Idaho State Hospital North

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Idaho State Hospital North

Main building ca. 1908
Established 1905
Construction Ended 1906
Opened 1905
Current Status Active
Building Style Cottage Plan
Location Orofino, ID
Alternate Names
  • Northern Idaho Sanitarium & Insane Asylum
  • State Hospital North


Authorized by state legislature in 1905, the hospital accepted it's first patients by the fall of that year. The first superintendent was Dr. John Weeks Givens. Initially there were only twenty patients and five staff. At first the patients were kept in a "tent city" until the main building was finished. Due to it's location, most patients had to be brought in by train. The hospital had a strict military routine including inspections and marching daily.

By 1931 the name of the hospital was changed to State Hospital North. The military routine had been replaced by other activities as a form of treatment. 1949 came with overcrowding for the one building, almost 600 patients in a building meant for only 450. That same year the state passed reform for the over crowding and several smaller cottages were built. In 1954 the population had been reduced to 488. Two years later the patient work week was greatly reduced.

After a further drop in patient numbers, the hospital reported only 80 beds in 1971. The following year the hospital started the Alcohol Treatment Unit followed by a juvenile diagnostic unit in 1978. Today the hospital handles mainly court-committed patients.