Active https://mikeonline.ca/status_Active en Fort George, Quebec https://mikeonline.ca/gallery_Fort_George <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Fort George, Quebec</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mike</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 10/24/2016 - 11:00</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep01 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><img alt="My hotel in Radisson, QC" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="f33dadb2-d0af-4001-bcad-7c180bde4ba4" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/radison_01.JPG" /></p> <p><small><i>My hotel in Radisson, QC.</i></small></p> <p class="text-align-justify">After two days of driving, experiencing the James Bay Road, and eventually falling asleep under the blanket of Northern Lights, I awoke Tuesday morning excited and raring to go. I was to meet Roger, my contact, at his business in Chisasibi, a First Nations community about 100 km west of Radision, QC.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">I arrived a little earlier than scheduled, and took the opportunity to drive around and soak up the atmosphere. What I saw was a growing, apparently vibrant community. Houses were popping up in a new extension of the town, showing that the population was clearly on the rise. The heart of the town was already bustling with people driving and walking around with no notice of the absence of cross-walks, lights or signs that might be taken for granted elsewhere.</p> <p><img alt="Downtown Chisasibi, QC" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="74bc7f38-c696-44b8-8c18-3ba805f94706" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/chisasibi_01.JPG" /></p> <p><small><i>Downtown Chisasibi, QC.</i></small></p> <p class="text-align-justify">I noticed an older section of town where the houses, in contrast to the new construction I had just seen, were in some need of attention. I imagined that the weather conditions during the winter must exact a toll on any structure over time. Many other buildings including the school, the police station, the museum, etc. all had the appearance of being quite new and showed the strong native influence on their architecture.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">I circled around and made my way to the <a href="https://www.facebook.com/Chisasibis-Retro-Daze-Caf%C3%A9-577795929024951/" target="_blank">Retro Daze Cafe</a>, the business belonging to Roger, my gracious host for my two-day stay in Northern Quebec. I was greeted by a quick smile and out-thrust hand and before long, we were on our way to Fort George Island, just down stream in the middle of the La Grande River.</p> <p><img alt="Hudson Bay Post" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="73d5c592-68c0-454d-a898-4a447b2aeba0" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/a053623-v8.jpg" /></p> <p><small><i>1888 - Hudson Bay Post, Fort George. Photo courtesy Library and Archives Canada.</i></small></p> <p class="text-align-justify">In 1803, the <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hudson%27s_Bay_Company" target="_blank">Hudson's Bay Company</a> set up a trading post near the north shore of the La Grande River. In 1837, it was decided to move onto the island and establish Fort George. Aside from the main trading post, it included warehouses, and permanent houses for those who worked there.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">In 1852, the Anglican Church began a mission here. Before long, the nomad Cree began to take up roots and by the early 1900's, were establishing a permanent settlement.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">In 1907, the Anglicans built a school, and 20 years later, the Catholic Church did the same.</p> <p><img src="/sites/default/files/2017-01/a133229-v6.jpg" /><img alt="Oblate Fathers Mission" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="a65aa833-eef4-4042-87ca-855a7e19f81b" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/a133229-v6.jpg" /></p> <p><small><i>January, 1946 - Oblate Fathers Mission. Photo courtesy Library and Archives Canada.</i></small></p> <p class="text-align-justify">By 1940, the population stood at around 750 people, and by 1980 had grown to over 2,000. Hydro Quebec began the James Bay Hydroelectric Project, part of which called for the diversion of additional rivers into La Grande. In effect, this drastically increased the speed of the water passing both sides of the island. It was feared that this would cause massive erosion, and it was observed to be preventing ice from forming properly during the winter. A decision was made to move the town to a new location on the south bank of the river, further upstream.</p> <p><img alt="La Grande 1" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="c6927fa3-8ce3-4c91-bac5-afcb95bde412" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/lg1.jpg" /></p> <p><small><i>The LG-1 Generating Station.</i></small></p> <p class="text-align-justify">From 1978 to 1980, over 200 buildings were moved, including the church, by barge to the new townsite. Many more new houses were constructed as well, and by 2011, the population had more than doubled.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">Roger and I went over onto the island via the ferry that operates here during the summer months. He told me stories from his childhood growing up on the island. There were good stories and bad but you couldn't miss the tone of nostalgia in his voice. A longing for simpler, in many ways better, times.</p> <p><img alt="Cemetery in Fort George." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="a28ae897-1f25-4be7-90ef-b1c59b5a9d55" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/DSC_7972.jpg" /></p> <p><small><i>Cemetery in Fort George, QC.</i></small></p> <p class="text-align-justify">We walked through the cemetery noting with sadness that many sites that were clearly occupied were no longer marked with names or information of those interred there.