Our Rich History
Founded by the Bangor city fathers in 1827, the Bangor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center (BNRC), has a long and storied history of serving the residents of the greater Bangor, Maine, area in a variety of capacities. The first building, a three-story farmhouse located on Main Street, was a working farm raising livestock and produce, and served as an almshouse to provide shelter and care for members of Bangor’s indigent population. Known as the Almshouse Property or Poor Farm, the farm supported the residents’ needs and also sold dairy, meat and produce to members of the local community. In 1832, the Bangor Board of Aldermen formed a committee to plan for a hospital on the property, the first in the area. The new hospital was not erected until 1841, but in the interim 12 rooms in the farmhouse were converted for hospital use and were available to care for anyone in the community. During this time, the facility was referred to as the City Farm, which also provided the first soup kitchen to feed the poor in the city of Bangor, run by the Overseers of the Poor.
In 1845, the decision was made to expand the medical services provided by the City Farm to include mental health. A new hospital annex was added in 1894, providing additional care as a “women’s hospital”. As the healthcare functions continued to grow, and the farming operations decreased in the early 1900s, the name was changed to City Hospital. Growth in the Bangor and surrounding population led to the establishment of several new hospitals focused on acute care; gradually City Hospital shifted its focus to skilled nursing and long-term care.
After 141 years on Main Street, in July 1969, City Hospital moved to a recently built hospital located on the former Dow Air Force Base, which had been decommissioned by the Air Force when the base closed. The Air Force deeded the building to the city of Bangor, providing an excellent venue to better serve the long-term care needs of the community. In 1984, the City Council changed the name from City Hospital to Bangor City Nursing Facility.
In 1999, the City Council called for the establishment of a non-profit corporation to assume ownership and management of the facility. A community board of directors assumed responsibility for operations on January 1, 2001, and changed the name to Bangor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. In 2013, BNRC entered into a management consulting agreement with Covenant Health, a Catholic-based, regional healthcare network, whose values closely aligned with BNRC’s. In December 2021, BNRC was acquired by Covenant Health and became a full member of the healthcare organization. Today, BNRC provides Skilled Nursing Rehabilitation Services and Long-term Care in a 60-bed, state-of-the-art facility.