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Maine History Online
MHS (Maine Historical Society)
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Institutional Care: From 'Feeble-Minded' to 'Disabled'

Girls, New Gloucester Hall, Pownal State School, ca. 1937

Girls, New Gloucester Hall, Pownal State School, ca. 1937

Item 25640 info
New Gloucester Historical Society

Institutions were long thought to be the most humane and most modern way for society to care for people who had been labeled "feeble-minded," "idiot," "moron," "defective," "deficient" and "retard."

Maine's institution, like many, was called a "school."

Begun as the "Maine School for the Feeble-Minded" in 1908, it became "Pownal State School" in 1925.

The designation of "school" stuck, although classroom education was a small part of the mission of the institution.