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">We crossed to the church and entered, moving quietly in its almost oppressive silence. Roger stood at the pulpit looking out at the rows of pews once filled by the faithful.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">Leaving there, we continued on to look at the mixture of old and new on the former townsite. While most of the original houses had been removed, some still remained. Two wooden storehouses from the original trading post also remained.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">Mixed in with this, however, were newer structures, some meant as summer shelters for the celebrations that took place there, and some looking more permanent than that.</p> <p><img alt="One of the last remaining original buildings." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="43bcc317-6dff-45e9-8619-4b412a71c1b3" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/DSC_7991.jpg" /></p> <p><small><i>One of the very few original buildings remaining.</i></small></p> <p class="text-align-justify">We looked at the remains of the piers at which ships laden with goods once stopped to exchange them for furs to be taken south. The rusting remains of a boat on the sandy embankment was a mute witness to more prosperous times here.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">As we moved further along the island, a mast stood out from among the trees and Roger brought me to an even larger ship that was surprisingly far inland, standing straight on her keel. A pipe came over the side and down ending at a valve.</p> <p><img alt="A grounded ship, apparently used to store oil." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="2486eaeb-7cff-4be2-9a80-7d5c9e872e4e" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/DSC_8046.jpg" /></p> <p><small><i>A grounded ship apparently used to store furnace oil.</i></small></p> <p class="text-align-justify">We walked around the other side to a ladder that had been welded to the hull. We climbed to the top of the superstructure and looked all around us. An open hatch invited us for a closer look. Quickly, however, the smell of what we believed to be furnace oil assailed our nostrils and we were forced topside before getting very far. We now knew the reason for the pipe and valve.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">When Roger had shown me everything on the island, we crossed back to the south bank and he drove us out to the mouth of the river, where the fresh water of La Grande meets the salt water of James Bay. Rows of boats stood waiting on the beach as the wind blew salt air into my lungs. It was an interesting reminder of my own childhood in Nova Scotia.</p> <p><img alt="Boats along the beach of James Bay." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="10eaaab4-e4ef-419c-a254-461f35a0f77d" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/DSC_8047.jpg" /></p> <p><small><i>Boats along the beach of James Bay.</i></small></p> <p class="text-align-justify">After this, Roger returned to his business in Chisasibi, and I returned to Radisson. As I got into town, however, I noticed a fox in a parking lot I had passed. I prepared my camera before circling back in the hopes it would still be there. He was.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">I pulled into the parking lot and rolled down my window. He maintained his distance initially, but I when I clicked my tongue at him, as we all do when calling animals, he immediately came running closer. Clearly the locals feed him.</p> <p><img alt="One of three little friends I made." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="e140898c-9420-4d96-b4f3-d0445ead101c" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/fox.jpg" /></p> <p><small><i>One of three little friends I made before going back to the hotel.</i></small></p> <p class="text-align-justify">I took bread out and tore off some small pieces. Instantly, another fox appeared. Neither seemed keen on coming that close to me until a third came from across the road to see what was happening. Now, with competition, everyone was interested in what I had to offer. I sat and tossed bread and filmed them for some time before they'd had their fill, and I decided to head back to the hotel.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">The following morning, with a text from Roger, I returned to Chisasibi to join him for a visit to the town's museum. Just finishing construction, it wasn't completely ready for prime time, and so they didn't charge us admission. We went in and looked at the various items they had on display, and as I read, I began to learn more and more about Cree history and culture. More is to be added to the displays in the near future, but I enjoyed what was there so far.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">On this trip, from things Roger told me, to things I observed while looking around, it was clear that the First Nations people have many issues facing them. Many are well known to the Canadian public, through news and politics, but some are not. Many of their challenges come from an outside world that doesn't clearly understand them. Other challenges, however, come from within.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">Thankfully, I get the sense that there are many, like Roger, who see and understand these challenges. Perhaps with time, and with the vision of the right leaders in and out of the First Nations communities, they will find their way in the world again.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">After lengthy discussion, and expression of my appreciation for his time, Roger and I parted ways and I returned to my hotel for the evening to rest up for the long drive home.