Under The Red Roof: One Hundred Years At Northern State Hospital

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9780692013731: Under The Red Roof: One Hundred Years At Northern State Hospital
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Under The Red Roof chronicled the rise and fall of an insane asylum in the frontier town of Sedro-Woolley, Washington. Northern State Hospital, as it came to be known, encompassed 1086 acres of sweeping mountain views, wild creeks, and rich farmland, in a landscape master-designed by John Charles Olmsted. While the book, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey, portrayed a mental institution in a negative light, Under The Red Roof tells the first-hand stories of a more complex reality, one where a strong community existed among patients, doctors' families, employees, and townsfolk. The author gathered interviews from the switchboard operator, nurses, doctors, attendants, the superintendent's daughter, farmer's daughter, business manager's daughter and others. Together they described a unique inter-dependency between patients and staff whereby meaningful work could contribute to a patient's recovery from mental illness.

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The author gives a personal account of researching the history of Northern State Hospital. The author also wrote the nomination of the Northern State Hospital site to the National Register of Historic Places. The National Park Service agreed that the site made a significant contribution to our nation's understanding of health care for people with mental illness and listed the site on the National Register in December of 2010.

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