by Michele Yamamoto
October 1948 marked the opening of the new Bay View Osteopathic General Hospital in the old estate of Washington Herbert Lawrence (b.1840, d. 1900). It was a dream home of this early investor in the new field of electricity and president of The National Carbon Company, which manufactured, among many products, the first “D” cell battery. Lawrence died in 1900, before the mansion was fully completed to house his seven daughters and their families.
In 1948, monies to buy the old mansion and turn it into a hospital were advanced by the Sheppard Family, including new Bay View Hospital Chief of Staff Dr. Richard A. Sheppard and his two sons Dr. Richard N. Sheppard (senior surgeon and obstetrician) and Dr. Stephen A. Sheppard (director of hospital practices and urologist). A third son, Dr. Samuel H. Sheppard, who was a specialist in neuro-traumatic surgery, joined the staff later in 1951.
The hospital’s needs soon outgrew the old mansion and a wing was added in 1953 to increase the capacity to 96 beds. By 1963, 15,300 square feet of two more floors and 30 additional beds had been added above the newer wing and the hospital was able to provide an emergency room, X-rays, surgeries, lab work, a treatment center for alcoholism and a pharmacy, among other services and amenities for patients.
By 1971, the hospital needed to expand again and applied for permission from the Metropolitan Health Planning Commission to build to the west of the hospital building. Permission was refused with limited land space, cramped parking, building age and the need to care for more underserved areas and work with other hospitals listed as reasons for the refusal. As a result, there was a move toward developing the Westlake Health Campus with St. John’s and Fairview hospitals. At the end of its life, Bay View Hospital included nearly 100 doctors, 300 employees and more than 200 volunteers. The old home and hospital was converted into condominiums in the early 1980s and today is known as Cashelmara.
Photographs and objects from the Bay View Hospital are now on display in the “Crime Room” at the Osborn Learning Center at Cahoon Memorial Park. In a related display are pictures and news articles about the well-publicized 1954 murder of Marilyn Sheppard, wife of Dr. Samuel H. Sheppard, resident of Bay Village and physician at the Bay View Hospital.
You will also find a new display about former Bay Village resident Eliot Ness, the famous leader of a team of law enforcement agents nicknamed “The Untouchables,” courtesy of collector Kevin Killeen.
Rose Hill Museum and the Osborn Learning Center (next door) are now open to the public every Sunday from 2-4:30 p.m. Closed on holidays.