OLD LAKESIDE HOSPITAL

1290 Circle Drive, defuniak springs, fl

Status: Former Medical Clinic; Hospital; Formerly Abandoned; Museum & Historical Building

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History

This site opened in 1939 as a one storey clinic by Dr Ralph Spires. In 1949 it became a two-storey hospital.

While the hospital was segregated, with a separate entrance and ward – both of which are still intact – for African Americans, Dr Spires did admit African Americans from day one. In the times this was almost a miracle; most other doctors in the south refused to provide medical care no matter what.

The doctors of this hospital were far ahead of their time in providing advancements in polio vaccinations, women’s health and the reduction of infant deaths.

The hospital was closed in 1972 and left abandoned.

In 2013 the Florida Chautauqua Association bought the building saving it from being demolished as it had become so run down.

In 2021 they and the Florida Division of Historical Resources helped the site become recognized and added to the National Register of Historic Places. This also secured a grant of $50,000 for renovations and restorations.

The building is now the headquarters for the Florida Chautauqua Assembly as well as a museum. It is also used for numerous community events throughout the years.

While not common a few groups have been allowed to do an investigation.

 

Paranormal Activity

Reported Paranormal Activity

Apparitions of former staff and patients including faces appearing in the windows; time slips; feelings of not being alone and being watched; shadow figures; EVPs including Class A and light anomalies.