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COMMUNITY DEDICATION

Richard Anderson M.D
Harold Comfort M.D
Ernest M. Fine M.D.
Ted Loring M.D.


 

THE RICHARD ANDERSON GALLERY

RICHARD ANDERSON M.D.

 

Dr. Richard Anderson was a founding Director, and the first President of the Humboldt Arts Council. Established in 1966, the Humboldt Arts Council serves as the local community arts agency providing opportunities for artists, developing arts education, and making the arts accessible through partnerships within our community.
Dr. Anderson was a graduate of the University of Michigan and completed a residency at U.C.S.F. in 1950. He was a board-certified Pediatrician, coming to Eureka to practice Pediatrics with Benjamin "Buddy" Rosenberg, M.D. in 1953. Dr. Anderson was very active in the local community. He served as a regional liaison for a state-wide study on Neonatal Mortality. He was a Rhododendron expert and has been honored with the Richard Anderson Memorial Garden at Sequoia Park in Eureka. He served as Chief-of-Staff at General Hospital and St. Joseph Hospital. He was an active member of the Humboldt-Del Norte County Medical Society and served on many committees. He served on the faculty of the Department of Nursing at Humboldt State University; and the Board of Directors of the Diabetic Youth Foundation, among many other activities. Unfortunately, Dr. Anderson died in 1968.
Dr. Anderson organized the first Art Banks for display in Humboldt County Schools. Today, three Art Banks of original works of art, continue to circulate in Humboldt County Schools, giving over 10,000 children the opportunity to live with art.
The Dr. Richard Anderson Gallery at the Carnegie honors this fine doctor who felt the arts should be a part of our everyday lives. Pledges or contributions may be made to the Humboldt Arts Council, 636 F Street, Eureka, CA 95501. For further information, call 442-0278.


 

VAN DUZEN BRIDGE NAMED IN HONOR OF HAROLD W. COMFORT, M.D.

 

Harold W. Comfort, M.D. spent his life as a country doctor, serving the Fortuna and Scotia communities for many years, and going "above and beyond the call of duty." Dr. Comfort came to the Fortuna area in the late 1920's, and he practiced there for almost three decades: from 1926 until his untimely passing in 1954. He was a graduate of the University of California Medical School, and first opened practice in Rio Dell. However, within a couple of months he relocated to Fortuna, in a Medical Office over the Bryan Building. He stayed in this office until he built a large 2 story home on 7th and Main Street. The "office" was located in the front section of his home: with a reception room, 3 exam rooms and a small lab; the back part of the home was his living quarters. Before the Redwood Memorial Hospital was built, his practice served all Southern Humboldt.
He was married to Dorothy Travis Comfort and had three children. He was a Veteran of World War I, and served with the Army in France. Dr. Comfort was very active in the community, and was a member of the Fortuna Rotary Club, the Methodist Church, and served several terms as a Trustee on the Fortuna High School Board of Education.. His community involvement led him to sponsor Dr. Garvin Goble as a medical student. He was a very dedicated, wonderful, caring, kind, warm hearted, and understanding person who was loved by all who knew him.
Dr. Fred Olson comments: "I was associated with Dr. Harold Comfort of Fortuna for over 20 years. He was unique in the way he ran his office and his life. It was a privilege to be his friend. He was the most caring doctor to so many people as well as to my own family."
Dr. Comfort was a typical small town doctor, spending long days, and often long nights, caring for his patients. He often worked an 18 - 20 hour day, usually 6, and sometimes 7, days a week. There were many nights when he was up all night and got no sleep at all. If a patient could not come to him, he went to them. He often made house calls-- sometimes many miles away and late at night, to the smaller communities of the Southern Humboldt County area: such as Ferndale, Petrolia, Loleta, Bridgeville, Ruth, Garberville, Alderpoint, Zenia, etc.
He performed the majority of his surgeries and delivered most of the more than 5,000 babies (reportedly) at the Scotia hospital, where most of his other hospital patients went. Making thousands of trips from Fortuna to Scotia on Highway 101 over the Van Duzen river bridge, Dr. Comfort crossed the old bridge that was built in 1924. The narrow structure was a beauty when viewed from a distance. However, the old bridge design caused visibility problems to drivers crossing it .The 1992 earthquakes that ravaged the Eel River Valley severely damaged the bridge, forcing its ultimate closure.
The new Harold W. Comfort, M.D. Memorial Bridge, a concrete arch 810 feet in length and 39-feet wide, replacing the old structure, was formally dedicated on May 31, 1996. We at the Humboldt-Del Norte Medical Society feel that this honor to the man who made such an indelible impact on the citizens of Humboldt County is fitting, and we can think of no finer memorial.


THE E.M . FINE MEMORIAL BRIDGE

ERNEST M. FINE, M.D.

