Tag Archives: Oregon

Asylum Interments

There was a time in the latter part of the last century when facilities for those suffering from mental health issues were known as Hospitals for the Insane, State Colonies for the Feeble-Minded, Lunatic Asylums or Mental Institutions, and the regard for the patients was equally insensitive even in death. Many family members did not claim the bodies of their deceased relatives and they were buried in unmarked graves or graves identified with only a number.

Georgia State Lunatic, Idiot and Epileptic Asylum opened in 1842. Over population and a decrease in staff sadly led to mistreatment of patients. People died at an alarming rate and it is believed that 25,000 people are buried in the hospital grounds possibly in a mass grave. The Central State Hospital in Milledgeville as it became known closed in 2010. Cedar Lane Cemetery contains numbered iron markers of patients who died at the hospital. The historic marker at the cemetery states the following: In 1997 a cemetery restoration began here triggered a movement to memorialize patients buried at state psychiatric hospitals nationwide. After discovering nearby neglected cemeteries interred some 25,000 people, members of the Georgia Consumer Council pledged to restore the burial grounds and build a memorial. A grassroots campaign raised funds to erect the adjacent gate and display 2000. numbered iron markers displaced from graves over the years. A life-size bronze angel was placed 175 yards south of here to serve as a perpetual guardian.

Letchworth Village in Rockland County, Rockland County New York, opened in 1911 as a residential facility for the mentally and/or physically disabled. It closed in 1996 after years of reported abuse and a lack of funding. Graves are marked with rusting metal T-shapes embossed with a number.

letchworth
Image source: http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/numbers-instead-of-names-on-the-forgotten-graves-of-asylum-patients

The Somerset and Bath Lunatic Asylum Cemetery in Wells, Somerset opened in 1874 and closed in 1991. The cemetery contains 2900 anonymous graves identified by numbered iron discs. A wooden sculpture by artist Peter Bolton lies on the ground beside the markers representing the anguish of mental health.

As recent as 2011, there was no road, no sign and no headstones for the 5776 patients buried at the Willard Asylum for the Insane. New York State operated 26 of these facilities.

Vermont Asylum for the Insane was founded  in Brattleboro in 1834 to care for the mentally ill. Initially deceased patients were buried in the Village Burying Ground (to later become Prospect Hill Cemetery), then the Asylum Burying Ground and finally in the Brattleboro Retreat Cemetery known as Fairview. None of the graves have identification.

“The eye of him that hath seen me shall
come no more. Why hast thou set in
me a mark against thee so that I am a
burden to myself? and why dost thee not
pardon my transgression and take away
mine iniquity? for now shall I sleep in the
dust and thou shalt seek me in the
morning, but I shall not be.” Sarah Culy

vermont

Between 1871 and 1953, there were 3200 patients buried at the Western State Hospital in Lakewood, Oregon. They were represented by numbered stones which sank beneath the surface of the ground.  A granite stone has been erected over a mass grave to mark their lives and deaths.

 

Lakewood
Image source: http://www.mentalhealthportland.org/clear-pixel-once-anonymous-graves-of-mentally-ill-at-wash-mental-institution-get-named-markers/

The Longview Asylum opened in 1860 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The hospital cemetery contains the bodies of patients who were unclaimed or died indigent. Grave markers consist of small square cement blocks bearing a number.

longview
Image source: https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=cr&CRid=2350754

Spencer State Asylum Roane County, West Virginia, opened in 1893 closing almost 100 years later in 1989. Approximately 850 patients are buried on the hospital grounds.

spencer
Image source: http://www.hurherald.com/cgi-bin/db_scripts/articles?Action=user_view&db=hurheral_articles&id=45196

The Mississippi Lunatic Asylum was established in Jackson in 1848 and asylum patients were buried on the grounds. The cemetery which has been consecrated also contains the ashes of many anatomical donors and is the repository for the ashes of infants who died at UMC and whose families wished them to be buried there. A Ceremony of Remembrance honors them in a fall service.

“By their extraordinary gifts these dead have taught the living how to touch, through them, we touch the body of the world”. John Stone M.D.

This monument was dedicated on april 16, 1996 as a memorial to all those who have donated their bodies to the University of Mississippi Medical Center since 1955 for professional education and research.

jackson
Image source: https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=cr&CRid=2161647

Public attitude has since changed 180 degrees with regards to mental health. Markers and/or memorial walls have been erected to recognize those who died and were buried with no ceremony. A new national memorial dedicated to the unnamed graves of the mentally ill broke ground at Saint Elizabeth’s Hospital in Washington, D.C. in 2009.

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Warriors

With the approach of Remembrance Day ceremonies throughout the Commonwealth, it is a good time to honour the millions killed in conflicts throughout the world.

Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind. J. F. Kennedy

Source: http://thebignote.com/
Source: http://thebignote.com/

SQUADRON LEADER D M DAVIDSON, DFC
ROYAL AUSTRALIAN AIR FORCE
6TH JANUARY 1946 AGE 26
UNTIL THE DAWN BREAKS
AND WE MEET AGAIN
ALWAYS IN OUR THOUGHTS.
Squadron Leader D M Davidson received the Distinguished Flying Cross. He flew a Spitfire XIV TZ106 with 453 Squadron. The aircraft entered low cloud at about 100 feet and was seen to emerge from the cloud and strike the ground in Wichling, Kent, England.

