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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
East Louisiana State Hospital
An act of the legislative session of 1847 established "The Insane Asylum of the State of Louisiana" in Jackson and provided, among other things, for the construction of the Asylum's physical plant. The Asylum's Board of Administrators appointed an architect, a Mr. Gibbens. to draw up the plans. He was specifically told not to design something that would look like a prison. Gibbens came up with the design of the Center Building with its wings. The Board of Administrators purchased a 250-acre tract known as "Flowery Hill" a short distance from the business section of Jackson, separated from the town by a small stream.
On July 5, 1847, Robert Perry signed a contract with the Board for the building of the Asylum, and President David Shattuck of Centenary College signed as security for Perry. The Board requested that the West Wing be completed by December 1, 1847, but there were delays due to bad weather and the building was not ready for occupancy until the fall of 1848. The East Wing was not finished until 1849. Center Building was ready for use in 1854, but it was never completed according to Gibbens' plans. The rear of the building was to have extended another hundred feet and to have contained a central kitchen, storerooms, and other facilities. Although the Asylum's early superintendents frequently asked the Legislature for funds to complete Center Building, they were never provided. Click here for more...
Featured Image Of The Week
In 1902, the Louisiana Legislature created a facility to house and treat the mentally ill. The facility operated under several names since its opening in January 1906, but was later known as Central Louisiana State Hospital
. At its peak in 1959, the hospital housed over 3,000 patients, but in recent years, patient numbers at Central dwindled to 246 in 1995 to 120 being cared for today. The hospital campus is over 400 acres. The hospital grounds also include the Civil War-era Fort Randolph.
The following video was created by the Florida Department of Health and documents the history of the hospital.
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.