Kirkbride Buildings Blog

August 25th, 2008

Reporter’s Grandfather Was No. 3414

As a follow up to my last post about Oregon State Hospital, I thought I’d refer you to this story about one person’s personal connection to the Library of Dust.

Grandpa Was One of 3,500 Who Didn’t Fly over the Cuckoo’s Nest

While the story itself is interesting, I also bring it up because I think it’s important to connect actual, personal stories about these places with the more abstract discussions about architecture and general history that usually go on here. A little while back the daughter of a former clinical director of Columbus State Hospital wrote to me and shared her memories of the hospital. It gave me the idea of making something more than a collection of pictures and brief factual histories, and I’ve been trying to collect more personal anecdotes and memories from other people. History is a lot more than just a series of dates and names. Unfortunately, it’s been slow going so far. But M-Explorer over at Asylum Projects has had the same idea and, although the idea hasn’t taken off yet and there are still some related issues to work out, I’m hoping that this will eventually take web sites like ours to a new level of documentation. It seems like a logical next step.

And in case you’ve somehow missed it, a great example of this kind of documentation exists on John Gray’s Danvers State Insane Asylum. His Former DSH Employee Interview is a great read. Check it out if you haven’t already.

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  1. WSH August 26, 2008, 9:16 am

    Interesting story. Sad about his Grandfater and how basically one single family member could determine what happened in the life as well as the death of someone. Glad to see at least some of those containers of ashes were finally reconnected with the proper family members.

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