Fergus Falls State Hospital, 1400 Union Avenue North, Fergus Falls, Minnesota

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Fergus Falls State Hospital

Fergus Falls State Hospital, about 1915
Address: 1400 Union Avenue N
Fergus Falls, Minnesota
Otter Tail County, Minnesota
State/province: Minnesota
Country: United States
Year Established: 1888
Founded by: State of Minnesota
Historic Function: State hospital

Fergus Falls Otter Tail

Fergus Falls State Hospital, 1400 Union Avenue North, Fergus Falls, Minnesota
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National Register of Historic Places Information
Reference Number: 18
Reference URL: [Reference]
Certification date: June 26, 1986
Level of significance: State

Fergus Falls was the Third Hospital for the Insane, established by the Minnesota Legislature in 1887. Architect Warren Dunnell from Minnesopolis, Minnesota used a layout proposed byDr. Thomas Kirkbride to allow patients a nore natural environment. The hospital opened in July 1890 when it admitted 80 patients transferred from St. Peter State Hospital. Initially the hospital accepted only male patients, most of whom were from counties north of the Twin Cities. Within its first decade the hospital began to admit female patients. In 1893 the official name of the hospital was changed to Fergus Falls State Hospital. In 1985 the name was changed to Fergus Falls Regional Treatment Center. Patients came to the hospital either by being committed by a county probate judge or by volunteering themselves for treatment. Early hospital records list mania, melancholia, and dementia as the most prevalent mental illnesses.

The Minnesota Historical Society Library holds many of the records for the Fergus Falls State Hospital, documenting its operation and patients. Access to some of the patient records is restricted according to state law.


Superseded by

The Chinese are looking at purchasing this building in order to form the Minnesota Institute for Cross-Cultural Studies in Fergus Falls.

Memories and stories


My great grandmother, Maja Pettersdottir Johnson, was at the Fergus Falls State Hospital from 1898 to 1903. There she was given the institutional name Mary Johnson #5. While at the hospital she contracted tuberculosis which caused her death. Tracey Baker

Photo Gallery

Related Links

Todd Melby's Building Minnesota broadcast on the Fergus Falls State Hospital


    • Agency History record for Fergus Falls State Hospital, Minnesota Historical Society State Archives Notebooks.
    • Benjamin Leonard, Fergus Falls State Hospital Patients, 1890-1925 (unpublished M.A. Thesis, Arizona State University, 2000, available for viewing at the Minnesota Historical Society Library).
    • Emery Johnson, A Short History of The Fergus Falls State Hospital, Minnesota (Fergus Falls, Minn.: The Hospital, 1972)
    • [1] June 3, 2008 article on possible buyers of the building
    Personal tools
    [http://discussions.mnhs.org/HP/oneonone.cfm snubnosed]