What do Eatonville and Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital have in common? Answer: Dr. A. W. Bridge.
In 1909 a young doctor, Albert Wellington (A.W.) Bridge, schooled at the Vermont Medical School, arrived in Eatonville carrying his bicycle and all his earthy possessions. He’d lost his father to a logging accident and his late mother had worked in a sawmill. Now he was focused on providing services to logging camps and lumber mills.
The town was in need of a doctor and T.C. Van Eaton offered to build him a clinic if he’d set up shop in Eatonville.
Taking Care of Loggers
A.W. settled in and got right to work. He set up clinics in Kapowsin, Mineral, Ashford and Morton. He also established one of the first medical plans for loggers and lumber company employees — $1 a month for medical care
The doctor didn’t just provide care to loggers. You could find him traveling out to farms — first by horse and buggy and then by car — to deliver babies and care for the sick and injured. Despite this incredibly busy schedule, he still found time to serve as Eatonville’s mayor in 1919.
Estate Goes to Children
When Dr. Bridge passed away in 1949 he surprised many by leaving a half million dollar estate ($4.5 million in today’s dollars). He said all his money was to go to a group or hospital for children, but there was one stipulation. It must be named after his mother and inspiration, Mary Bridge.
The years between 1909 and 1949 were filled with lots of colorful stories, which will be the subject of future columns. Until then, take a look around Eatonville. Dr. Bridge’s footprint is still here.
• The annual Eatonville Country Christmas bizarre, which raises money for Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital, is put on by the A. W. Bridge Orthopedic Guild.
• Dr. Bridge’s home still stands. Today it’s more commonly known as the Cruiser Café.
• The doctor had his offices above Kirk’s Pharmacy.
• He also practiced at the old Eatonville hospital, which is now a residence across from the Eatonville High School.
6 responses to “Eatonville’s First Doctor – A.W. Bridge”
[…] 1911, Dr. A. W. Bridge was concerned about keeping the logging community in one piece. He needed electricity to run his […]
[…] the 1930s a young Dr. Don Nevitt ran into Eatonville’s doctor A. W. Bridge. They must have hit it off because soon Nevitt was working at one of Bridge’s logging clinics in […]
[…] form in 1921. The first was a branch of the Washington Sportsmen’s Association with Dr. A. W. Bridge as president and G. B. Ingersoll as secretary and treasure. Thirty-five members signed up. The goal […]
[…] Dr. A. W. Bridge had a patient in his 1914 Model T ambulance, he found it difficult to check on the patient’s […]
[…] Dr. A. W. Bridge was one of Eatonville’s first doctors. He created some innovative programs and you may hear his name still today. He is the “Bridge” in the “Mary Bridge Children’s Hostipal” in Tacoma. When he passed he donated dollars to the hospital in his mother’s name — Mary Bridge. […]
[…] is what the drug store (Kirk’s Pharmacy) looked like in the early 1900s, when it was run by Dr. A. W. Bridge. The top floor was a […]