State Public School at Coldwater
In 1871 the Michigan Legislature authorized the building of a special state public school to furnish temporary support and instruction for dependent and neglected children between the ages of four and sixteen until they could be placed in homes or returned to their families. The school was opened in Coldwater on May 21, 1874. Once admitted, children participated in "family-like" life in cottages and a placing-out program. A third of each day was used for schoolwork, a third for recreation and entertainment, and a third for acquiring work skills. Children learned reading, spelling, counting, calisthenics, singing, cyphering and slate drawing. By the turn of the century, the facility had become the only home in Michigan admitting both normal and handicapped children.