Anna Herr Clise (1866-1936) had became painfully aware of the inadequacy of facilities for treating children when her 5-year-old son, Willis, died of inflammatory rheumatism in 1898. No physician or hospital in Seattle specialized in pediatric care at the time.
On January 4, 1907, Anna and 23 affluent Seattle women friends came together to found the Children’s Orthopedic Hospital Association. They did so to address a health care crisis -– namely the lack of a facility to treat crippled and malnourished children. Each of the women contributed $20 to launch the hospital.
In October 1907, the Board of Trustees adopted a policy to accept any child regardless of race, religion, or the parents’ ability to pay.
The hospital started out in a wing of the Seattle General Hospital where 13 tubercular children received care.
Because more and more children were being received, it was necessary to seek their own facility. In a short time a lot [on Crockett Street near Warren Avenue North] atop Queen Anne Hill was purchased for $5,500. It was felt that the air was cleaner in this top-of-the-town location and fresh clear air was vital to the tubercular children. From this came the name “Fresh Air Cottage.” The cottage had 12 beds and cost $2,218 to build.
In 1911, a 40-bed facility opened on an adjacent site. In 1953 the hospital moved to the Laurelhurst neighborhood of Seattle.
From “Fresh air cottage was start of Orthopedic Hospital on Queen Anne Hill in 1908”, in Queen Anne News, February 11, 1970, page 35:
“[W]omen throughout the city had rallied to the support of this struggling little institution, and there were 13 Orthopedic Guilds concerning themselves with the continuation of the vitally needed medical care for children. [The oldest on-going fundraiser is the Penny Drive started in 1932 during the Depression.]”
“In 1910, the cornerstone was laid for a 50-bed hospital [at First Avenue North and Boston], the nucleus of the building which housed the hospital until 1953. Bit by bit, additions were made: a laundry, X-ray room, brace shop, and so on. In 1919, a fourth floor was added and by 1928, an entire new wing.”
Today the building is known as Queen Anne Manor Senior Living.