Historical Materials


Administration Building

View of Fernald's Administration Building from the main boulevard. This structure was opened in 1936 to replace the school's original administration building, Waverley Hall.

Type: comparison Dates: 1936 Administration Building

Annual Reports

Fernald State School Annual Reports, 1848-1941, 1951-1973 (zip archive, approx. 440MB).

Type: document Dates: 1889-1973

Boys' Dormitory Dining Room

A view of the dining room in the Boys' Dormitory (later known as the Activity Center) in 1903, contrasted with the same angle 116 years later.

Type: comparison Dates: 1903 Activity Center

Boys' Dormitory Entrance

Entrance to the Boys' Dormitory building, erected in 1891 for the young boys at the institution. The able-bodied children living here were used as free manual labor for the institution, digging foundations, pave roads and work the school's farm.

Type: comparison Dates: 1933 Activity Center

Boys' Workshop - Brush Making

The boys' workshop, located on the eastern side of the School Building, taken circa 1903. The students are learning how to make brushes. These activities were likely moved into the Manual Training Building when it was built in 1907.

Type: comparison Dates: 1903 Schoolhouse / Gym

Campus Map

This campus map shows the most important contributing building that were present circa 2009. Note that the building numbers may not coincide with those in our survey due to discrepancies between historical numbers, contemporary labels, and DCAMM assignments.

Type: map Dates: 2009

DMH Building Map

A map of the campus published by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Mental Health (DMH) circa 1982.

Type: map Dates: 1982

Dolan Hall

View of Dolan Hall, a residence for girls built in 1906. Originally called "New North West Building," it was later named after Mrs. Dolan, a longtime matron of the building.

Type: comparison Dates: 1933 Dolan Hall

Drive to West Building

View of the drive up to the original "asylum," later known as the West Building. Several additions to the structure can be seen, including porches and fire escape stairwells.

Type: comparison Dates: 1933 West Building

East Dowling

View of East Dowling building, built in 1906 as a dormitory for boys.

Type: comparison Dates: 1933 East Dowling

East Nurses Home

View of the East Nurses' Home, built in 1905 as a dormitory for employees at the Fernald Center. It was constructed in a similar fashion to the three other nurses' homes at the institution.

Type: comparison Dates: 1933 East Nurses' Home

Education of the Feeble-Minded

"The Education of the Feeble-Minded" by Kate Gannett Wells, New England Magazine, March edition, 1900 (excerpt). This article sheds light on daily activities at the school, photographs and insight into the public's view of this new kind of institution at the time.

Type: document Dates: 1900

First Floor Classroom

A classroom inside Fernald's School Building, first floor, taken circa 1903. The girls are learning how to weave fabric.

Type: comparison Dates: 1903 Schoolhouse / Gym

Graduation of the “Waivered LPN Class,” 1954

The graduation of the 'waivered LPN Class' circa 1954 in front of Fernald's theater building, Howe Hall. Pictured: Grace Estelle Bagley (top row, 2nd from left) and Dr. Malcolm Farrell, superintendent (front row, wearing suit).

Type: comparison Dates: 1954 Howe Hall

History of the Treatment of the Feeble-Minded

History of the Treatment of the Feeble-Minded, by Walter E. Fernald, 4th ed. 1912 (PDF).

Type: document Dates: 1912

MacDougall Hall

View of MacDougall Hall, seen from the lawn that was later used as a playground. The building opened in 1898 as a dormitory for middle-aged girls at the institution. Originally known as Northwest Building, it was later named after Sarah MacDougall.

Type: comparison Dates: 1933 MacDougall Hall

Manual Training, South Side

View of the Manual Training Building, southern elevation. This structure was built in 1907 to help residents improve motor skills and learn new trades that could be useful both inside and outside the institution.

Type: comparison Dates: 1933 Manual Training

National Register of Historic Places Form

National Register of Historic Places Registration Form for the Waltham property (PDF format, 57 pages).

Type: document

North Building and Boys' Home

View of the North Building and the Boys' Home from Fernald's central drive. The Boys' Home was used as a dormitory for young men and the North Building housed adult and elderly men. The former was demolished and replaced by the modern Withington Building

Type: comparison Dates: 1933 Boys' Home North Building

Recordation Map

A labeled map using aerial photography composites for the recordation team.

Type: map Dates: 2016