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Kanawha Valley Hospital


The Barber Sanatorium in Charleston, the forerunner of Kanawha Valley Hospital, was built in 1904 by Dr. Timothy L. Barber, Charleston’s public health officer and Kanawha County’s smallpox doctor.

In 1909, Dr. Hugh G. Nicholson leased the 20-bed sanatorium and added a nursing school. In 1912, when Dr. George A. MacQueen took over the lease, the name was changed to Barber Sanatorium and Hospital. Two years later, it merged with nearby Grace Hospital and incorporated as Kanawha Valley Hospital and Sanatorium. In 1925, a new corporation, Kanawha Valley Hospital, bought the facility. By that time, the hospital had an operating room, laboratory, and obstetrical department. During the next 25 years, it continued to expand its facilities and services. In the early 1950s, the hospital and the school of nursing received full accreditation. In 1957, the hospital’s income began to decline. Two years later, the stockholders and directors sold out to Kanawha Valley Memorial Hospital, a nonprofit corporation. In 1961, the hospital closed its school of nursing.

Kanawha Valley Memorial Hospital operated at its original Virginia Street site until 1982, when it moved to a new 170-bed facility on Pennsylvania Avenue, near the Elk River. The hospital merged with Charleston Area Medical Center in 1986. After renovations, it reopened in June 1988 as CAMC’s Women and Children’s Hospital.


  1. Birth of a Medical Center: A History of CAMC. Charleston: Pictorial Histories Publishing Company, 1988.