Mercy Care Center closed its doors for good Monday.
The longtime hospital turned nursing home shut down after struggling financially for at least 20 years. It only remained open from 2010 on because Samaritan Medical Center agreed to step in and run it.
The last step was the move of residents to Samaritan's new Summit Village, completed over the weekend and Monday.
"Staff really worked will together today, talking, a lot of reminiscing," said director of nursing Elaine O'Brian.
Mercy began as a hospital in 1894 under the name "Sister's Hospital."
Many recall the maternity ward's closing as the beginning of the end for the hospital. What remained was a long term care facility with 224 beds.
"It's an old place, not as nice as some of them, but the staff made it beautiful," said Mike Janis, whose mom was a resident at Mercy.
Mercy's recent peak employment has been about 240, and of that number, Samaritan has hired 65 workers. Others have retired or found other employment.
"I think they knew it was coming, but they just are having a hard time accepting it," said O'Brian. "It's the end of a legacy."
Monday, March 30, 2015, Watertown, NY
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