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Researchers seeking former employees and patients of Stony Brook Sanatorium

csub logoCSUB research scholars are seeking assistance from the public in completing a project documenting the history of the Stony Brook Sanatorium in Keene, CA. Former employees and patients are encouraged to respond. 

Associate Professor Alicia Rodriguez in the history department at CSUB, along with graduate student Olivia Garcia, is studying the historical context of the facility from its creation to closing and its impact in Kern County. The sanatorium was in operation from 1918 to 1968 and was a treatment center for patients with tuberculosis. Today, the site is occupied by the Chavez National Monument and the Cesar Chavez Foundation.

The history of Stony Brook and its patients is not only significant in the history of Kern County, it is also significant in the history of American public health policy. What occurred at Stony Brook was reflective of the accepted health policy nationally for dealing with tuberculosis. The way in which public health officials sought to contain the spread of tuberculosis and treat those afflicted with the disease provides a window into the past. This study will go beyond simply providing an institutional history of the sanitarium by aiming to capture the experiences of individuals who lived and worked at Stony Brook, and who remain a part of this community and its history.

“Graduate student Olivia Garcia has worked very hard on the project. The opportunity to work with Olivia, one of the History Department's truly outstanding graduate students, has been a pleasure. We are grateful for the support for this project provided by the Graduate Student-Faculty Collaborative Initiative Program,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez and Garcia are interested in conducting oral interviews with former patients and employees to better understand the facility in a broader context through personal stories and experiences. If you, or someone you know, would like to contribute to this project, please contact Rodriguez directly at (661) 654-2166 or

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Contact CSUB Public Affairs
(661) 654-2136