On April 12, 1886 the Buffalo Evening News announced that the Howland School would be converted into a sanitarium. The Union Springs Sanitarium was operated by Dr. Franklin Pierce who wished to help those suffering from chronic diseases as well as people who were looking for rest and recreation. One newspaper article remarked that it, "was famous thruout [sic] the eastern United States for its sulphur baths and its quiet and beautiful location." Patients swarmed to the sanatorium during the summer months and it often accommodated as many as 200 patients per year.
(Information from the William G. Pomeroy Foundation)
To reach the health resort many patients came by stage to Cayuga and in that village boarded one of the lake steamers which took them to Union Springs. Some of the patients coming from nearer towns and cities made the entire trip to the resort by horse and buggy.
The latest conveniences were found in the resort. All of the rooms were electrically lighted by a privately owned electric plant in the rear of the building, power was made by engines. The steam exhaust was harnessed and used to heat the building. Water was piped to the building from the lake and sulphur springs so that patients might take their health plunges without leaving the hotel. All the plumbing, wiring, and heating were done by Otto Spencer, a resident of Union Springs.
(Information from newspaper article - source and date unknown)