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Edwin Shaw Hospital

Edwin Shaw Hospital, formerly Springfield Lake Sanatorium, was a sanitarium and rehabilitation hospital in Lakemore, Ohio.

Springfield Lake Sanatorium

Springfield Lake Sanatorium was developed for those suffering from tuberculosis, also known as consumption, and the White Plague, which could be spread with coughs and sneezes. 3 6 In 1908, the Ohio state legislature passed an act declaring individuals with tuberculosis not to be admitted to general hospitals due to fear of infecting other patients. 2 Each county would be required to provide facilities to care for such individuals.

Towards that act, commissioners in Columbiana, Mahoning, Portage, Stark, and Summit counties purchased a 100-acre plot in southeastern Summit County to construct a tuberculosis sanitarium in 1910. The need was immediate: the five counties had a combined 5,000 cases of tuberculosis. The property overlooked Springfield Lake.

Albert L. Thayer of New Castle, Pennsylvania designed the hospital and was erected in 1913 by the Robert H. Evans & Company of Columbus, Ohio. The $225,000 3 facility opened in February 1915 with 72 beds, 2 a powerhouse, a water tower, and a sewage treatment plant.

Inside was an operating room, treatment room, dental clinic, and sunrooms. 3 Five nurses were on duty at any given time. Despite the modern facilities, the mortality rate exceeded 65% for incoming patients. Summit County pushed for improvements to the hospital which created discord between the other counties. In 1919, Summit County voters approved of a $300,000 measure for the commissioners to acquire the interests of Columbiana, Mahoning, Portage, and Stark counties. 2 3

In 1922, architects Good and Wagner of Akron 5 prepared plans for the $50,000 4 Sunshine Cottage, an annex for pediatric patients. 2 The addition was built by the Clemmer & Johnson Company 6 and opened at the cost of $125,586. It featured 100 beds, a dining room, kitchen, classroom, library, and clinic. Intricate murals of characters from Hansel and Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood, and Treasure Island, among others, were painted inside.

Children at the Sunshine Cottage had a regimented schedule, with each child receiving 14 hours of rest, four hours of education, and one hour of recreation. 6 Wide porches allowed for sleep outside most of the year. During the winter, children filled jugs with hot water and covered themselves with blankets, sleeping next to the pitchers for warmth.

Edwin Shaw Sanatorium

The Springfield Lake Sanitarium was renamed the Edwin Shaw Sanatorium after Edwin Coupland Shaw, a B.F. Goodrich executive, in 1934. 2 6 Shaw had been named to the Board of Trustees in 1918. 2

The Sunshine Cottage closed in June 1943 after its final ten patients were discharged. 3 The availability of home treatments and outpatient services led to dwindling patient numbers. 6 The building was then reused as a satellite campus for the Summit County Children’s Home in 1947 2 3 until it too closed.

Improvements in public health began reducing rates of tuberculosis and patient intake at Edwin Shaw by the mid-20th century. Surgical interventions, including collapsing an infected lung to “rest” it, allowed tuberculosis lesions to heal. In 1946, the development of the antibiotic streptomycin made the treatment and cure of tuberculosis a reality. Legislation passed in 1959 permitted tuberculosis hospitals to admit patients with other diagnoses. 2

In 1965, the Sunshine Center, a housing complex for 100 destitute children, opened in the former Sunshine Cottage. 6 It became the Andersen Village in 1977 but closed in 1985 after the last three residents were sent to foster homes.

Edwin Shaw Sanatorium was renamed the Edwin Shaw Hospital in 1967, becoming a rehabilitation facility for patients recovering from medical ailments. 6

A skilled nursing program was added to Edwin Shaw in 1961 followed by the inclusion of an alcoholism treatment program in 1974. 2 A Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation unit opened in 1977, and an Adolescent Chemical Dependency Treatment Program was added in 1981.

