“And here’s where the slop from the operating room went,” says Rosemary, as she lifts up the lid from a counter in a small pantry which now used for storage. I have visions of guts and gore plopping into slop buckets below.
I’m visiting Rosemary Guyette and Dick Pothier at their home on Sycamore Street. This home once housed an 8-bed ‘cottage hospital’, the first hospital in Yarmouth.
However, it has Scottish dormers on the front, an unusual feature of this style and time period.
Fast forward to 1907 when Mayor Samuel Hood calls a meeting with the doctors of the town to consider the possibility of establishing a hospital. A group of women form the “Yarmouth Hospital Society” and start to raise money for a hospital. Jacob Bailey steps up to the plate and offers this home. After several renos (lights in every room, hot water, a sky-light for the operating room in the attic etc.), the hospital officially opens in the spring of 1912.
As they couldn’t afford to hire more than two nurses, superintendent Mary Ann Watson advertises for students who would be willing to get room and board in exchange for labour while they received a two-year nursing education. This was the pre-cursor of the School of Nursing—still operating here under the auspices of Dalhousie University.
Aside from being treated to a house & garden tour, iced tea, fresh strawberries and some mouth watering Fudge Squares—which don’t have a bit of chocolate/fudge in them, and look rather boring, but oh! Qu’elle surprise—I especially appreciated seeing the love this couple has for their old home. It’s palpable, and preserving these old bones has always been important to them.
The mayor built a cement wall on the north side of the garden to keep his Pupah of the day in his yard, and this wall is built on a slant with large, long protruding stones encased in the top, presumably to thwart his dog from jumping over.
Every Pupah is buried in the back yard, with headstones of foot-stones which are still there.
We then sashayed into a historic tour with Susie Sweeney … to be continued shortly. Need a cuppa.
But remember the Fudge Brownies I mentioned that don’t have any chocolate/fudge in them? Here’s Rosemary’s family recipe.
Heat & stir together in a medium sauce pan (until butter is melted): 2 cups brown sugar2/3 c of butter or margarine. Cool for 5-10 min. Lightly beat two eggs and stir in 2 tsp vanilla. Add to sauce pan. Mix dry ingredients–2 cups flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp salt–stir into sauce pan. Spread mixture in a greased 9 x 11 pan. Bake in oven at 350 for 15-20 min. Watch closely. Ready when toothpick comes out clean.