The history of Roper St. Francis Healthcare dates back more than 160 years. From smallpox epidemics to the Civil War to the world’s first successful valve surgery, history, both small and dramatic, has taken place within the walls of Roper St. Francis Healthcare.

Roper Hospital

Through the Years

Roper Hospital

On Christmas Eve in 1789, a group of Charleston physicians came together to create the Medical Society of South Carolina (MSSC). Decades later, in 1852, the MSSC used a bequeath of $30,000 from the philanthropist and former mayor of Charleston, Colonel Thomas Roper, to build a hospital to treat all sick and injured people "without regard to complexion, religion or nation." The original hospital was located on the corner of Queen and Logan streets and was named it for its primary benefactor.


The hospital began admitting patients regularly in 1856 in time for the yellow fever, cholera, typhoid fever and smallpox epidemics that ravaged the city. On August 31, 1886, an earthquake followed by several aftershocks destroyed the original Roper Hospital.

St. Francis Hospital

The new hospital on the corner of Barre and Calhoun streets was completed in February 1906. The Charleston mayor reported that "By arrangement with the Medical Society of South Carolina, a hospital has been built, costing something over $125,000, that is as perfect in its appointments as any in the South."

In 1882 St. Francis Xavier Hospital, then called the Saint Francis Xavier Infirmary, was founded by the Sisters of Charity of Our Lady of Mercy. The small infirmary located on the corner of Ashley and Calhoun Streets was added on to and rebuilt over the next several decades.

As the Charleston population grew, so did Roper and St. Francis hospitals. In 1946, the original part of what is now Roper Hospital was constructed. Over the years, this site has been expanded and modernized to become the world-class facility you see today.

Roper Hospital Heart & Vascular Tower

In July 1989, the Sisters of Charity of Our Lady of Mercy transferred the sponsorship of St. Francis Xavier Hospital to the Sisters of Bon Secours, a congregation of the Sisters founded in France in 1824, and the hospital became part of the Bon Secours Health System. In 1996, Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital moved from the peninsula to West Ashley when it created the beautiful and architecturally iconic hospital we enjoy today.

On Christmas Eve 1997, the MSSC scheduled another historic meeting where they voted to merge Roper and Bon Secours St. Francis Hospitals.

Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital

On November 1, 2010, Roper St. Francis Mount Pleasant Hospital opened. Nestled amongst wood and wetlands, the hospital was a welcome addition for the communities east of the Cooper River.

On October 4, 2019, Roper St. Francis Berkeley Hospital opened its doors in Summerville, becoming the first new hospital in Berkeley County in nearly 45 years.

Roper St. Francis Healthcare is still vibrant and growing. With nearly 6,000 teammates, we are one of area’s largest employers. Our medical staff is made up of more than 1,000 doctors, representing almost every medical specialty. Our four flagship hospitals have 657 beds, and our 117 facilities are spread across five counties.

Back to Top
We use cookies and other tools to enhance your experience on our website and to analyze our web traffic. For more information about these cookies and the data collected, please refer to our Digital Privacy Policy.