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Those Building Numbers - And Some Fictions and Facts

Because Fort Stanton in the Marine Hospital and Public Health Service days was a quasi-military installation, it followed the military tradition of numbering its buildings.  This served the purpose of assisting in firefighting; the steam whistle on the powerplant blew to call fire-fighters, using one long tone for 10 and short tones for 1.  Thus a long and three shorts would be Bldg. 13.

This practice probably also gave rise to the myth that the building we knew as the Old Nurses Home burned down.  The buildings were numbered from 1 to 14 around the Parade Grounds.  The Commanding Officer's house naturally was No. 1, so the Old Nurses Home to its west had to make do with No. 2.  All the other buildings on the Fort were numbered as well, and Bldg. 15 was a residence, long gone, west of the Parade that was home to Chief Engineer Ed White.  In the early 1930s there was a fire in Bldg. 15 that was quickly put out.  Willett White theorized that a latter-day researcher, reading about that fire, decided that the empty space between Bldg. 1 and Bldg. 14 must have been Bldg. 15 when in fact it was Bldg. 2 that stood there.  That space today is occupied by the cafeteria building.  Also dating back to the military days are Bldgs. 17,18,19,20, known as Laundry Row.

Bldgs. 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 13 date back to the military era, and Bldg. 6 most nearly resembles the military barracks that it was in the beginning.  Laundry Row also dates to the military days.  Our homes were known as "quarters" and were assigned according to job status, with people often receiving new quarters as jobs changed.  Bldgs. 13 and 4 contained what today would be called apartments and were the most desirable dwellings.  There were additional quarters on Laundry Row, "under the hill," and "on the hill."

Bldg. 1, Commanding Officer's house Bldg. 1 before porch was glassed in Bldg. 2, Old Nurses Home Bldg. 2, side view
Bldg. 2 with nurses Bldg. 2, Bldg. 14 at far left Bldg. 3, a duplex residence for doctors Bldg. 3 before 1920, C.O. house at left
Bldg. 4, old power plant (Bldg.5), dining hall (Bldg 6) Bldg. 4, pre-1920 Bldg. 4 rear, 1953 Bldg. 5, new hospital, with Bldg. 4
Bldg. 5, new hospital, opened in May 1936 Bldg. 6, Dining Hall, pre-1920 Bldg. 6, one of Fort's oldest buildings Dining hall interior at Christmas
Bldg. 7, Administration Building, pre-1920 Bldg. 7 with patients called for medications, 1920s Bldg. 7, early 1950s Pharmacy in rear wing of Bldg. 7
Bldg.8, Dental Clinic and Library, 1930s Bldg. 8, 1950s Bldg. 9, Amusement Hall, pre-1920 Bldg. 9 with Bldg. 10, old hospital
Bldg. 9 theater curtain with artist, Dan Kusianovich Bldg. 9 movie projection booth Bldg. 9, late 1950s The store in Bldg. 9
Bldg. 9 with 10, 11--the old hospital Bldg. 10 (right) with Bldgs. 7, 8 and 9 Bldg. 10, porch now opened up Bldg. 11's new ward, early 1930s
Interior of new Bldg. 11 ward An older ward, Bldg. 10 or 11 Bldg. 11, the end, 1937, Bldg. 13 in background  New Bldg. 11 under construction, 1940
New Bldg. 11, 1953 Bldg. 12, materiel office, attached to Bldg. 13 New Bldg. 12, 1934 New Bldg. 12, rear
Bldg. 13 in 1920s Bldg. 13 in 1940 Bldg. 13 back steps to upper quarters Bldg. 13 living room, upstairs quarters
Bldg. 14, circa 1930 Bldg. 14, 1940s Bldg. 14 today Bldg. 15, engineer's house, demolished in 1930s
Bldg. 16 at right, engineer's house at left Bldgs. 17-20, Laundry Row, in 1934 "Under the Hill" houses, late 1930s New houses "on the hill," 1940
Bldg. 37, Danna's last house, 1950 Bldg. 37, Mike Bilbo's house, 2009 Tennis courts in 1920s New tennis courts in 1940s

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