Browse Items (41 total)

  • Collection: Eugenics and the Brandon Training School

BTS_Burlington_Daily_News_Fri_Feb_11_1921_p1_small.jpg
Opened in 1915 and expanded to include “adult feeble-minded women of child-bearing age” in 1918, the Vermont State School for Feeble-Minded Children was perennially overcrowded. In the heyday of eugenic ideology, this led to newspaper reports such…

Rural_Vermont_VCCL_1931.pdf
The Vermont Commission on Country Life was an offshoot of the Vermont Eugenics Survey, and it was Henry Perkins who submitted this chapter of the book, Rural Vermont. In a concluding section titled "The Eugenic Aspects," Perkins writes, "Eugenics .…

BTS_The_Burlington_Free_Press_Tue_Apr_1__1947_.jpg
The 1940s were a tumultuous time for public psychiatric hospitals and training schools both in Vermont and throughout the nation. In this article, psychiatrist Frederick C. Thorne raises the alarm about Vermont's particularly dire mental health…

BTS_The_Burlington_Free_Press_Mon_Jan_27__1941_p. 2_small.jpg
Even as eugenic ideology began to wane nationally in the 1930s, Vermont eugenicists such as Lillian Ainsworth continued to insist “that the problem of feeble-mindedness in this state is far more serious than the average person realizes.” She…

BTS_sterilization_Rutland_Daily_Herald_Wed_Mar_9_1927_p2small.jpg
In support of the sterilization bill, one Vermont State Senator asserted that “the children of the feeble-minded ‘breed like rats’ … and become public charges.” He predicted, “we shall reach the point where we cannot afford to give our bright…

annotated campus map.JPG
This map is from 1980, however it was annotated using 1950s information. This allows us to see how the campus was laid out back then, who was allowed closest to the school, the administration, and who was farther away.

BTS_Biennial_Report_1922-24.pdf
In the Biennial Report for 1922-1924, Superintendent Truman J. Allen stressed the need for "hereditary defectives" to "go to institutions and remain there as long as necessary" to prevent them "from transmitting [their] decadent stock" (14). It is…

boys in common room.png
Boys of various ages sitting in chairs along the edge of the common room.

cemetery .JPG
A photograph taken of the BTS cemetery. Not present on maps of the campus, but still a site that is related to life at the school. The list of names is updated as of 2013.

BTS_Memorial_small.jpg
Unclaimed bodies of deceased persons at the Brandon Training School were buried in a special section of the Pine Hill Cemetery across the road from the institution. After the institution was closed, a memorial was erected in memory of those…
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