The site of Dever State School was originally a military camp called Camp Myles Standish, and it was used as a staging area for troops entering into and returning from the European theater of operations during World War II. It was also used as a detention center for about 3,000 German and 4,000 Italian prisoners of war at the time. Following the war, in an effort to improve the quality of life for the state's mentally disabled, the 1,200 acre campus was developed for use as a state school, with the 1,400 bed hospital of the military camp being the primary reason for this location. The other military buildings were destroyed and the state erected several brick buildings for the new school.
The institution was originally known as the Myles Standish State School, but was renamed as the Paul A. Dever State School in 1959. It consisted of 13 L-shaped dormitory buildings, as well as centrally located kitchens and other mixed use structures. Apparently the school was under funded, which led to a series of lawsuits... much of the facility closed in 1991, and the entire center shut down in 2002.
The buildings have a cold, institutional feel to them, typical of 1950's era architecture, and have a monotonous, "efficient" design... all the dormitories seem to have been built exactly the same.