Wayzata, Minnesota

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Sepia Saturday - 22 Mar 2014

One of our most precious, and magical gifts in this life, is that we follow the road that leads often times to the forgotten, and upon our discovery of it, bring it back to life. Karen Sather

I've always enjoyed traveling "off the beaten path" and into the unknown, especially when it's so close to home.  It seems I've been plotting these adventures for my dear Sepia Saturday posts, as well.  Travel and history are and always will be major draws for my adventures.

So, please allow me to introduce this location, being 3805 Thomas Drive, Hastings, Minnesota.

But first, I thank Postcardy, and her theme photo this week of statues and monuments as a just a couple of choices, which led me to this tucked away monumental place of sorts.


My journey today, is to Hastings State Asylum Cemetery.  It begins by taking US-61 South from downtown St. Paul for about 20 miles until you reach Red Wing Boulevard, which you follow for a mile before turning left onto Tuttle Drive.  Then take the first left onto Thomas Drive and follow it to the end.  

This is where our "off the beaten path" begins.  If you ever get the chance to visit here, after safely parking your car, begin on foot and go beyond the houses on your right side, to discover an abandoned road.  Don't worry about walking or trespassing here, just continue on your way along this road which takes you right to the cemetery itself.  However, once you arrive you might not locate any markers on he ground.

It's a well hidden cemetery and long forgotten by many, and much around it has blossomed to the point of nearly pushing it away period, and yet what remains there now is, very much alive and waiting to be discovered.

Sadly, many of those in the asylum were forgotten before their deaths. Buried by number, anonymously with no headstones, and yet that is not how a few loved ones wish to leave this tragic event.  Read here.

Special note at this link here, Minnesota can be very proud about "Resolution 4, House File 1680, Apology Bill.

This forgotten cemetery is located in the extreme southwest corner of a 460-acre plat which was the property of the Hastings Insane Asylum, built around 1900.  At one time, they farmed and produced dairy products here.  In later years as like other facilities of this nature, it was used as a tuberculosis sanitarium, and many of those people which succumbed to the disease were buried there as well.

Now today, there are articles written which range in numbers from 700 to 900 unmarked graves within the cemetery.

I hope to bring you some real live photos as it appears today, soon, as I will venture "off the beaten path" again to this location.

Postcardy, also mentioned one of my favorite places for sharing old photos.

The Library of Congress, in Washington.

The Library of Congress doesn't list anything for the Hastings State Asylum but it does present this lovely structure for the State Lunatic Asylum in Buffalo, Erie County, New York.

Heading back to Hastings, Minnesota before I close this post-

You have heard of Hastings, Minnesota (as far back as March 27, 2011) mentioned right here with this post of mine as I detail Hasting's famous Spiral Bridge.

Remember, One of our most precious, and magical gifts in this life, is that we follow the road that leads often times to the forgotten, and upon our discovery of it, bring it back to life.


La Nightingail said...

I was glad to read all unknown people buried at Hastings have been identified & their graves marked with headstones. Your post reminds me of the inhumane treatment revealed in the movie "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"

Alex Daw said...

I can't wait to see your photos. What an interesting project that oral history project sounds. Yes Minnesota can be proud about that Bill.

Cloudia said...

We grew up near a great asylum. It was a scary place on our childhood map. . . now mostly deserted (or repurposed i.e. buldozed) that I know of. . . . Great post, K. And bTW I've collected another quote from you I intend to use this week for sure - probably NOT the phrase you're thinking.

ALOHA from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral

=^..^= <3

Brett Payne said...

Looking forward to seeing your photos in good time.

Deb Gould said...

I live in Maine, about 30 miles south of what was the Augusta Insane Hospital...we, too, have a graveyard full of unmarked graves; we, too, finally have a listing of all those that died there...I think similar situations are in every state. We've come a long way; there's a long way to go! Nice post!

Leovi said...

Thank you very much for sharing these beautiful photos from yesterday!

aspiritofsimplicity said...

it must have been a lot of work to find and mark all those graves. Quite an undertaking. I find these places so sad that it is difficult for me to be near them. How horrible to have lived a life involved in a place like that. It seems so hopeless. They are beautiful old buildings though...ironic that such ugliness can be contained in such beauty.

Postcardy said...

I wonder why they didn't want to identify the dead. They must have had records with their names.

Karen S. said...

Cloudia, Thanks, (blushing) I'm excited to see which one!

Tattered and Lost said...

Oh yes, cemeteries with headstones and statues. I'd forgotten about those. I used to enjoy going to them to take photos. Somewhere along the line I stopped going. Maybe because it all starts to feel like the future.

Jackie van Bergen said...

So great they have that oral history program going - will go a long way to remembering long-forgotten people.
And so many were admitted to asylums for the smallest reasons.

Sharon said...

Travel, History and Photography. They go together. I have a few trips planned, where I can do all three too.

Wendy said...

So very interesting AND important. Can't wait to see your photos. Yes, throw-away people. Very sad times.

Little Nell said...

What a sad story, to become a number at the end of life. Their families had presumably just decided that they were no longer the people they had been and so discarded them.