Questa (ice_kitten) wrote in haunted_asylums,

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Woodlands Memorial Garden and Asylum

I got to go check out Woodlands the other day.

Woodlands opened in 1878 as an insane asylum and finally closed in 1996.
The place was pretty much destroyed by a massive fire July 9th, 2008.

A time line:

- May 17, 1878: Opens as the Provincial Asylum for the Insane.

- 1900: Woodlands, now called the Public Hospital for the Insane, has a capacity of 310 patients.

- 1930s: Emphasis changes to the housing of people with developmental disabilities, and training and education become factors.

- 1950: Its name is changed to Woodlands School.

- 1959: Woodlands' resident population peaks at about 1,400.

- 1970s: Woodlands houses about 800 residents, 75 per cent of them described as severely or profoundly retarded. It has about 1,200 staff, including nurses, housekeepers, dietary staff, social workers, psychiatrists and physicians, and vocational instructors.

- 1980s and '90s: Woodlands residents are gradually de-institutionalized and placed in community settings. By January 1996, only 70 residents remain, and later that year it becomes the last institution of its kind in B.C. to be closed permanently.

Source: B.C. ministry of children and family development.

Some of the grave markers—cast concrete slabs, each giving the name and year of death of the individual—ended up in building projects in the late 1970s. Newspaper clippings from 1986 recount the discovery that a number of them had been flipped over and used to pave a walk near a Coquitlam fourplex. Additionally, de Courcy reports, a barbecue patio for Woodlands staff was built out of gravestones in the 1970s. To satirize this callousness and disrespect, the artist produced “Memorial Barbecue” as part of his installation.

Not one stone mentioned a birth date...and looking at the date of death it was like a couple patients a day were dying....

"Disabled residents of Woodlands Institution in New Westminster suffered horrific physical and sexual abuse at the hands of Woodlands employees and were powerless to do anything about it."

Larger? (easier to read)

Larger? (easier to read)

Window Too High
Window too high

Window too High
"The memorial sculpture, Window Too High, represents the barred windows of the original Woodlands building that were so high that the residents could not see out of them"

After the memorial was just a short walk to see what's left of Woodlands...

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