Original building that housed a hospital and doctor’s residence circa 1896. Photo: Trail Historical Society

Original building that housed a hospital and doctor’s residence circa 1896. Photo: Trail Historical Society

Trail Blazers: The finest building in town

Trail Blazers in a weekly feature in partnership with the Trail Museum and Archives

This week, Trail Blazers is highlighting the C.S. Williams Clinic, or more specifically, the origins of the downtown Trail structure.

Built in 1896 on the corner of Helena and Cedar Avenue, the building served as a combined residence and hospital for Dr. D. Corsan.

Constructed by George B. Perry, this impressive building was said to be one of the finest buildings in town.

As Trail’s first hospital, the locale boasted eight beds, an operating room, electric lights and the doctor’s personal living quarters.

It cost $4,000 to build and was constructed using California redwood.

In 1906, the structure was converted to the Aldridge Hotel by W. K. Esling; then in 1915 it was converted to the Trail-Rossland Clinic.

The C.S. Williams Clinic expanded space in 1950 with construction of a large new addition.

The clinic was vacated in 1994 when the doctors moved to new medical offices by the Victoria Street bridge.

The city gained ownership of the building in 2017 after a four-year legal course of action related to delinquent property taxes. Acquired for $9,200; the amount of unpaid property taxes, the site remains vacant.

C.S. Williams Clinic in the 1970s. The building to the left is the original hospital. Photo: Trail Historical Society

C.S. Williams Clinic in the 1970s. The building to the left is the original hospital. Photo: Trail Historical Society

About C.S. Williams

Doctor C.S. Williams moved from Ladysmith to Rossland in 1920, then to Trail two years later where he was able to focus on his primary interest, surgery.

He joined several doctors in the formation of the Trail-Rossland Clinic in 1922, and practiced there until his untimely death in 1932.

In 1940, the College of Physicians and Surgeons ruled that no medical group could call their office after a town or city.

The hour drawing late, the partners decided to call it the C.S. Williams Clinic after their late surgical colleague, Dr. C.S. Williams, who had died of meningitis eight years before.

Read more: Riding in style in the Silver City

Read more: Trail Blazers: C.S. Williams Clinic, a community anchor



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