Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Original Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital

Show of hands, Hollister folks: Who was born in this here building?

You. You. You. Me. You over there on the other side of the world. And a whole lot more.

This building stands at 910 Monterey Street. The corner of Monterey and Hawkins streets, to be exact. It’s the original Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital, which was built and presented to the city of Hollister by Mr. Thomas S. Hawkins.

Mr. Hawkins was one of the city’s founders. His granddaughter, the Hazel Hawkins, the sweetie of his heart, died from appendicitis in 1902. She was only nine years old. According to the story I’ve heard, Mr. Hawkins felt she may have lived if there had been the proper medical facility in town. So, he built one for the community as a tribute to his “Little Sunshine.”

Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital opened in November 1907 and served as the community hospital until the hospital district was formed in 1957. In 1962, the hospital moved into its modern digs on Sunset Drive. Today, Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital is part of the San Benito Health Care District which also includes skilled nursing facilities and a home health agency.

The old hospital building was used as a nursing home for many years. Then, somewhere along the line, it was turned it into an office building. And that's what it is today. The hair stylist who does my hair had her salon there for several years, which gave me a chance to prowl the corridors.

It’s a very beautiful building, as you can see. If you ever have a chance, pop in and take a glance of what’s inside. The left (or south) corridor especially. I'll just leave it at that.

By the way, does anyone know where the baby nursery used to be? The surgery? Just wondering.

Here are a couple of links to learn more the hospital and the Hawkins family:


  1. I wasn't born there but I remember it well. During high school I remember walking the halls and singing to the patients there. There was a group of us, Judi and Bob Maddox, Cindy Boyer, Linda Vaccarezza, and of course, me. Those were good times.

  2. I remember being taken to the doctor there as a kid.

    Kudos on the blog. I am a Hollister exile living in New Orleans, but all of those photos gave me a strong case of nostalgia. Thanks for posting them.

  3. I was born in that beautiful building in 1946. I am so glad to know that it is still a vital part of the community. The story I heard was that it was in danger of closing on Aug 1, 1946. I was born on July 31, so if the story is true I was alomost one of the last babies born there.

  4. What a great picture, I was born there in 1953 and my brother in 1957 to the Zuniga Family of the Progresso. My Father ran the restaurant back then. I have often wondered what it looked like inside. Next time in Hollister I will have to go see that beautiful place I was born in. Thank you for the article it was great reading. Still miss living there.

  5. PS: I just rememberd! it will be 56 years tomorrow I was born, funny how I happen to find this on the Hospital!


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