St. Michael’s Hospital Opened with Appropriate Ceremonies. Is Blessed By Bishop Shanley. Reception Is Held In Evening, At Which Hundreds View New Building. Finest Hospital in North Dakota Erected at a Cost of Over $100,000. Something About the Construction of the New Building – Large Four-Story Structure – Interior of Modern Hospital – Fine Equipment. The formal opening of St. Michael’s hospital, built at a cost of over $100,000, took place yesterday, and the occasion was a notable one in many ways. With this splendid institution in readiness for operation, Grand Forks now has the distinction of having the largest and best equipped hospital in the entire northwest. At 9 o’clock yesterday morning pontifical high mass was followed by the blessing of the new hospital. Rt. Rev. Bishop Shanley, D. D., officiated as celebrant, assisted by Very Rev. T. Egan, P. G., of Fargo, as deacon; Rev. M. G. Driscoll, of Fargo, as secretary, as subdeacon, and Rev. E. Geraghty, of Jamestown, as master of ceremonies.
In order to accommodate the large audience present, a large altar was erected in the light parlor at the south end of the main floor corridor. Elaborations of flowers and potted plants made the scene a strikingly beautiful one. Some of the fine music was rendered by the choir of St. Michael’s church, assisted by several of the visiting clergy. Immediately after the celebration of the mass, each room of the hospital was visited and blessed. This impressive and beautiful ceremony occupied nearly the entire forenoon. Later Bishop Shanley and the officiating clergymen, together with Fathers J. W. Considine, of Minto; E. Kenny, of Grafton; S. Landolt, of Reynolds; J. A. Lalande, of Wild Rice; P. McGeoght, Jamestown; J. Fischiert, of St. Adolph, Man., were entertained at dinner at the hospital, a very fine spread being served by Logan in the main dining room.
Reception in Evening. One of the most important events socially in the history of Grand Forks, was the opening reception last evening of the new St. Michael’s hospital. Over 600 invitations were sent out and from the large company gathered it was evident none were declined. The hospital was brilliantly lighted from the top floor to the basement, and the scent of hot house plants and cut flowers greeted the guests as they entered. The decorations were luxuriant and beautiful. The reception hall was a bower of beauty, the arches twined with ferns and smilax intermingled with brilliant carnations. Around the chandeliers were twined the most beautiful autumn foliage, and pots of rare plants were strewn about the rooms with great vases of American beauties, chrysanthemums and carnations. The little cozy corners at the end of each hall were effectively decorated with green foliage and brilliant blossoms, and each room in the hospital had its individual decoration of beautiful cut flowers in vases.
The guests were received by Bishop Shanley of Fargo, Mother Leocadia, the mother superior of the hospital, Father Conaty, Vicar General Egan of Fargo and Mother Seraphine, of Joseph’s academy, St. Paul. A number of the resident and visiting sisters and clergy graciously looked to the comfort and enjoyment of the visitors taking them from room to room, and showing the various beauties of the new building. Many of the prominent doctors of the city were present and assisted in many ways in receiving the guests and showing them over the hospital, in which each and every one of them feel a personal pride. Refreshments were served on the second floor and here Logan, the caterer, had used his artistic taste in the decoration of the dining room which was faultless in all its appointments and each guest waited on with greatest ease and comfort. The menu was dainty and delightfully served.
Hall’s full orchestra was stationed in the hall way on the second floor and sweet strains of music filled the air the entire evening. The following was the musical program rendered: Prelude – “Honor Bound”…Boehlein, Overture – “Nuptial Flower”…Lavellee, Reverie – “Romance of a Rose”…O’Connor, Descriptive – “Moonlight on the Suwanee”…Friedman, Selection – “Time, Place, and the Doctor”…Howard, Novlette – “Two Two Lovers”…Flath, Intermezzo – “Indiana”…Stevens, Postlude – “La Cinquantaine”…Gabriel-Marie.
Hall’s Orchestra. Seldom in the history of the city has a more brilliant company of people gathered at any social function than on this occasion. Some magnificent gowns were displayed among the ladies, and a greater number of the gentlemen were in full evening dress. There were a number of prominent sisters present who assisted in receiving and looking to the comfort of the guests, among them Sister Augusta, St. John’s Academy, Jamestown, Mother Irenaeus, St. John’s Academy, Jamestown; Mother Seraphine, St. Joseph’s Academy, St. Paul; Mother Bernardine, St. Joseph’s hospital, St. Paul; Mother Esperance, St. Mary’s hospital, Fargo; Mother Madaline, Fargo, and Sister Christian, Fargo.
