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See also: Oregonians Get Apology For Sterilizations

Oregon Institution Closes Its Doors For Good

"Just like in World War II, like leading lambs into the shower and gassing them. That was Fairview."
--Kenneth Richard Newman, 59, talking about his experiences at Fairview Training Center

FAREWELL Fairview Training Center . . . You were born of a BAD IDEA in 1911...Rest in Peace. May your kind never pass our way again."
--Michael Bailey, on February 24, 2000, the day the instititution closed and the last resident moved into the community

September 14: Money From Fairview Sale To Go To Individuals And Families
January 21: Get Ready To Say Bye-bye To "Fairview" For Good
August 7: Couple Wants Apology For Abuse and Forced Sterilizations
April 26: Clarion Says Fairwell to Fairview
March 28: Fairview, The Closing Chapter
March 13 - March 15: Newspaper Does Series On Institution Closure and Community Supports
February 29: So Long, Fairview
February 20: Fairview's Final Chapter

Oregonians Seek Apology For Sterilizations
The State of The State In Developmental Disabilities (University of Colorado)
Historic Asylums

February 20, 2000

SALEM, OREGON -- This week, the campus that was once known as the "Oregon State Institution for Feeble-Minded", Salem's Fairview Training Center will cease operation as a state-operated institution for people with developmental disabilities. Prohibitive costs, Justice Department lawsuits, and changing attitudes will have finally forced the facility's closure when the last resident moves into a home in the community, on Thursday.

This story from the Portland Oregonian includes links to two other related stories of interest:

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February 29, 2000
SALEM, OREGON -- Last week, after many years of hard work and heartache, Fairview Training Center finally closed its doors to people who have developmental disabilities.

On Thursday, literally thousands of Oregonians proved that it could be done!

Michael Bailey, from Salem, chronicled the event as the last resident moved from the institution into his new place in the community. The following is included with permission from the author:
"On February 24, 2000 at 12:30 PM a small group of staff, state officials and advocates met informally in front of LeBreton Hall on the grounds of the Fairview Training Center ...Over all of us lay the anticipation of a once unimaginable and long awaited event 1:15 PM a green mini-van pulled up in front of LeBreton and stopped...A few of us waived to the occupant...He smiled and waved back. FOR HIM A NEW LIFE WAS BEGINNING...The van pulled out...Leaving in it was the last, VERY LAST, resident of the Fairview Training Center...FAREWELL Fairview Training Center."

"You were born of a BAD IDEA in 1911...Rest in Peace. May your kind never pass our way again."
Michael Bailey,

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March 13 through March 15, 2000
SALEM, OREGON--The Salem Statesman Journal did a four-day series this week on the closure last month of Salem's state-operated institution, Fairview Training Center, and the impact on community services in the area.

Links to those stories are available at this Inclusion Daily Express Web page:

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March 28, 2000
SALEM, OREGON -- Fairview Training Center, the 92-year-old institution in Salem, finally closed its doors as the last resident was moved out of the facility and into a life in the community earlier this month. People First, the now international self-advocacy group, began in 1973 when some Fairview residents joined with former residents who had moved into the community in an effort to direct the course of their lives. In the aftermath of Fairview's closure, the Salem Chapter of People First has developed a website which looks at the history of the institution and celebrates its demise. This site includes a chronology of Fairview, links to articles dating back to 1996, and comments from chapter members and others in the community.
You can take a look at the website by going to:

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April 26, 2000
SALEM, OREGON -- In 1908, the "Oregon Hospital for the Feeble Minded" opened just outside Salem with 39 residents. The facility, which would later be known as "The Oregon Fairview Home" and "Fairview Training Center" would house as many as 3,000 residents at a time.
On February 17, 2000, the last handful of residents moved out of the institution and into their own homes in the community, as Fairview closed for good.
The closure came after settlement of suits filed in the 1980's by the Oregon Advocacy Center (OAC) on behalf of The Arc of Oregon, and the Department of Justice, which alleged civil rights violations and failure of Fairview to protect residents from harm.
This month's Clarion News, put together by the Oregon Developmental Disabilities Council, features several items related to Fairview and its closure, including an album of historic photographs and stories from former residents and other people who were effected in one way or another by the institution. Check it out at ODDC's website:

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Couple Wants Apology For Abuse and Forced Sterilizations
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
August 7, 2000

SALEM, OREGON--Kenneth Richard Newman is not exactly sure how old he was when his parents left him at Fairview Training Center, but he does remember what happened that day.

"My parents took me out to Fairview, and hopped in the car and left," says Newman, now 59. "I was just standing there, going, what happened? It's like a gateway to hell opened up."

Now, Newman and his wife Shirley, who also lived at Fairview, are asking for an apology for their incarceration, the abuse they endured, and the trickery that was used to sterilize them. "What they told me is this is your release papers. They said, you're gonna get out in the community...They whipped them out and said, 'Sign here.'"

"I feel like I've been robbed, I've been cheated. I didn't ask for this to happen," adds Newman.

"It was terrible, living in a place like that, an institution," explains Shirley Newman. "I never did anything wrong."

Unfortunately, it is not likely that the couple will get any kind of apology or satisfaction, writes Rene Denfeld in this respectful article from the Portland Oregonian:

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Get Ready To Say Bye-bye To "Fairview" For Good
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
January 21, 2003

SALEM, OREGON--Three years ago this spring, the last group of Fairview Training Center residents waved to the institution as they headed for new homes and new lives in the community.

"So long, Fairview".

Now a group of investors have purchased the 274-acre site and would like to develop a community with houses, industries, businesses and stores with a closed-loop economy.

First, they want to change the name.

"Fairview does have some sad chapters in its history, and I think that's what's raised the issue," Bob Lindsey, president of Sustainable Fairview Associates, told the Salem Statesman-Journal. "We would look toward something that is very positive, that really gives us a new page on which to start."

Those sad chapters include hundreds of residents with developmental disabilities who were forced to undergo sterilization during the last century, and legacy of abuse and neglect which led to the U.S. Department of Justice order to close the facility.

The new owners are asking around for suggestions on what to name the former institution campus. They plan to make a decision on the new name within the next two weeks.

Related article:
"Fairview Buyers want new name" (Salem Statesman-Journal)

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