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First Hospitals of Port Perry

First Hospitals of Port Perry

The earliest 'private' hospital is believed to be a private hospital established by Dr. David and Robert Archer to care for the patients. It was established in the 'Colburn' house, a large brick house located on Rosa St., close to where Port Perry High School is located today. This 'hospital' reverted to a private home in 1927, after the death of Dr. Robt. Archer.

The next private hospital was started about 1920 by a graduate nurse, Grace Cormack, at 235 Queen St. She rented the rooms above the Port Perry Star office from Samuel Farmer, using the large airy front room for the operating room and the remainder was divided into two bedrooms. Access was up a long staircase located on the west side of the building.

Grace Cormack married James Swan in 1926 and they purchased the large brick home of Robert Somerville at 96 John St.,and converted it into a larger hospital containing 11 beds. Mrs. Swan operated the hospital until 1930 when she retired and sold it to two cousins, Nellie Whitmore and Margaret Fisher. By 1933 Mrs. Whitmore, had purchased the hospital outright and she remained in charge of the facility, the only one in the community, until 1946.

The hospital consisted of a large front room, for the most important patients and on the second floor were three more patients' rooms, with two beds to each room. The second floor also had a nursery, bathroom and rooms for staff and Mrs. Whitmore's office.

Mrs. Whitmore sold the hospital to the community after she retired, and plans for a new hospital got underway with the application for a charter and the start of fundraising. By 1948 the Port Perry Hospital was forced to close its doors, since it was not deemed reasonable to spend a lot of money on the aging structure. For the first time in 30 years the town was without a hospital.

In 1949 a residence for munitions workers in Ajax was purchased, cut into sections and moved by truck to Port Perry. Here it was reassembled and furnished by government grant and local subscription as a modern up-to-date 32 bed hospital. The new, long waited for, Community Memorial Hospital was officially opened while hundreds of citizens looked on in pride on Jan. 7, 1953, and served the needs of the community for the next 16 years.

Port Perry's next hospital opened on Nov. 26, 1969 when local doctor and Minister of Health for the Province of Ontario, Matthew B. Dymond laid the cornerstone for the new Community Memorial Hospital on Paxton St. This facility has undergone three expansions and numerous renovations, and continues to serve the growing populations of Port Perry and Scugog Township to this day.

Pioneer Doctors

Dr. Jonathan Foote - The first medical man to arrive in Reach Township was Dr. Jonathan Foote, who settled in Prince Albert in 1846 to treat the many settlers who had acquired a fever at this time.

Dr. N. Agnew - One of the early physicians, Dr. Agnew had an office and residence in Boynton Hotel as early as 1858 and practiced in the village until 1865.

Dr. George Jones - A Prince Albert physician who had an office on Simcoe St., joined Dr. Agnew about 1863 for a short time before forming a partnership with his brother Richard in Port Perry.

Dr. F.H. Brathwaite - Took over the practice of Dr. Agnew and plied his profession in Prince Albert until the mid 1870s, when he moved his office to Port Perry, across from the Town Hall.

Dr. J.E. Ware - A physician, surgeon, Dr. Ware practiced medicine in the village of Prince Albert from the mid 1860s until 1884 when he moved to Pickering. His departure left the village without a physician for the first time since 1846.

Dr. Richard Jones - Dr. Jones practiced medicine in Port Perry from 1867 to 1887. He was a coroner, physician and surgeon and even held the office of Reeve of the village in 1882.

Dr. J.H. Sangster - Dr. Sangster began his second career, medicine, in Port Perry in 1874 after completing an illustrious career as an educator in Toronto. The respected physicians practiced medicine in the town until 1904 when he passed away.

Dr. G. H. Clemens - Dr. Clemens practiced medicine from his beautiful home at the corner of Queen and (Lilla) Simcoe St from 1885 to 1896. His home was destroyed by fire in 1895, after which Dr. Clemens moved to Whitby to continue his practice.

Dr. L. Proctor - Dr. Proctor purchased Dr. Clemens property and built a new office and home in 1897. He practiced medicine from his location until 1907 when he sold to

Dr. J.D. Berry. Dr. John D. Berry - Dr. Berry took over the practice of Dr. Proctor and was the last doctor to practice medicine from this location. He practiced at this location from 1908-1918.

Dr. Samuel J. Mellow - Arrived in Port Perry in 1898 and practiced medicine until his death in 1925. The well respected doctor built a new office and residence at 249 Queen St. in 1903. He served as Reeve of Port Perry from 1901-1902

Drs. David & Robt. Archer - Dr. David Archer set up practice in Port Perry in 1891 as a general practitioner. Dr. Robert Archer joined his brother in 1897, and was an accomplished surgeon. The brothers built a medical clinic on the south side of Queen St. and were two of the most respected doctors to have ever practiced in the town.

Cartwright Physicians

Dr. Francis W. Howe The first doctor to practice in Cartwright starting in 1852 from his small frame home on Church St. He also served as Reeve from 1855-1888.

Dr. Gordon J. Emery Practiced with Dr. Howe and took over his practice when he died in 1859. He remained in Williamsburgh until about 1866.

Dr. John Montgomery Began practice in Williamsburg in 1868. Built a large brick home which became known as the "Medical Hall" and from here operated the first hospital in Cartwright Twp. He practiced in the village until 1882.

Dr. John W. Gray Opened his practice of medicine in Williamsburg in 1873 and after six years in the community sold it to Dr. Moore.

Dr. Aaron J. Campbell Purchased the Medical Hall from Dr. Montgomery in 1882 and practiced medicine in the community until 1888 when he sold his practice and the Medical Hall to Dr. Fish.

Dr. William A. Fish Dr. Fish arrived in Williamsburg in 1888 and purchased the Medical Hall. He operated his medical practice from there until 1901 when he sold and moved to England for post graduate studies.

Dr. John McCullock Purchased the Medical Hall from Dr. Fish and practiced medicine in Blackstock until 1906. He also served as medical Officer of Health from 1903 to 1904.

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