Couple filming documentary on former tuberculosis facility

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — As the buildings of a former tuberculosis facility were torn down, two university professors set out to film a documentary capturing the personal stories of patients and the history surrounding it.

“Takin’ the Cure” is the next documentary project by University of Akron communications professor Kathleen Endres and her husband, Kent State University professor emeritus Fred Endres, the Akron Beacon Journal ( reported on Monday.

The idea for the documentary came as Kathleen Endres looked over handwritten patient discharge files from the former Springfield Lake Sanatorium. The Summit County facility, which opened in 1915, cared for more than 6,000 people suffering from tuberculosis nearly 30 years before a cure was discovered.

“Most of them were discharged because they had died or were going home to die,” she said.

To tell the stories, the Endreses leafed through 100 boxes of financial records and 16mm films rescued from destruction by a Summit County retention worker. The county granted the Endreses access to the buildings to film, but black mold and fleas forced the film crew to wear hazmat suits with respirators.

The documentary was funded through a $10,000 grant from the University of Akron Faculty Research Committee.

While the Endreses will produce an hour-long documentary for Western Reserve PBS, they said they have enough material to write a book.

The Endreses were completely dedicated to the filming, even on their wedding anniversary.

“What else would you do on your wedding anniversary?” Kathleen Endres said.


Information from: Akron Beacon Journal,