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Dever State School

Taunton, Massachusetts

1952- 2002


The state of Massachusetts was looking for a location for its much needed school for the mentally disabled. A location being scouted was in a the Myles Standish Camp, former military detention camp used for Italian and German prisoners of war from October 8th, 1942 to January 1946 in Taunton. The campus was sold to the state in 1948. They would need to repurpose the former military buildings for the new school. In 1952, Myles Standish School for the Mentally Retarded was open. Paul Dever the Governor of Massachusetts at the time would provide fundings for 24 new buildings for the handicap. The campus was set in a cottage style plan with underground tunnels connecting the buildings. There were 15 L shaped buildings with a central kitchen building in the middle. With these improvements the facility now had 45 buildings and 1,400 beds for patients. A year after the death of Governor Paul Dever the school changed its name to the Paul A. Dever State School in 1959 in his honor. 


Due to a lawsuit over funding in 1991, much of the facility was closed. In 2002 the Paul A. Dever State School was closed for good. As of 2016 all the buildings have been razed. 


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