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Otter Tail 150 Coffee Klatch Concludes with State Hospital


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The Otter Tail County Historical Society’s Otter Tail 150 Coffee Klatch series concludes on Friday, April 13, 10 a.m. with Lowell Carpenter presenting “The Fergus Falls State Hospital: Ahead of its Time.”

It is hard to assess the impact of the Fergus Falls State Hospital during its 115 year history. What is its legacy? How should it be remembered? Should we remember the hospital by the public perception that his massive facility was full of neglected patients, harsh treatments and callous employees? Or should we remember it as an enlightened institution which was at the forefront of innovative treatment, run by empathetic administrators and employees who took pride in their humane treatment of their patients? Beyond the current controversy regarding the preservation of the building itself, what did it contribute? Lowell Carpenter’s presentation will examine some of the people and events which suggest the Fergus Falls State Hospital was among the most innovative and respected state hospitals in the nation.

A retired public school teacher, Carpenter wrote and directed “Walking the Tightrope” a 2015 theater production that dramatized stories of how the hospital touched the lives of employees, patients and the community.

For more information contact OTCHS at 218-736-6038 or visit us on the web at www.otchs.org.

Photo ID: ©2018 [34552] Dr. Will Patterson (in front) and his surgical team, circa 1915