An Update on Leander Haskins and the Old Hospital

In an earlier post here, I published a postcard showing the Leander M. Haskins Hospital, atop what is now known as Hospital Hill, in 1907. I wrote a little bit there about the man for whom the hospital was named, noting that he was active in town affairs. What I did not realize then was that the hospital was formerly his home. He died in 1905 and by his will left his house and some 70 acres of land to be used for a hospital and park.

All of this is explained in a brief biography of him published in The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Volume 60 (1906):

Leander Miller Haskins, of Rockport, Massachusetts, who died in that town, August 1, 1905, aged sixty-three, was a life member of this Society from 1889. He was a native of Rockport, born June 20, 1842, was fitted for college at Phillips Andover Academy, and was graduated at Dartmouth College in 1862. He then taught school in his native town, and afterwards employed himself in civil engineering. In 1853, during the Civil War, he was appointed clerk in the commissary department of the army, and was attached to the Nineteenth Army Corps. He became later a clerk in the Navy Department.

After the war, he engaged in the fish and commission business on Long Wharf, Boston, and in this business he was engaged at the time of his death. He was one of the pioneers in the fish isinglass business. He served as a representative in the legislature for one year. He was a director in the Faneuil Hall National Bank of Boston, and in the Rockport National Bank, and other corporations; and was a member of the Boston Art Club, and many other organizations. He was also interested in yachting. He was married, his wife dying some years before him, and he is survived by an adopted daughter, Louise Canfield, of Montclair, New Jersey.

By his will, Mr. Haskins named his adopted daughter as residuary legatee, and provided that there shall be established first a trust fund of $65,000, to continue fifteen years after the execution of the will. After enumerating how the income shall be distributed among relatives and friends, direction was given that the income of one thousand dollars be given to the First Congregational Church of Rockport for general purposes, and the income of another thousand to the public library in that place, for the purchase of books. From the trust fund the following religious organizations in Rockport will receive the amounts named: First Congregational Church, ten thousand dollars for a parsonage fund; Methodist, Baptist, Universalist, Episcopal, and Catholic churches, each three hundred dollars. The house and thirty acres of land in Rockport, and forty acres more in Rockport, are to be used for hospital and park purposes. After these provisions are carried out, ten thousand dollars is to be set apart, the income to be used to aid worthy indigent students of Rockport in taking courses in Dartmouth College or the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the first named to be preferred.

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12 Responses to An Update on Leander Haskins and the Old Hospital

  1. Pingback: Leander M. Haskins Hospital, Rockport, Mass., 1907 | Vintage Rockport

  2. Do you know what those igloo-shaped piles of stones are on top of Hospital Hill?

  3. coffeecup says:

    The mounds that look like turtles. No I don’t

  4. Pingback: View from Hospital, Rockport, Mass., circa 1908 | Vintage Rockport

  5. susan hershey says:

    Louise Canfield was my mother’s (Eleanor Weber Hershey) aunt. She lived at 13 Hale Street when I was a child. I would love to know more about her because I have very little information about my mother who was born in Rockport on Pleasant Street. Also, I have a postcard of the top of Pigeon Hill that you might be interested. It is a photo taken before everything grew up and blocked the view of the ocean, the New Hampshire and Maine coastlines and even the Emerson Inn.
    thank you for posting these amazing photos and all of the information that accompanies them.
    susan hershey

    • Sally Canfield Brown says:

      I have a lot of information about Louise Haskins Canfield. I also have pictures of her. I also have a letter that your mother wrote to me years ago detailing some of the family history. Please contact me if you are still interested in learning more about Louise Canfield.

  6. bakeddirt says:

    Louise Canfield was related to my mother Eleanor Weber Hershey who was born in Rockport and whose grandmother was named Jenny Tarr. I would love to know more about Aunt Lou if you have any more information and I have a post card that you might find interesting of the top of Pigeon Hill (Landmark Lane) before it was overgrown and the coastlines of New Hampshire and Maine were still visable. Thank you for posting these amazing photographs and information. Susan Hershey

  7. Pingback: Two Views of the Hospital, Rockport, Mass., both c. 1907 | Vintage Rockport

  8. coffeecup says:

    Baked Dirt and Susan Hersey, I would love to see your photos of Pigeon Hill/Landmark Lane.. I heard the town wants to replace the water tower with a new one. The current one there since ? the 1930’s does look a bit rusty.

    • I have several cards showing Pigeon Hill when it was “bald” — both the view from the top looking out and also the view looking up at the hill. Click the tag “Pigeon Hill” in the right-hand column to see them all.

      As for the turtle mounds, I’ve never been able to find an explanation for them. I know they’ve been there since at least the early 1900s.

  9. Sally Canfield Brown says:

    Louise Canfield was my grandmother. She lived in Somerville, NJ with me and my family for many years. She would often go to Rockport in the summer to visit relatives, including Eleanor Hershey, I would be happy to share any information I have about her — I have pictures of her — and lots of family history —-

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