Name: Belchertown State School
Location: Belchertown, MA
Current Status: Abandoned
: This is another state school/state hospital for the "feeble minded" that spread across the northeast in the early 1900s. The fact that it was called a state "school" didn't actually mean that an education was included. Belchertown State School was founded and built in 1915 and established in 1922 and is comprised of several buildings spread out across an 876 acre campus, not connected by tunnels like many other mental facilities of the time. Belchertown State School seemed to be doomed from the day it was built. In the early 1900s people with mental problems were considered sub-human and therefore treated that way. The hospital was almost always over crowded and under staffed. Patients that were physically handicapped would remain in bed almost 24 hours a day. However, partly due to the civil rights movements of the 60s the conditions of the mentally ill had a little more light shed on them. The horrendous conditions at Belchertown were revealed in 1971 in a newspaper article entitled "The Tragedy of Belchertown." Parents sued the school, and when the state Attorney General toured the facility, he described it as "a hell hole."Several lawsuits follwed and the facility hobbled along for another few decades eventually closing in 1992 along with several other mental facilities during the de-institutionalization that took place in the early 90s. PICTURES
: Click "Belchertown State School Photographs
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