Old Laurel Charity Hospital receives historic marker

LAUREL, MS (WDAM) - A important medical facility which served needy patients in the Pine Belt for for 72 years has been recognized for its historic significance by the State of Mississippi.

The old South Mississippi Charity Hospital in Laurel has received a historic marker from the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

The 125-bed facility opened in 1917 and finally closed its doors in 1989.

Seven years ago, much of the structure was destroyed by a fire.

"For the care of the people, it was a first for South Mississippi, to actually have a modern hospital," said Dorothy Gatlin Cole, a former director of nursing at the hospital. "And I'm told that they had the most modern equipment," Cole said.

The hospital also housed a school of nursing, which operated from 1919 to 1964.

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