The “Room of Forgotten Souls” contained about 3,600 neglected urns that held the cremated remains of former patients. Publicity about that and other conditions at the Oregon State Hospital provoked outrage in the Oregon Legislature and coverage in The Oregonian, which won a Pulitzer Prize for its series of editorials on the subject in 2006. Staff photographer Rob Finch’s photos became emblematic of the hospital’s eerie facilities, which also were used to film the 1975 movie “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”
The sight prompted him to seek funding for a new state hospital, which eventually was built.
Also, a decade since thousands of copper urns were discovered in the Oregon State Hospital’s basement, officials unveiled a new memorial designed to honor the patients and confront the facility’s dark history of mistreating the mentally ill.