Grand Opening Feb. 25 During Heart Fair as Part of Hospital’s 75th Anniversary

ALTON, IL -- As Alton Memorial Hospital celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2012, a new history room is about to open on the Duncan Wing’s ground floor.

Located at the south end of the ground floor corridor, just past the history murals, the room features a vast array of artifacts from the hospital, the Alton Memorial Hospital School of Nursing and Elm Ridge – the estate on what became the hospital campus in 1937, where the Smith family lived from the 1860s until Eunice Smith’s death in 1955.

The room will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day. It will open to the public for the first time during the hospital’s 14th annual Heart Fair from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25. Local historian and author Charlotte Stetson, who wrote “Alton Memorial Hospital – 75 Years of Excellence,” in 2011 will be on hand during the fair to sign copies of the book right outside the history room.

“The history room will have something for everyone,” said Marlene Lewis, manager of Foundation and Development for Alton Memorial. “One of the new features is a large screen that will scroll old hospital photos. There will also be an iPad so people can select from a variety of photos as well as interviews with several people who were a big part of Alton Memorial’s history.”

The room is the result of gifts from the Milnor family to the “Building the Best Care Close to Home” capital campaign launched in 2006 for the Duncan Wing. The gifts were made in memory of M. Ryrie Milnor, a longtime member of the hospital’s board and chairman of its Finance Committee. He was treasurer of the hospital’s only other capital campaign in 1958 and was the father of George Milnor, who co-chaired the recent capital campaign along with Sandy Lauschke.

Other features include a grandfather clock given to the hospital by Alice Cole in memory of William and Alice Smith, the parents of Eunice and Ellen Smith Hatch. Alice Cole was a cousin to Eunice and Ellen. There are also yearbooks from the nursing school, which operated on campus from 1938-73, a doctor’s bag from the days when physicians still made house calls and two oil paintings by Carroll Butler Brown, an artist from the East Coast who was a good friend of Eunice Smith’s.

The AMH Development Office is always looking for more items to place in the history room. If you have an item of historical significance to AMH that you would like to donate or loan, please call 618-463-7701.

Jeanne Truckey of the Alton Memorial Hospital Development Office looks over a nurse’s uniform on display inside the Milnor History Room, which opens to the public during the Heart Fair this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

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