Tennis Racket, 2012.001.006

9 07 2012

With Wimbledon wrapping up, we thought we would highlight this very interesting piece of tennis history found in the recreational therapy supplies at the Oregon State Hospital.  The most striking feature of this wooden tennis racket (2012.001.006), is the color portrait of a young woman named Maureen Connolly, at one time one of the most accomplished tennis players in the world.

Before the Williams Sisters, Graff, Navratilova and even Billie Jean King, Maureen “Little Mo” Connolly became the first woman ever to win a Grand Slam — winning all four Grand Slam events in a calendar year — which she did in 1953.  Did we mention she was just a teenager at the time?

Her accomplishments are incredible considering the length of her career.  A horse riding accident, led to her retirement from tennis at the tender age of 19, just two weeks after she won her third consecutive Wimbledon title. 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.





The Matron, 1908

20 06 2012

The following was published in By Laws of Trustees Rules and Regulations for the Government of the Oregon State Insane Asylum,revised April 15, 1908.

Article V.

MATRON

Section 1:  The matron shall, under the direction of the superintendent, have charge of the female department of the asylum.  She shall have a general supervision of the sewing department.  She shall be with the female patients in all the wards as much as possible; see that they are kindly treated; that their food is properly cooked, served and distributed; that their apartments are kept clean and in good order, and properly warmed and ventilated; that the female employees attend to their duties in all respects, and report to the superintendent any departure on their part from the rules and regulations of the institution.





Patients Manage Recreation Plans, 1961

7 05 2012

The following article was published in the Capital Journal on April 28, 1961.

A girl who had talked to no one for seven years — separated from reality by an “escape mechanism” barrier– has shown her first progress through recreation therapy at Oregon State Hospital.

Brought by a staff aide to “The Hut,” she eventually accepted an invitation to dance with another patient.

“The Hut” will be one of two recreation halls to be viewed by visitors to open house Sunday from 1 to 4:30 pm.  Operated by a governing group of patients called the Quoncil, the quonset hut-shaped building is the site of patient-planned parties and dances.

Plan Recreation

The general public sometimes regards the mentally ill as being incompetent and unable to take responsibility, commented Mrs. Ida Boehmer, recreational therapy department director. Read the rest of this entry »





Television Unveiled

16 04 2012

At the last museum board meeting, this newly restored television set was presented.  The television appeared in the baseball scene of the film “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” where the character McMurphy famously announces the game watching its blank screen.  Recovered from the trash after the filming, the television was donated to the museum for use in its displays. 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

——–

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 »