Share your Pennhurst Memories

Pennhurst has affected the lives of many people in many ways.  If you have a Pennhurst story or memory that you would like to share, please click the Add A Comment link below and post your story.  You may include up to 2 images.

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My mom worked for Hope and they had some of the residents after Pennhurst closed. The woman she knew was Anna Salvador. I never met her but mom told me about the last days of her life. She was happy at hope and because of her life in Pennhurst her hope home was rebuilt into an amazing home for others. Her last few days she went back mentally to Pennhurst and my mom comforted her the best she could because it was a dark place for her. She was buried with her parents at Wildwood Cemetery in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania. I just want people to see that she is still loved and that she made it home safe to her parents.
Helen Y.09/17/2020
My Uncle Joseph/Joe Walker was born in 1929 and was placed in Penhurst when he was a teenager. He ended up dying in there in his early/mid 40's. My parents knew nothing as far as cause of death. Does anyone know where I can obtain a copy of his Death Certificate? Thank you in advance!
Angie White09/15/2020
I have now found two Great Uncles of mine who spent decades at PennHurst. I would love to find more information on the Rinehart Brothers 1920 to 1976. Anyone know of a way to find old documents? One uncle died inside and one maybe was released before it closed. Thanks.
Kym Heflybower02/20/2020
My aunt worked there and she brought home Aunt Ruthie to live with her and my Grandmother. Aunt Ruthie was brought to Pennhurst as a child because her parents were deaf and could not handle her. She was in her late 30's, I believe when she came to stay. Later she worked in the dietary department of Hahnemann hospital. She was always very quiet but she was never disabled and never should have been a resident.
Tara K12/16/2019
Walter hug. If you could email about that website. . I am trying to find it to find someone but having a hard time. Thank you.
Walter Hug10/10/2019
In the past few years, I discovered that my first cousin spent most of his life at Pennhurst. His family was not very close to ours, and he was 25 years older than me. As familyhistorian, I do ancestor research, and came across my cousin William Bittel known as Billie Bittel listed in the 1940 US Census - he was 15 years old as that time. The census page showed his name and he is listed as a inmate, just like all of the other Pennhurst residents that were listed on the same page. These records are all available on the internet, and I am guessing the list of all inmates! are available for all of the census records over the years it was in operation. I have very foggy memories of the one time I met Billie I was about 5 years old - he was about 30 and my family made a rare visit to the Bittel home. I could write a lot more, but I only have a few characters remaining! I tried to add the image of the census page but only have as a jpeg and cant get via website as required
Darlene Padgett10/06/2019
Robert and Gladys Tyson were cooks the kitchen , they were my grandparents,My mother Edna I Padgett was a employee. I can remember going there when I was like 8 years old, small festivals lots of food and interacting with a lot of people that were different then us, but we were taught different . Helen had acid on her face my grandparents sometimes would bring her home she was like family. and our lovely Margret we see she noticed me and said hey your a Tyson how she loved them and said I know your mom Irene. IT was a GREAT FEELING that she could remember who loved her and gave their time and shared her life with, Family isnt just blood. This is living proof I as a kid have great memories of Pennhurst. I was sad to see what has happened to it.MY Grandparents are gone and so is my Mom., but this place gives me good memories , no haunted. Im actually going there for the first time,, AND NO IM NOT SCARED SEE YOU THERE DARLENE TYSON , PADGETT
Dr. Fatima Abdul Johnson05/13/2019
My Uncle Edward Myers lost his life at Pennhurst due to mistreatment and neglect. He was a patient from his early years of life as a child to his adult years. In life he was looked upon as a NOBODY know one of any importance. Just a patient. BUT I have changed that... because he is a SOMEBODY. My uncle and all individuals that lost their life due to mistreatment and neglect at Pennhurst are people of great importance and they are worth being remembered. I have founded a nonprofit organization and Scholarship Fund in my Uncle's honor.
Joseph DiGiovanni10/18/2018
My Aunt Pauline passed away at pennhurst in the year 1980 . She was 35 heavily abused, bed sores, they ripped out all her teeth , and kept her in isolation for 24 hours a day. She died was under no supervision while eating cake , so thats what i was told but aM looking for more information. I was born in 1984 i was not born. My father was 17 at the time his only sister. Anyone with any information on this please contact . Bill baldini also wrote about this in a newspaper article
Catherine Capizzi06/26/2018
In 1968, the year Bill Baldini did the expo on Pennhurst I worked there for one week. I missed seeing Bill and the crew, I was already gone. I was 19 years old just out of school and wanted to help people. It was one of the worst experiences of my life. Not because of the patients, but because of the cruelty inflicted on those poor people. I tried to help as much as I could, but I was not prepared for the sights I encountered. I cried every night I went home. After I was injured by a patient he didn't mean to harm me my doctor and my husband persuaded me to quit. Before I left I was asked by the staff if I saw anything done by the other aides that was harmful to the patients. I told them that I did, numerous times. These patients were at the mercy or lack of people who had no business being employed to take care of them. Yes it was challenging for sure, but all they wanted was some love and kindness. The treatment was deplorable ,I reported it as such. At 69 now, I never forgot.

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