In the late 19th century through 1940, tuberculosis was the leading cause of death in the United States. Many people suffering from the disease came to the high-desert mountains of New Mexico to convalesce. Back then antibiotics did not exist. Instead, the primary treatment for tuberculosis was Climate Therapy. The medical community discovered that the people who suffered from this type of respiratory illness seemed to do better living in an area like Santa Fe. Today, the capitol city is still known for its dry air, sunshine and low humidity.
Albuquerque, Santa Fe & Death
Gerald Cassidy had a successful career in New York as a lithographer. He was stricken with pneumonia in 1890. Later, his condition turned into tuberculosis and he was given six months to live. Rather than accepting the hand of fate. Cassidy headed west to convalesce at a sanatorium in Albuquerque. When he recovered he moved to Santa Fe in 1912 the year of statehood for New Mexico. His wife Ina Sizer had a successful career in town as a journalist. By 1915 the couple was living at the corner of Canyon Road and Acequia Madre Street. In a cruel twist of fate, he died tragically from the toxic fumes of turpentine and carbon monoxide emitted by a newly installed gas heater. That was in 1934, the year that natural gas heating was introduced to Santa Fe.