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Published: Sunday, 10/10/2010

Flower Hospital to celebrate 100th anniversary with big party

BY CARL RYAN
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Flower Hospital is celebrating its 100th birthday Sunday and the public is invited to the party.

The festivities, from 2 to 4 p.m., will be at the barn on the hospital campus on Harroun Road in Sylvania.

There will be health screenings, tours, hot dogs and cider, and a touchdown by a ProMedica Health System air ambulance.

ProMedica, which owns Flower, has been planning the centennial celebration for months, according to Tedra White, director of media relations.

"This is our opportunity to support members of the community who have supported the hospital over the years," Ms. White said. "We just want to invite people out to have a good time."

The original hospital dated to 1910 and was at Collingwood Boulevard and Cherry Street. It was named for its founding benefactor, Stevens Warren Flower, who bequested $20,000 to build a hospital in honor of his wife, Ellen.

In 1975, the Sylvania hospital, with 209 beds, opened at its Harroun location on land purchased years earlier. Today, it has 292 beds and offers a Level 3 trauma center, a cancer center, and rehabilitative, surgical, cardiac, and pulmonary services among others.

Flower is Sylvania's biggest employer, "providing thousands of jobs to Sylvania and area residents. Further, Flower also draws many visitors to our community seeking the excellent health care available on their campus," Mayor Craig Stough said in a statement of congratulations to the hospital.

The stables area in the Harroun barn dates from 1858. David Harroun brought fugitive slaves from Maumee to his Sylvania farm or the Lathrop House.
The stables area in the Harroun barn dates from 1858. David Harroun brought fugitive slaves from Maumee to his Sylvania farm or the Lathrop House.
JETTA FRASER / TOLEDO BLADE Enlarge

Flower is situated on what used to be the Harroun Farm, which was a "station" on the Underground Railroad smuggling slaves to freedom in Canada.

The original barn belonging to David Harroun still stands and will be the focus of the centennial celebration. Harroun's great-great-great granddaughter, Janice Harroun Scovic, lives two miles away and speaks proudly of her abolitionist ancestor.

She said she thinks of him "every time I drive by the hospital," and recounts how he smuggled fugitive slaves from Maumee to Sylvania in a false-bottom wagon filled with hay.

Once in Sylvania, the slaves were hidden at the Harroun Farm or Lathrop House, another Sylvania station on the route to Canada.

Sue McHugh, a Sylvania historian who is president of the Friends of Lathrop House, said she finds it philosophically pleasing that a hospital is located on the former Harroun Farm.

Just as the Harrouns helped slaves on their journey to freedom, Ms. McHugh said, Flower is helping people in their journey through life.

Contact Carl Ryan at:

carlryan@theblade.com

or 419-724-6050.



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