Oregon November 24, 2017
12 Staggering Photos Of An Abandoned Asylum Hiding In Oregon
Few places in Oregon have a history as dark as the Fairview Training Center. Hidden away on the outskirts of Salem, this former state-run institution housed thousands of patients from 1908 to 2000, when federal funding was cut off. The stories told by those who lived and worked within the institution’s walls paint a dire picture of poor conditions and inhumane treatment. The slowly decaying buildings are all the only visible reminders we have left of the unspeakable horrors that once occurred here.
Here are 12 staggering photos of the Fairview Training Center:
Located in Salem, the now-abandoned Fairview Training Center was established in 1908 as the State Institution for the Feeble-Minded. The facility was responsible for caring for and educating patients with developmental disabilities and epilepsy.
The institution consisted of an administration building, a dormitory, a laundry and boiler house. Two more cottages were constructed in 1913.
The center's first 39 residents were transferred from Oregon State Hospital for the Insane. By 1981, more than 1,300 Oregonians lived at the center.
The institution originally had a working farm that provided food and training for its residents. Hogs, chickens, and dairy and beef cattle were all raised on the farm. By the late 1960s, general farm activities were eliminated.
Children living in the center were grouped in families of 20 to 25 according to levels of intelligence. Male and female students were placed into separate dormitories.
A number of unspeakable horrors took place behind the walls of the center. Former residents recall being disciplined with leather cuffs, helmets and straitjackets.
Forced sterilizations were a fact of life in the center. More than 2,600 vasectomies, forced hysterectomies, tubal ligations and even castrations took place here. Sterilization was a requirement for leaving the center up until the late 1970s.
The horrific tales of abuse do not end there. There have also been reports of residents being handcuffed to 60-pound blocks and forced to push them up and down the hall as a punishment.
Escapes from the center were quite common, with residents usually being successfully returned within a few hours. Residents were referred to as "inmates."
According to the American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology, residents of Fairview were more than twice as likely to die from unnatural causes as people who were not institutionalized in Marion County between the years 1963 and 1987.
When the U.S. Department of Justice investigated the center in the late 1980s, they were shocked and appalled at what they found. Federal funding was immediately removed, and the state was pressured by advocates and the federal government to develop a long-term plan for Fairview's closure.
Fairview was permanently closed in 2000. Governor John Kitzhaber issued an official apology in 2002 for the human rights violations that took place within the center.
To see more of the abandoned Fairview Training Center, watch this video from YouTube user james norman: VIDEO
Do you remember the Fairview Training Center in Salem? Share your memories with us in the comments below.
For more incredible images of abandoned places in Oregon, check out our previous article:
12 Abandoned Places In Oregon That Nature Is Reclaiming.