Welcome to the Greater Mankato on the Move Mobile History Tour featuring Tourtellotte Hospital.
Tourtellotte Park is named for Colonel John E. Tourtellotte--a Mankato lawyer, Civil War veteran and Mankato first community philanthropist.
In 1888, Tourtellotte donated $8,000 for the construction of the city’s first hospital. In exchange, the City was to provide the location – 2 acres of land. The first proposal was on Bunker Hill – aka today’s Highland Park. Instead, Tourtellotte Hospital – a two story, 20 room hospital - opened in 1889 was built in the North end of the City at Fourth Avenue and Maxfield Street (about a mile from this park). Tourtellotte’s condition for the hospital was that no one unable to pay would be refused treatment nor receive a bill. This was a true community hospital with local groups, churches and service clubs donating money and goods to support the operation of the hospital.
The City operated the hospital for 7 years and then management was turned over to the Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother in 1897. One of the problems with the location chosen for the hospital was that it was not connected to city water or sewage. Not ideal for a hospital. By 1899 the Sisters opened the new modern St. Joseph’s Hospital near today’s Washington Park.
In 1927, the City of Mankato named an abandoned railway right-of-way “Tourtellotte Parkway” – this is located on North Fourth Street near Washington Park in recognition of Tourtellotte’s donation to build the hospital. There is a stone marker denoting the parkway. And this city park which opened in 1940 was also named in honor of Tourtellotte.
Tourtellotte died in 1891, he never saw the park named after him, the Parkway or even the close of the hospital, but his legacy remains.
Visit BlueEarthCountyHistory.com to learn more.