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Newark State School

Rounding out the weekend of exploring, we visited the Newark State School, an abandoned collection of buildings which served people with disabilities.  Some of the buildings on the campus have been re-purposed and are being used but many remain abandoned and continue to decay.

The campus is quite large, and some of the buildings are equally enormous.  We only visited one of the buildings on the campus and there is so much still left in it that it really tells you a bit about the history of the place.  On the second floor there are even names of the people who once lived in the rooms still above the doors.  Because this “State School” was for the mentally handicapped there were some interesting contraptions in the building, such as a chair bolted to a scale for weighing patients; I have heard that straight jackets and other restraints can be found but I didn’t see them.

The Newark State School has had many names since it was originally founded in the mid-to-late 1800s; originally the state school only served women however men were eventually admitted as well.  The school did more than house and care for the mentally handicapped, it also taught them skills; houses near the campus were used as a sort of group home for patients who had mastered a particular occupation and either worked at the School or other nearby jobs.  To read more about the Newark State School I’d suggest following these links:
Museum of disABILITY
The Newark State School

Being the first institution that I’ve explored, it was a pretty exciting day.  There is so much so see there and I’m sure so much interesting history buried in the rooms full of decaying relics.  While the building isn’t terribly interesting architecturally, it still has an eerie presence and fantastic light inside thanks to all the windows.  I’m very hopeful to return and document more of the building and hopefully look a little deeper in to the contents of some of the rooms.

Other buildings on the campus also look incredibly promising; there is another much larger building with a more interesting looking layout and exterior that I’m sure would be well worth exploring.  I’m unsure of what the purpose of the building we entered was but it seems like it was used for both housing and recreation.

Go check out the additional photos I have up on Flickr if you’re interested in seeing more from the Newark State School.

17 comments to Newark State School

  • christine krebbeks

    I found this pictures to be haunting at best. I started working here in 1981 @ the age of 18. I am still working here. The chnages I have seen have been incredible. Your photos quickly bring back the days of my early years here. If the walls could talk…oh my god.

  • Carol

    I was shooting photos here recently too. How did you get inside?

  • Sally

    Dear colorblind, I really enjoyed your pictures of the Newark  state school. I just visited the cemetery that the state school had,that was errie..I have lived in this area (Williamson) and never even knew about it…All the stones are flush with the ground and most are covered with grass. Am looking foward to another trip over when I will have more time to look around. Sally

  • Lani

    I also worked at the “State School” in dietary, Mom was a pharmacist there and my oldest brother worked in the morgue. Photos did bring back memories…..

  • grace austin

    My sister was in reform at this school in 1962-1963 how does she get her records? It was discussing back them as well!

  • James S. Weber

    Does anyone remember a resident at Newark State School, Roger A. Weber (dob 1945)?
    Many thanks for any information.
    Dr. James Weber & Associates, PO Box 603, Gurnee, IL 60031-0603

    • J

      It’s been a couple of years but Roger is well!!!

      • James S. Weber

        Dear J, Thank you! I had learned this from another source, but that source may have been in error in advising me. So if you could provide more details, that would be appreciated. If you are familiar with the NYS FOIL, you understand that even family may have difficulty in reconnecting. Or so it seems. Thanks again. Hope YOU are well, too! Jay Weber.

  • dawn shreves

    I’m trying to research my fathers side and his aunt went here. I was wondering how can I find more info on her. Her name was Rose Farnsworth. Anything you have would be helpful. thank you

  • Tina

    My father was a resident there from 1943 til he was 21, he is still living and has plenty of stories to tell about that place,

  • Hi worked at Newark from 1982-to 1986 and then at Craig/Finger Lakes from 1986 to 2001. I was Chief of Service At Hillcrest . It was a long time ago but if anyone has quesitons I will share any info I can remember. Some of these pictures are of Hillcrest and it brings back the devastating institution nature . In my later years as we mreged I ran group homes in Seneca, Yates and ONtario counties found many of the residents leading happy lives in group homes. Some stories have happy endings!

  • Roger K Thompson

    My uncle Clayton O Thompson was a patient there according to the 1940 census. Does anyone know what happened to him. Also where is the cemetery where patients were buried ?

  • the cemetery is a very remote location off Vienna street I believe, there is a sign but it is very small and looks like a private drive. the cemetery is a peaceful place and is always mowed, you have to search for the stone of your loved ones because they are flat and the grass is grown over. My sister Mary Woodworth is there, we try to visit on her birthday in Sept each year

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