Fernald State School
Built in 1888, the Fernald State School is known for its deplorable practices and purpose as opposed to anything positive that ever came from it. It was originally named the Experimental School for Teaching and Training Idiotic Children but was later renamed after the third owner, Walter E. Fernald. Fernald was a stanch advocate for eugenics. He genuinely and strongly believed that the best way to improve society was to isolate those who he considered unwanted or inferior, mainly due to physical or mental disability. It would later be estimated that at least half of his patients were physically fit but just deemed unwanted or a burden to their family.
The institution was often cramped due to taking on many more patients than they were able to cope with. Almost immediately, it was rife with abuse at the hands of the staff - sexual, mental, and physical. Furthermore, the institution was involved in human experimentation including sterilisation and radiation experiments on living and unwilling subjects. Between 1946 and 1953, the institution exposed young male children to radioactive isotopes to document the effects.
It wouldn’t be until the 1970s that a class action suit was filed to upgrade the conditions. In 2014, it finally shut down.