The Open Door maternity home was established by the Salvation Army at premises leased from William A. Saw on a sand hill in Swan Street, North Fremantle. It was also known as Dr Saw's Home at that time. Newspaper articles at the time show that the name was chosen because the Salvation Army wanted to open the door to 'unmarried mothers' who might be shunned by society. A memoir written by Captain J. Fuller recalls that the site was later resumed by the government 'for railway tracks to the North Wharf'.
In 1910 the hospital moved to Harvest Road, on a site previously occupied by the Salvation Army's 'Prison Gate' service. From at least 1911, the name 'Hopetoun' was also used for the maternity home, which by at least 1910 included married women among its maternity admissions. However, the name 'The Open Door' continued to be used until at least 1918.
By 1919, 105 babies had been born at the hospital.
A property next door, 'Hill Crest', was donated to the Maternity Home by Mrs Francis Pearse in late 1920 or early 1921. When the maternity services moved into Hillcrest Maternity Home, the previous property was used, for a time,
as the children's Home part of the Hillcrest Midwifery and Toddlers' Home.
In 1924, the building became an aged-care facility called Hopetoun Aged Women's Retreat.
17 October 2023
Cite this: http://www.findandconnect.gov.au/guide/wa/WE01321
First published by the Find & Connect Web Resource Project for the Commonwealth of Australia, 2011
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