Nurses' Home

St. Joseph's Hospital Historic District

St. Joseph’s Hospital Nurses’ Training School originally opened in 1919, but this building, completed in 1936, put the hospital on a level playing field with eight other Montana Catholic hospital training schools. Until the mid-twentieth century, hospitals almost exclusively provided nurses’ education. In exchange for room and board, students received on-the-job training. Most hospitals employed only a few graduate nurses in supervisory positions, while student nurses provided most of the bedside care. Prominent Montana architect J. G. Link designed the dormitory in the Renaissance Revival style; mason J. C. Boespflug supervised construction. Its design departed from the imposing stone hospital. Decorative cast stone quoins at the corners and a checkerboard frieze at the roofline offered a playful counterpoint to the more stoic main building. Inside it provided “sunny, airy” bedrooms for twenty nurses, along with a lounge, classroom, and recreation room. The sisters hoped its construction would elevate St. Joseph’s, which could now offer “every advantage to patients and student nurses which may be had elsewhere.” After 1977, the building sat empty for thirty years but was rescued and redeveloped into apartments in 2008.

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405 St. Joseph Drive, Lewistown, Montana ~ Private