St. Michael’s hospital, which was formally opened yesterday, is the outcome of a meeting held informally some two years ago by five of the prominent physicians of the city. The need of more adequate hospital facilities has long been realized, and at this meeting the quintet of medical men discussed the entire subject in its various aspects and finally definitely outlined a plan by which it was hoped to bring about the erection of a large and completely equipped hospital in Grand Forks. The plan thus outlined reached its destination yesterday in the opening of the new St. Michael’s hospital. In the consideration of ways and means a tentative offer was received, in effect that if Grand Forks would provide a suitable site and contribution of $15,000 in cash, a Catholic sisterhood would undertake the erection and operation of a general hospital at a cost of $75,000.
The assistance of the Commercial club was enlisted in the hospital proposition. Ways and means were discussed at a number of meetings of the club, and a lively public interest developed in the cause. A committee was appointed to consider the matter of a suitable site and another committee was named on subscriptions. A number of available sites were considered, and finally a block of land in the north end of the city, overlooking the Red River of the North was selected and purchased at a cost of $2,500. The matter of securing money was also found comparatively easy, and the good will of the city toward the enterprise was manifested in the liberal subscriptions received towards the enterprise. The gift from the city was duly accepted by the Sisters of St. Joseph, through Bishop Shanley. The services of Hancock Bros., architects, of Fargo, were secured and plans were soon under way. Plans and specifications for the foundation and basement walls were first completed and the contract let in October, 1906. The work was completed to this extent, and during the winter plans for the superstructure completed, and the contract let. Active operations were commenced early in the spring and have been pushed forward steadily ever since.
A Fine Building. The hospital building proper is a large four-story structure, built of Grand Forks cream-tinted brick, with stone trimming. The facing brick are laid in colored mortar, giving a very pleasing effect, and the structure is of very handsome design architecturally. The main entrance is through a handsome porch of large proportions, with broad stone steps and tiled floor. Over the porch the name, “St. Michael’s Hospital,” is carved in stone in large letters. A cupola surmounts the roof, with a gilded cross in front. A wide veranda extends along the rear of the building, extending through to each floor for the use of patients. The power and heating plant, etc., are located in a separate building at the rear of the main building.
Interior Arrangement. A wide corridor with tiled floor extends from the front entrance to the rear, and at right angles with this, forming a cross. The main corridor, also with tiled floors, extends through the entire length of the building, both on the main floor and the other floors as well. At the right of the corridor, looking from the entrance, a door ushers visitors into a large reception room simply but elegantly furnished. Across the corridor is the business office fitted up with the usual conveniences for business transactions. At each end of the corridors are the “sun parlors” with large windows on three sides, and fitted up with easy chairs for the use of the patients who are able to leave their rooms, when the weather does not permit of the use of the porches.
An automatic electric elevator, the first of the kind to be installed in the city, connects the several floors of the hospital. The elevator is so arranged as to obviate the need of an elevator operator. By pushing an electric button placed by the elevator door on each floor the elevator, if not in use at the time, is instantly brought to the landing on that floor and the elevator door is automatically unlocked. Stepping inside the elevator one has only to “push the button” to be automatically carried in the car to any desired floor landing and have the door unlocked for egress from the car. The entire interior of the building is finished in hard wood with smooth white walls, and the floors are either tile or hard wood. The toilet rooms on each floor have tile floors and marble wainscoating. The main kitchen occupies one end of the basement with a dumb waiter connecting with the other floors and there is also a diet kitchen for the use of the nurses on each floor, equipped with gas stoves and refrigerators, china closets, etc.
Superb Equipment. The equipment of the hospital throughout is the best that could be found. The main operating room is a large apartment at the northeast corner on the third floor and is furnished entirely in white enamel and white marble with white tile floor. There is one large plate glass window 6×12 feet in size on the north side, several large windows on the east side, and a large skylight above illuminating the room from above. Around the skylight are arranged mirrors which may be deflected to converge additional light on the operating table or at any desired point. A better lighted room could scarcely be conceived. Adjoining the operating room on one side is the sterilizing room, with a complete equipment for sterilizing perfectly everything used or handled by the physicians and assistants during operations. Physicians who have inspected the equipment declare there is absolutely nothing wanting. A supply room adjoining the sterilizing room is stocked with a complete supply of all requisites in the way of appliances, etc., for operations.
Consultation Room. A physicians’ consultation room adjoins the main operating room on the south. A notable feature of this room is the provision made for physicians’ instruments, etc. A row of elegant cabinets extends along two sides of the room, for the individual use of physicians, with ample room for everything which may be required by them personally, and the keys to remain in their custody. A dressing room, bath and toilet for the use of physicians is also provided. A private room is also provided for an intern of house physician, who will be appointed later. The verandas extending along the rear of the building will be a feature much appreciated by convalescing patients who want to get the fresh air and sun. Convenient of access, they are roomy and afford an unobstructed view of a large portion of the city and the rural districts beyond, with a constantly changing panorama. Stairs connect the different floors of the verandas, making them also available as fire escapes. The wards are particularly attractive. The ladies’ ward, on the southeast corner, is lighted by six large windows and furnished in maple, with rugs of contrasting shades. The wide aisles and general airy and cheery aspect are most inviting. The men’s ward is on the west side and is also brilliantly lighted by numerous large windows, and is furnished in oak and handsome rugs. The individual rooms are all of large size and exquisitely furnished. Electric call bells and every convenience are provided.
