Pennhurst State School and Hospital, Pennsylvania (Images of America Series)

Pennhurst State School and Hospital, Pennsylvania (Images of America Series)


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For nearly 80 years, Pennhurst State School and Hospital was a reminder of how society viewed and treated people with intellectual disabilities. Over its existence, Pennhurst was home to more than 10,600 people. Many spent decades there, working to keep the institution running by performing various jobs. While some enjoyed the lives they had fashioned for themselves at Pennhurst, for many others, life there was crushing. Pennhurst also played a central role in the lives of its employees and in the rural Pennsylvania community where it was located. Controversy plagued the institution for its entire existence, and it is remembered primarily as a place where bad things happened. However, it was much more than that. This book provides a window into that separate world, reminding those who were part of it of what they saw and did there and giving those who know only what they have heard or seen a different picture of what Pennhurst truly was.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781467123662
Publisher: Arcadia Publishing SC
Publication date: 06/15/2015
Series: Images of America Series
Pages: 128
Sales rank: 425,098
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

J. Gregory Pirmann worked at Pennhurst from 1969 to 1986, part of a 38-year career in the field. He is one of the founders of the Pennhurst Memorial & Preservation Alliance (PM&PA). The archival images in this book primarily come from reports sent to the legislature by the board of trustees in the first 20 years of Pennhurst's existence. Others have been gathered from a variety of sources, collected over the years by the author.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 6

Introduction 7

1 Creating a Separate World 9

2 Building the Institution 21

3 Making It Work 39

4 The School 61

5 The People of Pennhurst 79

6 The Unseen Pennhurst 105

7 After the Doors Closed 115

About the Pennhurst Memorial & Preservation Alliance 127

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