House of Providence: Maternity Hospital in Antigonish 1914-1924



This family home at 66 Hawthorne Street was operated as a Maternity Hospital by the Sisters of St Martha for 10 years: 1914 to 1924 and known as the House of Providence.  It was built around 1880 and was part of the Trotter lands and farms on Hawthorne Street. Henry McCurdy purchased this land from Isabella Grant-Trotter for $327 in 1879 . Thomas Trotter was likely the first owner of this home and the Waldren Studio photo of Isabella Trotter (Mrs. Thomas Trotter) is dated December 1900.

Mrs Thomas Trotter Dec 1900 from Mike Brown

house of providence AHM Maternity Hospital


Gustoraus and Anne Bernasconi occupied the house from 1902 to 1914, and the Bernasconi family are in this Waldren Studio full pose photo, which is dated 1900 and described as: “One young man standing between two women and behind a woman and young man seated on a bench and one woman and one man seated on another in the garden in front of a home.  Man’s hat and pipe are lying on the grass.”




Bernasconi family House of Providence before 1914 Waldren


Michael Donovan, long time editor of the Casket occupied this home from 1924 to 1932.


Perhaps the Bethany archives have a photo of the House of Providence as it was operated from 1914 to 1924.  This 1924 photo of the IWK Grace Maternity Hospital in Halifax, posted on the Vintage Halifax web site, offers a glimpse into nursing care during this time.



IWK Grace Maternity 1920

Posted in Access to Healthcare & Health Literacy, Conditions for Community Health, Infrastructure, Housing &Transport, Photography Archives.

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