Wish-I-Ah Nursing Home (abandoned) – Auberry CA

Description

Once known as the Wish-I-Ah Healthcare & Wellness Centre, this nursing home was built in 1928 as a sanatorium for tuberculosis by Fresno County and was sold to become a private care center for the aged when T.B. virtually disappeared in the 1940’s.

The WPA got involved in February 1936 by hiring a “graduate nurse from relief roll to assist Supt. and Medical Director of Wish-i-ah Sanitorium, to assemble data and keep records pertaining to tuberoulin as a diagnostic measure.” WPA project 0412-345 $525. The WPA also engaged in construction work “on Co. Rd. to Tuburcular Sanatorium near Auberry. To improve about 3/4 mile of Rd. by grading to 20 Ft. construct a rubble rock wall 150′. To widen branch Rd.” WPA project 0412-421 $6,975.

The facility closed in 1955 and later reopened privately as a nursing and rest home. Los Angeles based Shlomo Rechnitz and his company, Brius Management bought Wish-I-Ah in 2009 as part of his buy up of 81 other nursing homes. By then, the facility had been a major employer in the rural area for more than half a century. Over time major problems surfaced as part of Rechnitz’s slumlord style of management resulting in violations including unsanitary conditions in the kitchen, non-functioning bathrooms, linens unavailable to residents, an improperly maintained sewage treatment system, and lack of staff training on wound care. The report said the failures exposed residents and staff to infectious disease and a noted September 28, 2014 death. Rather than spending money to fix problems demanded by regulators, the facility was abandoned in 2015.

Source notes

WPA job card
http://efchs.org/old_scans/_042a.html
http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/article4000704.html
http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/national/article24062083.html

Project originally submitted by Andrew Laverdiere on December 1, 2017.

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.

SUBMIT MORE INFORMATION OR PHOTOGRAPHS FOR THIS SITE

Location Info


35680 Wish I Ah Rd
Auberry, CA 93602

Coordinates: 37.1092851, -119.49767029999998

11 comments on “Wish-I-Ah Nursing Home (abandoned) – Auberry CA

  1. Nikole Carter

    Abandoned….:..-(

  2. I hope that this facility can be allowed to have a new beginning, so many people would benefit,residents and employees as well.

  3. Ray Harwick

    Ted Harwick and Steve Morris would turn over in their graves if they know what became of Wish-I-Ah. They bought it from Osa Tathum in 1960 and made a going business out of it. Steve died there in 1981 and Ted continued to run it until 1984 when he leased it to Jan Harshman, his long-time administrator who improved it even more. Jan then bought the place around 1990 and sold it a few later to Rechnitz who utterly destroyed it and along with it the largest employer in the Auberry area. In all the time Ted, Steve, and Jan ran that place they never had so much as a bed sore on any patient. Steve and Ted had previously owned a nursing home in Whittier, California called Grand View which was first owned by Steve’s brother in the 1930s. Ted came to Grandview as a handyman and transformed the place into an excellent care facility. The then sold Grandview and bought Wish-I-Ah. Ted’s parents are buried near there at the Tollhouse Cemetery along with Steve Morris. Ted fills an urn right here on my desk. He and Steve was loving companions for 32 years and I met Ted two years after Steve died. We lived as a family for 33 years, raised our daughter and were finally able to married in 2014. There were 200 people at Ted’s retirement party when he bid farewell to Wish-I-Ah. He knew the name of every single employee. There’s a sign posted in the lot in front of the Wishiah Administration building. It say, “Harwick Park”. That’s my husband’s park. Ted died on June 1, 2016, in Bastrop, Texas.

  4. Can the department of health reopen it as a COVID designated facility?

  5. perhaps with a little TLC this site could be used for low cost housing for veterans

  6. Julia Moore

    My father, Dr. C. Gerald Scarborough, was director of Wish-I-Ah sanitorium in the early 1940’s when it was a tuberculosis facility. He and my mother and I lived on the property for around 2 years then. The head nurse, Merle Grayson, was frequently my babysitter, and she used to make coconut cream pies for my father, whom she thought the world of. We had a local indian gardener, Sam, who used to teach me about indian customs, including how to make acorn pudding. Interesting times… I’m sorry to read that the facility is now abandoned.

  7. Jennifer Martinez/Oden

    I worked at Wish-I-Ah for a few years in the business Office. I have to say it was my most favorite job ever. I will never forget our Administrator Stephan. He once told me “Policy, Make it your best friend” and I’ve heard his voice repeat this to me over the years.
    It was a beautiful drive to work, it was a beautiful historical facility that needed much work yet it was still beautiful. The staff was caring and amazing and the residents were full of life, so many great stories they shared.
    It breaks my heart to see this place closed down. All the History there is reason enough for someone to reopen the facility. It may need a ton of work but would be so worth it . Just don’t change any of the historical features.
    Hope to hear this reopens one day soon
    ❤️Wish-I-AH

  8. Marilyn Masten Honegger

    The medical director in the late 1930’s was Everett Morris, MD. His son Jim Morris (born about 1919) was a childhood friend of my father’s and died during WW2 (Army Air Corps). His wife was Marie. I have some old letters written by Jim Morris and am trying to find his child or other progeny to pass them on.

  9. Julianna Greer

    Wow, I was just thinking about writing my memoir and found this web page.. when i was in my late teens I worked the night shift in several of the buildings. That would have been in the late 1960’s. Yes, it is a beautiful property and would be wonderful if someone could restore it. Thank you everyone who is also keeping the memories alive.

  10. Julianna

    Wow, I was just thinking about writing my memoir and found this web page.. when i was in my late teens I worked the night shift in several of the buildings. That would have been in the late 1960’s. Yes, it is a beautiful property and would be wonderful if someone could restore it. Thank you everyone who is also keeping the memories alive.

  11. Robert kuhn

    I am looking for Robert k Kuhn he was there and I am trying to find out when he died an where he is buried .he should have military honors.he had alzheimer’s.i am his son an lost contact with him it’s been almost twenty years maybe someone that worked there would remember him . Please contact me .

Leave a Reply

Before leaving a comment, please note:

  • Comments allow viewers to share information with others or alert us to errors or changes in a New Deal site.
  • We are not involved in the management of New Deal sites and have no information about visits, hours or rentals.
  • This page shows all the information we have for this site; if you have new information or photos to share, click below.

SUBMIT MORE INFORMATION OR PHOTOGRAPHS FOR THIS SITE

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.