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Historic Booth Hospital Image

Historic Booth Hospital

The Booth Brown House, which now serves as a safe place for youth to turn, began as a safe-haven for unwed mothers. Started in the early 1900s as The Salvation Army Women’s Home and Hospital, the facility moved to its current location – 1471 Como Ave. W. in St. Paul – and became The Salvation Army Booth Memorial Hospital in 1913. Watch an award-winning documentary about the hospital from 1960.

During the first 75 years of operation, 13,500 unwed mothers from the Twin Cities and the state of Minnesota were admitted to the program. Both mother and baby received care from the early stages of pregnancy through delivery at the maternity hospital operated onsite in affiliation with the University of Minnesota. Of the babies born, about 75 percent were released for adoption.

In addition to a full maternity hospital, the facility included a school devoted to working with pregnant teens. The new mothers stayed for at least three months after giving birth and were taught domestic skills like sewing, cooking and cleaning which prepared them to work as domestic help upon their release.

Due to changing community needs and a lack of funds, the maternity hospital closed in 1971. The program for unwed mothers was replaced with a program for pre-delinquent girls, and the facility name was changed to The Salvation Army Booth Brown House Services in 1974.

Today, many who were born at Booth Memorial Hospital contact Booth Brown House for information. For questions or to request birth records, please call the National Salvation Army Headquarters at 703-684-5500.