Friday, March 18, 2011

Stories from the Clippings

A Visit to Doernbecher Hospital at Night

While poking around in the clippings, I came across a lovely narrative about Doernbecher Memorial Hospital when it was still housed in the building we now call Dillehunt. The anonymous author was published in the Oregon Club Woman in 1935 but it still could have been published yesterday.
So here it is:

Up the hill in the darkness, climbing higher and higher, with the dark road twisting round and round, up and up. Trees standing in march formation along the road, tall, straight towering, until they become a part of the night. The little car, almost smothered as it climbs, feels the gloomy trees on each side and the darkness of the unseen forest beyond. Up and up.

Here is the top of the hill, the clearing, and impressive buidings serene and cool in the night; big white lighted buildings. Looking back down the road the trees still stand, shushing, with traffic and lights and noise all far below the white ones sparkling, and streaks of light zigzagging along lanes of lights. A muttering echo of the noise drifts up, confused, then lost.

But here, on the hill, are the big lighted buidings and the night wind breathes over them, and trees below sigh, and darkness surrounds them.

Here is the Doernbecher Memorial Hospital for Children. Lighted. The door is open at the night entrance.

Day Dawns

The city is still sleeping when dawn breaks over the hills. Blanketed under a light mist cloud the city seems to dream as though loath to slip out of the darkness.

But on Marquam Hill the sun is shining and all is stir and bustle. The birds sing with all their hearts from the boughs of trees or else cock their heads over the dew spangled grass listening for the address of some fat worm inching his way along. Trees are in blossom. Little new leaves, tender and delicate, tremble in feather green before the sun's rays. A robin accosts the morn.

Slowly the city, far below Marquam Hill, stretches and stirs. The sun, higher in the sky now, tears the mist into drifting veils with its bright glance, until the Willamette, threading its way through the city smiles back at the sun.

In Doernbecher Hospital white clad figures hurry back and forth. The long night is over; day is here. The little patients turn hopefully toward the windows where the sun is busy warming the window panes.

Then farther down the hall comes the signal: "Trays! Trays are here!" And another day begins.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Physicians and Surgeons Hospital

A recent donation brought in some copies of a short publication, Our History: Physicians and Surgeons Hospital, "published by Physicians and Surgeons Hospital and Metropolitan Hospitals, Inc., for friends of the hospital." Probably produced in the early 1980s, it traces the development of the hospital from 1915, when Dr. Robert C. Coffey founded Portland Surgical Hospital. The hospital went through many name changes and expansions over the twentieth century, becoming Physicians and Surgeons Hospital in 1946. The area around NW 21st-23rd Avenue now hosts several Legacy Health system buildings.

Karen thinks we have copies already in our archival collections, but I'll be adding one to the PNW Collection, where it will complement the Collected Papers of Robert Calvin Coffey, a set of reprints of articles published by the hospitals founder.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Esther Pohl Lovejoy in Greece, 1928


In this scene are men carrying large poles or sticks, in a courtyard with two bears. One of them is on all fours near the man on the right, and one is standing on hind legs next to the man on the left (who is holding a chain that goes around the animal’s neck). The standing bear looks like a person in a (very realistic) bear suit or some kind of stuffed animal. There is also a monkey hanging off of the man in the background.

Esther Pohl Lovejoy (center) was dedicated to alleviating suffering and served with the Red Cross during World War I. In 1919 she became the president of the American Women's Hospital Service and in her role organized relief missions to the Near East and especially Greece. Her book Certain Samaritans documents the work of the AWHS including her trips to Greece and Turkey.

Also pictured is Dr. Angenette Parry, who was President of the Medical Women’s National Association from 1918-1919.

The photograph was printed as a “Carte Postale” or postcard.

Finding aids to Lovejoy's collections can be found on the HC&A Website (her collections are accession #s 2001-004 and 2001-011).

--Max Johnson, HC&A Student Assistant

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Monumental Women Walking Tour

Last Thursday I celebrated Women's History Month by attending the Monumental Women Walking Tour. The tour was led by Portland State University students who are completing a senior project on women's contributions to civic life in Portland.

The tour began at the Walk of the Heroines, a park space honoring women's contributions to society:


For the next hour, our student guides led us to downtown sites that represent significant in Portland women's history. Below, the group learns about the First Congregational Church, site of the 1905 National American Woman Suffrage Association Convention.


Other stops on the tour included the former Martha Washington Hotel for Women; the Portland Art Museum; the home of journalist and radical activist Louise Bryant; and the former site of the Portland Women's Club.

We then headed back to the Walk of the Heroines, where I snapped a photo of one of the stones honoring Portland's many heroines:

Right in the middle of this picture is the name of Bethenia Owens-Adair, frontier doctor, social reformer, and popular subject in HC&A.

The students' excellent research and hard work resulted in a very engaging event. It was wonderful to be reminded of how familiar buildings and sites in the city connect us to history.