Visiting a health spa is not a new concept. Mudcura Sanitarium (1908–1951), later known as the Assumption Seminary (until 1970), was located on Highway 212 just west of Highway 169, near the Seminary Fen. The sulfur springs, mud and plants from this area had been used by Dakota medicine men from Canada and other regions for many years before the settlers discovered their healing attributes.
The treatments at Mudcura used these plants and mineral-rich mud when treating people for medical ailments, including for arthritis, asthma, nervous disorders and even alcoholism.
The word sanitarium is a misunderstood word. Originally, a sanitarium was not a hospital for the mentally ill. The word was coined over a century ago in 1898. A small business opened its doors in Melbourne, Australia, with the vision to help people “learn to stay well”—the meaning of the word sanitarium—by linking good diet with good health.
A fire destroyed the building on November 8, 1997, a sad ending for a landmark that was known internationally for good health.
—Wendy Petersen Biorn // Executive Director, Carver County Historical Society