Ask a Librarian

Hermann Hospital Sweetheart

by Philip Montgomery, archivist
A few months ago, Dr. Adrian Melissinos was searching for nursing photos when she discovered “Sweetheart” the donkey. Today, I had to find the photo of this early Hermann Hospital mascot. I love that the photographer, who remains unknown, made an effort to capture this donkey’s personality.  What is even more intriguing is the background of the photo.  The location was a puzzle.
Image The back of the photo reads “Hospital sweetheart grazing in back of original hospital. Note donkey’s home in background.”
Since this photo is in IC 86 Hermann Hospital Archive records, I knew the hospital mentioned in the note is Hermann, but the view is unusual. Digging in the box I found an answer. This picture shows the home of Sweetheart and the screened in porches of the hospital wing devoted to nurses housing.
The screen porches are gone today and so is Sweetheart.  I doubt if there is a enough grass remaining in the area to provide a snack for Sweetheart.  Still, I love the idea that Hermann Hospital had a mascot who was loved and cared for. Who could resist those ears?