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The Florence Nightingales of the Columbia Basin

This site investigates the provision of early medical services in the Columbia Basin, and in particular in the St. Eugene Hospital. Starting at the St. Eugene Mission, branching out up and down the Crows Nest Pass Railway during construction, and then centering in the St Eugene Hospital in Cranbrook, medical services developed from First Nations ministrations through intervention by missionaries to developed hospital services. Of particular interest is the St. Eugene School of Nursing which ran from 1911 to 1950. The graduates of this programme were instrumental in offering the newest technological health service advances to the residents of the Columbia Basin.

This is a diverse site that will look at the Saint Eugene Mission and the role of the Catholic Fathers and Sisters, the development of the St. Eugene Hospital, particular doctors, and primarily, the institution and traditions of the St. Eugene School of Nursing. It is a wonderful story that informs viewers about the development of the Columbia Basin and the many men and women who devoted themselves to the care and attention of their neighbours and townsfolk.

There are many opportunities for readers, researchers and casual viewers to comment on the material, add information or contribute new views. And over time, for members of the Columbia Basin Institute of Regional History, we will develop an on-line archives of supporting textual materials.

This project is sponsored by:

Teaching Sisters at St. Eugene School of Nursing
Photo showing some of the St. Eugene School of Nursing teaching sisters at the Catholic administered St. Eugene Hospital in…
Helen Faulkner - Nurse
Portrait of Helen Faulkner - a graduate of the St. Eugene School of Nursing and a nurse in Cranbrook, BC
St. Eugene Nurses' Residence
First Nations people in front of the Nurses Residence in Cranbrook, BC.
St. Eugene Mission
The Saint Eugene Mission, just north of Cranbrook about 7 miles, was established by Jesuit missionaries in the 1870s and…
St. Eugene Hospital
St. Eugene Hospital, Cranbrook, B.C., postcard published by Cranbrook Drug and Book Co. Ltd., Cranbrook, B.C.