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November 08 , 2008

Oregon Asylum


The Oregon State Insane Asylum was opened in Salem on October 23, 1883, and is one of the oldest continuously operated mental hospitals on the West Coast. In 1913, the name was changed to the Oregon State Hospital (OSH). The history of OSH parallels the development and growth in psychiatric knowledge throughout the United States. Oregon was active in the field of electroshock treatments, lobotomies, and eugenics. At one point, in 1959, there were more than 3,600 patients living on the campus. The Oscar-winning movie One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest was filmed inside the hospital in 1972. In 2008, the entire campus was added to the National Register of Historic Places, and the state began a $360-million restoration project to bring the hospital to modern standards. The story of OSH is one of intrigue, scandal, recovery, and hope.

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