In 1985, the Summit Regional Treatment Center moved from downtown Akron to Edwin Shaw, and the Anderson Village cottages reopened. 10

A $6.7 million expansion opened on December 2, 1986, making Edwin Shaw Ohio’s largest center for treating head-injury patients. 11 The two-story, 26-bed addition allowed the hospital to accept people who were still comatose and allowed for expanded programs in occupational, physical, and speech therapy. The expansion, which increased capacity from 160 beds, was funded by a .4-mil tax levy passed in 1982. Its opening was the final phase of a ten-year development of in-patient facilities.

The Adolescent Chemical Dependency Diagnostic Unit opened in 1990, followed by the Women’s Residential Program, a halfway house for cocaine-addicted pregnant women, in 1991. 2 The Challenge Golf Course and Driving Range, the first course in the world tailored for persons with disabilities, also opened.

In 1997, the facility was renamed the Edwin Shaw Hospital for Rehabilitation to reflect its service range. 2 The 47-bed 9 complex was leased by Akron General Medical Center and renamed Edwin Shaw Rehab in 2005. Under the agreement, Akron General paid $1.35 million to buy the business but not the facilities and grounds. At the time, Akron General desired to build a new 80,000 square-foot structure for Edwin Shaw on its main campus. Facing an aging facility that was costing $1.5 million per year to upkeep and $50,000 per month in utility costs, Edwin Shaw produced a deficit of $3.5 million in 2007. 8


On December 3, 2009, Edwin Shaw’s inpatient services relocated to the ground floor of the Falls Village Retirement Community in Cuyahoga Falls and was renamed to the Edwin Shaw Rehabilitation Institute. 3 8 The new location was not only far cheaper to manage, but it also provided the majority of patients with private rooms. About 115 of Edwin Shaw’s 271 full-time employees were offered positions at the new 40-bed facility. 9

Falls Village closed its 36-bed assisted living unit to make room for Edwin Shaw while retaining 108 beds on the second and third floors. 8 The structure, formerly the Fallsview Psychiatric Hospital, was acquired by Falls Village in 1999. It opened as a nursing home in 2001.

Edwin Shaw’s outpatient services moved to rented space on Canton Road in Lakemore while the chemical dependency services unit relocated to Cuyahoga Falls. 8

In December 2010, the county approached the University of Akron about putting its proposed Training Center for Fire and Hazardous Materials for fire, police, and emergency service personnel on the former hospital campus. 7 The center would include a driver-training track, active burn areas, an underground shooting range, and a hazardous material handling school. The county had been attempting to sell the land since Akron General moved out of Edwin Shaw as the county was paying $250,000 per year for maintenance and $150,000 for heat during the winter. 13

The county disconnected utilities in March 2012 after failing to find a suitable buyer for the property. 13 The Edwin Shaw complex was demolished in 2017.



  1. Armon, Rick. “Wrecking Ball Looms for Former Edwin Shaw Property.” Beacon Journal [Akron]. 10 Jan. 2016. Web.
  2. “A History of Excellence.” Edwin Shaw Rehabilitation. Cleveland Clinic Akron General. Web. 26 Jan. 2016.
  3. Price, Mark J. “Springfield Lake Sanitarium.” Lost Akron. N.p.: Arcadia, 2015. 121-24. Print.
  4. “News of the Sanatoria.” Journal of the Outdoor Life 19: 280. Print.
  5. “To Enlarge Sanatorium.” The Modern Hospital 19.2: 80. Print.
  6. Price, Mark J. “Local history: Elusive cure is breath of fresh air at Sunshine Cottage.” Beacon Journal [Akron]. 27 Jan. 2013. Web. Article.
  7. Armon, Rick. “UA EYES EDWIN SHAW FOR FIRE TRAINING CENTER – TALKS PRELIMINARY, BUT COUNTY LOOKING FOR A BUYER.” Akron Beacon Journal (OH) 10 Dec. 2010, 1 STAR, B: B1. NewsBank. Web. 27 Jan. 2016.
  8. Powell, Cheryl. “REHAB FACILITY READY FOR MOVE – AKRON GENERAL’S EDWIN SHAW TO RENT FLOOR AT FALLS NURSING HOME.” Akron Beacon Journal (OH) 1 Dec. 2009, 1 STAR, B: B6. NewsBank. Web. 27 Jan. 2016.
  10. Badillo, Francisco. “EDWIN SHAW DETOXIFICATION PROGRAM FUNDED.” Akron Beacon Journal (OH) 10 Sep. 1985, 1 STAR, METRO: B1. NewsBank. Web. 28 Jan. 2016.
  11. “NEW HELP AT EDWIN SHAW.” Akron Beacon Journal (OH) 10 Dec. 1986, FINAL, EDITORIAL: A6. NewsBank. Web. 28 Jan. 2016.
  12. Smith, Randolph. “NEW HOPE FOR SEVERELY DISABLED EDWIN SHAW OPENS REHABILITATION WING.” Akron Beacon Journal (OH) 3 Dec. 1986, FINAL, METRO: D1. NewsBank. Web. 28 Jan. 2016.


