Thursday, August 30, 2012

Very Clever

Dickiebo sent this along...outstanding! Don't bother with volume, you don't need the narration anyway.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Doors Are Closed

In 1960, after remaining vacant for 22 years, Leander Miller Haskins’ home-turned-hospital was burned to the ground as a firefighter training exercise.  The barn remained in use as a DPW storage building for a few years and then, along with the laboratory and the caretaker’s house, was demolished.   
The drive...Haskins' home used to be in the clearing to the right
 When all that was left of Leander’s bequest was the grounds, the so-called town park was maintained by the DPW and often mowed by a caring neighbor.   
The stone mounds, Autumn 2011
 In recent years, the property has been used for passive recreation activities such as hiking and dog walking.  The Westbrook, CT Fire Department camps on the grounds each year before participating in our Fourth of July parade.  The Cub Scouts use the woods for their annual Haunted Hayride.   
The cellar of the caretaker's house
 Unfortunately, much of the estate grounds are unusable having been left to become overgrown with weeds, cat-briar, and useless, light-starved saplings.   
The swimming pool with spillway at bottom right
The overflow pool with spillway from swimming pool at top
 Careless disposal of brush, leaves, and trash have marred the beauty of the spot.   
Piles of leaves and brush cover the SW stone wall near the caretaker's house cellar
 Currently weeds are encroaching on the once-maintained stone mounds section of the property.   
Lack of mowing allows weeds to invade west of the mounds
Although considered a park, it has never been thoughtfully developed as one, therefore very little remains to show our appreciation of Leander Haskins’ philanthropy.

What is being done to correct this?  Stay tuned to read some updates in future posts.

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Heberle Years at Haskins Hospital

Brochure (courtesy SBHS)
 In 1932, the Haskins Hospital was reopened by Dr. Clement K.Heberle as Restcroft and the hospital once again served the residents of Rockport while also operating as a private sanitarium.  Dr. Heberle utilized the entire Haskins estate as his facility.
Dr. Clement King Heberle (photo courtesy SBHS)

While the hospital and sanitarium were in the original Haskins house, Dr. Heberle moved with his wife, and two young sons, Clem Jr. and Richard, in to the former caretaker’s house.   
Margaret Heberle with sons Richard (seated) and Clem, Jr. (photo courtesy Dick Heberle)
One large shed was converted to an up-to-date laboratory, the barn and stables housed horses available for recuperating patients to ride, and a ‘sun garden’ was built next to the swimming pool.   
The laboratory
 When able, patients were encouraged by Dr. Heberle to enjoy all outdoor activities available to them on the hospital grounds.   
The swimming pool, hosp. to the left, caretaker's house to right (photo courtesy SBHS)
View of barn and stables from atop water tower (photo courtesy SBHS)

Dr. Heberle specialized in a revolutionary treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and many of his patients were well known.  Among those were Bette Davis, Lefty Grove, Clarence Birdseye, and Boris, John Hays Hammond’s arthritis stricken German shepherd.   
Hammond's dog, Boris, receiving treatment at Restcroft.  Dr. Heberle (L), Dr. Babson, a vet (R) (photo courtesy SBHS, Boston Post 1933)

Additionally, Restcroft became the hospital of choice for Rockport mothers-to-be with over 200 brand new Rockporters being born there.
The final years of the hospital (photo courtesy Dick Heberle)

Possibly due to accessibility difficulties during the snowy, winter months, or possibly due to deteriorating facilities, in 1938 Dr. Heberle ended his lease of the hospital property.  A Dr. Layton expressed an interest in assuming the lease until he discovered the town was unable to fund a repair of the furnace.  In 1938 Rockport’s first and only hospital closed its doors forever.

More about the Haskins property in future posts.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Business on Facebook

Since Facebook had already provided a basic page under my business name, I decided I'd better claim it.  I'm not a big fan of Facebook, nor of its clumsy approach for doing just about any kind of modifications, however, since people had visited the 'blank' page...well, you know how things go...

There's not much on the page right now.  I plan to add photos and some piano related tips in the future.  If you so desire check it out here and please Like me!
Me tuning at the RAA last year.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Big Walk

Not a huge distance...maybe a mile.

Not a long time...about an hour, give or take.

However the views.....................................
BIG sloop in Sandy Bay
BIG blossom on Bearskin Neck
were rather large!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Town Has a Hospital!

(If you haven't read the previous post, please do so before reading this one.)
 The Haskins Estate
1. main house  2. caretaker's house  3. shed  4. water supply tank  5/6. swimming pools  7/8. barn and chicken coops          9. stone mounds  (photo courtesy of Dick Heberle) 

In 1905, the town of Rockport accepted Leander Haskins' bequest of his estate but funding specific to the equipping and function of the Leander M. Haskins Hospital was not made available within the town budget.  From 1905 until the hospital’s final days, all major financing came through private donations.  As a result of those donations the Leander M. Haskins Hospital Trust Fund was established.  Other funding came with the formation of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Leander M. Haskins Hospital.  This benevolent organization held large fairs on the hospital grounds featuring games, a restaurant tent, bake sales, contests and performances by local musicians in order to raise money to support the hospital.  Also, for several years, a major theatrical production was staged on the former estate with ticket sales benefiting the hospital.  These monies were held in trust as the Ladies Auxiliary of the Leander M. Haskins Hospital Trust Fund.
Restaurant tent at an Auxiliary Fair (photo courtesy of SBHS)
Another Fair scene (photo courtesy of SBHS)

