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State Institutions : Nursing Homes

A guide to researching records of hospitals, prisons, and other institutions operated by the State of Minnesota.

About Nursing Homes Operated by the State of Minnesota

For the most part, care of elderly people needing nursing assistance has been done by families, private nursing homes, and county facilities.  However,  three institutions were operated by the state of Minnesota.

  • Ah-Gwah-Ching Nursing Home: Located in Walker, Minnesota, was previously used as a tuberculosis sanatarium operated as a nursing home from 1962 until its closing in 2008.
  • Oak Terrace Nursing Home: Located in Minnetonka, Minnesota, evolved from the former Glen Lake State Sanatarium which cared for tuberculosis patients. Its medical care program was designed to provide skilled nursing care for geriatric patients who were discharged provisionally from the state mental hospitals and from the institutions for patients with intellectual disabilities.  The nursing home closed in 1991.
  • Minnesota Soldiers Home: Located in Minneapolis was established in 1887 to care for aged veterans and their spouses or widows.  In 1967 the name was changed to the Minnesota Veterans Home and its mission refocused on caring for honorably discharged veterans of the U.S. military services who are unable to support and care for themselves.

Researching Nursing Homes

Search the library catalog for published materials and archival records about specific nursing homes.  There are records documenting the operation of the nursing homes, and some records about individuals who were patients in these facilities.

A Historical Directory of Minnesota Homes for the Aged, by Ethel McClure.
St. Paul, Minnesota Historical Society, 1968.
MNHS call number: HV1468.M65 M24

Some of the finding aids for the nursing home records are available online; others can be found in notebooks available in the library.  

Photographs of the nursing homes can be found in Collections Online.

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