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The 1920s

In 1921, Weymouth surgeon Dr. George E. Emerson started the movement to build a hospital in Weymouth. At that time, local residents had to trek into Boston for non-emergency medical needs, often forced to wait for a bed to become available.  Weymouth, the second oldest town in Massachusetts, appeared to be an ideal location: 12 miles of waterfront, a river that led to the ocean, fine homes, old churches, and a 300-year history. Yet, it had no hospital, and the need for one was pressing. Dr. Emerson and 11 other citizens of goodwill and public spirit responded by organizing a Hospital Corporation.

Reed Mansion, 1920s
Reed Mansion with attached Raymond Wing.

That same year, Alonzo Newbert, one of the Hospital's founders, purchased the H.B. Reed estate, a three-story Civil War-era brick house sitting on three-and-a-half acres at the corner of Main and Columbian Streets in South Weymouth, for $14,000. Newbert sold the site to the Hospital for $14,000, accepting a full mortgage dated six months ahead, thereby donating a half-year's interest to the Hospital.

On March 25, 1922, Dr. Emerson, Newbert and 10 other citizens - W. Carleton Barnes, Patrick J. Derrig, Sidney G. Dunbar, William C. Earle, William J. Fitzsimmons, William J. Holbrook, Parker T. Pearson, John F. Reardon, James B.B. Smith, and Prince H. Tirrell - obtained a charter for the Hospital. William Earle was appointed president, and Drs. Emerson, Frederick L. Doucette, Wallace H. Drake, and Cornelius A. Sullivan formed the first medical staff.

On May 21, amid band music and a speech from Massachusetts Governor Channing H. Cox, the doors to the new Weymouth Hospital were opened. The trustees agreed that the Hospital should be self-supporting, and that no patient would ever be denied admission solely on the basis of inability to pay. Nearly 80 years later, that commitment remains unchanged - but has tested the Hospital's financial and physical limits many times over.

Hospital Staff, 1926
In 1926, the hospital staff posed at the
entrance to the hospital.

Growth began almost immediately. In 1923, with a $10,000 gift from Almon B. Raymond and borrowed funds, the Hospital built the first of many additions. The first addition, which included 14 private rooms, became known as the Raymond Wing or Annex. In 1924, the estate's former stable was converted to nurses' housing.

In 1925, W. Carleton Barnes was appointed president, an office he would hold until 1943. Irene Oliver, RN, was appointed superintendent in 1927 and would hold that office until 1944.

Active and courtesy designations and bylaws outlining privileges were established for medical staff in 1929, following a recommendation by the American Medical Association to change the "open system" for physicians to a category system.


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