Glen Horse Barn: Field Hospital during War
World War II the Portsmouth Civil Defense organization was looking for a place a field hospital could be set up and ready if was needed. The infirmary of the Portsmouth Priory could serve the west side of the town. Mrs. Edith Taylor Nicholson, owner of Glen Farm and director of the Portsmouth Red Cross thought she had a place. A horse barn built in 1911 had been vacant for 3 years since Mrs. Nicholson had decided not to breed thoroughbred racehorses any more.
Funded by Mrs. Nicholson, an equine maternity hospital became a modern (for World War II standards) casualty center. The harness room became a supply room with the harness cabinets filled with blankets, sheets and other hospital equipment. The first stall had fluorescent lights over an operating table. There were cabinets filled with surgical tools. Across the room was an “ether room” where patients would “come to” after surgery. Each of the six remaining stalls held cots. A Portsmouth resident, Dr. Stanley Hart (a retired commander in the U.S. Navy Medical Corp) was on call 24 hours a day to swing into service if the field hospital were required during war or for the community. The hospital was never needed, but Red Cross workers were trained there and kept at ready. Portsmouth was ready for medical emergencies. (information from ProJo article in a scrapbook kept by a PHS member- circa 1939 –(Click Here view the article on Pages 28-29 of the scrapbook.)