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep02 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <div class="field field--name-field-external-links field--type-link field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">External Links</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="http://www.cbc.ca/archives/entry/james-bay-cree-experience-dramatic-change">James Bay Cree Experience Dramatic Change - November 11, 1985</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-linked-to-trip-story field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Linked to Trip Story</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><a href="/article_Fort_George_The_Trip" hreflang="en">The Trip to Fort George</a></div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep03 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <section class="field field--name-field-comment field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=86&amp;2=field_comment&amp;3=comment" token="Jkr8DgpMev0nbcd5NHVK4N1R61wAzekMODtBxsqavmc"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Mon, 24 Oct 2016 15:00:00 +0000 Mike 86 at https://mikeonline.ca https://mikeonline.ca/gallery_Fort_George#comments Little Current Swing Bridge https://mikeonline.ca/LC_Swing_Bridge <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Little Current Swing Bridge</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mike</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 09/12/2016 - 11:00</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep01 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-justify">As I drove to the Manitoulin Island community of <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northeastern_Manitoulin_and_the_Islands">Little Current, Ontario</a>, luck was something that was foremost on my mind.  First, I knew I was lucky to get this opportunity.  Second, I would be extremely lucky if the forecast rain and potential thunderstorms held off until after I was finished.  Finally, my luck would hit the trifecta if a boat would present itself at just the right time.  If the last two elements came together as the first had, I would be a very happy person.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">The swing bridge is the only fixed link between Manitoulin Island and the mainland.  During the summer months, you can take the ferry, <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MS_Chi-Cheemaun">Chi-Cheemaun</a> from <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tehkummah">South Baymouth</a> to <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tobermory,_Ontario">Tobermory</a>.  During the winter months, however, this bridge is critical.</p> <p><img alt="Old view of the bridge nearing completion." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="6731ff19-c38c-4bbb-a292-3e1c792414b7" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/rcaldwellhowland4.jpg" /></p> <p class="text-align-justify">The <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algoma_Eastern_Railway">Algoma Eastern Railway</a> began construction of what was originally a rail-only bridge in September, 1912.  By October the following year, trains were beginning to cross it regularly.  In March, 1930, a lease agreement transferred control of the bridge to the <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_Pacific_Railway">Canadian Pacific Railway</a>.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">Beginning on November 28, 1946, the CPR made an agreement with the <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ministry_of_Transportation_of_Ontario">Ministry of Transportation</a> to allow vehicle traffic over the bridge, thereby ending the need for the small ferry that was being used to this point.  Before this time, the bridge had been kept open, closing only when required for trains to cross.  With the new agreement, however, the bridge would now be kept mostly closed, with a CPR employee on hand to open it when required by passing boats or ships.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">In the 1980's, rail service to the island ended and ownership of the bridge went to the MTO.  The rails were eventually lifted.  In 2003, the MTO replaced the 25 HP Fairbanks-Morse gas-powered engine with electric motors and later resurfaced the bridge.  Maintenance continues as necessary, and there is no end in sight for this iconic structure.</p> <p><img alt="View of the underside of the bridge." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="edff0511-2198-419c-a05d-22d4c6a3b9d0" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/DSC_7826.jpg" /></p> <p class="text-align-justify">The operator met me on the south end of the bridge and immediately guided me through every possible area.  He explained the operation of each part, patiently answering my questions, and even more patiently allowing me all the time I needed to take my pictures.  We climbed to the control room that straddles the mid-section of the bridge, suspended over the roadway.  He explained the function of the controls, and walked me through the process of stopping vehicle traffic, and opening the bridge for passing marine traffic.  As the clock's hands swept ever closer to the top of the hour, the time when the bridge would open, if required, there were no boats to be seen.  He explained that, after Labour Day, there wasn't nearly the number of openings as during the rest of summer.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">I resigned myself to not seeing the whole thing in action.  We descended the stairs and stood on the platform at road-level talking about recent work done to maintain the bridge as vehicles passed us by.  We shook hands and I prepared to part as we both spotted a boat approaching.  Was it high enough to require opening the bridge?  Was actually going to get this lucky?  Sure enough, it stopped and waited patiently for the top of the hour.</p> <p><img alt="View of the bridge from the control room." