Ridge Home Information

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youngcurios

Aurora, CO

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#21
Nov 28, 2010
 
I/we visited ridge home on many occasions after being closed in the late 90's. Very creepy place. had an eery vibe to it. we explored every inch of the place. The so-called visitor center, launndry, broiler room, main section with under ground basement,etc. yes i can confirm basement with cages and the also so called "gates of hell" which were the cement tunnels under ground. We followed them for at least a 1/4 mile till they ended. I dont remember them leading to other facilities to small and narrow for transporting patients. But i can say for sure we went far through the tunnels. There were rumors of a death of a trespasser there. but never any massacre.
youngcurios

Aurora, CO

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#22
Nov 28, 2010
 
cont'd

i remeber seeing lots of equipt left behind hospital beds, high chairs, cribs, cages(basement) such a creepy place. does anyone remember the gym? i wonder how the backboard got broke? haha

It was interesting how the visitor center was clean polished marble floors stained wood very "nice and livable looking" and the rest of the facility was a dump.

i wish we coulda video taped our adventures
Juju bean

Broomfield, CO

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#23
Dec 13, 2010
 
Does anyone know how to get blue prints for these buildings? The buildings up hill across the railroad tracks are classrooms. My frineds have been in there. & this is what they have seen.
sundog

Denver, CO

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#24
Dec 24, 2011
 
I want past those buildings after the Target was built. They close to red rocks college. Now I didn't know what they were used for all I saw was old buildings some borded up Windows with falling down fencing round it. I was on the bus n my first thoght when I saw them was is was that a mental instatution?. Funny thing is I kno exactly where they are n have been in that area at night wasn't to creeped out tho. The feelings I got were of sadness and confusion there was a feeling of perhaps terror or scared. Now that I figured out what it was I'd like some background info on it. N would like to go exploring up there Altho ur not suspose to. Lol. I'm with ninja bean tho does anyone kno a website with ridge homes history n blue prints n pics? The website defunctplayground.com is not working.
Juju bean wrote:
Does anyone know how to get blue prints for these buildings? The buildings up hill across the railroad tracks are classrooms. My frineds have been in there. & this is what they have seen.
Maple Grove Grizzly

Denver, CO

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#25
Mar 2, 2012
 
Wow, I feel fortunate to have had many visits to Ridge Homes or as we called it, "Camp Snoopy". I use to take friends and family from out of town in there during the 90's. I too can confirm the existence of the cages in the basement and the restraining beds as well. The restraining beds were steel rail with leather straps. The "cushions" were sky blue/turquoise plastic. The tunnels were just terrifying, reminded me of the film, "Jacob's Ladder". On the ground floor in the main hall, across the from the pill dispensary area, there was a steel file cabinet by an old couch and window, LOADED, with paper work. Several medical files and two typed death certificates I found. One from 1983 and one from 1979. One died of self asphyxiation the other from some medicine over dose. It was a very eerie place. On a funny note, one time when my friends and I emerged from the building on the south entrance we caught a young Arvada cop doing some chick in the front passenger seat. They spotted us and we made a mad dash across the field, crossed miller and hid underneath some semi trailers. We saw the cop zipping by and took off north. Those were the days!
Dorothy

Modesto, CA

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#26
Mar 17, 2012
 
Procelian Princess!

Thank you for sharing your pictures about Ridge Institution. I remember going to the facility to see my brother Raymond. I read a few articlles written be Dlwiesner which I know are not true. He said the the parents just dropped off theirt kids there and that he felt very bad for them. I feel bad for all the children and patients that were there. I do believe that there were some good hearted employees working. However, In the case of my brother (Raymomd) my mother did not have a choice. Someone from the State of Colorado went to my house and demanded that my mother sign over all rights to him. They said the law had changed and that Raymond could no longer live in the house because he was the oldest child and that the rest of the siblings were learn his habits. He was not a mental case. Now with so much research being done on children and there behavior I think the only thing wrong
with him was he was autistic; After my mother refused to sign papers they went to the church to talk to the priest so he could convince her to let them take him;. My mother did not want them to take him so they came with a court order. When they took him they destroyed my family; They took a piece of my family that cannot be replaced. My father and my mother took all of our family to see him and we could tell just by looking at him that they gave him electric shock treatment because he had holes all over his head. But even with the brutal treatment that he received he still remembered my mother and all of us. That is why I can"t believe what Dlweisner wrote it wasn"t his brother in there being mistreated.
My mother tried very hard to get him released but they would not allow it. We were all children but those are memories that the family will have the rest of our lives. He did not live long enough until the law changed he died in there.

Thank you again for sharing your story and photos. I remember a lot of those buildings and a lot of sad memories.

