Sonoma Developmental Center
Sonoma Developmental Center--Main Building
|Location||15000 Arnold Drive
|Area||1,670 acres (7 km2)|
|NRHP Reference #||00001180|
|Added to NRHP||October 6, 2000|
The facility's current name dates from 1986. Former names include:
- California Home for the Care and Training of Feeble Minded Children (1883)
- Sonoma State Home (1909)
- Sonoma State Hospital (1953)
More than 5,000 patients were involuntarily sterilized at this facility during the period 1918 to 1949. The medical director at that time was Frederick Otis Butler, MD.
From 1955 to 1960 Sonoma State Hospital in northern California served as a permanent drop off location for mentally handicapped children diagnosed with cerebral palsy or lesser disorders. The children subsequently underwent painful experimentation without adult consent. Many were given irradiated milk, some spinal taps "for which they received no direct benefit." 60 Minutes Wednesday learned that in these fifteen years, the brain of every cerebral palsy child who died at Sonoma State was removed and studied without parental consent. According to the CBS story, over 1,400 patients died at the clinic.
The Center provided the setting for Jack London's short story "Told in the Drooling Ward" (1914).
- "History of Sonoma Developmental Center".
- "National Register #00001180: Sonoma State Home in Eldridge, California". Retrieved 2008-03-29.
- Rebecca Leung. "A Dark Chapter In Medical History". CBS News, February 11, 2009.
- "National Register of Historic Places Listings October 13, 2000". Retrieved 2008-03-29.
- Wiley, Walt (1988-11-19). "Bookstore for Jack London Lovers". Lodi News-Sentinel. p. 7. Retrieved 2013-02-06.
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