In 1909 the Reverend James M. Wertz of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Beaver Falls authorized the purchase of Harry W. Reeves’ fourteen-room mansion, and two-acre property along the Beaver River, on 3rd Avenue (and 9th Street) to start a church-run community medical facility. A few months later a small group of woman from the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill arrived from Greensburg, Pennsylvania, to help set up operations. The first patient was admitted for treatment at the new Providence Hospital on October 13, 1909.
The facility initially had only twenty-two beds, but was rapidly expanded with additional annexes in the coming years. In 1912 a large three-story building with seventy-five beds, basically the central part of the building you see today, was built next to the old Reeves mansion. A nursing school was also established that same year and graduated its first five nurses in May 1915. The adjoining Marcus and Roman properties were purchased in 1939-1940 to allow further expansion. The old Reeves mansion was demolished in the mid-1940’s to make room for another annex. Two new wings were also added in 1958 as part of a $1.3 million expansion and upgrade initiative and the modernized hospital eventually contained 180 beds.
In March 1967 the end of an era was reached as the Sisters of Charity, unable to keep pace with the advances in modern medicine, withdraw from the operations of the hospital. A ceremony was held at the Hotel Brodhead to honor the over six decades of exemplary service of the Sisters.
In about 1968-1969 the hospital merged with two other county medical facilities in New Brighton and Rochester to form the Beaver Valley Medical Center. A committee was also established to explore the plan to build a modern hospital in Beaver County. The facility remained in operation as a general hospital until the early 1990’s, when it was converted into a skilled nursing center and rehabilitation facility. It’s still in operation today.
To read article from 1911 about the decision to build a large hospital building click on: HOSPITAL DECISION ARTICLE.
The former Reeves mansion and its two-acre property on 3rd Avenue was purchased by Catholic Church officials in 1909 to start the Providence Hospital. The first patient was admitted in October 1909. (1911) Full Size
Another view of the old Reeves mansion. (c1910)
The new three-story hospital annex, containing about seventy-three beds, was approved in July 1911. This photo shows the annex under construction and nearly completion sometime in 1912.
The three-story main building of the Providence Hospital, which was built in 1912. I believe the former Reeves mansion was still standing in the back of this building at this time. (c1940)
A postcard showing a great early view of the hospital. The card is postmarked in June 1916. Full Size
Providence Hospital. (c1918) Full Size
Old postcard showing the Providence Hospital. (c1940)
A 1950’s postcard showing the hospital with an addition built unto the right side of the main building.
Providence Hospital. (c1950) Full Size
A drawing showing the additional wings added to the rear of the hospital in 1958.
A gathering of nurses and nursing school personnel of the Providence Hospital in 1959-60. Sister M. Irenaeus, who served as the hospital administrator from 1924 until 1959, is pictured in black – sixth from the right.
A nursing student in action c1960.
The inside of an operating room at the hospital c1959.
Another nursing student inside a patient’s room c1960.