Retirement Center of Morrilton

City/Town: Morrilton
Location Class: ResidentialHospital
Year Built: 1963
Year Abandoned: 2011
Status: For SaleAbandoned
Photographer: Michael SchwarzEddy Sisson

The River Chase Nursing Home of Conway County originally opened in 1963 and quickly developed a strong reputation for being both a good and caring facility. The institution operated within the facility for over thirty years, tending to the needs of three decade’s worth of the areas aging, elderly, and convalescents. And as is frequently the case with such institutions, River Chase did so well that it eventually became reading for a facility that was both newer and larger. So, in the mid 1990’s, the institution ceased it’s operations at its original address, shuttered its doors and windows, and relocated to a newer facility located in a newer and better developed area of Conway County.

And the empty building sat.

But it didn’t sit empty for very long. Just a few months later the facility reopened in private hands as The Retirement Center of Morrilton. The new institution that rose up in the home of the old facility did not fare anywhere near as well as its predecessor had, however. This new institution, set up and designed to take care of residents suffering from mental health problems, was plagued with serious problems and issues almost from the beginning. Area residents share stories of how the institutions residents would break free and escape only to come to their houses and ask for food because they weren’t being fed by the staff. One escaped resident made his way to the bridge and chose to commit suicide by jumping off of it rather than being returned to the facility. There were frequent reports of residents fighting and there were also reports of residents being drunk and of rampant theft. In its last two years of operation alone the police had to respond to a total of 60 calls to the institution. But the chief of police said that the breaking point came in 2011 when a total of six female residents were sexually assaulted by one worker. It’s resident safety having obviously and irreparably compromised, state official quickly moved in, closed down the facility, and relocated its residents to other facilities throughout the region.

Perhaps there are those rarest of times when an abandoned building might have actually been better off sitting empty. And perhaps the memories and stigma of those final days, months, and years continue to abide within the facility and permeate throughout its halls and rooms because, even today, the building continues to stand empty. Given all that happened as a result of its second time out, perhaps nobody desires to give it a third chance and risk such an immoral fiasco happening yet again.

Looking at the photos, all seems innocent enough. Due to the circumstances of its closing, the facility was shut down so fast and with such finality that you can still see much of its final days and weeks played out within it. The vacant rooms remain furnished for the comfort of those memories that still walk the halls and stalk the corridors. A kitchen that continues to be fully equipped silently wonders what will be on the menu in the coming day. Various remnants of the facility’s final set of occupants and residents lay occasionally strewn about, offering up a final testament to the kind of people that they were and some of the circumstances of their lives and existence.


  1. First of all unless you know what you are talking about you have no rights to bash this place!I worked there for years.It was closed down bc of one stupid employee.Maybe the accusations weren't even true.These people told each other things n made themselves believe these things.Every one of them were bipolar,paranoid schizophrenic,from the Vietnam etc…n they fed off eachother.yes there were several calls over the years to the cops bc these people would refuse meds n then trip out n fight either each other or attack the staff n we had no way to protect ourselves or we would go to jail it is considered abuse.also no one has a clue what we had to deal with.we had to serve medication through a tiny locked window bc they would try to beat the door down to the med room n steal medications.we had to keep chemicals locked up bc they would try to drink them.we had to keep thier bathing supplies locked up bc they would sharpen toothbrushes on the concrete outside n try to stab people with them.some of these people were there not only bc they were mentally disabled but had committed serious crimes n the past n no one in thier families could handle I said you have no clue.they would sneak out n drink with the medications n get extremely stabbed our admin n the back with scissors.n again u legally can't defend urself bc they r mentally ill.n yes I know the kitchen staff n these people were fed just fine.3 generous meals a they got allowance and had vending machines n were taken to the stores.also as far as the furniture goes that wasn't theirs for anyone to come back n get first of all it was the facilities and secondly like I said 90% of them were either court ordered there bc of serious crimes or had no where else to go bc they were so violent they had no family that would have came back n gotten it if it were was a decent place when everyone took the meds like they were possed to.when it was being ran by the admin who was running it prior to the one who got it shut down.when u have decent staff that can deal with those types of people like me who was once the lead cna there n spent 90% of my time with those people violent or not I enjoyed them.but people come in and post the abandoned photos n tell one side of the story n make it seem like it was a horrific place for those people.they fail to think what the staff might have been dealing with.or how nice of a place it might of once been.

    • One who reported it on

      It was shut down because of the clients themselves. One client sexually assaulted female clients. Yes the previous administrator did not make sure that the facility was up to par and when we called in the assault they found that the bathrooms did not work and that there was only one working shower he and his wife were also taking money from clients for their own personal use. So you are correct the story is not being told correctly on why it was closed.

      • One who reported it on

        I know well on how the clients would act when not on their meds but I loved everyone of them on or off meds and looked out for the best of them. The administrator that was working there when it was closed was not the problem it was the husband and wife team that was in there previously that was the problem and your are right the stuff that was left was not the clients it was the facilities and the staff members. The community tried to get this place shut down ever since the first day it was open and some of the stories are true about what the clients did in the community and how they acted but they were also harassed by law enforcement for just walking down the road. It was a dad day when we moved the clients to other facilities but it had to be done for their own safety and the state was not allowing the RCF to stay open any longer.

  2. hailey from okc on

    this reminds me of cottonwood manor in Yukon Oklahoma in both the look of the building and the purpose of the facility
    also that the patients were not treated the best and it breaks my heart to see people treat mentally disabled people like they are less then human because my second cousin is in her thirties and has the mind of a six year old but she is one of the kindest people you will ever meet and she can care for her self pretty well , so this hurts me ,also im from oklahoma but i still share your sentiments also u should check out

    • My brother is also mentally ill and like I said I worked there for years and we were an awesome care team these photos are clearly taken of an abandoned building that has been made to look 10x worse than reality bc it was at one time a nice home as nice of a home as it could have been for people that were in their condition bc these weren’t people that just have the mind of a ten yr old like my brother and ur cousin these are people that were there for murders etc and could n would hurt u at any moment a totally diff kind of mentally ill and they destroyed things n the home on a daily if they were mad or off their meds but as I stated before as long as they were properly medicated things were great

  3. This makes me mad and sad. These ppl that lived here the second time I have to feel sorry for. And mad b/c no one cared enough to carry these ppl's belongings to them. There are photographs and drawings and looks like some kind of art/craft work. A persons personal card. The powers that be knew who this stuff belonged to.
    And MAD the the idiots that think they have the rights to break in to places and vandalize other ppl's property's. This place could have have had another life. The furniture in it is amazing.
    Ppl just don't care about the old things anymore. Just build new and leave the past behind.

  4. I would love to see pics of another buidling in Morrilton. The 5-6 story bank bulding in downtown morrilton has been abandoned as long as I have lived here (14yrs). I have always wondered how much of the original interior is intact.

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