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A Brief History of The Haven
Housed on the former George Manwaring dairy farm in what is today Rochester Hills, Michigan, The Haven began as the 1926 showplace residence of the Fred Shinnick family.
What followed was a private hospital after the American stock market crash in ’29. It housed celebrities whose identities were carefully guarded, as well as the criminally insane and children, in an unexpected mix of uses, needs and people.
An innovative educational program, called The Rochester Plan, debuted here and received national recognition. Its influence led later to the educational foundation of mainstreaming emotionally-impaired children in public schools.
A murder/suicide committed by one Haven patient made national news in a bizarre tale that still resonates, appearing in follow up stories written by Joyce Carol Oates. She knew the killer and still can’t purge his actions from her mind or work.
The sanitarium may be gone but is not forgotten, and The Haven’s eerie presence prevails, as do some of the building remnants beneath the current residential subdivision!
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