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Thank you Sandy! We actually found it today. We took the road all the way back past that new Tyler’s Redemption building. It’s beautiful back there!
Sandy, since you worked there, I’m curious….in pictures of residents and staff that I’ve seen on the web, I’ve noticed that masks were not worn. Were masks not a “thing” back then?

I worked at Edwin Shaw in 1988 to 1990 as a documentary nurse and Chaplain. It was Wonderful place to be! Dan Church was the CEO and one of the greatest man I have ever known! The demolition of Edwin Shaw is a sad loss to many of us who knew the services it gave to so many!

My grandpa worked in the powerhouse at Edwin Shaw. He retired about 1969 or 1970. Also, there was a boy I went to school with who’s dad died at Edwin Shaw from tuberculosis in the late 1960’s.

There will never be a place like Edwin Shaw was, I started working there in the seventies in my teens until I retired more than 30 years later. Probably due to the size of the facility and the times, people were not just coworkers but friends and like family. Thank you for the pictures posted of it and such a great history to read of it.

I had a great uncle here when it was Springfield Lake Sanatorium in 1919. Do you still have records there, or are there any records to be had? Thank you
Dee Kieffaber

Dee – I have a relative that died of Tuberculosis in Aug 1918 at the sanatorium. I would also like further information. A Wikipedia article mentions that there is a cemetery there with 246 graves. I would like to know if she is buried there.

I visited that cemetery twice when I worked there. There used to be a wrought Iron fence around it and a large statue of an angel in the middle. If you are on the main road facing where the hospital would have been the cemetery was on the far right corner of the property. If any part of the main drive way is still there you would go as far back as possible and it would be off to the far right. I wonder if there are satellite images from before the hospital closed?

I had moved on by the time they closed, but I can tell you we microfilmed records when I worked there. If Akron General bought Edwin Shaw, my best guess is they might have them. If Edwin Shaw was a teaching hospital (sorry, I don’t remember) medical records would have to be maintained for 75 years post discharge; 10 years if not a teaching hospital.

You might try looking for records here: County officials have also released records from the old sanitarium, publicly available on

Now we are Cleveland clinic rehabilitation hospital with Select medical. No signs of Edwin Shaw except on the outside of the building, very small. Nowhere inside does it say Edwin Shaw, all of the historic pics of the old building, are in locked hallways for only employees to see, not families of patients coming. They are trying to keep Edwin Shaw as a name, but, the care has definitely changed.
We now have a lot more patient to nurse ratio with rehabilitation aides instead of nurse care. The patients have noticed, the nurses have noticed, but It is all about modern nursing. The patients still get the great rehabilitation that Edwin Shaw in noted for but not the nursing care. Sad, but everything must change, right? Still as a nurse at Edwin Shaw, Cleveland Clinic, select medical, I still give it all I’ve got to make the patient feel a priority as much as I can possibly give, given the new standards of care.

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