This excerpt is taken from a Dr. A. W. Bridge biography, written by Karen Swanson. She collected information about Dr. Bridge from many of the “old timers” of Eatonville, Wash.
Clinics and Hospitals
In National it was called the Bridge Clinic. Dr. Smith would take care of all of the first aid cases he could connected with the mill or anything else. When things came to a point where he couldn’t handle them, he’d send for Dr. Bridge. Especially in hospital cases, since Dr. Bridge handed the contract cases. He had doctors and clinics also in Kapowsin,Mineral, Ashfordand Morton. In 1926, he also opened the Bridge Clinic in Tacoma specializing in surgery. Later, he expanded to Seattle and Raymond.
Then in 1930, he moved his headquarters to Tacoma. He maintained a doctor in Eatonville, but closed the hospital there as the good roads and ambulance services made it practical for the people of his hometown community to use the Bridge Hospital in Tacoma.
Doctors in charge of the Eatonville offices after Dr. Bridge left were in turn: Dr. Wiseman, Dr. I. J. Glovatsky, Dr. G. A. Delaney, (note, names were hard to read and I may not have them entirely correct) and finally Dr. Nevitt who took over the practice when Dr. Bridge died and built a handsome clinic in Eatonville of his own. The hospital between Raymond and South Bend was called the River View Hospital. There was also a clinic in Selleck. Others were in Bremerton, Rainier, Olympia, Castle Rock and Puyallup. With Dr. Bridge starting all of these clinics, needless to say, Eatonville became kind of a medical center for southern Pierce County. Of course, there was the Eatonville Clinic above the drug store.
Dr. Brdige sent his patients to the Eatonville Hospital, and later when he built the hospital in Tacoma, that’s where they went. Then he had a section in St. Joseph’s Hospital, before he built his own clinic. Then when he wanted to build his own clinic, he had a terrible time trying to raise funds for it. First there would would be one organization that would be a group of Catholics, then there would be another organization interested in St. Joseph’s or Tacoma General Hospital. Finally, one of his best friends, Tom Galbraith gave him a boost. They were going to build the Medical Arts Building in Tacoma and they wanted Dr. Bridge to go in there, but he wanted a certain amount of floor space. For the amount of money he would have to spend, he decided he could build his own building.
Another problem that he ad was that there were lots of people interested in the Medical Arts Building. He did have a hospital between Raymond and South Bend, the Riverview Hospital. He bought it (unclear next three words) after he built the Bridge clinic in Tacoma. Martin Killian could remember taking an old broken (?) down walk-in refrigerator down there and setting it up in the basement. Later, Dr. Bridge moved to Tacoma and had his offices in the Fidelity Building.
T. C. Van Eatonowned a building on the corner, but for some reason, Dr. Bridge couldn’t buy that. You see, he wanted to be on a street corner because he was very conscious of fire. What he wanted was where there would be a vacant lot on one side and on the other side he would put up a big tin wall in back of the hospital. He put fire-proof doors on the windows on the south side. Again I stress, he was very conscious of fire. Sander Hutchinson was Dr. Bridge’s business manager in the days when he was expanding. He wasn’t a lawyer, but he was described as being a dar good promotor.