Hope Haven Chocolate Bunny

July 3rd, 2015, 11:56H · Topics: Around Town, Business, Girls, Guys · Print


“Here was a great display and very tasty.  This was a 50 pound bunny rabbit, given to the children at the hospital.  It was very hot that day so we got all the people in place, and then rushed the candy in the sun.  The few minutes it took to take the picture, it was already started to melt.  People?  1971.”  LS

Hope Haven has a history in Jacksonville dating to the 1800’s when the Hope Haven Association was formed to help children with Tuberculosis. The original Hope Haven Children’s Hospital was built in 1926 on the Trout River to help “nutritionally and medically deprived children.” In 1939 this facility was built on Atlantic Boulevard, West of the intersection with University Boulevard. It served as the primary polio treatment hospital for children in the 1950’s. It continued to function as a full service children’s hospital until 1980 when the inpatient services were purchased by the Nemours Foundation and the hospital was closed.  Hope Haven opened its new facility on Beach Boulevard in 1989 where it offers a wide range of children’s resources including outpatient treatment, therapy, and tutoring. It now operates under the name of Hope Haven Children’s Clinic and Family Center. (I would like to extend a special thank you to Anne Wall, the director of communications at Hope Haven for her help with the history of the facility.)

Here is a previous post from Hope Haven of New York Giants pitcher Carl Hubbell signing autographs for children in the hospital.


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  1. 1 James Wood February 15th, 2016 8:25H

    I visited the Hope Haven Hospital on Atlantic Blvd in the mid to late 40s. I was about 12 or 13 years old then, I believe. As a young person a group of us, maybe the Boy Scouts, I am not sure, went there for our education, I guess. The hospital was a Polio treatment center. What stands out in my memory was the long rows of noisy Iron Lungs, maybe hundreds, helping the young victims to breath. Each lung had a mirror over the patient’s face so that the patient could look up to see the visitors. Polio was very prevalent in Jax in that era….pools were closed, large gatherings were discouraged, etc. There were March of Dimes campaigns downtown and at one of them there was an operating Iron Lung installed in a semi trailer with a smiling young adult being treated and people would walk through the trailer, see the patient and then donate money. Those scenes at Hope Haven and downtown have been in my memory since.

  2. 2 Carol (Sue) McDermon 1947 December 26th, 2016 21:02H

    I was a patient at Hope Haven Hosp. in the summer of 1947
    I was paralyzed in both arms. I wore a brace that held my arms
    on a platform of sort. They were not sure but, thought maybe
    my ankles were also affected. I was 7 at the time, I has my
    8th Birthday there on Oct. 12, 1947. Before coming to H.H.
    I was at St. Lukes. There was two other children in the room
    with me. One was Jimmy and the other was Susan, she was
    a little older than Jimmy & me. I have often wonder what happened to them. My Dad was a Fireman and I think Jimmy’s Dad was a policeman. Just in case either one of the two
    remember me. i would love to hear from them.
    I now have post-polio syndrome, my left arm has been affected
    and I am unable to pick up items and give to someone. I was
    just told that the reason my left leg is weak and I can’t pull myself
    up, I need help climbing stairs, Thank God I was able to raise
    two boys, one 40 and one 48. I am 76, and very thankful for
    having parents that kept up my therapy after leaving HH. I
    feel very fortunate that I an in pretty good health.

    • 3 Claire King February 12th, 2018 2:49H

      About fifteen years ago, I acquired my 1951 hospital records from Hope Haven by calling Nemours Children’s Hospital. The records were sent to me after signing a release form that Nemours sent to me . I do not remember the number that I called, but this number is listed on-line
      904-390-3600. At that time the records were on microfiche and mine were hand written. Many of the words were not readable, but I was able to get the main idea. If this number doesn’t get you to the records department, ask for the main number and explain to them that you are are looking for your hospital records from Hope Haven.

  3. 4 Mona Lisa Rosenblatt August 6th, 2018 10:03H

    Does anyone know the name of the blonde lady in the white smock?

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About Photographer Loyd Sandgren

I first met Loyd Sandgren in 1997 as I was putting photo gear back into my car after... Learn More