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Francis Sproule Memorial Hospital – Sussex’s First Hospital

Thomas Melvin, Chicago, USA 17.7 x 5 mtr (58 x 16.5 ft) First design as submitted by artist. Mural is in full colour. As early as 1870 the physicians and dentists in the Sussex area have been associated with various “cottage” hospitals. Miss Damie Warren, granddaughter of John and Francis Sproule was a nurse in Sussex for many years. Together with Dr. D.H. McAlister, she launched Sussex’s first “cottage” hospital in September of 1925 in her ancestral home on 11 Pitt Street and named it after her grandmother. Using this house as the nucleus it was extended by a connecting runway to the adjacent “Allison” house. The “Allison” house, located on 27 George Street, was built in 1875 and owned by Miss Damie Warren. The Kings County Record reported on September 11th, 1925, “the Francis Sproule Hospital is proving a most useful institution”. The hospital was closed in the Second World War as the hospital’s doctors were called up to serve. Besides portraits of Dr. McAlistar and Miss Warren, Tom’s mural shows the original buildings, which housed the hospital, and which can still be found on 11 Pitt and 27 George Street. In the foreground a magnifying glass to better see the thermometers reading. A deep amethyst vase with spring flowers on a bedside table before an open window reflects the clean white sheets of the bed. A glass vial tints red the view. The artist: Born in New York City, Thomas Melvin received his BA in sculpture and performance art from Bennington College, Vermont in 1975. Employed for a short time as a sign painter in Vermont, Oregon and NYC, he settled in Chicago and established Thomas Melvin Painting Studio in 1979. The Studio has painted some of the largest new murals in the US. The works are all of his design, painted in artist’s oils on canvas, or Keim mineral paints on exterior masonry and multiple other media. Renown for his research into each locale, the murals enliven authentic historical detail and local color. The studio has also restored murals and decorative work of very large scale within settings of great historic and architectural importance.


  • 491 Main Street (Rear)
    Sussex, N.B
    E4E 2S4