MINEVILLE - The Mineville hospital building may be demolished.
The building has been vacant the past five years. Before that it was a health center and housed Head Start. "I think it's about time we take that building down - or at least look at it," Moriah Councilman Rick Carpenter said at the Feb. 9 town board meeting.
Carpenter said he recently toured the building with a demolition expert, who will give the town options for dismantling the structure.
The former hospital is in very poor condition, he said. While the building is in no danger of collapsing and is not a hazard, he noted it is a liability to the town.
"Because of the condition of the building we can't get insurance on it," Carpenter said.
The building is locked, but trustee Tom Anderson expressed concern that vandals could break in and become injured.
Carpenter said the building is beyond repair or renovation.
"I don't think it's feasible to put any money into it," he said.
Moriah opened a new $1.2 million health center in 2008 in the industrial park on Plank Road.
The new health center is owned by the town and operated by Hudson Headwaters Health Network.
Hudson Headwaters Health Network is a group of community health centers providing care to the residents in 11 North Country towns, including Schroon Lake and Ticonderoga.
The new health center has 4,000 square feet with six exam rooms.
In 1910 Witherbee, Sherman Co. converted a former blacksmith shop building, near its Mineville office, to a hospital, which opened in 1911, according to Joan Daby, Moriah town historian.
The building was a one-story brick construction, with plans arranged for expansion when needed. Initially it consisted of a doctor's office, operating room, recovery room, supply room and bathroom, Daby said.
The hospital was supported by Witherbee Sherman and the Port Henry Iron Ore Companies.
In 1916 the hospital was completely remodeled and enlarged, Daby said. A maternity ward was added with equipment donated by Mrs. W. C. Witherbee. Renovations provided two wards, an operating room, surgery, baby room, kitchen, four private rooms for patients and supply storage areas. A large porch was built over the entire front of the building for patient use during warm weather. Capacity of the hospital was 19 patients.
"In 1918 the porch was glassed and screened so it could be used all year to give patients fresh air without exposing them to bitter winter cold," the historian said. "X-ray equipment was installed to aid in diagnosis."
The first doctor in the facility was Dr. W. F. Brown and he was followed by Dr. Thomas Cummins from 1917 to 1950, when he died. Dr. James Glavin, of Port Henry, assisted him. Dr. O. Greene then followed, and several doctors since then.
In 1970 the building was turned over to the town of Moriah. It had become known as the Mineville Health Center.
This building was no longer used after Oct. 16, 2004, because of its deterioration.