REVIEW:  "Diane L. Goeres-Gardner's even-handed and well-documented approach makes it difficult to paint patients or institutions with a broad brush.... Inside Oregon State Hospital is a gift to Oregonians, a fascinating, comprehensive, and thorough retrospective, which should guide our efforts into the future."

C. L. Brown, Oregon Historical Quarterly,  Summer 2014, p. 267.  
For full review, click HERE.

Inside Oregon State Hospital: A History of Tragedy and Triumph By Diane L. Goeres-Gardner. The History Press, $21.99. 

There are few Oregonians who aren’t at least aware of the Oregon State Hospital, the setting for the 1975 film One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. But Diane L. Goeres-Gardner’s Inside Oregon State Hospital: A History of Tragedy and Triumph is more than just a retrospective on a tumultuous establishment; it is also a snapshot of the patients, doctors and decisions that make up the vivid history of the institution.

Goeres-Gardner’s book details not only the long and complex bureaucratic history of the hospital, but also delves deeply into the lives and treatments of specific patients, as well as the careers of many of the key decision makers during their time at the hospital. The book utilizes public records leading up to the building of the hospital in 1883 and through the recent renovations in 2008, and it is able to give a voice to those who have had none and went through many archaic and often brutal treatments. Equally touching are the accounts of doctors who realize their methods are wrong but can do very little to change the system.

While sometimes dry, Inside Oregon State Hospital is an undeniably moving account of a hospital trying to make the best of some very extreme circumstances. The extensive detail put into the descriptions of places and people gives a fully realized picture of what has historically felt like an institution shrouded in a certain amount of mystery. — Jordan Tichenor

Eugene Weekly.com
Article:  “Winter Reading” December 12, 2013

INSIDE OREGON STATE HOSPITAL: A HISTORY OF TRAGEDY AND TRIUMPH was published by the History Press and released on May 25, 2013.                                         

Oregon State Hospital, once known as the Oregon State Insane Asylum, has been in operation since 1883 reaching a population peak in the late 1950s of almost 3,600 patients living on its campus. Its long history includes the use of lobotomies to cure mental illness and the sterilization of hundreds of Oregonians during the early 1900s when people believed in the Eugenics Theory. In 1972 Ken Kesey’s book One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest was turned into a movie and filmed inside the main building on the OSH campus. Intrigued by this historic institution after doing some research on it for her book, Murder, Morality, and Madness: Women Criminals of Early OregonMs. Goeres-Gardner has now completed TWO books on the hospital.

"Seen through the eyes of the patients who lived there, Inside Oregon State Hospital examines the world of the Northwest's oldest continually operating hospital, established in 1883. In desperate attempts to cure their patients, physicians injected them with deadly medications, cut holes in their heads, and sterilized them. Years of insufficient funding caused the hospital to decay into a crumbling facility with too few staff, as seen in the 1975 film One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. Today after a $360 million makeover, Oregon State Hospital is a modern treatment hospital for the state's civil and forensic mentally ill. In this compelling account of the institution's tragedies and triumphs, author Diane Goeres-Gardner offers an unparalleled look at the very human story of Oregon's historic asylum."

It contains a foreword by John Terry and endorsements by Dr. Howard Baumann and Robert Nikkel.

John Terry, columnist for the Portland Oregonian found the book “tremendously informative as well as disturbing.”

Dr. Howard Baumann, a board member for the OSH Museum of Mental Health believes “Ms. Goeres-Gardner balances the unique and complex history of the Oregon State Hospital with the art of the storyteller.”

Dr. Robert Nikkel, retired Oregon Mental Health and Addictions Commissioner, wrote: “Her exhaustive research tells the full story of the institution, its troubled and humanitarian past without passing judgment. Mrs. Gardner presents a compelling story with historic references that no other book has provided to date.”

OREGON ASYLUM was published by Arcadia Publishing and released June 17, 2013. It is a photo-history and extraordinary companion book to Inside Oregon State Hospital. It is filled with 217 photos covering 130 years of hospital history. Diane has also analyzed and converted hospital census data from 1870, 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930, and 1940 into informative graphs revealing trends and conditions about the patients in a way never done before.

"The Oregon State Insane Asylum opened in Salem on October 23, 1883, and is one of the oldest continuously operated mental hospitals on the West Coast. In 1913, the name was changed to the Oregon State Hospital (OSH). The history of OSH parallels the development and growth in psychiatric knowledge throughout the United States. Oregon was active in the field of electroshock treatments, lobotomies, and eugenics. At one point in 1959, there were more than 3,600 patients living on the campus. The Oscar-winning movie One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest was filmed inside the hospital in 1975. In 2008 the entire campus was added to the National Register of Historic Places and the state began a $360 million restoration project to bring the hospital up to modern standards. The story of OSH is one of intrigue, scandal, recovery, and hope.

On Wednesday, July 10, the Book Release Celebration was held at the Willamette Heritage Center in Salem, Oregon. Below are some photos of the event. The first photo is John Terry, who wrote the foreword for Inside Oregon State Hospital: A History of Tragedy and Triumph, and the author, Diane L. Goeres-Gardner, telling stories about each other.

For the author's interview with The History Press about Inside Oregon State Hospital, click HERE

For an interview of the author by Ed Battistella of Southern Oregon University, click HERE

For an interview of the author by the Mental Health Association of Portland, click HERE.

For an interview of the author by The History Press about Inside Oregon State Hospital, click HERE.

For the New York Times article on Inside Oregon State Hospitalentitled "Once a Cuckoo's Nest, Now a Museum," click HERE. 

These books retail for $21.99 each and can be ordered from Diane Gardner at diane@frontierjustice.net or your local book dealer.   

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