UNION — Two institutions with more than two centuries of service to the community between them will be part of the Union County Health Care Foundation’s Christmas Tour of Homes this Saturday.
There will be six stops on the tour which will be held from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Wallace Thomson Hospital
One of those stops is Wallace Thomson Hospital, 322, W. South St., Union, which has been servicing the health needs of Union County for nearly a century.
In 1918, Ann Thomson Jeter, wife of South Carolina governor T.B. Jeter, willed $5,000 towards the building of a hospital in Union. It was given under the condition that the hospital would be named after her brother Dr. Andrew Wallace Thomson. The additional money to build the hospital was raised through a group of stockholders presided over by Mr. Emslie Nicholson.
In 1919 N. Crawford received a contract to build a $50,000 brick hospital building on West South Street right above the city park.
Upon its opening on Monday, August 1, 1921, Wallace Thomson Hospital boasted 30 beds and was equipped with an operating room, sterilizing room, and an X-ray machine.
On April 31, 1925, Mr. Emslie Nicholson offered to donate Wallace Thomson to the City of Union. Three days later on Sunday, May 3, 1925, W.D. Arthur, on the behalf of the city council, formally accepted the offer.
In 1946, Act 848 was enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina which created the Union Hospital District. At that time it was composed solely of Wallace Thomson Hospital. The act specified that it be governed by a board composed of seven members, known as the Union Hospital District Board of Trustees, who are appointed by the Union County Council.
In 1950, a bond referendum was passed in Union County that would add 77 new beds as well as new operating rooms, X-ray equipment, laboratory space, and diagnostic facilities. In 1965 another bond referendum passed which enlarged the kitchen, developed an in house laundry service, and increased the number of beds to 143.
Recognizing the importance of updated facilities to our mission, a multi-million dollar renovation and expansion plan was put into place. In 1983, ground was broken on the construction of expanded and modernized areas including the Intensive Care Unit, Emergency Department, Radiology Department, Laboratory, Business Office, and Main Lobby. The hospital’s continuous growth and unwavering commitment to Union’s citizens led to the opening of an Outpatient Surgery Area and Labor & Delivery Unit in 2001.
Today, Wallace Thomson Hospital continues to combine excellent personal services with the most advanced technology on the market. We strive to provide new services and recruit new healthcare specialists to keep us at the forefront of the healthcare industry. Our goal is to provide a wide variety of first class and cost effective healthcare services so members of our community will no longer need to travel for their healthcare needs.
Wallace Thomson Hospital is once again proud to be a drop off location for the annual WBCU and UCARE’s Truck Full of Toys for Union County Girls and Boys. If you would like to donate when you visit the hospital during our Tour of Homes, please bring a new, unwrapped toy to place around our tree.
First Baptist Church — Union
Another stop on the tour is First Baptist Church — Union, 405 E. Main St., and those who tour the building will do so to the accompaniment of music, be served refreshments and be invited to return Sunday for a special Christmas event.
The original church was built in 1886 and named Unionville Baptist. A larger church was built in 1904 and later burned on Easter Sunday in 1952. The present building was completed in 1954.
The sanctuary, fellowship hall, and library will be available for viewing. Music will be provided during the tour and refreshments will be served in the fellowship hall. No food or drinks will be allowed in the sanctuary or library. Restrooms are located on the first floor. We have parking in the rear of the church. Please enter the back door or use the elevator.
Everyone is also invited for our “Hanging of the Greens” the following night, Sunday, Dec. 2. The congregation will decorate the church for Christmas during a musical program at 6 p.m. The musical program will include performances by the church choir, the bell choir and solos.
The Rev. Rick Pendleton is pastor of First Baptist Church. The church can be contacted at 427-6241.
Tickets for the tour are $15 per person and are available at Wallace Thomson Hospital, WBCU Radio Station, Paradise Home Center, Midway BBQ, Forest Street Grill, and Lockhart Cafe.