Mental Asylum (Anoka State Hospital)

The Anoka State Hospital was the first mental asylum in Minnesota. Built at the end of the 1800’s, the campus featured 8 Victorian “Cottages” and an auditorium that were situated on the beautiful banks of the Rum River in Anoka, MN. (Interesting fact: Rum River is a mistranslation of a native word for “Spirit River.”)

The cottages were originally only for female patients and each cottage was connected by underground tunnels. Male patients were first admitted in the early 1900’s and the Cottages were mostly closed down by the 1970’s and boarded up. The Anoka Treatment Center opened in a new building next door and the campus was left for the ghosts….

Recently, a veterans’ service is rehabbing the site in the hopes of placing veterans in the cottages. I was allowed a rare tour to photograph the initial phases of the rehab.