An In-Depth Exploration of the 1880 Fire at the Minnesota State Hospital for the Insane

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Sanz, Amber L.
Psychiatric and Mental Health
artifact description
The purpose of this research was to describe, in a historical context, the effects of a devastating fire on the Minnesota State Hospital for the Insane. This fire in 1880 destroyed a large part of the asylum where patients lived and were treated for mental illness. Along with much property damage, there were many injuries and deaths. In particular, some of the ―treatments‖ of the day included warm beds as well as seclusion and restraint, which caused confusion for patients during the fire. This project reviewed many historical articles and artifacts to detail the aftermath of this fire and its effects on the care of the mentally ill in Minnesota. This research revealed important findings for state emergency preparedness and patient care in state facilities.