Fall 2010

A & E
Capturing an era of cottage hospitals

Submitted Graphic



St. John’s author and publisher Edward Lake has now compiled the first book to ever chronicle the entire history of the province’s cottage hospital system, Capturing an Era: History of the Newfoundland Cottage Hospital System.

by Jonathan Carpenter

For more than half a century the cottage hospital system delivered quality health care to hundreds of patients in communities throughout Newfoundland and Labrador.

St. John’s author and publisher Edward Lake has now compiled the first book to ever chronicle the entire history of the province’s cottage hospital system. Capturing an Era: History of the Newfoundland Cottage Hospital System is a compilation of archival documents, personal accounts and a diverse selection of photographs.

Lake is a retired registered nurse and former director of health for the Labrador coast. He says unlike most history books, Capturing An Era combines statistical data with narrative about the life of the cottage hospitals and the lives of patients, families and staff that were touched along the way.

He credits Dr. John Munro Ross as first having the idea for the book while working as Chief Medical Officer at the Placentia Cottage Hospital. Dr. Ross began compiling research for the book in the mid-1980s as a retirement project. Lake, who also worked at the hospital, had already amassed a considerable amount of research and the two friends agreed to partner on the project. However, when Dr. Ross was diagnosed with cancer, the project was no longer a priority and was shelved.

In 2006, Lake was approached by Katherine Daley, board chair of the Health Archives and Museum of Newfoundland and Labrador, about reviving the project. Lake agreed and he began sending out requests in local newspapers asking readers to submit their own memories of the cottage hospitals.

“The sad part about it is that a lot of information was lost when they closed the cottage hospitals. Instead of keeping the documents and records they got rid of them. What we’re trying to do now is preserve at least the memory of the cottage hospitals while we can,” said Lake.

The book contains anecdotes about the doctors, nurses, administrators and support staff, who provided a system of quality health care that never before existed. It also documents two traveling hospital ships that augmented the system by providing care to remote coastal communities. The book also examines such topics as pre-Commission of Government hospitals, the origin of the cottage hospital system and its founders, ties to Memorial University and an overview of each individual hospital.

The cover of the book, consisting of two integrated photographs, was also designed by Lake. The Dory Buff yellow clapboard siding and the Forest Green traditional window trim, which was common on most government buildings of the time, encases a photo of Head Nurse Catherine McGrath, RN, holding the last premature baby born at the Placentia Cottage Hospital.

The book will be available for purchase on December 1st, marking the 75th anniversary of the official establishment of the cottage hospital system in the province. Lake says the timing is also significant in that it is being released during the final year of the Health Archives’ operation, due to a withdrawal of government funding. Lake dedicates Capturing an Era to his family doctor, mentor and friend, Dr. John Munro Ross.

To order a copy of Capturing an Era visit www.capturinganera.net.  



 Poor Average Good Excellent 




Site Map | DisclaimerCredits | Webmaster
© Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Association (NLMA)



Advice for politicians on improving long-term care

New security policy at NLMA House

CMA elects new president; Dr. John Haggie confirmed as president-elect

News from General Council

Canadians concerned aging baby boomers will impact quality of health care

Knowing is better than not knowing

Rock star, movie star and health promotion

Community Health Outreach office opens in Grand Falls-Windsor

Dedicated to addressing health risk of smoking

Site aims to recruit 200 participants

Capturing an era of cottage hospitals

CNIB offers supports to people with low vision

Patient-centered care at heart of refocusing Canada’s health care system

Pickled red meat associated with increased risk of colorectal cancer

Let’s send Pap screening rates soaring!

Recognizing excellence

Clinical Practice
CMA News
Common Revolt Against Paperwork (C.R.A.P.)
Doctors in the News
Executive Director's Message
General Council
Government Relations
Health Administration
Health Policy
Health Promotion
Health Technology
In Memoriam
Information Technology
Job Action
Physician Wellness
Practice Management
Primary Care Renewal
Resident's Corner
NLPCSG newsletter In Touch Summer 2010 (PDF)
NLPDP newsletter Behind the Scenes Fall 2010 (PDF)
CARN newsletter October 2010 (PDF)
Winter 2013
Summer 2013
Spring 2013
Winter 2012
Fall 2012
Summer 2012
Spring 2012
Winter 2011
Fall 2011
Summer 2011
Spring 2011
Winter 2010-11
Fall 2010
Summer 2010
Spring 2010
Winter 2009
Fall 2009
Summer 2009
Spring 2009
Winter 2008
Fall 2008
Summer 2008
Spring 2008
Winter 2007
Fall 2007
Summer 2007
Spring 2007
Winter 2006
Fall 2006
Summer 2006
Spring 2006
Winter 2005
Fall 2005
Summer 2005
Spring 2005
Winter 2004
Fall 2004
Summer 2004
Spring 2004
Winter 2003
Fall 2003
Summer 2003
Spring 2003
Fall/Winter 2002
A connected group or series; a bond, a connection.

Nexus is published quarterly for Newfoundland and Labrador's physicians. It is a forum for the exchange of views, ideas and information for members.