Maplewood Celebrates 75 Years of Caring

by Greg Chambery

This year marks The Maplewood’s 75th anniversary.
We thought our Maplewood community would enjoy a little walk through our history.

Greg Chambery and 75th Anniversary PlaqueAs many know, The Maplewood was started by Thomas and Johanna Chambery. The following was taken from an autobiography written by Johanna entitled “A Treasured Heritage.”

It was 1946. Our partners, the Goff’s, and Thomas found a large mansion on Lake Ave. and Seneca Pkwy. that was for sale. It had three floors, three porches, six bathrooms, and five fireplaces. The brick slate-roofed mansion had been built by a sash-and-trim store owner. The location was good, once a ruffled shirt district. This man had wealth and had used it in this house with mahogany, walnut and oak trim, quarter oak floors and Tiffany glass in the large windows, but the kitchen was a perfect horror with eight doors. The third floor had one large room 25’ by 25’, another large bedroom with three closets, a smaller room and two baths. Thomas and Mr. Goff saw great possibilities in this house and arranged to renovate it, get a license for two floors, and provide living quarters for us on the third floor. They purchased the house on November 19th and the men began to spend evenings cleaning the floors and painting the rooms.

Maplewood History TimelineMrs. Goff had led me to believe that she had a beginner’s license to administer drugs. At one evening meal I suggested that she have it framed and hung over the hall desk. Mr. Goff, who was completely honest, looked up in dismay. “She has no pharmacy license!” We had brought all our furniture, rugs, dishes, silverware, and cooking utensils to be used in the nursing home until we had money to buy others. I had bought a beautiful Chickering piano secondhand and put it in the entrance room.

Soon we had our first patient and our sign went up by Lake Ave., “Maplewood Sanitarium”. The name was chosen because we were in that area. Before long we had thirteen patients on the first floor and one upstairs. We had one R.N. for days and aides for the three to eleven shift. The summer wore away, and the second floor was almost finished. Both Thomas and Mr. Goff had kept their regular jobs.

I wonder what my grandparents would have thought if they had a crystal ball to see what The Maplewood looks like today. I am not sure that either one of them could put up with so many regulations and officials looking over their shoulder. As you can tell, they were a pair of free-spirited entrepreneurial folks. They would go on to launch two more nursing homes in Rochester. Much like his parents, my father, James, was never afraid of a challenge. During the move to Webster, he and my mother would work all day on Lake Ave. and then head out to Webster at night to work on getting the building ready for occupancy. This went on for many months.

Through all the years, the changes and the generations, there is a common thread that one can still see in today’s Maplewood. Have you guessed it? I would characterize it in the word “devotion”. Back in 1947, my grandparents not only started a nursing home, but a journey that would have a profound effect on their lives and the lives of many others. They had an opportunity to meet and work with tremendous teammates and customers. They influenced policy and in a real way helped to shape the local long term care landscape. Much like them, my parents served as Administrator and Director of Nursing as they operated the facility from 1964-1998.

Today, in 2022, Maplewood is celebrating its 75th year of service to the Rochester community. I dare say that the spirit of devotion that one saw back in 1947 at The Maplewood is still alive and well. It’s really all about family and great people caring for great people. Come in and walk around for a while and you will see what I mean.

The original Maplewood facility on lake avenue

Original Maplewood Building

The Maplewood facility today

Maplewood facility front entrance

Maplewood Rear Courtyard Entry

Signature Suite

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