Lapeer State Home
|Lapeer State Home|
|Building Style||Cottage Plan|
|Location||Lapeer County, MI|
|Alternate Names||Lapeer State Home & Training School
Michigan Home for the Feeble Minded and Epileptic Michigan Home and Training SchoolOakdale Regional Center for Developmental Disabilities
Also, at this time there were many changes taking place in Lapeer. "Oakdale" or "The Michigan Home" was rumored to close. The social philosophy at that time was to provide a "home" for individuals who were not mentally capable of coping with life in the community or were epileptic. Governor John T. Rich, who secured the "home" for the Lapeer area, (he was from Lapeer) gave the following address in his "Messages of Governor of Michigan." He advised that the state facility in Lapeer "could not receive inmates until appropriations for furnishings were made. It they were made early, it would be ready for occupancy sometime in March of 1895. The present buildings consist of two cottages, capable of accommodating 100 patients each. From present indications some additional accommodations will be necessary, independent of the provisions for the epileptics now confined in several asylums for the insane." The Michigan Home for the Feeble Minded and Epileptics opened in August of 1895 and closed October 1st, 1991.
According to David Trudge, the last administrator, during those years it grew to accommodate a population as high as 4,500 inmates and 1,450 staff. The name of the "home" would change during the years. It began as the "Michigan Home for the Feeble Minded and Epileptic. In 1913 it was renamed the Michigan Home and Training School. In 1937 it became the Lapeer State Home and Training School. Finally it was called the Oakdale Regional Center for Developmental Disabilities. For over ninety-six years, it was a major source of income for many families in and around the Lapeer area.
Demolition at the old Oakdale facility was a huge project. Many of the buildings were old and in disrepair. In the final appraisal, two buildings were saved: building #45, which had been a nursery and built in 1958, and Building #71, which had been the administration building. A grant from the Community Foundation of Greater Flint for $180,000 brought building #45 up to school safety codes. Building #71 which was a newer building, received a $1.3 million transformation into Chatfield School, the county's first charter school. According to the Neighbors newsletter, total demolition of Oakdale for $550,000 returned the property to a clean site ready for development. A grant for that amount was funded by the state's "Clean Michigan” program. The property now belongs to Mott Community College.