Spokane History Timeline

Sacred Heart Hospital - 1886

Sacred Heart opened on January 15, 1887. The sisters started building in June, of 1886 and when the Hospital was done, in 1887 they had 31 rooms. Sacred Heart opened on January 15, 1887.

Sacred Heart Hospital

"To raise money for the hospital, they rode on horseback to the rough mining and railroad camps asking for donations." (Schrapps, and Compau, 39). One of the names of the sisters was Mother Joseph; the other sister's name was Sister Joseph. Mother Joseph was a wonderful woman who practically dedicated her life to help the needy.

Later in January of 1887, two more sisters reinforced Mother Joseph and sister Joseph. By 1887, Sacred Heart Hospital had treated 354 patients. People came from Idaho, Canada mining areas, and from over a hundred miles in order to be treated by the Sisters of Providence. "With gifts from the miners, railroad workers, and other generous people, the sisters built the first Sacred Heart Hospital on the South bank of the Spokane River between Brown and Bernard." (Schrapps and Compau, 39)

Sacred Heart Hospital was created for the sick, poor, homeless, and aged as well as orphaned children who didn't have a home. The hospital was first built on Bernard and Browne St; this is where the Spokane convention center stands now. Sacred Heart Hospital's first customer was a young man by the name of John Cox. He was sick and alone in a shack. The sisters discovered him, and fixed an emergency room for him in the nearly completed section of the building. They tried to save him, but the recovery was hopeless in spite of their efforts. John Cox was the first person to die at Sacred Heart Hospital.

Sacred Heart Nursing School


The first nursing school was at Sacred Heart Hospital, to train nuns to become nurses; the sisters trained the nuns in the very hospital in 1893, nuns and student nurses were added to the staff within a few years after Sacred Heart had been built. Sacred Heart was one of 29 hospital, schools, orphanages, and care centers established by Mother Joseph.

In 1901, a second wing was added. The entire hospital was made from wood, and wood alone. When Jim Hill bought the property in which Sacred Heart Hospital was located, the hospital was moved to 8th Avenue and Browne St. in 1908.

In 1910 the hospital, at 101 8th Ave, had 240 rooms, and could hold over 1000 patients. To help the sisters keep Sacred Heart hospital going, the city of Spokane agreed to pay the hospital one dollar every day.  Sacred Heart Hospital had no competition for the next ten years.

In 2003, Sacred Heart opened a children's hospital. In the fall of 2004, Sacred Heart opened a new tower for woman's heath center and surgery center. By November 28th 2006, Sacred Heart Hospital finished their 200th heart transplant. Today, there are over 600 doctors and nurses; there are 623 beds and rooms. Today there is more than one building for the hospital like care centers, surgery centers, and all different type of buildings. Many things have changed for Sacred Heart, but one thing that remains is the quality of service.


Photos used with permission by Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture, Joel E. Ferris Research Library
L87-1.1.3 Sacred Heart Hospital ca. 1907
L87-1.1.5 Student Nurses, Sacred Heart Hosp. ca. 1907

copyright © 2009, Discovery School.
All rights reserved.
Report created May, 2009; revised  10/4/09
Last Modified on July 31, 2011