Ward Hall Description, 1883

27 09 2012

Listen to a description of wards at the Oregon State Hospital, published in the October 24, 1883 edition of the Morning Oregonian.





Communication Center, 1963

19 08 2012

The following description of the Comm Center and its duties was published in a 1963 open house brochure at the Oregon State Hospital.  In 1963, the Comm Center was located in the Kirkbride building just to the southeast of the building’s main entrance.  Later it moved to the 35 building (Breitenbush Hall)  on the north side of Center Street.  The new Comm Center is located in the new hospital entrance, just to the southeast of the Kirkbride building as seen in photo  below.

The new Comm Center constructed as part of the Oregon State Hospital Replacement Project. Photo HOK Design Firm.

 The Communications Center at Oregon State Hospital could also be known as the “nerve center” as much because of its activities as its location.

Visitors to the hospital naturally gravitate to the Center Building because of its imposing architecture and there, just inside the front door, personnel of the Communication Center are ready to give directions or general hospital information, to handle merchandise for Volunteer Services, to locate staff members for visitors, and to assist patients who might encounter difficulties while away from their wards.

The hospital switchboard service is located in the Communications Center and here all hospital mail is distributed.

The staff here also arranges the dispatching of hospital cars and ambulances to transport patients to and from the hospital.

Communications Center personnel assume the responsibility for a myriad of other small Read the rest of this entry »





Bird’s Eye View

9 04 2012

T2009.002.427.109 Aerial Photograph, Oregon State Hospital, sometime between 1951 and 1973.  Photograph from the collections of the Oregon State Hospital.  Image is taken from the southwestern corner facing towards the northeast.  The large white building at the center is the so-called “J-Building” owing to its shape like the letter “J.”  Today the stem of that “J” has been demolished leaving the oldest part of the building, a “U” shaped section often referred to as the “Kirkbride U”.





Blaze Destroys State Hospital Farm Barns, 1931

19 03 2012

The following is an article from the Oregon Statesman published May 31, 1931.

Blaze Destroys Two State Hospital Farm Barns, Loss $40,000

Excited Inmate Dashes Into Inferno, Saved With Shirt Burned

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Believed Incendiary; Cattle all Saved, Two by Force

Fire thought to be incendiary totally destroyed two large barns at the state hospital farm, four and one half miles east of here, at 9:15 o’clock last night.  The loss on the structures and the contents is estimated at $40,000.

More than 100 head of cattle had been turned out only a few hours before the flames started.  None of these were lost although two bulls, at large after keepers had loosed them, started back into the flames but were repelled by their keepers.

Man Rushes Back, Shirt Burned Off

No inmates of the hospital farm were in the barns when the flames were seen but one man, apparently deranged by the fire, started back into the blaze.  Keepers rescued him but not until his shirt was burned.  It was necessary to handcuff him to keep him away from the fire.

Attendants at the state hospital farm did not discover the flames until they had started to lick their way through the roof of the large barn.  The headway the fire had gained inclined them to the theory that some inmate had started the blaze.  A few years ago a state hospital inmate started another fire. Read the rest of this entry »





OSH Campus according to Engineer Garson, 1958

3 10 2011

Auditorium, Oregon State Hospital, Oregon State Archives Photo, OSH 00018

The following is an interview with Engineer J.A. Garson published in the October 1958 edition of the Lamplighter, an OSH newsletterThe article coincided with the 75th anniversary of the Oregon State Hospital, and many early staff members and patients are interviewed or profiled. 

When Mr. Garson came to the hospital in 1919, it looked much different than it does now.  For example, from 24th to 21st streets there were hospital orchards of walnut trees.  Where the treatment and surgical buildings sit were poultry and pheasant farms for OSH.  The doctor’s cottages were not in existence, and in their place were berry fields.  The machine shop was located where what is now the freezing department.  The morgue building, 1896, is what is today the paint shop.  The Tailoring Shop, Carpenter Shop were all where the Quonset hut is now located.  Mrs. Steiner, with her superintendent husband, planned the landscaping of the grounds and due to patient labor they were completed.  Read the rest of this entry »





What a Difference a Year Makes

8 08 2011

Cupola replaced, scaffolding gone and landscaping taking shape,  the J-building has undergone an amazing transformation in the past year.  Top photo is from today, August 8, 2011.  Bottom photo is from July 2010.





OSH Cottage Architect Makes Mark on Salem

26 06 2011

A post on the Capital Taps Blog recently featured an article on Louis Hazeltine, an architect responsible for the design and furnishing the “Physicians’ Cottages” at the Oregon State Hospital.

At the start of the Oregon State Hospital Replacement project, there were 21 cottages along the southern edge of the hospital campus (see map here.)  A fixed asset ledger from the Oregon State Hospital indicates that the earliest of these cottages (1 and 2) were built in 1909, with brick garages added in 1946.[1]   These appear to be the only ones built prior to the 1911 article quoted. Read the rest of this entry »