A cottage hospital was a most welcome addition to a pioneer community which had previously relied on the “doctor book,” a neighborhood woman who practiced the art of healing, or a rare circumstances a doctor. The building was often a house converted for the purpose. Here a nurse could care for the sick and injured and the local doctor could perform surgery.
Calgary's first General Hospital was established in a rented cottage in October 1890 thanks to a $100 bequest from Chinese immigrant Jimmy Smith and the tireless efforts of the Women's Hospital Aid Society. A few months later the Grey Nuns set up Calgary's second hospital, the Holy Cross also in a cottage.
This charming house, with gingerbread details, was built by carpenter Peter Dewar in 1907. It belonged briefly to Martin Pallesen manager of Calgary Central Creamery. For many years Mrs. Norah Main and Reverend David Linnen ran Calgary's “Temple School for Spiritual Learning” in this house. The building was restored and adapted by Heritage Park to represent a cottage hospital.