“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Ridgely in Caroline County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Saulsbury House - Fifer Hospital - Ridgely House

1934 - 1943

— "The only such institution Caroline County has ever possessed" —

Saulsbury House - Fifer Hospital - Ridgely House Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), September 3, 2022
1. Saulsbury House - Fifer Hospital - Ridgely House Marker
The Railroad was completed to Ridgely in 1867. The Saulsbury home was one of the earliest residences in Ridgely. Erected in 1867 by James K. Saulsbury, the building combined a large store where a widely known general merchandise business was conducted for many years, and an adjoining spacious residence.

Dr. Jesse Showalter Fifer served his internship at Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore and was looking for a place to begin his practice. In 1930, responding to an ad in the Shore's newspapers, he selected Ridgely. In 1933, he married the mayor's daughter, Mary Fries Ringgold, and began his plans of starting a hospital in Ridgely.

Between August 1394 and December 1943, women from a wide circlei of the center part of the Eastern Shore came to Ridgely to deliver their babies. Starting from the communities of Kent Island and south to Cambridge in Dorchester County, then north through all of Caroline County into Delaware as far as Dover, including the lower portion of Queen Anne County… totalling some 40 communities on the shore.

July 14, 1934 — The Saulsbury Homestead has recently been purchased by Doctor
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Jesse S. Fifer who plans to not only use the home as a residence, but to develop a hospital for minor surgery cases. The hospital was up and running within months.

Jun. 1935 — Extensive improvements are being made in the local hospital, the only medical institution in Caroline County, to accommodate the increasing number of patients admitted from nearby counties of Maryland and Delaware.

Jan. 1941 — The Fifer Hospital this week gave a report on their tonsillectomies and births for the year 1940: Tonsils - 58 Births - 90 Aug. 1942 — From Fifer's Hospital it has been reported on August 29th, 1942 the hospital has now passed the 500th baby being born since opening in 1934.

I hereby announce that my Maternity Hospital will be closed at the end of 1943. Due to the various changes brought on by our conditions, added responsibilities and difficulties, we have decided to close. No more maternity patients will be accepted for delivery here after December 15th — Dr. J.S. Fifer, Ridgely, Md.

Several other doctors maintained their practices in the house over the years, but it no longer served as a hospital. In 1998, the Commissioners of Ridgely purchased the building and moved Town Hall into the Ridgely House.

In between, the Ridgely House had been converted into an apartment complex and the home was used
Saulsbury House - Fifer Hospital - Ridgely House Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), September 3, 2022
2. Saulsbury House - Fifer Hospital - Ridgely House Marker
as a six apartment rental building.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceNotable BuildingsRailroads & StreetcarsScience & Medicine. A significant historical date for this entry is July 14, 1934.
Location. 38° 56.871′ N, 75° 53.046′ W. Marker is in Ridgely, Maryland, in Caroline County. Marker is at the intersection of Central Avenue (Maryland Route 312) and East Belle Street, on the right when traveling south on Central Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2 Central Ave, Ridgely MD 21660, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Town of Ridgely Flag (within shouting distance of this marker); The Drinking Fountain (within shouting distance of this marker); Ridgely Memorial Park (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Ridgely Railroad Station (about 500 feet away); Ridgely, MD 1888 - 1917 (approx. 0.3 miles away); Adkins Arboretum (approx. 2.7 miles away); Wood Ducks (approx. 2.7 miles away); St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (approx. 3.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ridgely.
Credits. This page was last revised on September 5, 2022. It was originally submitted on September 5, 2022, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 99 times since then and 19 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 5, 2022, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.

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Apr. 23, 2024