Any photos not otherwise credited are from the personal collection of Frank Passic, Albion Historian.
Morning Star, June 12, 1994, pg. 4
A landmark in Albion that now sits virtually empty is the James W. Sheldon Memorial Hospital, located in the 800 block of S. Superior Street. Originally erected in the early 1920s, the hospital closed at the end of 1967 when the Albion Community Hospital opened. It was then utilized for ten more years as “Sheldon Manor,” a long-term care facility. During the 1980s it served as offices for various physicians, but now sits “functionally obsolete,” and costing the City of Albion annual maintenance costs.
In its heyday however, Sheldon Memorial Hospital was buzzing with activity. Named in memory of Albion’s famous 19th century banker, James W. Sheldon, the hospital was operated with not only city funds, but with community support as well. Numerous clubs and organizations held fundraisers to purchase various types of equipment through the years. During the post-World War II population boom, a rear addition was erected to handle the increased capacity in 1952 at a cost of $500,000.
When the hospital opened on May 1, 1924, patients not only saw the very latest medical equipment, but another modern invention: “Pay radio.” Patients were required to place tokens in coin-operated radios to listen to their favorite music. Small zinc tokens bearing the name “Sheldon Memorial Hospital” were minted, and were sold to patients for a fee. Later of course, television was invented, and they had “Pay television.”
As we drive daily past the old Sheldon Memorial Hospital, it is sad to see the building sit empty, awaiting an unknown fate. From our Historical Notebook this week we present a postcard from many years ago showing the front of the James W. Sheldon Memorial Hospital.
James W. Sheldon Memorial Hospital
Next: MIRIAM KRENERICK
All text copyright, 2020 © all rights reserved Frank Passic