A graduate of Lake City High School and the Medical University of South Carolina, Dr. James Whitehead (1906-2004) interned at Spartanburg General before returning to Lake City where he practiced medicine for 55 years. In 1938, he would oversee the construction of a two-story brick building which would serve as a 14-bed obstetric hospital. Whitehead Infirmary would be used by most Lake City residents as there were few options for medical care in the town. It served as a de facto trauma center and general surgery ward too. As more childbirths started to become increasingly outside of the home in the 1950s and throughout the remainder of the Twentieth century, the Infirmary also became a main center for childbirths in Lake City. While Black and white patients were provided care, the building was segregated between the races which can still be seen in the interior of the building’s architecture, particularly with the waiting rooms at the North and South ends of the building. The building being intact is currently the Lynches Lake Historical Society and Museum.
For more information about the Infirmary or Historical Society and Museum see: https://www.peedeehistory.org/ and https://schistoricalmarkers.wordpress.com/2014/07/25/whitehead-infirmary-21-41
For more information about the Whitehead Infirmary, please see Lynches Lake Historical Society and Museum’s website.
Saint Teresa Community Outreach and Empowerment received a Growth Grant from South Carolina Humanities. Funding for the Growth Grants has been provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) as part of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.