How to get to Portland, 1877

28 07 2010

For many years before the opening of the Oregon State Insane Asylum in Salem in 1883, Oregon contracted with a private hospital (the Oregon Hospital for the Insane) in Portland.  Patients from all over the state were sent to Portland. A 1879  disagreement about who was to pay for their transportation, gives an interesting look into what it took to get to Portland in the late 19th century.  The following is an invoice to the State of Oregon from B.F. Burch, the Superintendent of the State Penitentiary in Salem for the transport of a person to the hospital.  It was published in the 1879 “Report Of Committee of Investigation Appointed Pursuant to House Joint Resolutions, Nos. 8 and 13, Passed at the Tenth Regular Session of the Legislative Assembly of the State of Oregon.”¹

State of Oregon,
 To B. F. Burch, Superintendent Penitentiary, Dr.

For conveying S.J. Cardiff, an insane person, to the Asylum, Sept. 24, 1877

Mileage of Superintendent, 100 miles…………………………$ 10.00
Mileage of patient, 50 miles………………………………………$    5.00
Per diem of Superintendent, 1 day……………………………..$    3.00
Fare on railroad for Superintendent and patient…………..$    7.50
Hack Hire at Portland………………………………………………$    3.00
Meals for trip………………………………………………………….$    1.50
                                                                                                      Total:  $ 30.00

I hereby certify that the above account is correct.
 (signed)  B.F. Burch.

1. Printed report can be found in the Willamette University Law Library Special Collections, JK 9045.0747 1879

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