Fairview Training Center

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Fairview Training Center
State of Oregon
FairviewTC Salem, Oregon.JPG
LeBreton Cottage at Fairview, built in 1908
Location Salem, Oregon, United States
Coordinates 44°53′52″N 123°00′49″W / 44.8978981°N 123.0137063°W / 44.8978981; -123.0137063Coordinates: 44°53′52″N 123°00′49″W / 44.8978981°N 123.0137063°W / 44.8978981; -123.0137063[1]
Care system Public
Hospital type Psychiatric hospital
Founded 1908
Closed 2000
Lists Hospitals in Oregon
Other links Oregon State Hospital

The Fairview Training Center was a state-run facility for people with developmental disabilities in Salem, Oregon, United States. Fairview was established in 1907 as the State Institution for the Feeble-Minded. The hospital opened on December 1, 1908 with 39 patients transferred from the Oregon State Hospital for the Insane.[2] Before its closure in 2000, Fairview was administered by the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS).[3] DHS continued to operate the Eastern Oregon Training Center in Pendleton[4][5] until October 2009.[citation needed]


Early history[edit]

In 1907, the Oregon State Institution for the Feeble-Minded was created by the Oregon State Legislature.[6] It was established as a quasi-educational institution charged with educating the "feeble-minded" (today known as people with intellectual disability and various other developmental and learning disabilities) and caring for the "idiotic and epileptic."[6] The facility was overseen by a Board of Trustees consisting of the Governor, Secretary of State and State Treasurer.[6] Construction had progressed enough by 1908 that the first patients were transferred from the Oregon State Insane Asylum (now the Oregon State Hospital).[6] They resided on a 670-acre (270 ha) compound consisting of an administration building (LeBreton Cottage),[7] a dormitory, a laundry and boiler house.[6] By 1913, two more cottages where constructed and the Board of Trustees was replaced by the Oregon State Board of Control.[6]

In 1917, a commitment law was passed that was to standardize admissions to the institution by insuring that valuable space was used for the "feeble-minded" and not for the "insane".[6] It also imposed an age limit on admissions to people five years of age and older.[6] The age limit was removed in 1921.[6]

The institution had a working farm that provided both food and training for its residents.[6] By 1920, most of the land to be used for farming had been cleared.[6] 400 acres (160 ha) were planted in crops and 45 acres (18 ha) in orchards.[6] The farm also raised hogs, chickens, and dairy and beef cattle.[6]

In 1923, the legislature established the Oregon Board of Eugenics, and Fairview's superintendent served as an ex-officio board member.[6] The eugenics legislation provided for the "sterilization of all feeble-minded, insane, epileptics, habitual criminals, moral degenerates, and sexual perverts who are a menace to society."[6] Sterilizations required either the person's consent or a court order.[6] By 1929, 300 residents had been sterilized.[6]

Two types of parole for residents were established in 1931: home parole and industrial parole.[6] Requirements for parole included a surety bond filed by the parolee's guardian or overseer, who had to have a net worth of at least $1000 and have lived in the state for at least six months, the parolee had to be sterilized, and the home or workplace had to be inspected.[6] Two-thirds of residents who had been sterilized were paroled, which freed up beds for new patients.[6]

In 1933 the facility was renamed Oregon Fairview Home.[6]

Changes in care and additions to the facility continued through the 1940s-1960s, and improvements were made to the medical care and nutrition of the residents.[6]

In 1965, Oregon Fairview Home was renamed Fairview Hospital and Training Center.[6]

In the late 1960s, the orchard, raising of beef, and general farm activities were eliminated.[6] The raising of hogs was eliminated in 1975 and poultry processing ended in 1977.[6] These activities had formerly provided all the ham, bacon, sausage, eggs, broiler chickens, and pork chops used by Fairview.[6]

In 1969, the Board of Control was dissolved and the Mental Health Division placed under the newly created Executive Department of the state government.[6]

