They were prostitutes, cheating wives, rebellious teenagers, abused children, orphans, the impoverished, the sick and the homeless, the illiterate, the mentally ill, the epileptic, the autistic, the... More > physically disabled, and the mentally retarded; all brought together to live in the indefinite isolation of an outcast community in the rural outlands of a small New England town.< Less
A talking horse, a headless skeleton, a treacherous swamp, and a child’s miraculous survival in the wilderness; two young boys escape from the Exeter School for the Feeble-Minded in this true... More > story of tragedy, heroism, and coincidence.< Less
In 2 parts, Back Wards, Blue Rooms tells the 86-year history of the Ladd School, capturing the spirit of its mystery and revealing the reasons for its infamy.
Part 1 describes the institution's rise... More > from a farm colony of 8 inhabitants to a sprawling behemoth of brick and mortar holding 1,000 souls.
In 4 fascinating chapters the story unfolds, bringing together the author's narration, historical texts, and the very words of Dr. Ladd himself.
Part 2 portrays the fall of the Ladd School spanning nearly four decades marred by scandal and public disfavor.In another 4 starkly revealing chapters, the startling and grim details of the conditions by which the institution would earn its notoriety are disclosed for the first time since it was abandoned more than 10 years ago.Chronicling numerous cases of abuses and deaths, the controversial 2nd half of this book sounds a warning to future generations on behalf of the severe lessons learned from the dramatic and extraordinary saga of the Ladd School.< Less