Under The Red Roof chronicled the rise and fall of an insane asylum in the frontier town of Sedro-Woolley, Washington. Northern State Hospital, as it came to be known, encompassed 1086 acres of sweeping mountain views, wild creeks, and rich farmland, in a landscape master-designed by John Charles Olmsted. While the book, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey, portrayed a mental institution in a negative light, Under The Red Roof tells the first-hand stories of a more complex reality, one where a strong community existed among patients, doctors' families, employees, and townsfolk. The author gathered interviews from the switchboard operator, nurses, doctors, attendants, the superintendent's daughter, farmer's daughter, business manager's daughter and others. Together they described a unique inter-dependency between patients and staff whereby meaningful work could contribute to a patient's recovery from mental illness.