Dr. William Henry Mills, fellow in the Royal College of Surgeons and the Royal College of Physicians in London, arrived in San Bernardino, California in February 1903. Recruited by Dr. George Rowell as a medical partner, Dr. Mills quickly realized that surgical facilities in San Bernardino were woefully inadequate. Determined to improve medical care, in 1906 Mills converted an old wooden residence at the corner of Fourth and F Streets into the Marlborough Hospital. In 1909, with the need for additional space acute, Dr. Mills approached his friend, attorney Ralph Swing, for funding to purchase land at the site of an old adobe saloon located at the corner of Fourth Street and Arrowhead Avenue. In March of 1909, Swing and Mills purchased the land and began construction of a two-story stucco hospital building with beds for 42 patients and a modern operating room. Ramona Hospital, later renamed Community Hospital, opened its doors in February 1910 and has operated continuously, providing state-of-the-art medical care for area residents.
About the Author
Joyce A. Hanson, professor of history at California State University, San Bernardino; Suzie Earp, local historian and archivist; and recent graduate Erin Shanks have selected and narrated this visual history of one of the earliest modern health-care facilities in San Bernardino.