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.

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