The North Yakima St. Elizabeth Hospitals First Christmas Tree
In 1892 St. Elizabeth Hospital, which was originally located at the northeast corner of East Yakima Avenue and Naches Avenue in North Yakima, relocated to the intersection of North 4th Street and E Street. With the rapid population growth of North Yakima and Yakima County it did not take long for the new hospitals small size to become an issue.
Six years after relocating to its new location, the hospital and the Sisters of Providence expanded the hospital by adding a new addition in the summer of 1898. The new addition added twelve new rooms to the hospital, allowing an increase of patient numbers to fifty. A pharmacy and new dining hall were also added to the hospital. The hospitals chapel was also enlarged when it was moved to the new addition.
The year 1898 was also another first for St. Elizabeth Hospital in North Yakima. It was the first time that the sisters were able to put up a Christmas Tree for the patients at the hospital. With the operations of the hospital made possible through the work of the sisters to raise donations, there was not much money to celebrate Christmas. Through the sisters’ work, along with the generous donations of some local prominent women in North Yakima, a Christmas tree was finally taken to and put up in the hospital for the patients. Reminders were placed on the tree for each of the patients at the hospital at the time. The occasion marked the first time in the over a century of history that St. Elizabeth Hospital in North Yakima put up a Christmas tree.