Sincerely,
Dorothy
Yahtzee

United States

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#27
Apr 29, 2012
 
I personally saw that place after it was closed... If it was so normal and they were nice to kids there... Then why did they have human size cages lining the wall of the entire main house in the basement.. That was a messed place. Period.
bluejay2000whist le

Vernal, UT

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#28
May 20, 2012
 
Please Help me. I just found out on the 1940 Federal Census that my grandfathers' sister could have been a inmate at the ridge home. Please we have so many stories, I would like some facts if possible. How could I find out what could of happen to her. It might help us understand so much. PLEASE
Ken

San Francisco, CA

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#29
May 23, 2012
 
Yahtzee wrote:
I personally saw that place after it was closed... If it was so normal and they were nice to kids there... Then why did they have human size cages lining the wall of the entire main house in the basement.. That was a messed place. Period.
I worked at Ridge from 1977 to 1989. The Main House you are referring to was not in use when I worked there. When Ridge was built, the most severly retarted people were placed there with the understanding (at that time) that these type of people could never learn of function in society as "normal". So locking them away was the only solution. The most violent were placed in those cages or strapped down. By the time I started there all the awful ideas about how to handle these type of people had changed. I worked with some of the most amazing people, and had some of the best times working there. Now I am not saying that there wasn't any kind of abuse going on at one time or another. It happens anywhere. But it was never ignored. and severly delt with. Any stories you here from people and just that. My experiences were with some of the most caring and kindest people I have ever met and I have absolutly no regrets ever being there.
youngcurious

Littleton, CO

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#30
Jul 3, 2012
 
any updates? I noticed the defunct pages were down.
Katie

Chapel Hill, NC

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#31
Sep 9, 2012
 
I would like to know more about Ridge Home but cannot find any info. on the defunctplayground.com site. I visited my sister, Brigid, there in 1968. She died in there not long before her 16th birthday. A very lonely, painful place for her. She hated it there. She was only there because of a terminal illness and my parents didn't know where to send her, or didn't have the money or who knows what. would like to learn more about what it was like for her.
Thanks to anyone who can help.
Lilly Baum

Brighton, CO

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#32
Sep 15, 2012
 
the guy wrote:
that place was totally fucked target is not built on it it is still open space the old ridge homes was directly south of the ridge homes in operation today and just down the street from red rocks cummunity college bums used to live there to add to the experience as the story goes a janitor massacred a bunch of children in the gymnasium and they haunted the piss out of the abandoned nut house
IT IS TORN DOWN!!!!!! TARGET IS THERE> IT WAS not A NUT HOUSE!YOU NEED TO GET REAL- there are mental changlled people. GODS SPECIAL ONES-something you dont know nothing about. SO< KEEP YOUR OPIONS TO YOUR SELF>
Lilly Baum

Brighton, CO

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#33
Sep 15, 2012
 
Ken wrote:
<quoted text>
I worked at Ridge from 1977 to 1989. The Main House you are referring to was not in use when I worked there. When Ridge was built, the most severly retarted people were placed there with the understanding (at that time) that these type of people could never learn of function in society as "normal". So locking them away was the only solution. The most violent were placed in those cages or strapped down. By the time I started there all the awful ideas about how to handle these type of people had changed. I worked with some of the most amazing people, and had some of the best times working there. Now I am not saying that there wasn't any kind of abuse going on at one time or another. It happens anywhere. But it was never ignored. and severly delt with. Any stories you here from people and just that. My experiences were with some of the most caring and kindest people I have ever met and I have absolutly no regrets ever being there.
My bother lived there,from 1971 or 72,he is now in Denver-still under ridge care. I go through all this post and it really upsets me- He gets the best care ever. I am sure abuse from some did happen-so, as nursing homes,reg-schools,ect. so, people get a life.
my bother was 12 when he went in,and just turned 52. If you dont know facts-then dont post your opoins,cause thats all it is. those kids are Gods special people,that he choose. so, shut up if you dont have facts!!!!!!!
Lilly Baum

Brighton, CO

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#34
Sep 15, 2012
 
Katie wrote:
I would like to know more about Ridge Home but cannot find any info. on the defunctplayground.com site. I visited my sister, Brigid, there in 1968. She died in there not long before her 16th birthday. A very lonely, painful place for her. She hated it there. She was only there because of a terminal illness and my parents didn't know where to send her, or didn't have the money or who knows what. would like to learn more about what it was like for her.
Thanks to anyone who can help.
My bother was there also,from1971 on, I have tried to find infro out, there seems to be alot of people guessing,and bad opions(no facts).so, careful on the reading and beleiveing. it upsets me to read some of the garbage posted(no facts).they need to rember they are Gods special people,that he choose for this.if they dont understand -they need to keep their mouths shut.
Double

