San Mateo County Genealogical Society's Blog featuring society events, projects, meeting notes and other items of relevance to genealogists.

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

French Hospital

While indexing the Mortuary Files of Valente, Marini, Perata & Co, we noted many deaths in French Hospital.  It appeared that some of the burials were arranged and paid for by the hospital.  A little research shows that it was the earliest private hospital in California and in fact an HMO from it's inception, the first in the United States.  Established in 1851 by the newly formed French Benevolent Society, it first opened it's doors on 30 Dec of that year.  In 1858 it was moved to Bryant Street near the Mission Bay shoreline.
French Hospital [graphic] / Geary Street, Between 5th and 6th Avenues,
Close to Golden Gate Park / San Francisco, California 1913
California History Section Picture Catalog - California State Library

In 1895 a state of the art hospital was built on Point Lobos Ave.  The street was later renamed Geary Blvd and the hospital is located on the corner of 6th Ave.  In the 1960s the original hospital was seismically upgraded, resulting in the original brick facade being replaced by reinforced concrete.  Ascetically not as pleasing, but definitely a better choice for an earthquake prone area.

 In 1989 French Hospital was purchased by Kaiser.  It is now known as Kaiser French Campus.   .

Dr. Claudine Chalmers of the French Mutual Benefit Society is writing a book about French Hospital. The society has a website in development, and you can be notified when it is functional by signing up at  Dr. Chalmers has written other books on the French in San Francisco you can find more information on her website.

Learn more of the history of French Hospital and the French in San Francisco

1 comment:

Maggie said...

Fascinating! I must have passed this place many times and never realized what it was or its history.