MORE THAN ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF LOVING CARE
IN 1905, LOCAL FRIENDS BEGAN A BOARDING HOME FOR ELDERS WITHOUT FAMILY THAT EVENTUALLY BECAME WHAT IS NOW QUAKER HEIGHTS. Quaker Heights Care Community (QHCC) is a ministry of the Ohio Valley Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).
ABOUT THE FRIENDS/QUAKERS: “Quaker” is the common term for a member of the Religious Society of Friends, a Christian sect formed in mid-17th century England. Originally, the term “Quaker” was a mocking reference to those who “trembled under the power of God.”
“Members of the Religious Society of Friends have a strong tradition of acting ‘out of religious concern’ for the wider world. They are known for developing programs to meet people’s needs in this country and abroad. These programs, including schools, colleges and an array of efforts that assist victims of war, poverty and oppression, going beyond ministering to physical need. They express a deep concern for the dignity and spiritual worth of each person. They also seek to build caring communities. This tradition led Quakers to develop programs for the aging, beginning early in the 19th century.”—from Friends Services for the Aging publication.
WAYNESVILLE FRIENDS: Friends have been a part of the Waynesville area since they settled here during 1780s. Most of these Friends relocated to the banks of the Little Miami River from the Bush River area of South Carolina due to their inability to compete in the slaveholding economy of the South. Since Friends had given up the practice of slaveholding, due to their beliefs about equality, they brought their freed slaves with them to the Waynesville area.
HOW QUAKER HEIGHTS BEGAN: In the early 1900’s, Waynesville Friends saw a need to provide shelter for their aging members and others in the community who were “of similar mind.” In 1904, Aaron Chandler and local Friends, supported by the Yearly Meeting (the regional governing body of the Friends), established a not-for-profit corporation and constructed the Friends Boarding Home that opened in 1905. The Friends Home, located on Fourth Street (red brick building pictured left) provided rooms for the elderly, retired teachers and others for many years.
The nursing home, which became Quaker Heights, came about from the vision of Raymond Braddock. When he was treasurer of the Friends Home Corporation Trustees (the legal name of the then existing boarding home) in the late 1960’s, some trustees wished to sell the pastureland behind the boarding home. The property seemed of little use since they no longer kept livestock. Mr. Braddock had another idea—the vision of a nursing home. Despite trustees’ objections, he persisted. About the same time a generous bequest of nearly $235,000 was received from the estate of Tom and Martha Welch. These funds helped make the nursing home a reality. Half of the bequest was to be spent on the existing boarding home. The remainder was to become an endowment which ultimately led to the construction of Quaker Heights Nursing Home. The facility continued to grow over the years with additions for independent living and assisted living, outpatient therapy and memory care. Because of these expansions, the trustees adopted the name of the Quaker Heights Care Community, which currently can serve up to 158 residents.
The old red brick boarding home on Fourth Street now is now rented to the Waynesville Area Heritage and Cultural Center for their museum at the Friends Home to enhance the awareness and celebration of local history.