The Mount Pleasant Center was originally an Indian Boarding School for Native American children, mostly from the Chippewa tribe. The school opened in 1893 and by 1911 there were eleven buildings on site, with more than 300 students a year. Students would grow vegetables, care for livestock, and work on local farms.

That doesn’t mean all was rosy between the tribes and the white man - many opposed being forced to live the “white man ways.” According to, life at the boarding schools was often a shock. One girl recalled being held down as her hair was cut short. She later explained, ‘among our people only cowards wore short hair.’ Another student remembered that attending…..was like being suddenly dumped into another world, helpless, defenseless, bewildered, trying desperately and instinctively to survive it all.

Students had their mouths washed out with soap if they spoke in their tribal tongue, they slept in dorms with 30 to 40 students in one large room, and they would be beaten if they disobeyed rules. Some children couldn’t take it any longer and ran away; with details coming out about what was going on there, the school finally closed in 1933.

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The State of Michigan took over the property and it became the Mount Pleasant Branch of the Michigan Home and Training School. It was not a lunatic hospital, as some think, but an asylum for mentally impaired boys who had no home, were handicapped, or had a criminal record. The majority of these boys indeed had mental health problems. Stories about abusiveness by staff members circulated; some may be true, as asylum tactics that were used decades ago would not be tolerated today.

After becoming a State Historic Landmark in 1986, the facility was shut down in 2010 and later demolished. While it stood empty, investigators (trespassers) claim to have come across blood-stained floors, a room with chains on the walls, the sights of apparitions and moans of the spirits of the ones who died within the facility.

After the hospital closed down in 2010, it was brought to fore that there were possibly hundreds of remains of Native American children buried in the abandoned grounds…174 known for sure. There is a cemetery on the west end, but it’s believed there are other, unmarked graves scattered throughout the property.

It’s believed to be one of Michigan’s Most Haunted locations. If you attempt to visit, you may just wanna drive-by. The grounds are still heavily guarded.

Wanna read more ‘Haunted Michigan’ locations? Click here for more of John Robinson’s Haunted Michigan!


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