Dr. Nevitt and his Modern Clinic (1951)

Dr. Don Nevitt (ca. 1974)
Dr. Don Nevitt (ca. 1974)

In 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 Selleck , Wash. By 1940 Nevitt had moved to Eatonville and was practicing with Dr. Bridge, and stayed in town as the resident doctor for over thirty years.

The New Clinic
Nevitt took over Bridge’s practice in 1945 and in1951 built a clinic on Mashell Ave., which still looks incredibly the same today. Architect Gaston C. Lance designed the building that was described as “ultra modern” and “as fine as you will find anywhere.”

In March, 1951 Dr. Nevitt and his wife invited the town in for a tour. Folks could come from 2 to 5 p.m. for a little punch and cake. Over 300 people showed up.

It must have been a big day. There were “congratulation ads” in The Dispatch and many people sent or brought flowers, filling up “every available spot” reports the Dispatch.

Folks were impressed with the new building, with its spacious waiting room and modern furniture. One of the neat features was the trendy flush-type doors. Gone were the “old trim and the annoying dust and dirt.”

People not only got to walk through the new doctor’s office, but the Nevitts took them on a tour through their home upstairs, with its spectacular view of Mount Rainier.

Nevitt Clinic in 1951
Nevitt Clinic in 1951

The tour didn’t stop there. The clinic it turns out wasn’t just the home of the doctor but his nurse of seven years, Miss Ruth Pravitz, who had an apartment on the first floor.

Stylish Doctor
I saw Dr. Nevitt for tetanus shots a few times as a kid in the 60s and 70s. My memories were of an old man in a white coat. Little did I know he had a keen sense of fashion. The Dispatch reported on Mr. and Mrs. Nevitt’s attire that day. He was decked out in a white sharkskin two-piece suit with a corsage of red carnations and she had on a green afternoon gown with a corsage of rose buds. I guess in 1951 you got dressed up for this kind of thing.

Dr. Nevitt was a trendsetter in other ways as well. In 1950 he owned one of the first eight televisions to be installed in Eatonville.

Here’s to Don Nevitt — dedicated doctor, wonderful man, and kind of a cool dude.

10 responses to “Dr. Nevitt and his Modern Clinic (1951)”

  1. Dr. Nevitt was so nice that when he got one of the first TV’s in Eatonville, he would let my brother and I come over on Sat. mornings
    to watch cartoons.


  2. I don’t remember anything specific about going to Dr Nevitt, But I do remember going several times with my mom when I was young. I guess there was nothing tramatic enough to stick in my memories !! I always did like the style of his office/house. I thought it was pretty cool that he lived right above his office. Boy that would sure save on gas, and commute time !!


  3. I remember going to Dr. Nevitt for physicals when I went to Jr. High & High School (for P.E.) and he even set my hand when I broke it in Auto Shop. I think he was one of the first people to ever get an eye transplant also. Because I remember he had one brown eye and one blue (if my memory serves me)


  4. Dr. D M Nevitt was my uncle and when he passed away I inherited his doctors bad and his doctors weighing scale.
    I am looking for a home for both preferably in Eatonville Washington where he practiced medicine for so many years.

    I would love to give them to a place where they can be on display for others who remember just how special he and his wife Bev Nevitt were. They had no children so they bought a cabin on Clear Lake just out of Eatonville and bought a boat, kept at the lake . He made it available to the kids who wanted to learn how to water ski, swim, etc at their place on the lake. Don & Bev provided all the fuel, food, etc for everyone who wanted to visit.
    They were very special to me and many others.
    Richard Nevitt


    • Oh my. I would LOVE to display them in Eatonville. I’m friends with the folks that have the pharmacy in town and would be open to that! If you want to contact me, my cell is 253-777-8077 and my email is diane@spilledinkstudio.com. I grew up with a best friend on Clear Lake. It was a big part of my life and where I learned to water ski. I knew your uncle, but more as a young kid. He was a great guy.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: