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.
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.
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.