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="dc0a8d8a-8ab5-476b-b5a1-df9b188c355d" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/DSC_7900.jpg" /></p> <p class="text-align-justify">We climbed again to the control room and he explained each step as he did it.  It was fascinating to watch on the video display as each part of the bridge's machinery worked to rotate this mass of steel out of the way for the boat it dwarfed below.  My phone in the window recorded the process in a video recording while I fluttered from window to window, and out onto the landing to photograph various viewpoints, trying in vain to catch everything.  The boat passed with a wave from her captain, and all too soon, the bridge was closing, ending with a gentle thump at the end.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">Again, I thanked my host, and made way back to my car, a broad smile on my face as luck had, indeed, been on my side.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep02 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <div class="field field--name-field-videos-embed field--type-video-embed-field field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Videos</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><div class="video-embed-field-responsive-video"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/nI4pj1F8lkQ?autoplay=1&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> </div> </div> </div> <section class="field field--name-field-comment field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=32&amp;2=field_comment&amp;3=comment" token="NPPg6_t0NlTb6cpvA1w2gllyEAAh3vAAIo6ljWd6rlg"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Mon, 12 Sep 2016 15:00:00 +0000 Mike 32 at https://mikeonline.ca https://mikeonline.ca/LC_Swing_Bridge#comments Genesee County Home https://mikeonline.ca/gallery_Rolling_Hills_Asylum <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Genesee County Home</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mike</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 02/20/2014 - 15:15</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep01 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><img alt="View of the front of the asylum." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="849fd85a-56d5-4cab-a07a-63e679229edd" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/DSC_2289_2.jpg" /></p> <p class="text-align-justify">It was a dark and stormy night as we made our way to the haunted asylum in rural New York state. While enjoying a Valentine's get-away, we heard about a ghost hunt at the Rolling Hills Asylum in East Bethany. I read up on the building and its history and immediately decided that, despite my complete skepticism with regard to the existence of ghosts, it was still a great opportunity to explore a historic building with legal permission. These opportunities don't present themselves often. Aside from that, I had never seen a ghost hunt besides those on TV. It would be fun to see first hand.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">It was, in fact, still daylight as we set out on the highway to find this place. The wind had come up and snow was accumulating quickly on the road. Being true, hardy Canadians, however, we would not let the distasteful conditions get in the way of what promised to be an interesting experience. We arrived and waited for the appointed time. Others were also waiting in their vehicles as what little light was left in the sky disappeared, and the snow piled ever higher on every surface. When the time came, we entered this impressive old structure, and were immediately told the rules and checked for compliance. We were brought to a room where we were asked to fill out forms waiving liability, etc. Before very long, with the formalities over, we were taken on a guided tour to give us an overview of what we were seeing.</p> <p><img alt="Historical aerial view." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="ac0a308c-4633-4e10-9588-117d0796eaa0" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/RollingHillsHistory_zps322c870c.jpg" /></p> <p class="text-align-justify">On January 1, 1827, a former stagecoach tavern became the Genesee County Home and opened its doors to paupers, drunks, "lunatics" and vagrants. The following year, an additional stone building was attached to house for "the confinement of lunatics". The mentally ill would continue to find themselves dumped here until 1887 when the Board of Supervisors for the County decided they should be sent to either the Buffalo State Hospital, or to Willard Asylum.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">Like most other facilities of this type, the Home was a working farm. Those who stayed there worked the farm, providing for themselves, and earning their keep. Because the Home was largely self-sufficient, the cost of operation was a mere $1.08 / resident per week in 1871. One of the longest-term residents was Phoebe White who stayed for as long as 58 years, having entered at the age of 9 because she was an "idiot". At that point in the home's history, 146 people were being cared for.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">From the 1940's until its closure in 1974, the County Home functioned solely as a nursing home for seniors.</p> <p><img alt="View down a darkened corridor." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="d0aff3de-476e-4ce4-87f5-d2f2d2f9a8a2" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/DSC_2264_0.jpg" /></p> <p class="text-align-justify">After the tour, and our introduction to the various scientific tools for the detection of, and communication with, the dead, we were turned loose to conduct our own investigations. The staff were clearly believers who were quick to relate their personal experiences in the building and where we could expect hot-spots of activity. I set out to do what I always do. Explore, and take pictures.