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Once Upon a Time – “Our Hospital”

“Our Hospital” is now being transformed into a “new model” of rural health care. The construction fences are in place and workers have arrived and begun the expected eighteen months of work to make it into a “medical village.”

Funded primarily from New York State’s Department of Health, the nine million retro-fit planned changes include a new Emergency,  x-ray, laboratory, rehabilitation and pharmacy departments and a primary-care center. A new Dental Clinic, hospice care and substance abuse treatment facilities are also including in the design. Integrating the existing senior housing facilities completes this “village.”

The facility will be managed by Elizabethtown (NY) Community Hospital, an affiliate of the University of Vermont’s Medical College network.

It is expected that the current “Inter-Lakes Health” corporate name will be changed in the next several months.

Change is enviable, hopefully for the greater good. As we look forward to the future, let us not forget the past.

Following is a brief history of the early development of our community hospital as most of our readers may remember them ~~~

This town’s early history is military oriented; therefore, we can relate our first “medical facility” was part of the greater Fort Ticonderoga military complex. It was located at Mount Independence that was established during the American Revolution War. (Previously, during the French and Indian War, the sick and diseased were sent to Fort William Henry at the head of Lake George.)

Our first community hospital, located in the same area as today medical facilities, was built in 1908 and called Shattuck Memorial Hospital. On September 1st, 1909, the hospital’s corporate name was changed to Moses Hospital.

“Moses Hospital” – Circa 2012

The Shattuck Memorial Hospital, named after Mary Moses Shattuck, was located on farm land owned by Lucius Lewis. Upon Mary’s death her will had established a community trust for charitable purposes and designated Horace Moses as the executor. The estate’s holdings also included the farm land and Lewis homestead. As executor of the estate, Mr. Moses had begun the construction of the much needed hospital on the Lewis land to save money for the construction of the hospital. William A. Gale, a local architect and builder was engaged to construct the new hospital. The will was contested and funds designated from the trust was never received. Mr. Moses proceeded at his own expense to build and equip the hospital at a cost of approximately $25,000. ~~ And presented it to the community.

The original twelve bed facility was quickly outgrown, and over a period of years, the various porticos were enclosed to accommodate more patients. On September 4, 1920, Mr. Moses made a proposition to the Board of Directors, Chaired by Mortimer Y.  Ferris, to the effect that he would duplicate all cash contributions to a building fund that could be obtained up to an amount of $50,000. A committee was formed with a goal of $100,000. Within one year a total of $80,207 was secured. The $20,000 needed to complete the balance was contributed by the Ticonderoga Pulp and Paper Company.

Dear Mr. Ferris:

Yours of the 18th inst. Received soliciting a subscription to the fund which is being raised for the improvement and enlargement of the Moses Hospital, including the purchase of additional real estate, and I note that it is estimated that this will require an expenditure of approximately $100,000.

The officers of this company view this plan most favorably, and I am pleased to inform you that it is their pleasure to tender on the part of this company, a subscription of $10,000 and any part of an additional $10,000 that may later be found necessary to bring the amount up to $50,000 required.

Hoping that you will have no difficulty in raising this sum of $50,000, which, with Mr. Moses’ very generous contribution, will make up the amount of $100,000 to be expended in the improvement and enlargement of the hospital.

Very truly yours,

Ticonderoga Pulp & Paper Co.,

By Thos. E. Warren, Manager

By 1923 the new 50 bed hospital was completed and the “old” hospital was converted into a “Nurses’ Home.” This hospital was designed by M. H. Westoff, of Springfield, Massachusetts, (he also designed Ticonderoga’s  Hancock House and  Community Building) and it was specially designed so that a wing equal in size to the initial structure could be added at a later date. It was at this time that the name of the hospital was changed from “Moses” to “Moses-Ludington in recognition of a large contribution of Strathmore Paper Co. stock (owned by Mr. Moses)  from Mrs. Ludington of Springfield, Mass.

In 1946 another large financial contribution from Mr.  Moses made possible a large addition and modernization to the nurse’s home.The exterior of this building was also completely remodeled to match the “new” hospital buildings. Mr. Moses then renamed this structure the Emily J. Moses Memorial Building in honor of his mother. It was at this time the planned north wing of the  1923 construction  was begun with contributions from the community, International Paper Co. and another large donation from him. A separate boiler house and laundry facility was also built behind the hospital at that time.  This new addition added a new maternity area and  increased the bed count to 80.

In 1957, Moses Ludington Hospital was granted accreditation by the Joint commission of Accreditation of Hospitals. (At that time accreditation meant that a program of carefully designated standards had been set up for every activity in a hospital.) At this time the hospital was housed on three floors. The third floor was devoted to Surgical and Medical Cases and the Operating Rooms for major surgery, and a Recovery Room. The Second floor was devoted to Pediatrics, Maternity, Administrative Offices, Dining Room and a Lounge. Each of the rooms throughout the hospital was supplied with piped in oxygen. On the first floor was located the Dietary Department, Laboratory, X-Ray, Medical Record Library, Doctor’s Lounge and an Out-Patient Clinic and the Emergency Room.

Some “stats: from the 1963 Annual Report: There were 9,819 hospital days for medicine; 2,884 for case surgery; 1,307 days for maternity cases; 339 children were delivered in maternity. The laboratory processed 19,896 various types of tests and there were 329 electrocardiograms performed.

In 1981, an entirely new Moses Ludington Hospital was constructed, in part by community subscription, on property adjacent to the “old” hospital complex. In 2001 a new 42 bed nursing home was opened.

And most of you know the rest of the story.

2008 Moses-Ludington Hospital Centennial – Cover Note Paper Note Paper

Ticonderoga Historical Society’s – Vision “… is to make area history an integral part of our community life by connecting our region’s past and present in order to shape our future.”

Your support is needed so we may keep this vision alive – AND – to maintain our beautiful home ~~ The Hancock House.

Hancock House & Liberty Monument

4/1/17 wgd

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