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.





Retiring PSH Supervisor Recalls Major Changes

17 09 2012

The following article was found in a scrapbook in the Oregon State Hospital Museum Collections.  From the text it appears that it was published in the Oregon Statesman Newspaper in 1965, although exact publication date is unknown.

Charles Robinson, whose service as a psychiatric aide and a supervisor of aides stretches to the days when the OSH was known as the state insane asylum,* will be honored by hospital employees Wednesday as he retires.

Robinson, who was 65 in January, has been a hospital employee since 1934, except for three years in the service in world War II.  Since 1945 he has been supervisor of aides.

More Pleasant today.

Services as a mental hospital aide has never been easy, but it’s a more pleasant job now than it was before the advent of drugs, Robinson recalls.

Treatment in 1934 was custodial only for the vast majority of patients; about 2100 were crowded into the old Center building and the Dome building at OSH.

“I was scared to death for the first five or six weeks,”  Robinson recalls. “In those days they just handed you the keys, sent you to a ward and you went to work.” Read the rest of this entry »





Oregon Hospital for the Insane Description, 1868

5 09 2012

Listen to the 1868 report of visiting physician Dr. J.S. Giltner to the Oregon Hospital for the Insane in Portland. The Oregon Hospital for the Insane was a private hospital run by Drs. Hawthorne and Loreya in Portland, Oregon from 1861-1883. They contracted with the State of Oregon for the care of people diagnosed with insanity prior to the creation of the Oregon State Hospital in Salem.

We are experimenting with the idea of using a combination of QR codes and YouTube videos to create audio features in the exhibit spaces.  This is our first attempt.  Let us know what you think below.





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 »





A Visit to the Oregon State Hospital, 1916

5 08 2012

This is an excerpt from the Oregon Teacher’s Monthly magazine published in May 1916 (volume 20, no. 9).  Oregon Teacher’s Monthly featured articles written by teachers, students and administrators related to general interest topics and had a news section with a county by county listings of school-related events.  We came across this issue in the holdings of the Oregon State Library.  This excerpt is chapter 10 in a series of articles written by Frank K. Welles, Assistant State Superintendent of Public Instruction, on state institutions.  The information he presents appears to have come from studying published reports of the hospital and a personal tour.

 OUR OREGON STATE INSTITUTIONS

The Oregon State Hospital

 Some of the school children who will read this article have never visited a hospital for the insane and will be interested to know what such an institution looks like, how the hundreds of patients are cared for, what they do and how they live.  The modern hospital for the insane is quite a different institution from what it used to be.  Now it is indeed a hospital for the treatment of persons with deranged minds, most of whom also have some physical ailment, rather than simply an asylum for the detention and safe-keeping of the insane.

Oregon has two hospitals for the insane.  One is situated just east of the city limits of Salem and the other is a short distance west of Pendleton in Umatilla county.  The Eastern Oregon State Hospital was built during 1911 and 1912 and is modern in every respect.  As soon as this institution was completed, 325 patients were transferred to it from the Salem hospital in order to relieve the over-crowded condition at the latter place.  As far as possible, the insane from Eastern Oregon are sent to Pendleton and those from Western Oregon to Salem. The number of insane is increasing so rapidly that the last legislature authorized the construction of a new $100,000 wing to the Pendleton hospital.  This has recently been completed.  There is also a fine farm in connection with that institution.  The last report of the superintendent shows that there are now about 379 insane persons at the Pendleton hospital. Read the rest of this entry »





Watchman, 1908

4 07 2012

The following is the description of duties of the watchman and watchwomen employed by the Oregon State Hospital as spelled out in the Rules and Regulations for the Government of the Oregon State Insane Asylum, Revised April 15, 1908.

WATCHMAN

1. The duties of the watchman will commence at 8 o’clock P.M., at which time he will visit the office to receive instructions for the night.

2. He must, while on duty, be faithful and vigilant; visit every part of the male wards at least every hour during the night, making as little noise as possible, never conversing in a loud tone, and opening and shutting the doors as quietly as possible.

3.  He must be kind, gentle, and soothing in his manners to the patients, and use every means in his power to tranquilize those who are excited, and to allay the fears and apprehensions of the timid; he will pay particular attention to the sick, the suicidal, and those recently admitted; will see that the patients are properly supplied with water when it is asked for, and will attend to all other reasonable wants;  will notice any unusual noise in the patients’ rooms, endeavor to ascertain the cause, and, if necessary, report the same to the attendant.  He will notice anything unusual occurring during the night, and enter the same on a a slate or book provided for the purpose [see example of book here], and he shall report any irregularities, neglect of duty or violation of rules which may come under his notice.

4.  It will be the duty of the watchman to look after the heating apparatus during the night; he must be very watchful about fire, and, in case of its occurrence must immediately give general alarm;  he shall ring the bell at the hour for rising in the morning, and he shall perform such other duties as may be required of him.

WATCHWOMAN

1.  The watchwoman shall have charge of the interior of the female department during the night.  In the management of the patients, and in the discharge of other duties, she must be governed by the rules and regulations laid down for the government of the watchman.





New Quarters for school, 1961

25 06 2012

The following is an article published in the BOSH: Bulletin of the Oregon State Hospital, on September 11, 1961.

NEW QUARTERS FOR SCHOOL

Miss Dixie McKay is joining Mrs. Janice Stein in teaching our OSH school children, and with this increase in the teaching staff the OSH school is moving from the 50 Bldg. to new quarters on the 2nd floor of the Dome Bldg., above the dental offices.