An Amenity to the Community
History / September 20, 2022

With much rejoicing from the community, the Cambridge-Maryland Hospital first opened its doors on November 17, 1904. It sat on the shores of the Choptank River adjacent to the Rose Hill community, where our site sits today. Its gambrel and gabled roofs, decorative portico entrances, and symmetrical eight-pane windows were reminiscent of the colonial revival style of architecture that was popular in the late 19th century. Designed by Baltimore-based architect George Archer, the hospital cost approximately $70,000 to build.

Over the next sixty decades after its opening, the hospital grew to add a nursing school program with dormitories, a Diagnostic Treatment wing, a Maternity wing, and Prenatal Clinic. In 1967 the directors of the hospital voted to build a new building and subsequently changed the hospital’s name to Dorchester General Hospital. The new structure was built to encircle the old building and featured upgraded facilities.

Dorchester General Hospital under construction in 1970. (Photo courtesy of ‘Cambridge past and Present: A Pictorial History’)

In 1996, Dorchester General Hospital and The Memorial Hospital at Easton formed the Shore Health System. Ten years later in 2006, Shore Health System became affiliated with the University of Maryland Medical System. The hospital continued to provide a full range of inpatient and outpatient services until its closing in late 2021 when Cambridge’s newly built University of Maryland Shore Regional Health facility opened its doors.

For more than 100 years, the Dorchester General Hospital served generations of Dorchester County families and took pride in its community-focused care. Today, many still remember the hospital fondly. From its health care services to its youth “Medical Explorers” program from the ’80s and ’90s, Dorchester General Hospital was an institution that made a positive impact on the lives and careers of many.

On Left: Nurse Betty Meyer tending to patient in the 1920s. On Right: Dr. Lida Orem Meredith is shown sitting. She was Dorchester County’s first practicing female doctor and in 1935 she founded the prenatal clinic at Cambridge-Maryland Hospital. (Photo courtesy of ‘Cambridge past and Present: A Pictorial History’ and ‘Images of America: Cambridge’)

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