The Dr. Joseph H. Ladd Center


The Dr. Joseph H. Ladd Center was a once a state-run facility providing residential, vocational, and medical services for youth and adults with developmental disabilities. But over a hundred year ago, it was known as a feeble-minded school — an institution more closely resembling an almshouse and reformatory.


HISTORY

About The Ladd School Historical Society

The Ladd School Historical Society is a private organization dedicated to researching and preserving the history of the Dr. Joseph H. Ladd Center — to fascinate and inspire new generations with knowledge in the hope of informing a more compassionate society.

ABOUT US

The Collections


Photographs, 35mm Slides

This collection of nearly 1,000 photographs provides a broad, candid, and intimate look at life behind and beyond the walls of the Ladd School.

EXAMINE

Film Reels

More than 15 hours — over six miles — of reel-to-reel film of the Ladd School, recorded between about 1960 and 1972.

EXAMINE

Press Photos

Professional photographs of public events at and about the Ladd School in the 1960s and 1970s.

EXAMINE
The Ladd School Historical Society

Exeter, Rhode Island

The Ladd School Historical Society

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More to Discover


Stories | Non-Fiction

True stories from the Ladd School

Collections | Historical

Over 2,000 collected materials

Exhibits | Rare & Unique

Rare and unique items on display

Frequently Asked Questions


Is the Ladd School still standing?
Two buildings remain. One building is being used by the state as a storage facility and the other is a substance abuse center.
Can I visit the Ladd School?
We don't own, manage, or govern the property in any way.
Can you help me find my long lost relative?
Probably not, but if you provide a name and dates we'll add them to our list.