(click to enlarge photos)
As I remember, the first question about local history that I was ever asked was. “What became of General Hospital?” While I did not know, yet I answered, “Has it changed channels?” I was, of course, alluding to the soap opera, General Hospital. The real Seattle General Hospital had its beginnings in 1895 when a group of women rallied for a second, and protestant, hospital for the city. After two earlier locations, the building in today’s photo opened in November of 1900.
In those early years of acting like a pubic historian, I was repeatedly asked questions about Seattle General. Someone in the enquirer’s family had been born there – or died there. So what became of Seattle General? Now I suspect that that commonplace curiosity was generated in part because after seventy years of serving on Fifth Avenue, directly across Marion Street from its spiritual and fiscal advisor, the First Methodist Church, this brick landmark was sold to the Bank of California for about one million dollars. After the patients were moved to the former Maynard Hospital on First Hill, demolition began on April 29, 1971. Soon the slender bank, which Jean shows in part with his repeat, took to the sky. And the old brick landmark? It was missed.
In October 1975 the governing boards of three Seattle hospitals – Doctors, Swedish and Seattle General – agreed to merge under the name Swedish Medical Center. To me, a Dane, the Scandinavian choice was a wise one, with connotations of competence, compassion and surely for some, strong broad-shouldered nurses with hair that reflected the sun. By now we know Swedish very well, but it seems, no one – or only a few – still ask about Seattle General.
It was once typical for local papers to report on the progress of patients, and through its many years, Seattle General garnered lots of news. For instance, in the Seattle Times for March 26, 1905, we learn under “Society”, that “Mrs. George B. McCulloch, who underwent a successful operation for appendicitis Tuesday, is at the Seattle General Hospital, where she will remain until convalesant.” News about celebrity appendectomies, like that on April 1, 1903, for Puget Mills owner E.G. Ames, were often headlined in bold type.
Concluding now with the other General Hospital, by now the oldest TV soap opera that is still breathing, perhaps due to its proximity to the latest in expensive life-support devices.
Anything to add, Paul? Surely
When Ron Edge gets up at his usual morning hour – around 5 – he will insert a few links that relate to the above feature on Seattle General. I’ll add a few subjects now (after midnight) but this week they will, I expect, be more about hospitals than Seattle General’s historical neighbors, which, you may have noticed and/or know, included the Lincoln Hotel, the Seattle Public Library, the First Methodist Church, the Rainier Club, the Elks Club, First Presbyterian Church, and certainly many others. I’ll work an hour or so but then pause to watch the last of 26 one hour episodes of the original and captioned Swedish serial Wallander.
PERRY HOTEL as COLUMBUS HOSPITAL, Southwest corner of BOREN & MADISON: Crossroads of FIRST HILL
From IDAHO to WAYSIDE
GENERAL HOSPITAL AMBITIONS of 1925
Now I’ll retreat from the blog and prepare for nighty-bears with the prelude of a Swedish mystery. Tomorrow I will return and add a few more health-related subjects. Thanks for your patience and other’s patients. (pause) Up at noon and here come the marines.
MARINE HOSPITAL (First)
SEATTLE: 1921-1940 From BOOM to BUST
By RICH BERNER
Here is a link to “Boom to Bust,” Volume 2 of Rich Berner’s grand trilogy, SEATTLE IN THE 20TH CENTURY. Volume 1 covers Seattle history from 1900 to 1920, and Volume 3 treats of Seattle in the 1940s. Earlier we posted on this blog Volume 1’s second edition, enriched with many additional illustrations. A similar treatment for Volume 2 is a work-in-progress. The link below thru the books’ cover is, however, a Ron Edge scanned facsimile of Boom to Bust in its original pagination as first published by Berner’s own Charles Press in 1992. Sometime this year (2014) we hope to start opening here, page-by-page, the grand illustrated edition of Volume 2. (We will let you know, of course.) For now, here is the Charles Press version, in time for the reader to study one of its primary figures, Seattle Mayor John Dore, nor featured below with the few photos following.
MAYOR JOHN DORE – HIGH (ABOVE) & LOW (BELOW)
The often gregarious and pugnacious Mayor John Dore was nearly always brilliant – or very smart. Mayor twice, first elected with Roosevelt in 1932, defeated by Charles L. Smith in 1934, then elected again in 1936, only to die in office in the spring of 1938, late in is term.
CITIZEN JOHN DORE: on the level.
In between his mayoral terms Dore returned to his vigorous lawyering. Here (above) he is featured in a Seattle Times collage acting as defense attorney for Margaret Waley, the 19-year old kidnap suspect, charged in the regionally sensational case of the baby Weyerhaeuser abduction. Facing him is assistant U.S. attorney Owen Hughes. To prepare for the assembly of this collage, almost certainly both lawyers were asked to pose twice, one with and once without demonstrative gestures. Hughes was given the gesture, and as it turned out won the case, to the relief of the accused, Mrs. Waley, who Dore described as tricked into the kidnapping by her husband, whom she, however, loved. The wife, however, feared that if she was found innocent, the case might be appealed by a federal prosecutor under a federal crime that might have demanded her execution. She was pleased with the guilty verdict, and also given a short sentence.
GOVERNOR MARTIN signs on for SOAP LAKE and BUERGER’S DISEASE
Selected from a Times caption in 1934: Three of the most prominent women of medicine in the Pacific Northwest met yesterday at the conference of the Northwest Hospital Association in Seattle. They are, left to right, Miss Carolyn Davis, first woman elected trustee of the American Hospital Association, and now superintendent of Good Samaritan Hospital, Portland: Miss May Loomis, for many years in charge of the Seattle City Hospital and now superintendent of the emergency department at Harborview: and Miss Evelyn Hall, now serving as nurses’ counselor at Harbor view after scores of years as superintendent of Seattle General Hospital.