 

Humboldt and Del Norte Counties have a long tradition of naming the bridges over our many streams and rivers after local prominent citizens, and, at least in 2 instances, these citizens were physicians. In May 1996, the Harold Comfort, M.D. bridge across the Van Duzen River was dedicated (see other story). But almost 60 years ago, in 1939, the eponymous E.M. Fine Bridge was dedicated in Del Norte County. This is a bridge across the Smith River on Highway 101. Dr. Fine was considered a pioneer Del Norte County physician.Dr. Ernest M. Fine was born in Monterey County, moved to Ukiah as a youth, and graduated from the Cooper Medical College in San Francisco in 1898. He served his internship at Lane Hospital, and in 1899, moved to Crescent City to begin general practice. This was at a time that there were no paved roads in Del Norte County, and often, in winter the roads were so bad that they were all but impassable. It was in those primitive conditions that Dr. Fine made house and farm calls. He was on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week for everything from delivering a baby to setting a broken bone. Despite the terrible conditions of the roads, he never missed a house call. He usually used a horse and buggy from a local livery stable, but in an emergency he might use just a saddle horse. Dr. Fine did maintain an office in Crescent City, but he did make calls from the Klamath to the Smith rivers.In 1905, Dr. Fine bought a new Ford roadster. This car, pre-dating the Model T, was a single seat, doorless red, crank started, rickety, temperamental contraption. It had a four cylinder engine that was serviced by the doctor himself. He was his own mechanic, and every once in a while he would tear the engine down and make the necessary adjustments.
Occasionally, on a call, he would run out of fuel, and since gas wasn't always available from farmers he would borrow a few gallons of kerosene, and limp home on that. His home was about 3 blocks from his office, so he invested in an early Harley-Davidson motorcycle to drive the short distance from home to office.He had no special price for his services but charged according to what he judged to be the complexity of the problem. For minor services that took up very little time he would often make no charge. However, on distant house calls he would charge a fixed fee: a house call down to Klamath cost the patient $25.When injured men came in to be treated, especially men form the logging camps or the mill, they were taken to the American Hotel on Front Street. As the population grew there was a growing need for a hospital, where injured and sick patients could be taken care of properly. The first building used for a hospital was at 3rd and J, but it was too small. When the Bertch family moved away, Dr. Fine purchased their large home and turned it into a hospital. This was the first true hospital in Crescent City. It became known as the Dr. Fine hospital, and served the residents of Crescent City until the 1920's when it was destroyed by fire.Dr. Fine practiced when this part of the state was still "frontier" and medicine itself was still quite primitive, but many of our more elderly residents owe their physical well-being and lives to Dr. Fine's skill, and he personifies the spirit of the rough and tumble settlers who came up here in the early years of this century.
Special thanks to the Del Norte County Historical Society for their assistance in providing information for this article. .ed



DR. TED LORING LANE

 

The Union Labor Health Foundation hosted a public event on Saturday, April 4 at 1:30 pm at General Hospital to celebrate naming a street on the hospital grounds in honor of Dr. Ted Loring, respected OB/GYN physician and current Health Foundation board president.

More than 6,000 babies were delivered by Dr. Loring, the first board-certified obstetrician in Humboldt County in 1951.

The public is welcome to this event, especially the mothers and all babies ( young and older) who were delivered by Dr. Loring during his 40 year medical practice.

The street directly behind the General Hospital building, now called Hardy Street and connecting to 23rd Street will be officially changed to Dr. Ted Loring Street. The Health Foundation is providing a ceremonial balloon arch onto the newly named street, and Dr. Loring will cut the ribbon and open the street. A drawing is being held for all persons delivered by Dr. Loring. A copy of the birth certificate can be brought to the event and several certificates will be chosen. Dr. Loring will sign the birth certificates; winners and their parents will be photographed with Dr. Loring, receive a personal copy of the photograph, and a small gift. Refreshments will be served. The event will begin at 1:30 pm and end at 2:30pm.

Dr. Loring has served the Humboldt community for over 45 years since his arrival in 1951. Dr. Loring was invited to join Dr. Paul Roberts who was already in practice in the community. He is president of Union Labor Health Foundation and served as board chairman of the Union Labor Hospital Association, elected in 1980. Dr. Loring received his B.A. and M.D. degrees from Stanford University in 1943 and 1946, and completed his internship and residency at Stanford University Hospital in 1950. He worked as a senior resident at San Francisco County Hospital for two years before moving to Eureka and joining Dr. Paul C. Roberts in an obstetrics and gynecology practice.

Dr. Loring was President of the Humboldt-Del Norte County Medical Society in 1956 and served in several offices with the California Medical Association representing his colleagues on the North Coast. Dr. Loring has held many medical society offices as well as serving professional and community organizations. Dr. Loring co-founded, with Dr. Homer Balabanis, the Humboldt State Nursing School. He also founded the Humboldt Prenatal Clinic to serve indigent females.

Dr. Loring and his wife, Ruth, are the parents of four sons, and have four grandchildren.

For additional information about Union Labor Health Foundation contact Humboldt Area Foundation offices at 707-442-2993, or visit the website at http://www.northcoast.com/~tms/ulhf.html

The Union Labor Health Foundation is located in Bayside in the former Vietor residence, situated on the 14.4 acre Lynn Vietor Nature Preserve.