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.

9 Responses to “Fergus Falls State Hospital: Part One”
  1. I am from Grand Forks, and I wanted to know if you had to get permission to go inside of this building. I would really like to go check it out.

    • jw says:

      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. Arlene Kensok says:

    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!!

  3. Tonia says:

    They’re on FB. Check out Friends of the Kirkbride. Lots of info there. :-)

  4. Jasmine says:

    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.

  5. Nana Davern says:

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

  6. michelle says:

    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_!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  1. […] premises. I found some beautiful photos of the insides of the buildings on Ghosts of Minnesota (Part I and Part II). It sounds like the city has struggled to find buyers for the property. A group […]

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