Author Archives: Ellen

Michael Carey: Suicide has long been an Alaska wilderness hazard

Michael Carey is the former editorial page editor of the Anchorage Daily News. He can be reached at He gave us permission to share his column. Jack London’s “To Build a Fire” is one of the rare pieces of fiction set in the Gold Rush that continues to attract readers. In vivid economical prose, London […]

Posted in 1900-1929 | Leave a comment

In Vt., Long-dead Mental Patients Inspire Crusade

by Wilson Ring WATERBURY, Vt. (AP April 1, 2013) — An all-but-forgotten cemetery and its dozens of long-dead patients of the forerunner of the Vermont State Hospital are reaching from beyond their hillside graves to help modernize state law regulating what happens when someone dies and no one claims the remains. The issue emerged from […]

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“Insanity Raging”

Thursday, October 25, 1906 Fairbanks Evening News Man Being Brought From Richardson Is the Third Case Which Has Developed Within Past Three Weeks Marshal Perry is in receipt of a telegram from Richardson, stating that two men, Maher and Espy by name, left the Tenderfoot town yesterday with an Insane person in charge, who will […]

Posted in 1900-1929, Media Coverage, Patient Stories | Leave a comment

News from Portland

Earlier this month, Eric Cordingley sent an update on his continuing work locating Morningside patient burial sites. by Eric Cordingley The weather here has finally turned to “regular” fall weather and we have lots of rain.  This means, of course, that the ground has finally softened up to uncover markers which I hope to do […]

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Lawrence Ross 1921 – 2012

Brother and uncle, Lawrence Joseph Ross, 91, died Sunday, July 22, 2012, at Denali Center where he had lived for the past 39 years. Born in Ruby, on March 26, 1921, to Charles F. Ross, of Stockholm, Sweden, and Emma A. (Alexander) Ross, of Anvik, Lawrence recalled being raised by “the doctor” because of early […]

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Morningside Hospital in 1964

Eric Cordingley of Portland emailed a very interesting article from the Oregonian about Morningside Hospital. Written in 1964, the article spotlighted Morningside as an example of new approaches to institutional care. I was surprised by a number of things in the article: Morningside was the largest private psychiatric hospital if the West Coast  135 Alaskans, […]

Posted in 1950-1960s | Leave a comment

Alaska Humanities Forum

The Alaska Humanities Forum recently funded a historical research project similar to ours. It’s called Bringing Aleutian History Home: the Lost Ledgers of the Alaska Commercial Company.  The project goal is to preserve newly discovered historical documents about the Aleutian Islands fur trade in the late 1800s. The following article is from the Alaska Humanities […]

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Portland Volunteers Featured in the Oregonian

The Oregonian published a wonderful story about Eric Cordingley and David Anderson’s work locating Morningside Hospital patient graves in Portland. The story, Researchers dig to find what became of Morningside Hospital patients, Alaska’s mentally ill, provides a great description of their research methods and includes a video where they talk about why they’re so committed […]

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Gustav “Gus” Berglund 1881-1956

Lina Olafsson lives in Stockholm, Sweden,  and recently discovered that her grandfather was sent to Morningside Hospital when he was a young man. She kindly provided the following story and photos. By Lina Olofsson My mother died last year, leaving a box with an old diary, some pictures and old letters from my grandfather. My […]

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Mamie Ball

[image title=”nome_1900″ size=”full” id=”1117″ align=”right” ]The city of Nome was founded on April 9, 1901. By the end of the decade, there were 20,000 residents, most of whom were starry-eyed optimists convinced they were going to strike gold on the beaches of Norton Sound. Mamie Ball and her husband Harry were two of the gold-seekers. […]

Posted in 1930-1949, Patient Stories | Leave a comment