West Side Sanitarium, later West Side Osteopathic and later Memorial Hospital born in The Avenues in York

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This part of the York City map of 1888, from the booklet “Northwest York” gives a view of what became known as The Avenues. North Hartley Street, the address of the earliest forerunner of Memorial Hospital, can be seen at bottom, left. Background posts: Industrialist Thomas Shipley’s ‘enduring monument’ in York did not ‘endure’ and Glatfelter, Morgan Smith head industrial legacy list and Spring Garden Band: ‘It’s like being in the room with history’ .

Memorial Hospital’s plans to move from the east side of York to the former Hawk Lake golf course on the north side are well known.
And many people alive today remember when Memorial moved from the west side to its current location along Interstate 83.
But before the West Side Osteopathic Hospital and Dr. Edmund Meisenhelder’s West Side Sanitarium operated, where was the hospital located? …


Well, like a lot of things around York, the earliest medical center in Memorial’s lineage started in Northwest York, The Avenues.
The booklet “Northwest York, 1884-1984″ gives this chronology:
- The earliest locations of what later became West Side Sanitarium had 301 and 303 North Hartley Street addresses.
- Meisenhelder opened his surgical practice at 301 North Hartley Street in late 1913.
- The first patient, Estelle Spangler, resided at 303 North Hartley Street.
- An annex opened at 720 Roosevelt Avenue in 1914.
- The annex was believed to have been relocated to houses opposite the original site, 308-310 North Hartley. Those structures were later razed.
- World War I meant the end of these medical activities in The Avenues. In 1920, they reopened on West Market Street.
In all of this, a connection between York’s two hospitals – Memorial and York – was birthed. Dr. Roebling Knoch, later chief of Cardiology for York Hospital from 1957 to 1987, was born in 1917 when “Memorial” was located in The Avenues.

(Pick up more on the chronology of Memorial Hospital and its forerunners by clicking here.

About Jim McClure

Editor of the York Daily Record/Sunday News, ydr.com and its many digital products. East Region Editor, Digital First Media. Journalism/history blogger: yorktownsquare.com. Author or co-author of seven York County, Pa., history books.
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