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Unread 08-21-2008, 09:24 PM
 
27 posts, read 75,270 times
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Default Disappointment Room

Has anyone ever heard of a "Disappointment Room"? From what I understand it's a room where they hid mentally retarded family members from the public. There appears to be such a room at the "Sebastopol" in Seguin. This house was built in the 1850's, so this is something that goes way back in time. I've also heard of a 1920's house with a room like this. I know it's a terrible subject, but I am very curious. If you have any knowledge on this room, I'd like to read about it. Thank you.
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Unread 08-22-2008, 12:13 AM
 
Location: Diyallusss, TX
1,805 posts, read 3,054,335 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koki View Post
Has anyone ever heard of a "Disappointment Room"? From what I understand it's a room where they hid mentally retarded family members from the public. There appears to be such a room at the "Sebastopol" in Seguin. This house was built in the 1850's, so this is something that goes way back in time. I've also heard of a 1920's house with a room like this. I know it's a terrible subject, but I am very curious. If you have any knowledge on this room, I'd like to read about it. Thank you.

I found this:
West Warwick home featured tonight on HGTV show If Walls Could Talk | Lifebeat | projo.com | The Providence Journal

Very interesting stuff... good luck with your research....
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Unread 08-22-2008, 12:21 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PopsGuysRule View Post

How sad.
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Unread 08-22-2008, 05:11 AM
 
Location: San Antonio, TX
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If it's any consolation, at least now we know how to help those needing it, instead of hiding them away. It is sad to think at one point in our civilized history, this was the best solution (and name) someone could think up; but thank God we’ve progressed since then!

I thought this blurb, from the article, was sign that people have gotten smarter over the past century...

“We cleaned up the room and made it nice. It’s a shrine to Ruthy now.”

Cheers! M2
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Unread 08-22-2008, 12:09 PM
 
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Yes...I've heard it before. And it wasn't just for children. Sometimes adults who became ill or unstable or insane....and even some elderly. I've heard various names (can't remember right off), but it was sometimes for their safety, and not necessarily a shameful thing. Not every community had "homes" or asylums for the mentally handicapped, or elderly with dementia.

I'm reading this history on the house in Seguin and something isn't adding up.

Does this "disappointment room" have a story to go with it? Does it say whether the room was built in the house, or sort of created later? The house was built in the 1850's and then sold to the Zorn family about 20 years later.

The Zorn's were a prominent family in Seguin, so there is probably a lot of history written up in Seguin about them....and their children. Joseph Zorn Jr purchased it in 1874 and apparently lived there until he and his wife died. His son Cavert was living there in 1900 at the age of about 19, but not in 1910. By 1920 he have moved back in with his parents, now 79 and 69. "Cal" was shown as being 38 and widowed. Apparently no children at that time. Need to do a bit more checking to see if he ever remarried and eventually had children....but he lived in the house until he died. The house remained in the Zorn family for almost 100 years.

Interesting history.....thanks for bringing this up!
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Unread 08-22-2008, 04:23 PM
 
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Wow! wCat, I'm really impressed with your knowledge of the Sebastopol House. This is what I know. The house was built in the mid 1850's by Joshua Young from McQueeney,Texas. It was to be his dream home. However, he never lived in this house. His wife died shortly before the completion so I'm guessing he lost interest. He was the one who had this room built because it's on the ground floor and the house was built around it. There is no mention of him having any kids. His sister Catharine Legette (a widow) bought the house for $1500.00. in 1857. I read one article where she had six children and another says she had eight. I'm thinking Joshua had two children, one of which had a severe disability and Catharine offered to care for them. This is all just theory, but I think we're getting close to the truth. Ranger Mead (really nice guy) is one of the tour guides for this house. He told us they don't know why this room with bars was built. My husband told him about the possibility of a "Disappointment Room". Ranger Mead had never heard of such a thing. The tour is free and it really is quite interesting.
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Unread 08-22-2008, 10:40 PM
 
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Koki, there is extensive information on the Joshua Wright Young family line on this site:
http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~brookefamily/youngjoshua.htm

The site is quite extensive, and includes a biography of Col. Young. According to the information from his family, the house was built for his sister and her children and became part of a lawsuit filed by the children of Young and his first wife.

I urge anyone who has an interest in the Sebastopol House to visit this genealogy web page, the family has been so generous in sharing its history with the rest of us.
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Unread 08-22-2008, 10:43 PM
 
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I forgot to add that Col. Young was married twice and had 13 children. (From the website)
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Unread 08-23-2008, 12:46 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woblz View Post
I forgot to add that Col. Young was married twice and had 13 children. (From the website)
This is a great link to family history....although it is very confusing who actually ended up living in the house. Thank you so much for posting this link.
The only way to know for sure about the ownership is to check the deed records in the courthouse.

Since Joshua Young had been married twice, and the two families(Joshua's children between the two marriages.) were split over the ownership of the house, it casts doubt over when the Zorn family actually acquired ownership. Both the Youngs and Zorns also had large tracts of land for farming and may have had homes in both places, as many people did in those days.

This story is complete with family drama, murder and all sorts of interesting skeletons in their closets.

Joshua Young was married twice, first to Jane Field and then to Mary Saunders. It's interesting that his last two children by his second wife were twin girls ....which they named "Jane" and "Mary".

It will be interesting to sort out the details of the ownership. This family history indicates that he purchased and built the home FOR his sister Catherine.

The family history also claims that his son had to declare him insane and finally sent him to an asylum before he died in 1897. Maybe the "disappointment" room was for him???? He certainly looks like a stern man. Fascinating.
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Unread 08-23-2008, 09:21 AM
 
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wCat, I wonder if it wasn't a sort of early version of a "safe room". Seguin had its last Indian raid in 1855, and Indian attacks continued in other parts of Texas for many years to come.

I love genealogists who aren't afraid to share the details of their family lines. It's such an extensive site, I still have more to go back and read.
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