There stands a building
old and tall
Its whispers ring within its walls
People wearing blue, white and
Give the huge building nothing
There's been many a smile and many a tear
From within the old building
throughout the years.
In the sun, rain, sleet or snow
There is many a great person
working at Old St. Joe.
(Former head of Dietary Department
at St. Joseph Hospital)
On Saturday, April 14th, 2012, Iowa Paranormal were asked to investigate the Old St. Joseph
Hospital in Ottumwa Iowa! What a opportunity to investigate such a historic location. In 1926, the
hospital opened. The first expansion and modernization of the Alta Vista site took place in 1959 when a
new four-story wing was added. Modernization was undertaken again in 1977 and in 1981 with a
seven-bed intensive Coronary Care Unit.
St. Joseph Hospital was owned and operated by the Sisters of the Humility of Mary. A 16 member
Board of Directors selected from the community of Ottumwa and surrounding service area governed the
hospital. In 1981, staff numbered 350.
The hospital described its mission as "dedication to maintaining the Christian aspect of personalized
patient care in the face of ever-increasing technological innovations and political forces to regulate
health care and minimize cost." They strived to "treat each patient as a person with unique social,
psychological, emotional, and spiritual as well as physical needs."
When Ottumwa Hospital and St. Joseph's became one institution in 1987, the St. Joseph tradition of
patient care took root in a new environment on Pennsylvania Ave., with Sister Suzanne Wickenkamp, a
former St. Joseph's CEO and Director of the School of Nursing, as new Director of Pastoral Care.
When we first met with the people in charge of the hospital, there was an uncertainty over what was
going to happen to the building. Rumors swirled about the building being demolished. However, in late
2014, reports came about that the hospital was going to be transformed into a apartment building.
Construction is to take place in spring of 2015 with a completion date of summer of 2016.
I wonder how many calls from the tenants I will get?!
Here are a few videos from that night....More will be uploaded soon. Stay tuned!