Santee, CA

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#35
Oct 25, 2012
 
Dlwiesner wrote:
Hi
I worked at Ridge home as a volunteer from 1969 until 1974. There was nothing wrong with that home. We love all the "Children" there.
We did every thing we could to give them a Normal life.
I worked with children 7-18 years olds that were moderately retarded. Thankfully, now these people live at home because their parents LET THEM. NO one but their parents put them there.
I never saw abuse, only love.
There was a Hall that the little kids there were violent. The windows had to have boards on them, plywood height, because they threw things - every thing / any thing! But NO ONE bound them up. No one abused them. They did enough to themselves, which we tried to stop as much as we could. You have to remember the key word was retarded- but they were just kids.
I had one little girl on my regular hall name Katrina. She was 7 at the time I speak about.
She was beautiful. Long brown hair, big brown eyes, she looked normal - perfect. Her mother had her living there because of her boyfriend made her put her in there because of her disability- she was a little slow.
It was Christmas time; all the kids were home for the holiday except 3 kids. I donít remember the other 2 kids names, but I do remember they were autistic.
I volunteered to be with the kids Christmas Eve. Katrina was so sad. We all gave the kids present and I brought her an extra one, just from me. The other 2 kids where in their own lands, you couldnít reach them enough to even open their gifts.
Katrina was crying. She wanted her mom; she wanted to go home like the other kids. I asked her if she want some chocolate pudding and watch TV with me. That was the plan.
While I was making her pudding (Shak-a-pudding) her Mom showed up. I was in a room that was in L from her ( The halls had court yards with rooms around them), but I could see her.
Her mom came in the room to the right of me, and across the courtyard from her.
The RAN into each otherís arms, crying. Mom came to take her HOME. She had kicked out the jerk!!!!!!!!!
IT WAS THE BEST CHRISTMAS OF MY LIFE.
Ridge home was a school campus. Every one did the best they could for those kids, even the Old people. With out Ridge home those people would be living under bridges or in jails (which would be better then most options they have now)
Donít bad mouth what you donít know Ė You are lucky to have what you do.
THANK YOUR GOD
you loved those kids? then why were the 4X4X6 cells in the under ground tunnels connecting the wings? what about the scratch marks inside on the cells? with broken off finger nails? please dont love me
boogie mon

Denver, CO

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#36
Dec 14, 2012
 
MamaDollface wrote:
Not sure on this but I believe thet the borded up buildings that are still there were school houses.
your wrong as well... the home didnt close 100% until eaarly 2000's.. look a tad bit harder!!!!!!
Eric

Aurora, CO

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#37
Jan 11, 2013
 
cathy13435 wrote:
<quoted text>
The 1920 census shows the State Home and Training School for Mental Defectives (later called the Ridge Home or Ridge Farm) in Wheat Ridge. I believe there is also an article on the internet that says it was closed in 1939. So anyone who says they worked there in the 1970's MUST have worked at a different 'Ridge Home'. The internet article says it was built starting in 1909 '2 miles west of Arvada town'...I believe this would be the site of the new Super Target. I have it on good authority that unusual things happen in the store late at night, esp. in the toy dept. But that there does not appear to be any threat of harm to anyone. Just some unseens, probably kids, playing with the toys, esp bouncing balls.
If you 'browse' the 1920 fed census for Colorado, Jefferson County, Wheat Ridge, you will find a listing of the resident employees, including a 'Dr Buser' who was the superintendent, followed by a list of 'inmates'. According to the article I read, you died there, a relative took pity on you and took you under their care at their home, or you ended up at the Pueblo psychiatric home.
So the original 'Ridge Home' was not in existance after 1939, and certainly was not over by Red Rocks. There may have been some kind of resident facility over there, but not the Ridge Home.
No...I grew up in Arvada. I know the area like the back of my hand. At one point, that particular piece of land may have fallen into the boundaries of Wheat Ridge...But no...Ridge was not closed in 1939. Don't believe everything you read on the internet. It was fully operational well into the 70s. I was born in 1963, raised nearby, so, perhaps I suggest to you that YOU may be thinking of a different Ridge Home.
Eric

Aurora, CO

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#38
Jan 11, 2013
 
geyatahi-more info wrote:
I believe Ridge Home was opened in 1910 and was just recently torn down and now has a Super Target in it's place.It was mental hospital also known as Colorado State Home for Mental Defectives at Ridge located in Arvada Co,most made up of juviniles some we're perfectly normal children that were dropped off to live there the rest of their lives then later they became socially mentaly disabled,it got the name Ridge Home because of the street that ran along side called Ridge Road.
There have been stories of abuse and neglect but nothing specific has been reported,one death has been reported.The building has been reported to be haunted,after it was torn down there has been said to still be activity...why? I'm not sure since there isn't much information on any deaths there...there isn't much information period,some has been said to be classified...This is what I'm in search of,the untold information that maybe residents of Arvada might know of or any stories from past employees ect...
I'd appreciate any information that anyone has thanks.
What have you found out? I recently started doing some research on this topic myself.
Linda

