On this day in Duluth in 1888, St. Mary’s Hospital was established in Duluth’s West End at 2002 West Third Street. Monks from St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville had constructed a building at that site, next to St. Clement’s Catholic Church, intending to use it as a boys’ school and seminary. When that plan did not materialize, they rented the building to Benedictine nuns who used the handsome four-story brick building with arched windows and a Mansard roof for a hospital they named St. Mary’s. The hospital was the idea of the nuns. Duluth was in the midst of another typhoid outbreak, and while there was a hospital for those Christians of Protestant belief (St. Luke’s, founded by St. Paul’s Episcopal Church), there was none for Duluth’s growing number of Catholic immigrants. The hospital opened with one hundred beds but no running water or electricity. St. Scholastica’s Mother Alexia Kerst and six other nuns, along with surgeon Dr. William H. Magie, comprised the hospital’s staff. St. Mary’s was innovative in its early years, when the timber industry reigned in northern Minnesota. Long before medical insurance, St. Mary’s own Sister Amata sold those who worked the lumber camps “lumberjack hospital tickets.” The cards cost seventy cents a month and guaranteed the jacks—who performed dangerous work and were rarely flush with money—medical care and a bed. Read a more complete history of St. Mary’s, part of today’s Essentia Health System, here.