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The mission of this site is to archive both historical and current information on asylums across the United States and around the world.
This site is dedicated to the history of asylums in all forms. The term of asylum is applied to not only what is commonly thought of: mental hospitals, but can also be applied to sanatoriums, state training schools, reform schools, almshouses, and orphanages. These institutions have and continue to play a major part in today's society.
Everyone throughout the United States and in many other countries has in one way or another felt the touch of these institutions. These places have both directly and indirectly affected people and their families. They have shaped lives and created many popular myths about them.
With all that in mind, this site was created to help in the historical research of any institutions that can be classified as an asylum. It was created for both serious researchers, those who are doing genealogical research, and people with an interest in asylums.
Featured Article Of The Week
Terrell State Hospital
In 1883, when word was circulated that the State of Texas was seeking a location for a second major mental facility and that it would be located in Northeast Texas, the competition among cities must have been quite similar to the quest for industry and other major developments that exist today.
Terrell was fortunate at that time to include among the citizens of a still young town a large group of people with the foresight to understand what such a facility could mean to a growing city. But even the farsightedness of legendary rancher and banker Col. Jim Harris, who gave the necessary acreage to the state for a meager return, could not have visualized the proportions to which Terrell State Hospital has grown today nor the immense impact it has had on the local economy for over 100 years.
A total of $200,000 was appropriated for the purchase of the property and construction of the original facilities. It all began, officially, on February 16, 1883, when the 18th Texas Legislature enacted a statute introduced by Judge John Austin. The word "asylum"--by the original definition--was a place of refuge and safety and that, at best, was the primary service offered by mental facilities in the United States at that time. Click here for more...
Featured Image Of The Week
In 1882 Harris County Commissioners Court ordered an assessment of the feasibility of a Poor Farm and by November 1882 the first Harris County Poor Farm
and County Hospital was opened on land located near White Oak Bayou.
The following seventeen minute video is a well researched history tour of the Tarban Creek Lunatic Asylum by ShhSydney Urbex Adventures.
Recent Message Board Posts
In this space you normally would see our forum. This had been a hold over from earlier days before we had a Facebook page. Just prior to our server issues regular users had been barely using the forum with the majority of new posts from anonymous users asking genealogy questions or spammers. The old forum software does not work with our new version while the new forum software does not carry over old comments to the new forum. As a result, the forum will be discontinued in favor of our Facebook page. If you have questions or comments you can ask them there.
Asylum Projects Facebook Page
If you have genealogical question here is an information page to help you.