Kelowna, Canada

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#39
Mar 2, 2013
 
I lived across the street from 1962 until the 70's and babysat for the director and assistant (forgot his title) whose families lived on campus there.
The home was for the mentally retarded and physically handicapped. Some were missing limbs, some had other disabilities. They ranged in ages but we referred to them all as 'kids'.

There were two 'dorms' for those whose IQs were akin to 'teenagers' and they had dances sometimes. The more abled kids were allowed to leave campus and go to town on occasion. But witnessed a lot of negative attitudes towards those kids when they were at the shopping centers. I remember one guy who was really good with auto. He helped keep their buses running and looked at my car day when it quit running. We had a barn and horses as did Ridge Home up on the hill. Some of the kids were to help at the barn and we'd find them out in our barn stables cleaning up. Then had to tell them where to go (point them to the Ridge's barn up on the hill). So I got familiar with some of the kids who lived there. One Christmas I overhead the 'teenage girls' talking about a dance they were going to have. They were so excited! And I thought about how normal teens liked to get all dressed up etc and realized that these young ladies (some had to be in their thirties) would love to have a new dress too. Also I witnessed the sadness of the children who didn't have any family come visit them on visitor's day... and so I got together a group of us high school kids and went to the stores and churches and collected "christmas presents" to give to the Ridge kids. That was in about 1966?

I learned from those working there that some of the kids were deposited by their parents who couldn't care for them, perhaps were embarrassed to have a disabled child and then would never come and visit them. That was NOT true of all the kids, mind you. Some of those kids without family would sit on the grass and just rock and rock themselves when the other kids were visited by their families. It was so sad to see.

These children were not psychopathic nor sociopaths. Those kinds of disorders were sent to a different place, perhaps to Pueblo. I did not see the very severely handicapped children if there were any there. There was nothing to fear from the children at Ridge.

My uncles had degrees in psychology. The one with a PhD went to CU in Boulder and when I lived by Ridge Home he worked for the Jeff Co. School district. He either had worked at Ridge when he was getting his degree or he just told me about Ridge 'in the old days' for I recall him telling me how there were the rooms there for the severe kids at a time when little was understood about those conditions and there were treated poorly, put in rooms that were more like cells, sometimes chained up? when they had violent fits etc. But that was supposably many years before and certainly no longer the way things were by the 60's. And think how much more is understood now compared to the 60's in some cases!

Btw at the bottom of the campus was a big field that had a track that went around it. That was used for various games and activies. On the west side of the home was Miller St that was acreages towards the north end and later the interstate to the south end of the street. On the east side of the home was Kipling and a subdivision. To the north of Ridge Road was open fields and Ridge Home's farm. Last I went by there way back in 1984 now that area was all very changed. As I recall there are no acreages around there anymore and the streets have been rerouted a bit.
robert

United States

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#40
Mar 30, 2013
 
My fathers brother.had a son Mark, we were the same age, when Mark was a infant he became ill and had a high fever which caused his mental retardation, he was born a healthy boy . My father and me would visit my uncle when Mark was still manageable ,I remember if he got ahold of something he wouldn't let it go even with the strength of my uncle he wouldn't let go, Mark would let out a blood curling scream which was his only way to communicate, which would scare me for I was a young boy myself, as Mark got older his strength was increasingly powerful, my uncle and aunt couldn't.take.care of him and put him in ridge home. And by the way target is built on the south end of where the dormitory were, actually I played little league football were target is ,anyway Mark was sent there in 1973 and we would visit him from time to time until he dident know who we were. He lived there until the closed it down sometime in the late 70s and transfered all the residents to different institutions around the country, last I heard he was in Oregon now at 50 yrs old his condition like many there was beyond treating, all the could do is try to keep them from hurting themselves and others, I saw no bad treatment when we visited but you can imagine when a child there would have a violent episode and as strong as they were controlling them must have been difficult since there was no reasoning with them , the staff there must had to experience very hard conditions, I can't say that experiments with severe retardation from doctors there did not have guinea pigs to say it lightly but I'm sure a lot of pain and suffering occurred and how sad it is that some of us were born normal and others went threw such a hard existence , I've always said that those children at ridge home were Gods chosen ones, with no hatred, or jealousy , or racism they just needed are love...

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