Nampa resident remembers historic Mercy Hospital through ironwork

Posted at 8:31 PM, Sep 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-10 09:39:41-04

Since 1948, Ernie McNaught has called Nampa his home. His time here, filled mainly with good memories, and one terrifying close call for his brother.

"So she hit him broad side he was on his motorcycle, and he told me when he woke up on the pavement the sole of his shoe looked him in the face and broke the shin bone," said McNaught. 

When the accident happened in 1954 this procedure was risky but the town's only hospital was able to save his brother's leg. 

"Mercy Hospital was the closest to the accident," said McNaught. 

That piece of Nampa's history, now gone. Mercy Hospital burned down in 2016 and is now being converted into apartments. Still, its impacts to the community at that time are treasured.

"This was a small town, in a very remote part of the world, it was early west. Well for them to have a hospital in Nampa and not just in Boise, was a big deal." 

McNaught decided not to let its history be forgotten. 

"My wife always admired that rod iron on the fence because it's decorative and special," said McNaught.

Ernie asked the demolition supervisor if he could have some of that iron that adorned the outside of the hospital and they said yes. Now he's transforming it, so those with similar experiences can remember the historical place. 

"i just thought i'd ask and see and think if i could give it a new life of some sort so i asked and they gave it to me," said McNaught. 

The debris from the hospital is long gone and the new apartments in its place are expected to be up soon.. but McNaught's creations are keeping a little piece of Nampa's history alive. 

"Mercy Hospital lives on in that original iron," said McNaught.