 

http://thebignote.com/
http://thebignote.com/

3797 PRIVATE
HOLLOWAY
ROYAL NEWFOUNDLAND REGT.
17TH OCTOBER 1918 AGE 22

No loved one stood beside him to bid a last farewell,
No word of comfort could he leave to those he loved so well.
We little thought his time so short in this world to remain,
Nor that from when his home he went he would never return again.

 

http://thebignote.com/
http://thebignote.com/

16/988 LANCE CPL.
KATAU
N.Z. CYCLIST BATTALION
6TH OCTOBER 1918 AGE 23
The Cyclist Battalion was intended as a mobile light infantry. Read more at http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/media/photo/anzac-cyclists

 

bignote_ramc
Source: http://thebignote.com/

COLONEL
J.D. ALEXANDER CBE DSO
ROYAL ARMY MEDICAL CORPS
9TH JULY 1922 AGE 55
The CBE, Commander of the British Empire, is the 3rd highest level that can be achieved within the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.
The Distinguished Service Order (DSO) is a military decoration of the United Kingdom awarded for meritorious or distinguished service by officers of the armed forces during wartime.

Do not ask us if we miss him,
There is such a vacant place;
Can we e’er forget that footstep,
And that dear familiar face.

 

bignote2
Source: http://thebignote.com/

LIEUTENANT
JOSEPH HALL HEWITT RNVR
HMS “ARROGANT”
26TH FEBRUARY 1919 AGE 34
RNVR is an acronym for the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve.
HMS “Arrogant” was built in 1895. It was in service during WWI as the Dover depot ship for submarines and motor launches.

Far away in a distant land,
Suddenly struck by death’s strong hand
A loving son, strong and brave,
Lies buried in a soldier’s grave.

 

Edinburgh_Newington_SoldiersTHEIR NAME LIVETH FOREVER MORE
TO THE HONORED MEMORY OF ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY NINE BRITISH SAILORS AND SOLDIERS WHO GAVE
THEIR LIVES FOR THEIR COUNTRY DURING THE GREAT WAR1914-1918 AND WHO ARE BURIED IN THIS CEMETERY
FIFTY THREE OF WHOM LIE IN THIS PLOT AND TWELVE OTHERS WHO ARE NOT COMMEMORATED ELSEWHERE.
Located at Newington Cemetery, Edinburgh, Scotland.

No one knows the silent heartache,
Only those can tell
Who have lost their loved ones
Without saying one farewell.
We pictured him safely returning,
We longed to clasp his hand,
But God has postponed the meeting,
Till we meet in a better land.

France_Paris_MontparnasseMontparnasse Cemetery, Paris, France
France_Paris_Montparnasse_War weeping

No one knows the silent heartache, 
Only those that have lost can tell 
Of the grief that’s borne in silence 
For the one we loved so well. 

 

France_Paris_Pere lachaise_Polish MemorialThis memorial is located in Père-Lachaise-Cemetery in Paris, France. It commemorates the Polish soldiers who were killed during the liberation of France in the Second World War.
French: Aux Polonais/ Morts/ Pour La France
Polish: Polakom / Polegeym/ Za Francie

 

The Los Angeles National Cemetery is located in West Los Angeles, California, at the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard and Sepulveda Boulevard. The 114 acre cemetery was dedicated on May 22, 1889. The chapel was renamed the Bob Hope Veterans Chapel on May 29, 2002 (Hope’s 99th birthday), in “celebration of his lifelong service to our American Veterans”.

 

londonTHE WOMEN OF WORLD WAR II, LONDON
Located near the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London, England, this memorial was unveiled in 2005 to honour the service of women during the Second World War. It was sculpted by John W. Mills.

 

newsbbcimgS D F
A SOLDIER OF THE 1939/1945 WAR. SUDAN DEFENCE FORCE
This unknown soldier was a member of the British Army unit, the Sudan Defence Force (SDF.) It was formed in 1925 to maintain the borders of the Sudan under the British administration.

He marched away so bravely, His young head proudly held;
His footsteps never faltered, His courage never failed,
There on the field of battle, He calmly took his place,
He fought for King and Country, And the honour of his race.

 

Orangeville Forest Lawn1914-1918 & 1939-1945
TO PERPETUATE THE MEMORY OF VETERANS WHO REST IN THIS PLOT ERECTED BY ORANGEVILLE BRANCH NO. 233 CANADIAN LEGION 1946

 

south african
Source: http://thebignote.com/

22086 BURG.
COETZEE
2DE Z.A. INFANTERIE
23 OCTOBER 1918
South African infantry

This final image of Sutherlin, Oregon, USA, needs no words.

Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/curtis4x5/6002805377/in/pool-douglascntyor/ - Sutherlin oregon
Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/curtis4x5/6002805377/in/pool-douglascntyor/ – Sutherlin oregon

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