For more than 100 years, Speare Memorial Hospital has been a cornerstone of community health and wellness, serving residents and visitors to Central New Hampshire.
Our doors first opened in 1899 as the Emily Balch Cottage Hospital, named for the mother of Catherine Holmes Balch of Holderness, one of the thirteen original organizers. It took $700 to open the doors of that first community hospital.
The hospital was rebuilt in 1920 on a new location after a fire destroyed the original structure.
In 1940, Mr. Sceva Speare, a prominent banker from Nashua, made a $50,000 challenge to the community to match a donation from him to build a new hospital. It took nine years to raise the needed funds, but on October 17, 1949, construction began at the hospital's current location with a final cost of $523,400. The new hospital was dedicated on May 2, 1951.
In 1985, the hospital underwent a major renovation adding 10,000 square feet and new equipment at a cost of $2.1 million. In addition to improvements to nearly every department, the hospital added an intensive care unit to help individuals recovering from critical illness. 1989 brought the addition of a new operating suite and space for storage and receiving were added. The Emergency Department and outpatient areas were renovated and expanded in 1996, through substantial support from the Rooke Family. The medical-surgical and obstetrics units were renovated in 1998.
Just two years after breaking ground on its $15 million renovation and expansion project, members of the Speare Memorial Hospital Board of Directors, state representatives, medical staff, employees, volunteers and community leaders celebrated the hospital's grand reopening on November 5, 2006. The addition of 23,000 square feet of space has resulted in the reorganization and renovation of departments to make patient and visitor access and flow more efficient, increased parking, and updated infrastructure and state-of-the art technology to support patients' health and wellness across the spectrum of life.
The objectives of this renovation/expansion were:
- To provide much needed space in the growing departments-surgical services, oncology, laboratory, radiology, and the birthing suite.
- To relocate frequently used outpatient registration and services - Laboratory, Radiology, Oncology, Cardiac Rehab, Cardiopulmonary, Surgical Services and Dietary Services to a central location off the lobby of the main entrance.
- To provide our patients with the privacy they expect and deserve and to create a new front entrance to the hospital that provides easy access for patients and visitors. The renovation/expansion project created two distinct entrances to the hospital - Emergency Department, and Medical Office Building entrance is located off of Avery Street, and the new front entrance is located off Highland Street.
- To centralize services, expand health and wellness programming, and upgrade to meet advances in medicine and technology.
Speare acquired Plymouth State University’s infirmary building, now known as Speare’s northwest wing, and demolished the Medical Center on Avery Street.
In January 2010 the medical office building on the hospital campus was moved into a brand new facility— Speare Memorial at Boulder Point. Later that year, Speare added a new service line – the Sleep Lab.
The Wound Care & Hyperbaric Medicine Center was introduced in 2014 followed by the Weight Loss Surgery Center in 2019 and the Acid Reflux & Heartburn Center in 2020.
Healthcare has changed a lot over time, but high quality, compassionate care delivered by a team of skilled and dedicated doctors and nurses, remains at the heart of Speare Memorial Hospital's mission.
Today, Speare Memorial Hospital is a 21st century, state-of-the-art critical access hospital located in the heart of New Hampshire between the scenic Lakes Region and the White Mountain National Forest that stands ready to be your resource center for health and wellness across the spectrum of life.