Beaumont Emergency Hospital Ambulance

The carriage being prepared to move to the Mackinac Horsemen’s Association.

The Beaumont Emergency Hospital Association was formed around 1924 to provide medical services during the summer tourist season. The hospital was named in honor of nationally-known Fort Mackinac physician, Dr. William Beaumont, famous for his ground-breaking medical research on human digestion.

The 1828 Post Hospital, ca. 1900. After 1859 it had primarily been used as a storehouse.
Donated by Mrs. Robert Bailey

An agreement with the Mackinac Island State Park Commission was reached in August 1924 to allow the group to use the 1828 Post Hospital Building at Fort Mackinac. The building, which post-dates Dr. Beaumont’s time at the fort, had served as the fort’s hospital until a new hospital was constructed in 1859. A doctor was contracted, and a staff of nurses employed at the Beaumont Emergency Hospital for the next 32 summers. The hospital was replaced by the Mackinac Island Medical Center on Market Street, next to the post office, in 1956.

A nurse from the hospital in 1929-30, posing at the base of the stairs leading to the fort.
Donated by Carl and Mary Wollheiser

There are no records indicating when the Beaumont Emergency Hospital acquired the ambulance. It appears to be a ca. 1905 vehicle. Island resident Sara Chambers, born in 1897, did not recall the ambulance being on the island when she was young. It was likely a used vehicle from another community disposed of after a motorized ambulance was acquired.

A nurse from the hospital in 1929-30, on the back stoop of the hospital.
Donated by Carl and Mary Wollheiser

The annual “Daisy Day” at the Tootle Cottage on the East Bluff was the primary fund raiser for the hospital. Money was raised by charging admission to the cottage’s famed Japanese Garden and a rummage sale, a tradition that evolved into today’s annual Medical Center Auction held each year at Grand Hotel.
Donated by Frank Pompa

Interior of the ambulance.

The ambulance is now on display at the Mackinac Horsemen’s Association, on loan from Mackinac State Historic Parks.

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