Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Morningside Hospital update: further resources

Thanks to researcher Morgen Smith, from the Department of Culture and History at the Chilkoot Indian Association in Haines, AK, we have more information to pass along on where to locate information about the Morningside Hospital and its patients. Morgen wrote:
According to The History and Folklore of the David Douglas Community (David Douglas Historical Society, 1989), the private hospital “was devoted exclusively to Alaskan patients” from 1904 to 1962 (pg. 22). Patients included not only the mentally ill, but also those with Alzheimer’s, Down’s Syndrome, tuberculosis, syphilis, cerebral palsy, and a variety of other conditions for which there was no government care available in the territory. It was a privately owned hospital that was contracted to provide these services. The Alaska State Archives has a few resources related to Morningside Hospital, but not complete records. Items they do have were from the territorial governors’ records. These included some admittances and patient records, as well as several folders of form notification letters that were sent to families to notify them when a patient died or was discharged. While the medical records are confidential and sealed, there are some interesting pictures of the hospital buildings and grounds, including the farm, root cellars, etc., available for pubic viewing at the archives.
And later noted:
Credit really goes to the people who sent everything my way! I’ve attached the pages from the David Douglas book, sent to me by Joanna Klick, president of the David Douglas Historical Society in Portland. Staff of the Alaska State Archives (http://www.archives.state.ak.us/) were responsible for letting me know about what they have in their collections, as well as finding the public-access photos. (Incidentally, some of the photos have really great resolution—not sure how they were able to accomplish that in 1931!)

It would be great to be able to add further details to your blog, since information on Morningside is pretty scarce.
The text in the PDF can be obtained from the David Douglas Historical Society (I don't want to share this online without their permission!)

Thanks to everyone who has been able to contribute some information--let's keep it coming!

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