eBay Tuesday: Memorial Hospital

Garfield Ave. facility started up in 1893 before joining another hospital to form Lawrence & Memorial

Lawrence & Memorial Hospital celebrated its centennial year in 2012, but the roots of the hospital's partnership run back about 15 years longer.

This week's auction choice, offered by user billybs, is a postcard portraying what one of the facilities looked like around 1909. Simply labeled "Memorial Hospital," the scene looks more like a stately manor than an urban medical facility.

Memorial Hospital was located at 163 Garfield Ave. Organized in 1892, the Memorial Hospital Association was chartered the next year. The building itself opened in August of 1893 on "a fine site comprising about five acres of land on a high ridge," according to a 1904 report of the Board of Charities. J.N. Harris provided the initial $10,000 to build the hospital, while George F. Tinker and Mrs. Alfred Mitchell were recognized for further gifts enabling expansion of the facilities. The specialties included an X-ray room and nursing school.

A year after this report, the Manwaring Memorial Hospital was incorporated. Wolcott Barber Manwaring, the only son of Dr. Robert A. Manwaring and Ellen B. Manwaring, bequeathed his estate toward the founding of a children's hospital in memory of his parents. It appears that this action did not so much form a new hospital as it did a new hospital corporation. A contract for the construction of a new garage for the Manwaring Memorial Hospital Trustees gave the same address as Memorial Hospital.

The centennial date of Lawrence & Memorial recognizes the foundation of the Joseph Lawrence Free Public Hospital on April 1, 1912, at L&M's current site on Montauk Ave. This hospital included a hefty $100,000 starting fund and $400,000 endowment from whaling tycoon Sebastian B. Lawrence. The Navy acquired and updated the Memorial Hospital buildings in 1918 and the Memorial Hospital Association trustees agreed to merge with the Joseph Lawrence Free Public Hospital to form the present partnership, originally known as the Lawrence and Memorial Associated Hospital. According to the hospital's history page, the Manwaring Memorial Association also merged with L&M in 1930.

Adding to the unexpectedly large number of memorial hospitals in New London: Home Memorial Hospital. This opened its doors on Nov. 1, 1920, at a mansion at 541 Pequot Ave. Also housing a nursing school from 1923 to 1929, the hospital was established in the home of Col. Augustus C. Tyler with the idea that the surroundings would "present a more homelike atmosphere than is ordinarily found in a hospital." The Home Memorial Hospital was destroyed by fire in 1944.

The postcard of Memorial Hospital measures has no creases and slight edge wear and will be shipped in a protective container. The starting bid is $3.49 with $2 for shipping. The auction ends at 10:15 p.m. on Wednesday.

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