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  • Hank

Why did Michigan hate everyone....

What an interesting title, eh? But, I am noticing more and more that Michigan only liked those people who were the same as them whether it was looks or beliefs...if you were different Michigan found a way to punish you. With that being said, the story of today is....drum roll Mount Pleasant Indian Industrial Boarding School.

This was an 11 building boarding school opened to house and "teach" Native American children from all over the country. The school would teach these children, as well as have them pray in a traditional Christen way. (All making sense, right). In 1892, construction began on the buildings for this wonderful idea of taking children away from their homes and turning them white...I mean...whatever. In January on 1893, doors officially opened and the eight classroom building began its classes for it's first 17 students. By June of the same year enrollment in this school had begun to dramatically increase.

There were girls and boys dormitories. Obviously, they couldn't be together, what type of Christian school do you think this is? On this campus there was also a hospital, a woodworking shop, a blacksmith shop, industrial training shop, a dining hall, a club house (FOR THE EMPLOYEES ONLY), and several farm buildings. In 1910, the campus was expanded to include a gymnasium. And, of course close to the school, which is still visible today is an Indian Cemetery.

Students came from all over the country but mostly from Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and New York. There was about 300 students at any given time - sometimes a little more sometimes a little less. The Native American Students in this school were taught vocational trainings, basic academic instruction (k-8), English, and religion. Heavy emphasis on vocational training and religion. They had classes on how to fit into white culture.

Mount Pleasant Indian Industrial Boarding School closed in June of 1934. The State of Michigan took over the property for Mental health services. This property became the Mount Pleasant Branch of the Michigan Home and Training School. This school was used for mentally handicapped young men. Many of the boys were abandoned, some were juvenile criminals but most didn't have the mental capacity to understand what was happening to them. So, they couldn't be fully tried in court, so this school was established.

The school fully closed in 2008 even though it was not in use as a Native American School since 1934 . It closed to many reasons some being budget shortages and lack of staff. Since their closure, the buildings have lain empty and abandoned. Today, the majority of the buildings' windows and doors are broken or boarded over and the buildings lie in disrepair. The interiors of the buildings are filled with old and used furniture, unused medical supplies, trash, and anything that was left behind by the staff. Much of the appearance of the interior is due to years of neglect and after the closure, the complex was left abandoned and vacant, which left the buildings and grounds vulnerable to vandals. It is now the property of the Saginaw Chippewa Tribal Nation.

One plan is to make the former school a museum.

But was it THAT bad?

There were 5 documented deaths over the 4 decades that this school was open. And, was said to have over 200 undocumented deaths. These 200+ deaths were discovered by the Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan, and had them all documented. Michigan along with the tribe are recognizing that it is incredibly difficult to now go back and investigate what happened in this school. It was 80 some years ago. But, it doesn't mean that they don't want it investigated.

These children, lived (barely), worked (hard) and died (brutally). Mass graves have been discovered of over 1,500 children on the grounds of several schools in Canada. All of these schools were Native American Industrial Boarding Schools. It is not a far fetched idea that this was happening here in the Mitten too. The school was really used to strip these kids of their heritage.

The instructors at this facility did not care. Their primary focus was to get these children to think white, and to be religious. That's it. Whatever it took. So, a lot of bad shit happened at this place. There were, of course, rumors of child abuse. But, it is also the mentality of what was accepted then is not what is accepted today.

There is one survivor of the school who had said on record that she had all of here hair cut off because her hair showed her culture. She also spoke of horrible abuse and rooms being over packed with children. Sometimes 40 kids into one room,

Is it haunted?

Locals say the area feels eerie and gives them a pit in their stomach. Others report feelings of being watched. Trespassers on the property - specifically those who have went inside the buildings say that they have stumbled across bloodstained floors, rooms with chains on the walls.

People say that they have seen apparitions and have even heard the moans of the spirits that presumably died within the walls of this facility.

As spooky holidays come and go the Chippewa tribes urge ghost hunters to stay away from this facility. More vandals come out and more people come to see the ghosts of the kids who were tortured. The Chippewa tribes want to preserve the spirits of these children who had their dignity pulled from them.

What do you think? Could it be haunted? Have been there?

Please tell me.



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