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">For those who do believe, or even just for those who enjoy being creeped out, this is seriously a great experience. The whole place is dark with almost no light coming from outside. The wind from the on-going snowstorm rattled everything and anything loose, which in an old building is quite a lot. All of this comes together to create the perfect spooky atmosphere that can set almost anyone's mind to playing the odd trick. Was that a moving shadow at the end of the hall, or just the way my light moved as I walked? Was that a low moan coming from the basement, or just the wind blowing through any of a hundred openings?</p> <p><img alt="View of the alleged morgue." data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="9af15b2a-7cc6-4b70-ab85-a2b9be96de72" src="/sites/default/files/inline-images/DSC_2284_0.jpg" /></p> <p class="text-align-justify">After thoroughly exploring the building, and losing the feeling in most of my fingers from the cold, we decided it was time to call it a night, and see how dangerous the highways had become as a result of the weather. We thanked our hosts, exchanged email addresses with a couple of the other visitors who happened to be from Ontario, and set out. To our happy surprise, the snow had stopped accumulating and the intrepid road crews had been hard at work clearing our way back.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">As stated, I don't believe in the supernatural, ghosts, etc., yet I still enjoyed this, if for no other reason than the history of the place. I would advise you to check it out if you're nearby, but honestly, no one is near by. You have to go there intentionally, which I do advise. It's worth it, skeptic or not.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep02 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <section class="field field--name-field-comment field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=240&amp;2=field_comment&amp;3=comment" token="AfbwS6bPJi-olYlT8yr16OQSSLBiREF90BnZvNLZ1VY"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Thu, 20 Feb 2014 20:15:00 +0000 Mike 240 at https://mikeonline.ca Fergus Falls State Hospital https://mikeonline.ca/gallery_Fergus_Falls_State <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Fergus Falls State Hospital</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mike</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sat, 07/21/2012 - 15:15</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep01 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-justify"><strong>History: </strong></p> <p class="text-align-justify">In the late 1880's, overcrowding at Minnesota's two main psychiatric facilities prompted the state to begin looking at the construction of a third. The legislature passed a bill allocating $24,280 for the purchase of 596 acres of land, and a further $70,000 for construction of the required buildings.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">The architect selected for the project was Warren Dunnel of Minneapolis who based the main building on a design by <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Story_Kirkbride" target="_blank">Thomas Kirkbride</a>. The original plans only called for a capacity of 300 patients, but it was redesigned for a capacity of 1,500.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">Construction began in 1888. By the following year, it became apparent that the amount of money budgeted was insufficient. That year, the state legislature allocated an addition $65,000.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">The facility officially opened July 29, 1890, but construction wasn't actually completed until 1912. By then, the population had climbed to 1,650 patients, 150 more than capacity. The hospital would reach peak population in 1937 with 2,078 patients.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">In 1946, coinciding with a scathing expose in the Minneapolis news, the State began to look at the conditions in its hospitals. It was found that all of the facilities suffered from overcrowding, poor sanitary conditions, inedible food, over-reliance on restraints and under-staffing. Reporter Geri Hoffner, said that in some facilities, so many residents were horsed to sleep in a single bed that the only way to get out was to climb over the foot board. A subsequent report in 1947 by the Unitarian Conference Committee found similar problems indicating residents were not clothed or bathed, the food was not fit to eat and that restraints were preferred over treatment.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">In 1950, the Governor appointed Dr. Ralph Rossen as Commissioner of Mental Health and Hospitals. He was tasked with cleaning up this issue and setting things right. He believed the answer was persistent teaching and training of staff.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">He set a goal that each resident should receive 5 minutes of individual attention during an 8-hour shift. This was considered unattainable as the ratio of staff to residents was 1:75 or as high as 1:100.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">The same year, Geri Hoffner again looked into conditions and found that things had already improved dramatically. She noted the shared diet for both staff and residents, and the creation of a Patient Bill of Rights as key contributors to the improvements.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">After a lengthy program of decentralization by the state, bringing patients to smaller facilities with better staff / patient ratios, closer to their homes, the Fergus Falls facility was closed in 2007.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">Lightning struck in 2009 and started a fire in the tower of the administration building. A cap that is a replica of the original roof has been placed over top.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">Currently, the city of Fergus Falls owns the building and is looking to either sell to someone with a viable redevelopment plan, or demolish the building as soon as possible.