In 1979, the facility changed its name from Fairview Hospital and Training Center to Fairview Training Center.[6]

Modern history[edit]

Fairview was closed on March 1, 2000.[6]

A group known as Sustainable Fairview Associates purchased 275 acres (111 ha) of the former Fairview grounds in 2002.[8] The land included several historic buildings.[9]

In 2004, Sustainable Fairview Associates sold 32 acres (13 ha) of their holdings to Sustainable Development Inc. for building Pringle Creek Community, a sustainable housing development.[9][10]

Pierce Cottage, one of several buildings remaining on the former Fairview site, was gutted by a fire of suspicious origin in January 2010.[11][12] The building had previously been slated for demolition and recycling.[13] Two men were charged with arson in connection with the fire the next month.[14]


H.E. Bickers 1908-1912 Frank E. Smith, M.D. 1913-1914 J.H. Thompson, M.D. 1914-1915 J.N. Smith, M.D. 1915-1929 R.D. Byrd 1930-1938 Horace G. Miller M.D. 1939-1944 Ray M. Waltz, M.D. 1944-1946 Irvin B. Hill, M.D. 1946-1959 Jim Pomeroy, M.D. 1960-1970 Larry W. Talkington, Ph.D. 1970-1976 Jerry E. McGee, Ed.D. 1977-1987 Linda K. Gustafson, Ph.D. 1989-1991 Rosemary C. Hennessy 1991-1995 Charles Farnham 1995-1997 Jon E. Cooper M.B.A. 1997-2000


The cottages on the grounds housed both staff and patients. Some of the structures were named after Oregon governors, including:

Fairview in the media[edit]

  • Where's Molly? is a 2007 documentary about Molly Daly who was institutionalized at the Fairview Hospital and Training Center in the 1950s[15]
  • Population: 2 is a post-apocalyptic film that features Fairview heavily as a location and contains the last footage of the center taken before its dismantling began in 2011

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Fairview Home". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. November 28, 1980. Retrieved 2010-01-30. 
  2. ^ Salem Online History
  3. ^ House Bill 3599, Seventy-second Oregon Legislative Assembly (2003)
  4. ^ "Supports for Adults". Oregon Department of Human Services: Developmental Disabilities Division. Retrieved January 26, 2009. 
  5. ^ "Chapter 427 — Persons With Mental Retardation; Persons With Developmental Disabilities". Oregon Revised Statutes. 2007. Retrieved January 26, 2009. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac "Fairview Training Center: Agency History". Oregon Blue Book. Oregon Secretary of State. 1994. 
  7. ^ Oregon Historic Photograph Collections
  8. ^ "Planners May Hand Off Fairview". Statesman Journal. pringlecreekcommunity.com. August 20, 2005. Retrieved 2010-01-28. 
  9. ^ a b "Fairview Plan would Pay Dividends for City". Statesman Journal. pringlecreekcommunity.com. February 16, 2004. Retrieved 2010-01-28. 
  10. ^ "Pringle Creek Community". Statesman Journal. pringlecreekcommunity.com. August 22, 2005. Retrieved 2010-01-28. 
  11. ^ a b "3-alarm Old Fairview Center fire in Salem". KGW. Retrieved 2010-01-28. 
  12. ^ Guerrero-Huston, Thelma; Michael Rose (January 29, 2010). "Fire raises suspicions". Statesman Journal. Retrieved 2010-01-29. [dead link]
  13. ^ Guerrero-Huston, Thelma; Michael Rose (January 29, 2010). "Structure that burned, one of 50 at site, was to be demolished anyway". Statesman Journal. Retrieved 26 February 2010. [dead link]
  14. ^ Russell, Michael (February 18, 2010). "Keizer men arrested in fire at Fairview Training Center in Salem". The Oregonian. Retrieved 19 February 2010. 
  15. ^ "Review: "Where's Molly?"". OregonLive.com. March 9, 2007. Retrieved January 26, 2009. 

External links[edit]