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1847: A Beautiful Village

1851-1870: Fulton: Boom & Bust

1956: Volunteer Services

1956: Volunteer Services

"Since we are such a large family, anything new needs to be of good quality. Used articles, too, should be in good condition, as our busy staff has little time for repairs. .."

Evelyn Berry, longtime volunteer at the Hospital.

All the money in the world could not replace the donation of time from community volunteers who became a big part of life on the wards. The hospital could not fund many "extras" for the patients, but volunteers filled the gaps. Women's clubs, scout groups, and individual townspeople adopted wards, remembered patients' birthdays, assisted with music and art therapies, planned evening parties, decorated for holidays, and simply spent time with patients, playing games or helping with personal needs. Returning from an evening party sponsored by volunteers, one patient wrote, "I felt a warm glow inside me-and I felt so proud of them!"

In 1956, the hospital opened a small shop selling cigarettes, snacks and small necessities. At the canteen, residents could spend coupons they received as weekly payment for hospital jobs. Canteen profits paid for activities: busses for trips, Christmas gifts and decorations, dance bands, movies, picnics, and carnivals.

Some images in this exhibition have been electronically altered to protect the identity of past and present hospital patients.

Hospital residents working at the canteen, c. 1960.
Fulton State Hospital

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Online Exhibit Created 2003
Missouri State ArchivesOffice of the Secretary of State, Missouri