Eloise was a large hospital complex located in Nankin Township in western Wayne County, Michigan. The name came from the post office on the grounds which opened July 20, 1894 and was named after Eloise Dickerson Davock, daughter of Detroit's postmaster.
It operated from 1839 to the early 1984 and started out as a poor house and farm but developed into an asylum and hospital. In 1832 it was called the Wayne County Poorhouse; in 1872 it was the Wayne County Alms House; in 1886 it was referred to simply as the Wayne County House. In 1913 there were three divisions: The Eloise Hospital(Mental Hospital), the Eloise Infirmary (Poorhouse) and the Eloise Sanitarium (T.B. Hospital) which were collectively called Eloise. In 1945 it was named Wayne County General Hospital and InfirmarAry at Eloise, Michigan. In 1974 it had two divisions - the Wayne County General Hospital and the Wayne County Psychiatric Hospital. The psychiatric division closed in 1977 and in 1979 it was officially called Wayne County General Hospital. At its prime, Eloise consisted of 78 buildings and 902 acres (365 ha) of land. Now only ruins, sewer lids with Eloise Hospital engraved on them, 4 of the 78 buildings and the Eloise Cemetery remain.
Eloise Present Day:
Today the land that once was Eloise has been developed into a strip mall, a golf course, and condominiums. There are only two buildings currently in use. One is "D" Building or the Kay Beard Building. At one time this was an administration building and it was also used for psychiatric admissions and apartments for some employees like the Catholic chaplain. The old commissary building is currently being used as a family homeless shelter.
The old bakery, the fire hall (former psychiatric facility laundry), and the power house are still standing in ruins. The Eloise smokestack — emblazoned Eloise in brick — was deemed to be a hazard and was demolished in 2006.
In 1979, the Walter P. Reuther Psychiatric Hospital, located near the northwest end of the former Eloise property, just southeast of the intersection of Merriman and Palmer Roads, was opened. The facility is currently operated by the Michigan Department of Community Health. In 1996, Oakwood Health System opened an outpatient facility, the Adams Child & Adolescent Health Center, on the corner of Merriman and Palmer near Reuther Hospital. Both facilities have Palmer Road addresses.
Eloise is featured in the book Annie's Ghosts: A Journey Into a Family Secret by Steve Luxenberg, which is about Luxenberg's secret aunt who was committed to the Eloise psychiatric hospital in the 1940s.
The site is marked by a Michigan Historic Marker.
Presently the site and cemetery are maintained by the Friends of Eloise.
The site and the adjoining Eloise Cemetery are reputed to be haunted.
Eloise is featured in the book "Detroit Breakdown" part of D.E. Johnson's Detroit mysteries series, a fictional story about the murder of patients at Eloise.