Inside the Abandoned Native American Boarding School & Asylum, Mount Pleasant, Michigan
Construction on Mount Pleasant's Native American Boarding School began on October 18, 1892. According to Wiki, it “started as a small school authorized by the federal government and operated by a mission of the United Methodist Church.....previously been known as the farm school". It's mission was to educate the local Native American children and in January 1893 classes began with a total of seventeen students.
Over the years, the facility greatly expanded into much more: agricultural buildings, blacksmith shop, clubhouse, dining hall, dorms for boys and girls, gym, hospital, and an industrial training building. Soon children from other states began attending the school and the average student body per year was approximately 300.
The overall structure of the school was to teach the children how to adapt to living in the 'white culture' and rules were religious and strict. Evidently so strict, that soon talk of abuse spread thru the area. The school eventually closed in 1934 and the land was returned to the Saginaw Chippewa tribe in 2010. According the NBC News, once the land was transferred, “the tribe’s researchers uncovered a more extensive history of the federal government's violence: records confirming the deaths of 227 children while at Mount Pleasant. The search for their remains is still underway”.
After 1934, the facility became the Mount Pleasant branch of the Michigan Home and Training School that took in mentally handicapped boys and juvenile delinquents.
It all finally closed for good in 2008 thanks to a lack of funds. Sitting deserted ever since, the buildings are rotting, peeling, and crumbling – with many items left inside: furniture, medical supplies, garbage, and personal belongings.
There's a suggestion to turn the place into a museum, which would make sense – it was listed as a National Historic Site in 2018. To read more in-depth information, check out the article at NBC News.
The photo gallery below takes you inside many of these buildings, abandoned and deteriorating.
Abandoned Native American Boarding School & Asylum, Mount Pleasant
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