</p> <p class="text-align-justify"><b>UPDATE October 20, 2012:</b> A story was published in the Fergus Falls Journal on October 12, 2012, that the owners of Weston State Hospital are interested in purchasing this Kirkbride. Story attached below.</p> <p class="text-align-justify"><b>UPDATE August 28, 2013:</b> A story was published by Minnesota Public Radio indicating that the former hospital may have a buyer. See the <a href="http://old.urbexobsession.com/blog_20130827_1344">blog</a> I posted for more information.</p> <p class="text-align-justify"><b>UPDATE July 22, 2015: </b>The Fergus Falls City Council has terminated negotiations with prospective buyers for the property.</p> <hr /><p class="text-align-justify"><strong>Personal Commentary: </strong></p> <p class="text-align-justify">It was 9:00 AM on what was promising to be another hot day in western Minnesota. I pulled up in front of this imposingly vast building to meet my hosts, Gene Schmidt, and his wife, Maxine. They are wonderfully warm people, and clearly passionate about their goal, to save the Kirkbride.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">As they took me through the labyrinthine hallways, up stairs and down corridors, I couldn't help but be amazed. First, because the sheer, vast size of the building. Second, because of the craftsmanship and work that went into its construction which now is only pale in comparison to what it was in its original form. And finally, because of the incredibly good condition the entire building was in.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">It has seen wear and tear, to be sure. And it has been visited by vandals on several occasions. Despite that, and its age, it is water tight, and ready to be reworked into something truly impressive.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">The city sees only the value of redeveloping the property on which this grand old building sits. They appear fixed on demolishing it and forever removing a central point of Fergus Falls' history.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">I encourage you to sign the <a href="http://www.savekirkbride.com/" target="_blank">online petition</a> to help save this building, and show your support in any way you can.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep02 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <section class="field field--name-field-comment field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title">Comment</h2> <a id="comment-190"></a> <article data-comment-user-id="0" about="/comment/190" typeof="schema:Comment"> <h3 property="schema:name" datatype=""><a href="/comment/190#comment-190" class="permalink" rel="bookmark" hreflang="en">They passed a bill this year…</a></h3> <!-- /.header --> <footer> <p class="submitted"><span rel="schema:author">Submitted by <span lang="" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Anonymous (not verified)</span> on Sat, 02/17/2018 - 02:30</span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2018-02-17T07:30:04+00:00" class="rdf-meta hidden"></span> </p> <span class="hidden new" data-comment-timestamp="1519151170"></span> </footer> <div> <div property="schema:text" class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-comment-body field--type-text-long field--label-hidden field__item"><p>They passed a bill this year (2018) to start demolishion on the facility this spring</p> </div> </div> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderLinks" arguments="0=190&amp;1=default&amp;2=en&amp;3=" token="8Ggz8YvZ-0TKI7ZxChb1M1mtk3j_DKNS84GBgQ7UnYs"></drupal-render-placeholder> </article> <!-- /.comment --> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=324&amp;2=field_comment&amp;3=comment" token="iyw2_L9C-WHJzrZM8qI4IvQTDT-S3vy8B-5_03-YeGs"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Sat, 21 Jul 2012 19:15:00 +0000 Mike 324 at https://mikeonline.ca https://mikeonline.ca/gallery_Fergus_Falls_State#comments NORAD Short Range Development Site https://mikeonline.ca/gallery_NORAD_Test <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">NORAD Short Range Development Site</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mike</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 05/22/2011 - 15:15</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep01 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-justify"><strong>History: </strong></p> <p class="text-align-justify">The <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dew_line" target="_blank">Distant Early Warning (DEW)</a> line of radar across the arctic was modernized and the overall number of stations required was reduced. The chain was renamed the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Warning_System" target="_blank">North Warning System (NWS)</a>.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">The Government of Canada contracted out the operation and maintenance of these radar stations to a company called <a href="http://www.nasittuq.com/" target="_blank">Nasittuq</a>, a joint venture of two other companies, ATCO Structures and Logistics Ltd. and Pan Arctic Inuit Logistics Corporation. The Department of National Defense leased land on a native reserve, and constructed a testing facility used in the development and upgrade of the sites in the arctic. It employs the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AN/FPS-124" target="_blank">AN/FPS-124</a> short range search radar, used as a gap-filler in areas not covered by it's long-range counterpart, the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FPS117" target="_blank">AN/FSP-117</a>.</p> <hr /><p class="text-align-justify"><strong>Personal Commentary: </strong></p> <p class="text-align-justify">This was a really chance find. I was browsing around Google Earth, and I happened to notice some strange shapes. The area I was looking in had very low resolution imagery, so there was no way I could tell what it was, but it sure looked interesting.