St. Peter's Hospital

The earliest plans for St. Peter's Hospital were made in 1883, but it was not until the next year that the hospital became a reality. The first building was wood frame, and known as the Grange. A miner, named Robinson, was the first patient. In December of 1884, the hospital was moved to the Holter building, shown below, near the intersection of Jackson and Grand...

Two years later a non-profit organization was formed and, under the untiring direction of Mrs. L. R. (Henrietta) Brewer, a building was erected specifically for a Hospital in 1887, near the intersection of 11th Ave. and Logan St...




The 1887 St. Peter's Hospital
46°35'30.12"N 112° 2'6.32"W


COURTESY OF SCOTT NELSON - THE BRIDGEWORKS CONSERVANCY

St. Peter's Hospital, ca. 1890. Located near the intersection of 11th Ave. and Logan St., this structure suffered damage in a 1901 fire.

 


Artist's Rendering of St. Peter's, ca. 1890

By 1901, need had outgrown the facilities, and the fire (in which no one was injured) added urgency to the need for a more modern facility. Mrs. Henrietta Brewer began the campaign that was to result In an enlarged building. Unfortunately she did not live to see its completion....



The Henriettea Brewer Memorial Building

Parts of the 1887 building are seen in this ca. 1911 view of the new Henrietta Brewer Building, taken from the NE corner of 11th Ave. and Logan.



 

A 1910 View

This 1910 view, taken from 11th. Ave., shows the Henrietta Brewer Memorial Building from the northwest. Note the stone retaining wall under construction. Several additions were made to this building over the decades, the last in 1957. It was demolished in 1973. Note the covered walkway between the new and old buildings.

 

 

A 1911 View

St. Peter's Hospital, 1911. Taken from the same spot as the previous photo, this image shows the completed stone retaining wall and steps. In 1932, the Conrad Kohrs Memorial wing was added; it extended west from this building, occupying the space where we see the long flight of steps and the covered walkway.

 

 

View from 11th Avenue, 1920s


COURTESY OF SEAN LOGAN

 

 

Helena Girls Wearing Flu Masks, Winter of 1918-1919

 

 

Vials of Mercury Unearthed Near Site of Old St. Peter's


COURTESY OF SCOTT NELSON - THE BRIDGEWORKS CONSERVANCY

A decayed wooden box containing corked vials of mercury was unearthed during construction of the new St. Paul's Methodist Church building, adjacent to the site of the old hospital. The area was apparently used as a hospital refuse heap, as other medical items were also recovered. Remnants of a paper label on the box advised taking the mercury internally for stomach maladies. Don't do that.




1932 Conrad Kohrs Memorial Building
1950-51 view from 11th Avenue


COLLECTION OF HELEN MARGARET GRANT • COURTESY OF WENDI KOTTAS PETERSON

 

The beautiful 11th Ave. doorway to the Kohrs Memorial wing, now all gone.

In 1932, Mrs. Conrad Kohrs (nee Augusta Kruse) in memory of her husband, provided more than $100,000.00 for a new surgical wing. It was designed by noted architect Cass Gilbert, in the popular Mission Style.

In 1937, the adjacent Perkins home for Nurses was erected with money provided by Mr. and Mrs. Jamieson Perkins. The following year, a modern home for the remainder of the staff was provided through the generosity of Mrs. Harry W. Child.

No other major addition was made until 1957 when an additional wing was built with $100,000.00 willed to the hospital by George Cormack. It was the final addition to the complex.

St. Peter's Hospital moved to a new faciltiy the east side of Helena in 1968. The old Henrietta Brewer building was used for several years as office space, but was torn down in July of 1973.
Affordable housing for the elderly was built on the site by Security Pacific, Inc. (now Security Properties Inc.), of Seattle.

 


Demolition of the Henrietta Brewer Memorial Building, 1973

Scan of an Independent Record newspaper photo.