Mary McClellan Hospital - Photography by Tim Patrick

Mary McClellan Hospital

A brief history:

“In 1915, during one of his frequent trips to the family home in Cambridge, Edwin McClellan conferred with prominent community leaders about his plans to build a hospital here. His goal was to improve the quality of medical care available to local residents. He collaborated with his brother-in-law, New York City architect William Mynderse. Together they designed, built and furnished the new state-of-the-art hospital in three years. He named it after his mother, Mary McClellan. A nursing school, jointly operated with Yale University and Skidmore College, was also built on the grounds, and was operating by 1923.

In addition to paying for the construction of the hospital, Edwin McClellan left a generous endowment to support its ongoing financial needs. This allowed care to be provided to local residents at below its actual cost. After his death in 1924 McClellan’s widow continued this generosity by donating a large addition, the north wing. Other members of the McClellan family also made generous contributions to the hospital.

Over the succeeding years Mary McClellan Hospital became the most important medical facility in the region. Through the efforts of local residents it prospered, developed new services, and even grew in size. Two new wings were added, in 1966 and 1983, and a skilled nursing facility was opened in 1971. A group of outpatient facilities, the Family Health Centers, were opened in surrounding communities during the 1990’s.

However, trends in the delivery of medical care over the last few decades made it difficult for small rural hospitals to survive. Patients increasingly required the highly specialized care that could only be delivered at larger institutions. Each year Mary McClellan found itself transferring more and more patients to larger hospitals where they could take advantage of more advanced technology, and the specialists that practiced there.

Everyone associated with the hospital made a valiant effort to keep it open. But, with a decreasing patient census and increased cost of care, Mary McClellan Hospital eventually succumbed to the inevitable and closed its doors in 2003.”

                                                                                              -The Mary McClellan Foundation--

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