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The Otter Tail County Historical Society is sponsoring a tour of the Fergus Falls State Hospital cemetery and Poor Farm cemetery on Saturday, October 21, 11:00am. The cost of the tour is $10 per person, no registration is required. Park in the back lot of the Fergus Falls Veterans Home and look for Chris with his blue OTCHS banner. No motorized vehicles are allowed. Handicapped accessibility is limited.
Much like the State Hospital itself, the cemetery elicits mixed emotions. It is serene, sad, picturesque and tragic all at the same time. From the first burial in August 1890 to the last in 1968, some 3,200 people were laid to rest there. Most of the graves are unmarked, yet everyone had names, lives and stories. The tour will attempt to uncover bits and pieces of this history, to give names to those at rest.
Just west of the hospital cemetery is the Otter Tail County Poor Farm cemetery. Before there was any sort of government safety net, who was responsible for the poorest of the poor. The State of Minnesota put that responsibility on individual counties. For Otter Tail that meant establishing a county poor farm in 1881 two miles north of Fergus Falls. The farm also had a cemetery adjacent to the State Hospital cemetery. From the 1880s until the mid 1930s over 150 people were buried at the poor farm cemetery. Volunteers from the group, A Pauper Grave, will be on hand to tell us about their efforts to locate and mark grave sites.


October 21
11:00 am - 2:00 pm


Back Lot of Fergus Falls Veterans Home
1821 N Park St
Fergus Falls, 56537 United States
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