Tuesday, January 7, 2014

1956 Construction of the Faribault Medical Center through the lens of Paul H Weaver MD

My dad, Paul H Weaver, MD,  born Paul Henry Weaver in rural Ohio 24 Dec 1910, I experienced as a talented artist, historian and lover of nature.   This, I sense, is the first photo he took (not dated) when ground was broken for a new clinic on Faribault's east side .  The doctors of the group, Rumpf, Orr, Weaver, I sense, with no elevator (there was a single long stairway), they were learning to  work with other doctors, pharmacists, dentists to create a new vision for Medical Care in Faribault,  Dad left no notes or comments for these images, and perhaps those living in Faribault, who connect to the current medical  have access to the more legal and financial aspects (justifications ;-) of this transition.  I hope this inspires comments from others. 
Someone once reflected "Those who do not learn from the past, often are destined to repeat certain patterns" I come from a place of not knowing AND welcome others view and perspectives.  My comments are only what occurs to me in Jan 2014.  Open to other impressions and experiences.  I work to make "I" statement so share my experience, strength and hope! 

My intent here, it to share photos, that reflect the lens and vision of my dad, then 46 yrs of age and in the middle of his career as a general practice doctor, what today would be more like a family practice doctor.   Enjoy the visuals and my attempts to make sense out the times, though the eyes of his only son, who studied medicine at any depth, and I look forward to seeing how this occurs to others in Faribault who lived and experienced the times, including my brothers, to who I will share this link.  Thanks for considering commenting below....Only need some sort of google identity I recall.  Welcome to the 21st century and on line sharing and presence!!!

I can just hear the heavy breathing of those with any disability clunking up those long, creaking wooden stairs of the office, at 8-A, 4th Street Faribault.  The Medical group, created  a larger vision at the times, To attract more doctors, be closer to the hospital, envisioned moving from the second floor set of offices, above Payant Drug Store, NW corner of 4th St and Central, in the heart of commercial Faribault in the late 30's, 40's and early 50's to the east side I sense for many reasons. 

 I remember the  warmth of the small downtown place, easy for me to visit  for a boy of 7 in 1954, to visit my dad on bike likely after school.  A typewriter and writing by hand was the state of the art for keeping a medical record in the office.

Note too, in 1954 when he corresponded with Bud Goldsmith current headmaster of Shattuck, the US Mail was the started to have something in writing . This is the envelop sent from Shattuck on the east side to my dad, confirming both he and Dr Walter Rumpf, his senior partner, were still valued to do sick call on the Shattuck Campus 
Signage early in construction Sept 1956.

The lone tree, oak, from its profile...and perhaps a maple  I know my dad helped create a drainage topographical solution to honor the trees roots and need for water.   Not sure how long the tree lived after 1957 when the building was occupied, and I honor my dad for his teaching about nature and respecting the environment  He was very sensitive at heart and was quite visionary and his environmental awareness even in 1956, in noticing how the building was built.

Cement blocks going up.
Old school bus for construction crew.

 BH Heselton, a local contractor, lifting steel with current technology.  Anyone know the men here?
 Another view of the men working. This one guy looks quite tall.  Anyone know about the crew back then?

Suns rays make the floor joists/rafters create a pattern on the cement blocks early in construction, likely mid Sept 1956. Photo by PH Weaver. Note the robust tree on the N side. I remember it was protected for years, my dad being partial to that big tree...I recall it may of been an oak, possibly a maple. Anyone remember out there. ?

Another shot with the tree in the background in Sept prior to the leaves falling. If in color would get if it is an oak or maple. 

Here is the crane from BH Haselton again.

Framing up the second floor in October with workers cars and truck. 
Second floor framing looking west back side.  Notice the old school truck. 

Moving soil for landscaping around the front 

Sept 1956 Jim Weaver with his mom, Mrs Paul H Weaver, AKA Peg Weaver during construction  
 Beginning of planking outside of upper floor with workers cars in front, Oct 1956

Framing view from the east with old school bus parked.

More of a finished look with siding in October
With the 1956 construction, I imagine 1957 was the first year of operations.  

Me, Tom Weaver in 1959, age 12 in my dad's waiting room he shared I think with Dr Burt Orr. 


  1. Well put together Tom, I enjoyed the reading and pictures. Brian

    1. Hey Brian, Thanks so much for your comment. I look forward to meeting you face to face, perhaps in Northfield and perhaps in Faribault when they tap the first Fleck's...Please keep me up to date! You have my number! Best regards..Tom