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360Dixon Developmental Center Cemetery Updates

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  • allisterbino
    Nov 5, 2008
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      I was in Dixon (Illinois) a few days ago and checked up on the Dixon
      Developmental Center Cemetery.

      Dixon Developmental Center had many names during its time that it was
      open -- Dixon State School, etc, but essentially it was where
      Illinois institutionalized children with disabilities (and then they
      grew to adults) from the early 1900s until 1983 when it was finally
      closed. The facility is now a prison.

      A great many children (and adults) with disabilities died here and
      were unclaimed by their families. Over 1000 by 1940 by the numbering

      The graves through the 1940s appear to be fairly well maintained and
      legible, with very cheap institutional markers for most. These are
      upright markers and therefore still can be read. Sometime in the 50s?
      they changed to flat markers that are almost all sunken into the
      ground or seriously overgrown. It will take a rescue effort soon to
      recover them.

      Addionally, no dirt has been added to support sinking graves or other
      usual cemetery maintenance. Some rows are falling over for this

      I photographed around 100 stones but had to stop -- I had my own
      child with a serious disability with me, ironically.

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