Category Archives: The Coes

1909 Dixon Investigation Report

Henry Waldo Coe and his partners (the Sanitarium Company) began providing mental health care to Alaskans in 1904. Prior to winning their first contract, they operated Crystal Springs Sanitarium which provided care to private-pay patients.

The pictures below show how the hospital changed as it morphed into Morningside Hospital, going from private-pay patients to government contract supported care of Alaskans. These images are from an October, 1909 investigation report on the care of Alaskan patients at Crystal Springs Sanitarium. The report, written by Edward W. Dixon, is from US Department of the Interior records at the National Archives II in College Station, MD. You can read the full report and see additional photos here – 1909 Dixon Inspection Report (581).

The changes in the architecture are striking.

 

 

The Massachusetts Building (Crystal Springs Sanitarium) with the Nurses Cottage (to the left).

 

 

 

 

 

Morningside Asylum building, where Alaskan patients were housed.

 

 

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Christmas at Morningside Hospital

Among the few pictures of Morningside are a two taken at Christmas celebrations in the 1920s. The US Department of the Interior records included correspondence from Wayne Coe about the 1922 Morningside Hospital Christmas party and an accounting of the party and patient gift expenses.

These two photos, which are from the Oregon Historical Society, were not dated but appear to be from the 1920s.

Xmas1

The caption on the photo above is an account of the Christmas Festivities at Morningside from a Portland newspaper. “Morningside Hospital provided three Christmas trees for the inmates. Natives helped to provide the entertainment which was held in the Assembly room of the new Parole House. Gifts were provided for all the patients in the institution by Dr. Coe, the Chief Officer. After the exercises in the main hall the women retired to their own buildings where trees awaited them, while the men had their remembrances in the assembly room.”

The founder of Morningside Hospital, Dr. Henry Waldo Coe, is standing to the right of the Christmas tree.

Xmas2The photo above appears to be from the early to mid-1920s. Children were first admitted to Morningside at the end of 1922 or early 1923. Read More »

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A History of Morningside Hospital

From “The East Portland Historical Overview and Historic Preservation Study” published by the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (March 2009)

“For nearly sixty years, Morningside Hospital sat on a 47-acre parcel in Hazlewood, at the junction of SE Stark Street and 96th Avenue. Formerly agricultural land, the site was developed as a psychiatric hospital complex and working farm in 1910. After WWII, many of the farmers in the surrounding area retired and their land was developed into suburban communities. The rising population increased consumer demand and the under-construction interstate freeway promised easy access; in 1970 the site was redeveloped as Mall 205.

The hospital, founded in 1899 by Dr. Henry Waldo Coe, was originally run out of his family’s home. In 1905, Coe purchased the Massachusetts Building from the Lewis and Clark Exposition and moved it from the exposition site in NW Portland to Mt. Tabor, where it was converted into a psychiatric hospital. Five years later, Dr. Coe moved Read More »

Also posted in 1900-1929, 1950-1960s, Morningside Hospital | 2 Comments

What was the care like at Morningside Hospital?

The story of the hospital and the transition to building a care system over several decades is fascinating and sometimes quite heartbreaking. Lets face it –the standards of what we deem acceptable treatment for persons with mental illness and other conditions has evolved dramatically and for the better in the last one hundred years. Morningside Hospital presented itself as a sanitary, humane, and medically focused facility for the care of people the Territory of Alaska did not want. Government oversight of the program existed because the Interior Department was paying the bill. Investigations occurred from time to time with no real result until the U. S. House of Representatives launched a series of investigations into the care and the finances of the Hospital in the late 1950’s. Read More »

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