In 1888, a small community was started here. It was a home for people from all walks of life who were unable to care for themselves or live with family members. People suffering from mental illness, polio, dementia, cancer and other "incurable conditions" came here for comprehensive care; many injured military veterans also found treatment here. Children, adults, and senior citizens walked these grounds, and many were buried beneath this memorial park.

 

As you might expect, this community also became home to some of the most compassionate and talented health care professionals to ever practice in this region. It takes a special kind of person to work with people who struggle with chronic, painful and frustrating conditions that test the very fiber of our bodies and souls.

 

Look around you, and imagine a blacksmith’s shop, a library, a chapel, cottages for the residents, orchards, crops and every type of animal necessary to sustain people. Patients would work here, as they were able, as a way of contributing to their community and providing some normalcy to their daily lives. This location used to be several miles away from the constant hum of the city, so many of the staff also lived here.

 

Medical care was very challenging in those days. Patients and health care professionals struggled to treat horrible conditions and “hopeless” cases. Fortunately, due to scientific progress, the dedication of many caretakers, and the hard work of the professionals who have trained here, effective treatments and cures began to occur. Hope and happiness became real possibilities.

 

These grounds were originally known as the Toledo Asylum. The name has changed many times as the years have passed, but the mission of the people who have practiced and trained here hasn’t changed. Doctors, nurses, medical technicians, health care professionals, volunteers, students and other dedicated employees continue to bring with them the compassion, knowledge, and faith that it takes to truly care for people. This memorial is not just the story of a legacy, it is the recognition of the tremendous responsibility and commitment that we share for one another, and a symbol of our belief in a better tomorrow.
 

Yesterday and Today, By Robert Cooley, PhD, Psychologist at NOPH