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.


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 »

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”.

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.

Coming up Roses

25 03 2011

With the removal of Siskyou Hall (Building 29), the hospital will be re-landscaping the area in front of the refurbished Cascade Hall (J-Building).  The designs, as Deputy Director of the OSH Hospital Replacement Project Jodie Jones mentions in the above video, will correlate with the historical layout of the site and provide a beautiful memorial rose garden for OSH community members.

The fountain (Baby Hercules) and turn-around circle mentioned in the above video in front of the J-Building around the turn of the century. SOURCE: Oregon State Archives, OSH 0029

What a Difference a Year Makes

28 02 2011

Now and then.  The museum space as it looks now and how it looked, January 2010.  

South Room

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1917 View of the OSH Campus

14 09 2010

Hand drawn schematic of the Oregon State Hospital Campus found in a Daybook with information dating October 31,1917-November 6, 1918 with transcription below.  The drawing illustrates the “J-Building” and other out buildings.  (T2009.002.409)

Postcard Views from the Past

28 01 2010

These vintage postcards of the Oregon State Insane asylum are part of a collection put together by OSH Director of Quality Improvement Ted Ficken.   Postcards of important government buildings, like the Oregon State Hospital, were used for all sorts of communication purposes.  Two of the postcards in the collection have messages written on them.   While the messages aren’t directly related to OSH, they are interesting slices of history…

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