Surprising Link Between Kellogg’s, Post And The Battle Creek Sanitarium
The Battle Creek Sanitarium saw many famous people through its doors in its 76 years of operation and was ahead of its time in promoting a healthy lifestyle. It also had a few strange ideas as well.
The 1994 movie ‘The Road To Wellville’ depicts a rather quirky and bizarre side to the cork flakes inventor:
Dr. John Harvey Kellogg opened a sanitarium in Battle Creek, Michigan, where he practiced his unusual methods for maintaining health, including colonic irrigation, electrical stimulus and sexual abstinence, vegetarianism and physical exercise. The sanitarium attracts well-to-do patients including William and Eleanor Lightbody, who are suffering from poor health following the death of their child. On their way to Battle Creek they meet Charles Ossining, hoping to make a fortune by exploiting the fad for health food cereals.
There were, however, some real truths to the sanitarium and the ideas of leading a healthy and active lifestyle. According to Wikipedia, in 1875, Kellogg, The Corn Flake guy, took over as the head of the Sanitarium, there were even some famous people who visited the Sanitarium, like:
- C. W. Post, founder of Post Cereals, which included the coffee substitute Postum
- Richard Halliburton, later one of the most adventurous travellers of his generation
- Warren G. Harding, twenty-ninth President of the United States
- Irving Fisher, celebrity economist and later fellow of J. H. Kellogg’s Race Betterment Foundation (eugenics)
- Amelia Earhart, first female aviator to fly across the Atlantic Ocean
- Johnny Weissmuller, actor and athlete famous for his portrayal of Tarzan
- Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company and inventor of the modern assembly line
- Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of President Abraham Lincoln
- Sojourner Truth, African-American slave in New York State, later escaped, then abolitionist and fighter for women’s rights
- James Cash Penney, Founder of J.C. Penney Department Stores
- Madam C. J. Walker, African American entrepreneur and philanthropist at Battle Creek in November 1917
The Battle Creek Sanitarium suffered a fire in 1902 but rebuilt and operated until the federal government bought the facility in 1942, turning it into the Percy Jones Army Hospital and later the Hart-Dole-Inouye Federal Center.
Here is more information from Heritage Battle Creek and also a Youtube video below.
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