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">So, I set out for a sunny day of exploring on a long weekend, and took a run up a dirt road to have a look at what this might be. After passing a couple of piles of garbage, and a seagull-infested pile of rotting fish, I rounded a corner to find this. A short-range development site, right here, in the bush, near a road I've passed by on countless trips. I have to admit, I was surprised.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep02 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <div class="field field--name-field-videos-embed field--type-video-embed-field field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Videos</div> <div class="field__items"> <div class="field__item"><div class="video-embed-field-responsive-video"><iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/LggcINvqrTM?autoplay=1&amp;start=0&amp;rel=0"></iframe> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep03 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <section class="field field--name-field-comment field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=385&amp;2=field_comment&amp;3=comment" token="dU_TAEJuplFwrLsLGMFR_uxSWqTk1nFJiR-unsuuWxg"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Sun, 22 May 2011 19:15:00 +0000 Mike 385 at https://mikeonline.ca https://mikeonline.ca/gallery_NORAD_Test#comments St. John's Anglican Church https://mikeonline.ca/gallery_St_Johns_Anglican_Church <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">St. John&#039;s Anglican Church</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mike</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Tue, 08/17/2010 - 15:15</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep01 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-justify">In 2001, this incredible, old church burned almost to the ground. The committee faced three choices. First, to place a monument on the location of the church and move on. Second, to build a new, more modern church. Third, and most expensively, to build the church as an exact replica of the original. Obviously from the pictures, they chose the third, and most difficult option.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">This place is far from abandoned, and certainly not as old as many of the places I've checked out, but I felt it nevertheless had a rightful place here. As it is a very painstakingly accurate recreation of the original from before the fire, you cannot help but be impressed by the architecture, the decoration, and most incredibly, the attention to almost every detail. The fact that this small group of musicians were practicing here only added to ambiance, and really showed off the amazing acoustic features of the design.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep02 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <section class="field field--name-field-comment field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=668&amp;2=field_comment&amp;3=comment" token="smabi0hFSJff_vGR_foX6-HdFkaH7BTYz6r7cZuMGkI"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Tue, 17 Aug 2010 19:15:00 +0000 Mike 668 at https://mikeonline.ca https://mikeonline.ca/gallery_St_Johns_Anglican_Church#comments Christ the King Church (Sudbury) https://mikeonline.ca/gallery_Christ_King_Church <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Christ the King Church (Sudbury)</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Mike</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 02/28/2010 - 15:15</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep01 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-justify"><strong>History: </strong></p> <p class="text-align-justify">The idea for this church began in 1917, in recognition of the growing number of English-speaking parishioners in Sudbury. However, many construction slow-downs by factors including World War I delayed the laying of the corner stone until June 17, 1928. Construction would continue to be hampered when the right wall blew out in 1928 as the result of a major windstorm.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">On September 29, 1929, the church was finally dedicated and blessed by Bishop Scollard.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">Disaster struck the church again on October 30, 1947, when a fire completely gutted it. Father Humphrey was quick to rally the parish, holding mass at the Capitol Theatre until the church was repaired and re-opened by July of the following year.</p> <p class="text-align-justify">The church was renovated again in 1970, and is currently raising money for roof repairs and repairs to the bell towers.</p> <hr /><p class="text-align-justify"><strong>Personal Commentary: </strong></p> <p class="text-align-justify">On a sunny Sunday afternoon, we arrived on foot and took a little time to admire the architecture from the outside. As we moved around to the west side of the building, we noticed a man coming out. We asked if he worked there, and would it be possible to take pictures inside. He said he would have to ask "the Boss".</p> <p class="text-align-justify">Inside, we were introduced to the priest who gave us permission. Our thanks to all involved.</p> </div> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-field-sep02 field--type-text field--label-hidden field__item"><hr /></div> <section class="field field--name-field-comment field--type-comment field--label-above comment-wrapper"> <h2 class="title comment-form__title">Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=659&amp;2=field_comment&amp;3=comment" token="YikXtvt2CSoq3SxOj_9hZUQbt-3uMdANRWMJH9k4qZY"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> Sun, 28 Feb 2010 20:15:00 +0000 Mike 659 at https://mikeonline.ca https://mikeonline.ca/gallery_Christ_King_Church#comments