GRAFTON—For many years, Grafton City Hospital has sat atop a large hill, overlooking the town and the residents that it serves, and in just a few short days, the hospital will be commemorating their 75th Anniversary with a special celebration.
For many years, it was the dream and desire of the town’s residents to have a hospital that was modernized and outfitted with state-of-the-art medical equipment. That dream became reality on March 7, 1945, when the hospital welcomed their first patients.
Before the opening of the building at the new location, patients were served in an old school building that housed 28-beds. As a way to move forward with the times, the citizens of the town passed a levy in the amount of $40,000 in August 1938.
Don J. Byrum, of Wheeling, was tasked with the construction of the new structure that would be designed by architect L.D. Schmidt, of Fairmont, under the W.P.A. Program.
In 1940, work on the new building came to a standstill as funds quickly dried up. During the first years of construction, $135,000 had been paid toward the building, with the City of Grafton paying $71,000 of that amount.
The structure, which consisted of only the outer walls and a temporary roof, would stand untouched until 1942 when the City of Grafton was granted a loan of $160,000 by the Reconstruction Finance Corporation. The loan, however, was contingent upon the approval of a three-year bonding levy by residents that would provide an additional $40,000.
Although the levy passed 1,816 to 140, war time restrictions and material shortages would once again slow construction of the building. Once the building was finished, delays were met once again as workers struggled to outfit the building with needed fixtures and equipment.
In true Grafton spirit, workers pushed forward and by March 1945, the hospital opened its doors, although some work would still need completed.
It wasn’t until National Hospital Day, May 12, 1945, that Grafton City Hospital was formally and officially opened, and residents were invited to tour the new facility.
Throughout the years, Grafton City Hospital has seen many families and patients in their hallways, and if the walls could talk, stories would surely have the attention of many individuals.
To celebrate this major milestone, the administration at Grafton City Hospital would like to invite the public to attend the hospital’s Building Dedication Anniversary on Friday, March 6, at 1:00 p.m.
Guests are asked to gather at the main entrance of the hospital for a brief Building Dedication Ceremony, before being treated to refreshments.
“We would love for the residents of Grafton to come out and help us celebrate this achievement,” said George Boyles, Interim President and Chief Administrative Officer. “We are passionate about serving patients here locally, and would love for them to see the changes we have made at their hometown hospital.”