Doctors prescribed Los Gatos climate

At the turn of the century, doctors sent patients suffering from respiratory problems, such as tuberculosis, to Los Gatos to prolong their lives.

The town’s salubrious reputation was due in large part to a writeup in the prestigious British medical journal, The London Lancet, which in 1905 proclaimed Los Gatos as “a small town 60 miles south of San Francisco” which had “with Aswan, Egypt, the most equitable climate in the world.”

Money couldn’t have bought that sound bite.

For years, the Lancet quote was used to dress the masthead of the old Los Gatos Mail-News.

Whatever was meant by “equitable,” Los Gatos accepted the honor without question and a stream of patients found their way to town.

Sanitariums sprung up. Or, more exactly, large homes were converted to receive the sick. This was before legislators concerned themselves with sanitation, fire safety and emergency exits.

Of course, patients died despite the efforts of man and weather. But the climate of Los Gatos was pleasant enough, and many were relieved of discomfort and lived beyond their expectations.

An asthma sufferer who came here from the East Coast told a reporter that upon settling in Los Gatos, he was no better than before. Then, by chance, his family moved to another part of town and—presto—he was relieved. He guessed there might have been wisteria or acacia near his first home.

This column is from the Los Gatos Weekly-Times archives. © Metro Publishing, Inc.

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