Cottage Health - Moments Live On - Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital 125th Anniversary

As we celebrate our history, we look at some of the moments that live on to shape our future.

A Moment of Inspiration

In 1888, Mary Ashley envisioned better health care for the community she called home. She began work with a group of women to establish a hospital that would meet the highest standards of its time.

In 1891, Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital opened, with Mary Ashley elected as its first Board President. Today the hospital continues to thrive with the same spirit of community support that led to its founding.

What's Your Moment?

Share your story with us. Send an e-mail to and tell us about your most memorable moment in your shared history with Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.

Our Doors Have Never Closed

Since its official opening on December 8, 1891, Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital has never closed its doors. Caring for patients through challenging times — the 1918 flu epidemic, the 1925 earthquakes, various floods and fires, and the COVID-19 pandemic — we’ve also been privileged to share some of the brightest moments, welcoming tens of thousands of babies into the community.

1 / 4
Nurses with Dr. Jane Spaulding (second from right)
2 / 4
Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, circa 1891
3 / 4
Alice Keck Park
4 / 4
Mary Ashley

A Pioneer in Medicine

Dr. Jane E. Spaulding was the first superintendent of Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, forging a path for future generations of female physicians. She treated patients, trained nurses, managed the hospital and even provided oversight for the hospital’s farm, as the hospital grew some of its own food. She retired in 1911 and was an honored guest when the hospital opened a new, modernized facility in 1913.

One Gift that Changed Everything

Alice Keck Park made a single decision that continues to benefit the health of our community. In 1953, Park began making regular donations to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital—a $500 gift to the Building Fund, followed by generous annual gifts, the first of which provided funds for a new surgery suite given in memory of her husband.

When she died in 1977, she named three local not-for-profit organizations as the beneficiaries of her estate — one was Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. Wishing to safeguard the funds and make them meaningful for future generations, the hospital’s Board of Directors established the Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital Foundation in 1982 and established guidelines that would allow the gift to grow in perpetuity. In the years since it has helped to develop medical services and community programs well beyond the scope of a typical community hospital.

Our hospital has been shaped by the generosity of the patients and families we care for every day. We celebrate Alice Keck Park and each of our generous donors for their spirit of giving to create positive change for others.

Living Moments - S.B. Cottage Hospital

Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital - Moments Live On - Share Your Story

As Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital turns 125 years old, we reflect on the many generations of families who have been touched by Cottage.

Moments That Have Lived On

Cottage Health E-Living SignupCottage Health E-Living Newsletter

Sign up for Cottage Health’s FREE Health E-Living newsletter. This digital resource is full of events, healthy tips and nutritional information to help you on your wellness journey.