Fergus Falls State Hospital: Part One

Fergus Falls State Hospital: Part One

Neal Miller of Dilworth, MN sent in these beautiful photos of the Fergus Falls Regional Treatment Center, formerly Fergus Falls State Hospital — an asylum.  Neal’s comments accompany some of the photos below.

After sliding toward destruction for years, a developer has been found and this place will be renovated. Update: as of October 2014, the future of the Kirkbride is again in question.

MPR has a nice article on the FFRTC here.

Built at the turn of the last century, the Fergus Falls Insane Asylum, later given the more politically correct name “Fergus Falls Regional Treatment Center”, is one of the last surviving “Kirkbride Asylums”

Dr. Thomas Story Kirkbride’s buildings were grand Victorian monoliths, usually dominating the surrounding countryside from some prominent hilltop.

An imposing sight even now, it must have seemed even more forbidding to those who came here against their will

More on Kirkbride buildings can be found here.

Kirkbride believed that fresh air and sunshine were the best treatments for mental illness, and thus no patient was denied a room with a window…

This, however, did have its drawbacks, as at least one patient is known to have leaped to his death from the upper floor of this ward.

Photos and captions by Neal Miller of Dilworth, MN.  Part two in this series is here.

15 thoughts on “Fergus Falls State Hospital: Part One

    1. My mother passed away in this institution in 1981. Never found out what really happened. Didn’t get a chance to visit. It was only a couple of weeks. Sad.

    2. Yes, you do need permission to go inside of the state hospital it is considered trespassing to enter the building without a guide or someone who is authorized to go in there.

  1. They give guided tours on Fridays. If you have a big group, you can also have them on other days of the week. I was fortunate enough to be with a group just yesterday to have a tour. Wonderful old building and grounds so hope they can find a use for it. The tour guide said she was booking out into Aug. already. The building also is not heated so they do stop them when it gets too cold. Hope you get a chance to go-it was great and educational!!

  2. It would be really if they could turn it into a museum. Would really hate to see them tear down such a beautiful part of history in the Fergus Falls area.

    1. i was a pacient here and i realy wish people would leave well enough alone it wasnt all fun and games it wasnt a pleasent time for any of us who were forced to live here and survived what we could,this building is a testomony to those who were here and it brakes my hart that its being explited as those a tressusure for someones walls to hang on ,many of us survived and moved on i think u should do the same_!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. The truly haunted part is the tunnels underneath. Many crimes were committed there. I’ve had family members who “did time” there.

  4. I had an Aunt that had epilepsy and was admitted to hospital, died and was buried there. Are tours still available?

  5. Hi my dad used to be a doctor there and he said that there were noises at night and he was forced to to terrible things to people and he kept on seeing shadows in other rooms, but when he checked the room there was never anyone there. Before he was going to quit he had to the boss of the company hide something that he won’t tell me to this day. The tunnels underneath he said were where people got murdered and/or mugged.

  6. My great grandfather committed suicide in 1933 by hanging in this hospital. He was devastated by the great depression and never mentally recovered. We are still conducting research and I hope to visit to learn more. Michelle, thank you for sharing your experience- you are a survivor! There was clearly much pain and suffering experienced within the walls of this facility therefore we should treat it reverently.. along with the memories it holds.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

3 × 3 =