KGH: 175 years of caring - The Ann Baillie building

News / KGH History
By Pamela Peacock

This week's article is by the Museum's curator, Dr. Pamela Peacock.

The Kingston General Hospital established its training school for nurses in 1886 and the first class graduated in 1888. The nurses-in-training were originally given accommodation in the Watkins Wing, but the expansion of the program quickly necessitated new quarters. One floor of the Nickle Wing was reserved for nurses' quarters, which included five bedrooms, a bathroom, parlour and a dining room.

By 1900 there were between 30 and 40 nurses in the training program and the Nickle Wing was no longer adequate. The need for separation from the hospital was reinforced when a number of infectious diseases hit Kingston in the late 1890s and several nurses died or became seriously ill. In 1902 temporary housing was found in Summerhill, on Queen's University campus, and in Herchmer House, now the site of the University Faculty Club on Stuart Street. Dedicated accommodation for student nurses finally opened in 1904. The Nurses' Home, located behind the Doran Building and the Fenwick Operating Theatre, provided easy access to the hospital wards and space for the young women to study and socialize. Designed by William Newlands, the two-storey, hammer-dressed limestone, Beaux Arts-inspired building served as a residence until 1969, when all student nurses were moved to Waldron Tower at the end of George Street. In 1942, the building was named to honour Ann Baillie, a graduate of the School in 1910 and its Superintendent from 1924 until her death in 1942. In 1997 the Ann Baillie Building was designated a national historic site and, today, houses the Museum of Health Care at Kingston.

For more information, visit the Museum of Health Care online or download the new App: "Transformation of the Kingston General Hospital 1835-1914."

KGH will mark the 175th anniversary durning the week of September 23, 2013.

Do you have an interesting story to share about your history with KGH? Use the comment section below to tell us!

Special thanks to our presenting sponsor, Lovell Drugs and our event sponsors, Honeywell and KCCU.