When Saint Marys Hospital opened on September 30, 1889, it included the city’s first operating room that wasn’t also someone’s bedroom or office.
According to Mayo Clinic history records, the second-floor operating room, which had a bay window facing north for better light, was also equipped with two gaslights. The first operation took place that same day. Dr. Charles H. Mayo performed what may have been the first surgical procedure at the newly constructed Saint Marys Hospital. He was assisted by his brother and father, who administered the anesthetic agent. The operation was to remove a cancerous growth.
Reminiscing about those days, Dr. Will commented, "We were a green crew, and we knew it."