Stories from the State Hospital program is May 24 [UPDATED]Published 9:54am Thursday, May 17, 2012 Updated 11:56am Thursday, May 17, 2012
Mark your calendars for the well received and controversial Myths and Legends: Stories from the State Hospital at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 24.
During the summer of 1885, a Minnesota legislative commission visited Fergus Falls with the task of selecting a site for the state’s third state hospital. Despite the public belief that state asylums were nothing more than holding pens for society’s lowest class of people, foresighted city leaders understood a hospital would mean economic development for the community.
For nearly 120 years the “Castle on the Hill” was home to thousands of patients and workers. Over the decades it developed an aura of mystery and legend that dominated the cultural fabric of the region. Lobotomies, straight jackets, shock treatments – this was the public perception of the state hospital. It was a castle of questions, our very own Wizard of Oz with an unattainable aura of mystery. Was this perception justified or unfounded?
Myths & Legends is not an architectural or facilities tour. It presents the history of this remarkable institution by going beyond the bricks and mortar to examine stories and events surrounded in mystique. As the struggle to save this landmark nears its conclusion, it is imperative that this history be kept alive.
The tour begins in front of the western most section of the complex. Park in the Government Services parking lot. Admission is $5.
Some stories may not be suitable for young children. For more information call 218-736-6038 or visit www.otchs.org.