John Graves Ford Memorial Hospital

John Graves Ford Memorial Hospital is a former medical center on West Main Street in Georgetown, Kentucky.


John Graves Ford, a grandson of Mrs. John B. Graves, was stricken with appendicitis in Georgetown in 1916 and was taken to a hospital in Lexington where he later died. To forestall the possibility of future occurrences, Graves jumpstarted funding for a new, local hospital by donating $35,000 towards such a construction fund. 3 4 Construction on the new medical center began later in the year and the John Graves Ford Memorial Hospital opened in 1917. 3

A new two-story addition, with a larger emergency room, was constructed in 1952, 5 followed by the erection of another wing, designed by Donald B. Shelton, in 1972 that added 20 patient rooms, two nurse stations, and a family room at the cost of $150,000. 4


John Graves Ford Memorial Hospital closed when the new Georgetown Community Hospital opened in 1984. 3

Edmund Karam purchased the former hospital in 1985 and renovated the original circa 1917 building into offices. 3 But with minimal upkeep, the entire hospital complex was condemned by the city in 1999. An Indiana company and a Louisville firm brought forth plans shortly after to convert the abandoned hospital into an assisted living community for senior citizens at the cost of $1.8 million, but the firms withdrew their plan in 2003 because of higher than expected renovation costs. 3

Unable to pay the fines levied by the city over the condition of the former hospital, Karam lost control of the property in July 2005. 1 2 The city’s Board of Adjustment voted to proceed with demolition plans for the site. 3

Asbestos abatement of the hospital began in April 2006 and the building was razed by May 2007. 3



  1. “Fate of old hospital remains undecided.” Georgetown News-Graphic 9 July 2005. 13 July 2005 Article. Feb. 24, 2002.
  2. “New plans made for old hospital.” Georgetown News-Graphic 24 Feb. 2002. 26 Jan. 2006 Article.
  3. Abbott, Dean. “Old hospital demolished.” Georgetown News-Graphic 23 April 2006. 19 Feb. 2007 Article.
  4. “John Graves Ford Memorial Hospital.” John Graves Ford Memorial Hospital, Brochure.
  5. Cornerstone.


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Does anyone know what happened to the old medical records, historical society does not have, nor does Georgetown community hospital. Help, looking for birth record 1937.

My great grand father was the foreman on the family farm years ago . Mr Graves would give my Aunt Jennie Reds tickets all the time ! Fond memories they would share with us as children ! They were a wonderful family. I didn’t know them personally but my relatives were blessed by there kind and graciousness . As fate had it my brother Gerald died at this hospital after a brutal car accident . If only these walls could speak, some sad stories as well as happy ones.This building should stand and remain, if only to be a reminder to all of us the history n memories of the past! Bring it to life again for future generations to enjoy… please ,reconsider before to distroy what you might regret later

Thank you for the kind comments. My great grandmother was Mary Jane Graves, my grandfather was C.O. Graves her son. My grandparents were a very generous and loving family who loved this community. The farm touched so many lives and provided so many with employment and the ability to provide for their families. My mother was Louise Graves Cline, daughter of C.O. and Ann C. Graves. The hospital was supposed to revert back to the family when it ceased being a hospital. We did make the effort to obtain it but in the mid 60’s the legal language had expired.

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