Cumberland Times-News

July 30, 2013

Allegany Museum will house artifacts from city hospitals

Display to feature stone tablets and chandelier from Memorial’s original entrance

Michael A. Sawyers
Cumberland Times-News

— CUMBERLAND — The next addition to the Allegany Museum will be a room dedicated to the history of Cumberland hospitals, according to President Gary Bartik, who said he is waiting to tour the old Memorial Hospital to see what artifacts exist there.

“At Memorial, there are a couple of plaques, the stone tablets at the old main entry and the chandelier that we intend to preserve,” said Cumberland City Administrator Jeff Rhodes on Tuesday. “We may also preserve some other items as we get a little further down the road.”

Demolition of that structure is being scheduled to begin in October, Rhodes said this past week. No formal agreement has yet been created between the museum and the city, although Rhodes and Bartik have discussed the matter.

The other former hospital, Sacred Heart on Seton Drive, will be torn down to make room for a new Allegany High School.

Kevin Turley, the Western Maryland Health System’s vice president for business, development and planning, said, “We removed everything we are interested in preserving when we vacated the two old hospitals. Anything remaining is the property of the new owners.

“We did share the religious artifacts with area churches and some even went to Emmitsburg,” Turley said, speaking of the Seton Heritage Center.

Bartik said the hospital display will be on the Pershing Street building’s first level, at one end or the other of the corridor.

“We’ll start with the hospital that was on Altamont Terrace in a pre-Civil War structure and go right on up through the Sacred Heart Hospital on Decatur Street to where we are now,” Bartik said. “We are interested in old nursing uniforms, plaques, you name it.”

Marion (Steiding) Chappell, a nurse now living in Mariposa, Calif., emailed the Times-News recently, asking if the plaque at the entrance to Memorial Hospital would be transferred to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center on Willowbrook Road.

“I graduated from Memorial Hospital School of Nursing in 1963. My class is celebrating our 50th year this Sept. 13 and I will be attending,” Chappell said.

Contact Michael A. Sawyers at msawyers@times-news.com.