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Sue Nelson, Katie Chaffee, Kathy Kojis and Arline Taylor in the History Hallway at River Falls Area Hospital. Submitted photo.
Sue Nelson, Katie Chaffee, Kathy Kojis and Arline Taylor in the History Hallway at River Falls Area Hospital. Submitted photo.

Days Gone By: History Hallway

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life River Falls, 54022

River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

Members of Volunteers in Partnership (VIP) group with the River Falls Area Hospital have been working since 2007 on a History Hallway at the hospital covering the history of medicine in River Falls.

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They have been gathering information, photographs and memorabilia, and with the volunteer help of Matt Frisbie of Frisbie Architects, created 11 panels that are truly works of art.

There have been about ten medical facilities built and used by physicians, osteopaths and midwives throughout the years — from the C.J. Knowles house at 122 Park Street known as the ‘Pestilence House’ because it was used as an isolation hospital for diphtheria and scarlet fever to a ‘Birthing House’ at 533 E. Maple Street right up to the present facilities on Division Street.

The last three mounted covered a controversy between medical doctors and osteopaths at City Hospital and the River Falls Medical Clinic.

Kathleen Pennington Kojis (daughter of Dr. Pennington, an osteopath) and Katie Haskins Chaffee (daughter of Dr. Haskins, a medical doctor) were at the hospital on the day those panels were installed recently.

The group plans to add more panels and a display case filled with historical medical items. They welcome anyone interested in contributing photos, sharing an unusual hospital experience, old documents, medical artifacts, etc., for the project. Call Arline Taylor at 715-425-6300 arlinetaylor@att.net or Sue Nelson, 715-425-7189, susan.m.nelson@allina.com, co-chairs of the project.

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