville, Louisiana, the National Leprosarium was one of two leprosy hospitals in the United States. An abandoned sugar plantation became theLouisiana Leper Home in 1894. The facility promoted understanding, identification, and treatment of leprosy, also known as Hansen's disease. Many patients entered the gates under mandatory quarantine and never left the hospital again. The facility began work with a patient load of five men and two women in the 1890s, and would grow into a facility housing hundreds of employees and patients, including married couples and children. Louisiana Leper Home was known as "a place of refuge, not reproach; a place of treatment and research, not detention". It offered hope and a comfortable refuge from society. In 1921, the U.S. Public Health took control and the facility became U.S. Marine Hospital Number 66, the National Leprosarium of the United States. Patient Stanley Stein, known as "Carville's Crusader", began a two-page newsletter in 1941. It grew into The STAR, a world renowned newspaper that is still in publication. In 1986, the facility became the Gillis W. Long Hansen’s Disease (Leprosy) Center, named after the distinguished United States Congressman Gillis W. Long. He was an advocate for people living and working with Hansen's disease. Most Public Health Service hospitals were closed during the 1980s but Long was successful in lobbying Congress to keep Carville open for the patients who wanted to remain on site, even though mandatory quarantine ceased to be law in Louisiana in the late 1950s. The name change was directly linked to Congressman Long's influence in keeping the hospital open.In 1992, the Carville Historic District was established and in 1996 the National Hansen’s Disease (Leprosy) Museum was founded. The U.S. Congress passed a bill to relocate the Gillis W. Long Hansen’s Disease (Leprosy) Center to Baton Rouge, and as of 1999 the National Hansens Disease program continues its clinical care and research for Hansen's disease in Baton Rouge.

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Reviewed by
christy.anselmo

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
July 20, 2013

my grandfather worked there as a cook.

1 person found this review helpful

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National Hansen's Disease Museum

5445 Point Clair Rd
St. Gabriel, Louisiana
70721 USA

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