Historic Asylums

Mt. Pleasant Indian Industrial School

aka Mt. Pleasant State Home, Mt. Pleasant Regional Center for Developmental Disabilities

Mt. Pleasant, Michigan

It is common to find, in the history of psychiatric or developinstitutions, instances of them being converted to other non-institutional uses. Less common is a facility which started out with another purpose being converted to a state institution. Such is the case with the federal boarding school for Native Americans in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan (1893 - 1933) being turned into a center for developmentally-disabled individuals.

Most of the information and images on this page concern the complex's role as a boarding school for Native Americans prior to 1934. in contrast to most of the information in the "Historic Asylums" site, which concerns psychiatric and developmentally-disabled institutions.

Please see these pages for more information:

  • "Indian Treaties: Their Ongoing Importance to Michigan Residents
  • Brainwashing and Boarding Schools: Undoing the Shameful Legacy
  • Register of Pupils From Leelanau County Mt. Pleasant Indian School 1915-1932

    In 1934, the school was transferred from the Federal Government to the State of Michigan for institutional purposes: "Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That there is hereby granted to the State of Michigan for institutional purposes the property known and designated as the "Mount Pleasant Indian School", located at Mount Pleasant, Michigan, such grant to include the land and buildings and such equipment as may be designated by the Secretary of the Interior: Provided, That this grant shall be effective at any time prior to July 1, 1934, if, before that date, the Governor of the State of Michigan on behalf of the State files an acceptance thereof with the Secretary of the Interior: Provided further, That right is reserved by the Secretary of the Interior to retain until July 1, 1934, dormitory and other space needed for the housing and care of Indian pupils now accommodated at said school: Provided further, That as a condition precedent to this grant Indians resident within the State of Michigan will be accepted in State institutions on entire equality with persons of other races, and without cost to the Federal Government. Approved, February 19, 1934."

    The historical marker at the buildings reads: "In 1891 Congress established the Mount Pleasant Indian Industrial School and appropriated $25,000 for land and buildings. Local citizens contributed and additional $3,400 for the land. First occupied on June 30,1893, the school building contained eight classrooms and an auditorium. The school, emphasizing academics and vocational training, operated until 1934, with an average enrollment of three hundred. That year the property was transferred to the State of Michigan becoming the Mount Pleasant branch of the Michigan Home and Training School."


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