The following are taken from two annual reports of the Trustees of Leander M. Haskins Hospital, 1905 and 1906:

"Difficulties having been encountered in obtaining possession of the premises from the Executor of the will...Your Trustees found the premises stripped of everything movable, the electric fixtures taken out, the mantels removed leaving the walls disfigured, even the locks on the doors, outer and communicating, tampered with and a large number of them filled with nails, the whole place being left in a very much upset condition, necessitating the expenditure of considerable money before it could take even the semblance of that for which it was devised."
"Your Board of Trustees are of the opinion that it was hardly a fair proposition on the part of the town to put them in charge of a set of buildings having not the slightest resemblance to a hospital, denuded of everything movable and expect us to convert them to the required uses, fully furnished, supplied with medical appliances and instruments of all kinds, without once appealing to them to contribute to its expense.  Perhaps we are somewhat mistaken in our position; perhaps it is that the town only wished us to undertake the necessary changes and repairs to the buildings to establish a hospital and then come to them for the funds which had been expended for the purpose; however that may be, we undertook the work of establishing the hospital, of supplying it with all needful articles, furniture, medical instruments, etc., and then filling it with a staff of physicians and nurses who are a credit to any institution; in fact we undertook to create a thoroughly equipped up-to-date establishment without, if at all possible, asking the town in its corporate capacity to contribute one dollar for its support."
Leander M. Haskins Hospital (photo courtesy of SBHS)
One of the parlors/reception rooms (photo courtesy of Dick Heberle)
A hospital room (photo courtesy of SBHS)
 The hospital, under the direction of Drs. Hall and Baker, served the varied medical needs of the community and saved patients the long and often painful journey to Gloucester for emergency and hospital care.  In addition to an urgent care facility for the town, the Haskins Hospital was vital in providing treatment during the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918.  Having closed its doors early in 1918 due to a lack of adequate funding to meet ever growing expenses, the hospital was quickly reopened to serve the stricken citizens of Rockport.  So great was the need for care in this community at that time, the Massachusetts National Guard was called to assist the doctors and nurses of Haskins Hospital.
During the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1918 (photo courtesy of SBHS)
After the flu epidemic the town, once again, closed the hospital doors and it stood unused until 1932 when the town leased the facility to Dr. Clement K. Heberle.  

Watch for my next post about the Heberle years.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

His Name Is...

Leander Miller Haskins.

And here he is sitting in his buggy.
Leander Miller Haskins (photo credit: Sandy Bay Historical Society)

Leander was born in Rockport on June 20, 1842 to Moses and Betsy Haskins.  The family had been around Rockport for many years, Leander's grandfather, Bennett, having arrived here from Virginia in 1756.  Leander was educated in the Rockport schools and then attended Phillips Andover Academy.  After his graduation from Phillips, he attended Dartmouth College graduating in the class of 1863.  Immediately upon leaving college, Leander enlisted in the Army.  He was a Commissary Clerk with the 19th Army Corps.  Later that same year he mustered out to recuperate from a fever he had contracted.  Once he regained his health, he joined the Navy for the remainder of the war.

At the conclusion of the Civil War, Leander and his brother, Moses, Jr., opened a fish processing plant at T Wharf in Boston.  In 1878 Leander opened a second business on his own.  That business was the Haskin's Isinglass Factory located in the former Manning Organ Company building in Rockport.  As the business grew, it was soon moved to new facilities on Railroad Avenue where it remained operational until Leander's death in 1905. (The current Isinglass Place.)

Though Leander maintained his primary residence in Boston, he spent a great deal of time in his hometown of Rockport.  Early on he had taught in the Rockport schools in order to finance his higher education.  In 1885 he became the first commodore of the Sandy Bay Yacht Club.  He was a member of the Ashler Lodge of the Masons and the Order of Red Men.  Additionally, he was Director of the Rockport National Bank and the Rockport Street Railway.  His business training was instrumental in gaining funding from Carnegie to build Rockport's public library.  He was a major participant in getting the railroad extended from Gloucester to Rockport.

In 1892, Leander built a summer residence in Rockport and called it Kismont.
Haskins House (oil painting by Deb)

When Leander's will was probated after his death in 1905, the people of Rockport benefited.  He took care of his home town. $1,000 was left to the Carnegie Library.  $1,000 to the Congregational Church and $300 each to the Baptist, Catholic, Episcopal, Methodist, and Universalist churches.  A $10,000 scholarship fund was left for any Rockport graduate wanting to attend Dartmouth (or MIT).

And Leander's 70 acre estate, Kismont, including the main house, caretaker's house, barn and stables, shed, and swimming pool was left to the town of Rockport to be used for a hospital or park.

Look for upcoming posts and photos showing Leander's estate, from the days when he lived there to it's service as a hospital to what remains today and my 'master plan'.