Moses-Ludington Hospital, a Retrospective Review
For nearly one hundred and ten years there has been a medical facility sitting at the top of “the hill” here in Ticonderoga. Over those years there have been a number of changes to the facilities, types of health services offered and to staff: the professional, administrative and service personnel that provided the operational necessities of our community hospital.
As many of our friends know that in the not so distance future there will be a significant transformation to “our hospital” in that “Moses-Ludington Hospital” nor “Inter-Lakes Health” will be a corporate identity; and, that services as we known them now will be enhanced and some will no longer exist.
At this time we thought it would be appropriate to look back over those years since the hospital was “born” and take a retrospective review of some of the changes to the buildings, services provided and the people that worked there.
In the course of eleven decades there have been many doctors who have practiced medicine since the first Moses Hospital (1908) was opened and later at the re-named Moses-Ludington Hospital (1924). Let us begin with four of the earliest physicians in those early years.
Starting at the beginning (1908) ~~ Dr. J. (John) P. J. Cummins is probably the one doctor that most of an “older generation” may remember as he practiced medicine here for nearly seventy years. Besides Dr. Cummins, there were three other physicians who were as well respected and provided valuable medical care to Ticonderoga and the surrounding area – and – were very active in community affairs.
Following are brief biographies:
Dr. J.P.J. Cummins – (1874-1968) – Born in Vineland, N.J. and moved to Ticonderoga at an early age. He graduated from the University of Vermont Medical School in 1897 and began his practice here in 1908. “Dr. John” as most spoke of him was one of the those “Country Doctors” who began his practice in the horse and buggy era; and, he used to love telling stories about that era. As the Editor of Sentinel wrote at his passing: “Dr. Cummins began making medical history in Ticonderoga long before the advent of automobile and the many miracles of science as we know them today. Travelling by horse and buggy, his calls took him to all areas of the region in all kinds of weather, to homes where he frequently and successfully performed operations with only the most primitive facilities available. Who can say the hundred of lives which were saved through this man’s great ability?
It was in 1907 that he collaborated with another native townsperson, Horace Moses, the great benefactor to Ticonderoga, of the need to have a hospital here.
On July 11, 1957, as Dr. John was observing his 60th anniversary of practicing surgery and medicine the town celebrated this occasion with over 500 attending a festive afternoon on the hospital lawn. Later that night a great banquet was held at the K of C with over 200 attending.
Dr. J. P. J. Cummins, Sr.
August 1, 1963 – The Women’s Auxiliary presented to the hospital a portrait they commission from George Hughes of Sandgate, VT. At that time some additional endearing comments about Dr. John were spoken: “Few of us in the past may have consider what went into the beginning of the Moses Ludington Hospital, and fewer in future generations would have know the man who had the dream and whose dream became a reality, and that only through persistence. Dr. John wanted a hospital and he was a fighter, with high aims and high ideals, and he persisted until he had backing to finance the hospital, he fought