Mercy won’t erect sculpture in Hamilton; historic marker instead

The Mercy Health Foundation, which a year ago offered this sculpture to the city of Hamilton to commemorate health-care work by the Sisters of Mercy in the Butler County seat over 125 years, instead now is working to create a historical marker at the site. PROVIDED
The Mercy Health Foundation, which a year ago offered this sculpture to the city of Hamilton to commemorate health-care work by the Sisters of Mercy in the Butler County seat over 125 years, instead now is working to create a historical marker at the site. PROVIDED

The Mercy Health Foundation, which last year offered a sculpture to commemorate the former Mercy Hospital in Hamilton along the Great Miami River, instead is looking to install a historical marker near the former hospital location.

The original idea was to celebrate the former hospital, which the Sisters of Mercy created at the urging of a Hamilton pastor in 1892.

The marker is to be installed near the city’s RiversEdge downtown amphitheater that offers outdoor concerts throughout the summer. Details have not been finalized, said Mercy Hospital spokeswoman Nanette Bentley. She said the hospital is “working through specifics, so we don’t have timing or further details yet.”

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The sculpture was to portray Venerable Mother Catherine McAuley, founder of the Sisters of Mercy, and Dr. George C. Skinner, the Hamilton doctor who acquired land for the hospital, said Sister Sharon Wiedmar, director of mission integration at Mercy Health-Fairfield Hospital. With lots of heavy industry in Hamilton at the time, there was a lot of need for emergency care for accident victims.

The “Circle of Light” sculpture was to feature a light, representing the light of a ship that would have carried the sisters from Ireland. It also was to include a quote from McAuley: “We should be a shining lamp, giving light to all of those around us.”

After Mercy offered a presentation about the proposed sculpture, city officials said they would evaluate the idea.