Hello my wonderful readers, isn’t it a beautiful day?
So I took a drive out to Fergus Falls because if I am still too tired to get my butt in the gym why not do what my original plan for yesterday was, right?
Good new is, its still standing! Well….part of it anyways. It looked like most of the buildings in the back had been demolished or were almost to that point. I met an old lady who was walking her dog who used to work in the sanitarium. I believe she said she worked seven years directly in it and than another 20 in a building connected to it. I was not prepared to take notes but maybe I should have been. I was not expecting anyone to be very open about it but it sounds like everyone in town has history associated with it, which makes sense I suppose. She thought only the back was going to be torn down and much of the wings she heard were going to be used for a new assisted living home. Many of the wards looked like they had become apartments. I think the main structure was going to be an art exhibit or something. Either way, they are preserving much of the historic pieces which I am happy for.
According to Wikipedia Warren B. Dunnell designed the Fergus Falls State Hospital. It was built because hospitals for the insane, as it was called back than, we’re becoming overcrowded and therefore leading to poor living conditions. So the solution naturally was to build another hospital. This was a time where lobotomies and shock therapy were common treatment for the insane rather than behavioral therapy for disorders. Lucky for me I was born in our current psychology era.
Even though the state hospital was built to help the other overcrowded facilities it soon became overcrowded itself. Back then if a family member had a disability it was seen as an embarrassment. It was only natural to have them locked up.
Eventually psychology would change from the brutal history that is often portrayed in horror movies to drug treatments and therapy. When this happened the hospital changed its name to the Fergus Falls Regional Treatment Center. It officially closed its doors in 2005.
It is honestly just a beautiful area. There were many walking paths with picnic tables and benches but they were covered in snow this time around. I do plan to go back when spring comes so I can see the beauty that I saw before when I delivered mail there. There still is beauty now, I just imagine winter to have been very long for some patients.
The first two pictures are the wards that were turned into apartments if I remember correctly. I know one of the buildings is where the murder suicide happened a couple years ago. There was a run down boarded up building in the distance that I am assuming was a home for some sort of workers and the last picture I saw Goldmark signs up for, which is a pretty big local renters company. Known in our state as the worst people to rent through, they are whom I attempted to sue awhile back.
I am happy the city is embracing the history of the asylum rather than let it being a haunting reminder of different times. There is obviously much history associated with state hospitals that are frowned on today but it was a different time and not all people were seen as people, even today we have issues with human rights. Luckily it was understood that change was needed. I wish I would have taken pictures when I delivered mail there when all the structures still stood. Little ole anxious me was too scared to walk around, not because even of silly things like ghosts but because of getting kidnapped or robbed lol. But for real, I am very glad it is trying to be preserved. I highly recommend people to visit the grounds. It is breathtaking in spring and I am sure even more so in fall. The whole city is full of history and beautiful scenic routes. I will try to make it back in a couple months and get better pictures, my fingers were getting a little cold this time around. There is a cemetery located in the back I think that I would like to visit when warmer weather approaches. Cemeteries hold so much history.
So my morning and early afternoon were spent well. I am now just suffering the small effects of a common cold so am doing so much better. I am going to try and get some cleaning done today, I hope you all have a good day!
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