Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Bella Union Saloon & Grace Hospital

The former Bella Union Saloon and former Grace Hospital were located where the two story building viewed at the center of the photograph is at 325 West Miner Street, Yreka. The Bella Union was a local "watering hole" in 1852 and Charles Iunker and a Louis Rapi became the owners in 1859. Iunker also operated a brewery on Oregon Street. In 1861 the former Bella Union building was replaced by a two story residence and provided space on the ground floor for businesses. ~ This information is provided on a plaque placed on the wall of the building.

It is curious to note, however, that earlier pictures of this section of buildings there isn't a noticable two story building... whether it was later rebuilt, burned in a fire, or what is not clear to this author. It may appear further research is in order.

It is known, however, that in late 1916 this building on the top floor became the Grace Hospital. It was in 1916 when the county high school burned to the ground and the students were relocated for the remainder of the year to the building on Oregon Street known as The Mount Shasta Hospital (built by H. B. Gillis, and currently known as the DeClerk Offices). The Siskiyou News dated October 19, 1916 ran an article on page one about this new Grace Hospital. Apparently a Dr. G. W. Hathaway decided to open this hospital to fill a need since the Mount Shasta Hospital was given to the high school.
The article describes the accommodations for this new 12 room hospital. It had an operating room as well as maternity room which both faced Miner Street, as well as a "optical dark room" and two wards for men and two wards for women as well as private rooms. There was also a large sun room, nurses room, Dr. Hathaway's office, reception room and living rooms. The newspaper article described the new hospital as "a model of convenience". The hospital was expected to be opened about November 1, 1916.

It was not uncommon for small hospitals to be available, Yreka may have had three or four in operation at one time in addition to the county hospital. Many times a doctor would open their own hospital for the treatment of their private patients. Small hospitals like this were not uncommon up through the 1950's. During the 1960's many small hospitals found it difficult to obtain expensive equipment and laboratories and many were merged into community hospitals, county hospitals, and larger private hospitals.

Today the lower portion of this building is home to a shop that caters to health care workers and their "scrubs". A portion of the ground floor is home to the Miner Street Arthouse.
Copyright: Claudia East, 2008

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