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Welcome to Asylum Projects,
A historic asylum wiki anyone can edit.
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Mission Statement


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The Mission

The mission of this site is to archive both historical and current information on asylums across the United States and around the world.

The Statement

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

Springfield State Hospital


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In 1894, the Legislature of the State of Maryland addressed the issue of overcrowding of the one state operated psychiatric hospital by creating a search committee charged with finding a site for the erection of the “Second Hospital for the Insane of Maryland”. This legislation was proposed by John Hubner of Baltimore County.

After reviewing a number of potential sites, the committee selected Springfield, the estate of the Patterson-Brown? family. At the time of this selection, Springfield was owned by Governor Frank Brown, a descendant of the William Patterson family, a wealthy colonial era farmer and merchant. William Patterson’s daughter, Elizabeth, or “Betsy”, gained international fame and notoriety when she married Jerome Bonaparte, brother of Napoleon Bonaparte. This courtship, and the ill-fated marriage that followed has been the subject of numerous books and at least one movie. Information about the Patterson and Brown families can be found in the Springfield Hospital Center Museum and the Maryland Historical Society.

The first patients were received at the hospital in July 1896. Existing farm houses were renovated to accommodate those first patients while the hospital buildings were being constructed. The first phase of the building program was the Men’s Group, located in the northern section of the hospital grounds. A Women’s Group, located at the southern end of the campus was completed in 1900. As the hospital population rapidly expanded, additional buildings were erected, including the John Hubner Psychopathic Building, the Epileptic Colony, and significant expansions to the Men’s and Women’s Groups. Click here for more...

Featured Image Of The Week

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The Almshouse, constructed in 1872, was once home to the poor, indigent, mentally ill, and occasionally used as a hostel by travelers passing by. Sections of the Almshouse burned twice – in both the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries – and were only partially rebuilt. The Almshouse was also previously used as a Civil Defense fall-out shelter in the midst of the Cold War, and retains its deposit of emergency paraphernalia.

Featured Video

The following is a short video produced by WBEZ "Curious City" on Chicago State Hospital's cemetery.

Recent Message Board Posts

Hello,

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.

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If you have genealogical question here is an information page to help you.