Category Archives: Photos

Early Travel to Morningside

Niesje Steinkruger sent this picture of the Valdez Stage. Her description is below. Keep in mind that the trail between Fairbanks and Valdez was 400 miles long.

Valdez Stage“This is  a good picture of the Valdez Stage.  Many patients travelled from Fairbanks and the Interior to Valdez  via this Stage.  It was a long, hard trip by Stage, Boat and Train to Morningside Hospital in Portland.  The patient was accompanied by a US Marshall. Sometimes the patient was transported with convicted criminals the Marshall was taking south.”

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Katharine Hodikoff

[image title=”Morningside-Hospital-courtesy-Library-of-Congress” size=”full” id=”949″ align=”right” ]Katharine Hodikoff was admitted to Morningside Hospital from the Aleutian Islands on October 6, 1913. Her diagnosis was, “acute mania, irritable, resentful, improved, inclined to suicide, industrious, fair physical condition.” She apparently improved over time, so much so that she was discharged in August 1916.

A few days before she left Morningside, Dr. Henry Coe, the president of the Sanitarium Company, informed the Department of the Interior of her release. In the letter, he described her as, “strong, vigorous, active, cleanly, and the most capable Eskimo woman I ever saw.” He goes on to say that she will be leaving with a baby named Mary McLoshkin (apparently born at Morningside?) who she adopted. You can read the [Download not found] here.

[image title=”1916 Xmas pictures-1″ size=”full” id=”955″ align=”left” ]Coe notes that Katharine was in a photo with him and a Department of the Interior inspector (above, from the Library of Congress). He also wrote that she made fine baskets. I believe that this is a photo of one of her baskets. The caption under the 1916 photo (from the National Archives II) reads, “Made by an Alaska Native who was returned by Morningside to the island of Attu, 4000 miles distant.”

Dr. Coe ends the letter with, “I am going to write up her story, one of these days. It is stranger than fiction.” I wish he had. I’ve checked many sources but can find nothing on Katharine after her discharge from Morningside. Please leave a comment if you know more about her or her family.

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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 – [Download not found].

The changes in the architecture are striking.

[image title=”Massachusetts building” size=”full” id=”853″ align=”left” ]



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




[image title=”Morningside Asylum” size=”full” id=”872″ align=”right” ]



Morningside Asylum building, where Alaskan patients were housed.



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More Patient Names

Former Juneau resident Marylou Elton deserves the volunteer of the year award. For the past six months, she’s spent her Wednesdays locating and scanning patient information at the National Archives in College Park, Maryland.  She’s focusing on the quarterly reports/invoices that Morningside sent the Department of the Interior. These documents include the names of patients who were at the hospital and information on patients who died during the quarter. Here are examples from March 1924 and March 1945. We now have a complete (or nearly complete) list of all those sent to Morningside Hospital from 1904 to 1945. Unfortunately, the quarterly reports from 1946 to the closure of the hospital in the 1960s are nowhere to be found.

The patient database is still our top priority. We expect the receive funding (through a partnership of the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority and Access Alaska) before the end of the summer

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Patient Burial Sites Located

A lot of good things happened over the past few weeks. I’ll post an article with more information later this weekend but wanted to get just a bit of the exciting news online now. Good friends and volunteers Robin Renfroe (Fairbanks) and Sally Mead (Anchorage) were in Portland this week looking for Morningside patient death certificates and burial sites. Prior to their visit, we’d found a few death certificates and had not located any graves. Robin and Sally found both! Here are a few of the headstones they found at Multnomah Park Cemetery.

Charles Brown (Juneau) Died 1914

Charles Brown (Juneau) Died 1914

Edward Dowdall (Sitka) Died 1914

Edward Dowdall (Sitka) Died 1914

Sam Steinko (Ft. Gibbon) Died 1914

Sam Steinko (Ft. Gibbon) Died 1914

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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.


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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Morningside Hospital 1925


A picture showing the Morningside Hospital circa 1925.

Morningside Hospital was located on the current site of Mall 205, a community shopping center off Interstate 205 in East Portland.

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1960s Morningside Hospital Photos

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