Have Furnished Rooms. The orders of Knights of Columbus, Elks, Railway Conductors, United Commercial Travelers and Locomotive Engineers have each furnished and dedicated a room for the use of members of the order, under provisions which will enable members of these orders to know that at any time in case of accident or illness a room has been placed at his disposal, the expense to be borne by the order, and reduced rates have been made for these orders. The hospital management has also fitted up a room, to be known as the Commercial clubroom, as a compliment to the club as a token of appreciation of its efforts in behalf of the hospital. The Knights of Columbus have furnished a large room at the southwest corner of the main floor. It is richly furnished in mahogany, and its equipment if complete. The room is possibly the finest in the building. On the opposite side of the hall is the room furnished by the conductors, also a large room, exquisitely furnished in quartered oak and with luxurious rugs and other fittings.
The Ladies International Grand auxiliary of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers have furnished elegantly a large room in the northwest corner of the same floor, the equipment including some very fine fixtures, including an elegant leather couch, pictures, etc. Members of the engineers’ order succeeded in giving the ladies a surprise by adding a fine leather Mor (?). The room dedicated and furnished by Grand Forks council, U. C. T., occupies the northeast corner on the main floor, and a more attractive place to be ill in one could hardly imagine. Dainty shades give the room a cheery appearance, as well as a softened light. A heavy brass bedstead, superb oak fixtures, dressers filled with an abundant supply of linen, all bearing the U. C. T. monogram, etc., contribute to the cheeriness of the room. The Benevolent Order of Elks have also furnished a room with the very best that was to be had, and members of the order who have an occasion to become patients of the hospital will find nothing lacking. The Commercial clubroom is another of the daintily furnished apartments, and the furniture selected by the management is both handsome and durable. Many of the private rooms are large enough to accommodate two beds, if found desirable.
Capacity of Hospital. The hospital will have a capacity of sixty to sixty-five patients, and even this number may be increased in case of necessity without inconvenience. A portion of the ground floor will be occupied for the present as living rooms by the sisters in charge at the hospital, until they can provide a separate house for a residence. In the construction of the hospital special attention has been given to sanitary provisions and abundant provision to insure cleanliness throughout. Everything has been arranged with regard to system, economy of management and convenience.
The Power House. A separate building, a substantial brick structure, 30×60 feet in size, has been erected for the power and heating plants, and also the laundry, etc. Ample provision is made for heating, so that every portion of the hospital can be maintained at any desired temperature at all times. A complete electric plant for the operation of lights, service, motors, elevator, etc., is provided, and the laundry is provided with an up-to-date equipment, and complete provision for sanitary cleansing and sterilizing of hospital linen, etc.
The Management. In erecting, equipping and providing for the operation of St. Michael’s hospital, the Sisters of St. Joseph, who have undertaken the work, have more than complied with the terms of their offer to the people of Grand Forks. The hospital construction has involved an outlay of more than $100,000, but no expense has been spared in its equipment. The hospital will be conducted on the broadest lines, and will be open to any reputable physician’s patients, without regard to the particular school of medicine, denominational affiliations or other conditions. The Sisters of St. Joseph, who are in charge of the hospital, also have the management of St. Joseph’s hospital in St. Paul, St. Mary’s hospital in Minneapolis, and St. John’s in Fargo, and the new St. Michael’s hospital will be fully up to the high standard of excellence maintained by these institutions, while the equipment is even more modern, and includes the latest improvements known to hospital science. Mother Leocadia is in charge, assisted by eight sisters of the order, all trained nurses of long experience. The staff will be augmented as the patronage of the institution makes desirable.
Training School. A training school will be opened in connection with the hospital after the first of the year with a complete three years’ course, under the direction of trained teachers, and with lectures by physicians. A number of applications have already been received.
Open for Visitors. The hospital reception last evening was necessarily limited to invitations extended, but the institution will be open for inspection to the public generally this afternoon from 2 to 6, and again tomorrow afternoon, without further invitation.
The First Case. Application has been received for the patient, who will be admitted to the hospital tomorrow, for an operation on Saturday. (Grand Forks Daily Herald, Thursday Morning, December 12, 1907, Volume XXVII, Number 36, Page 6)