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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
San Antonio State Hospital
In 1889 the Texas legislature passed a bill establishing a state mental institution to serve Southwest Texas. The new facility was to occupy at least 640 acres and be capable of housing 500 patients. It was to be known as the Southwestern Insane Asylum (not the Southwestern Lunatic Asylum, as it has sometimes been called). A site was selected five miles south of San Antonio and $200,000 was appropriated for the new hospital. The facility began operation on April 6, 1892 with a capacity of 200 patients.
In the first eight months of operation the patient population grew to 142. By August 23, 1894, there were 225 patients. Provisions for 300 more patients were authorized when $70,000 was appropriated in 1898, and in 1910, $100,000 was voted for expansion to accommodate an additional 300. This addition consisted of one wing each on the male and female departments and two buildings for tubercular. The improvements were completed in 1910 and the hospital could then accommodate 1,000 patients. In 1911 another appropriation of $45,000 was given to construct a building for 100 men, providing care to acute cases and all those who require extra attention. By 1912 the facilities could accommodate 1,140, and improvements were valued at $500,000. By 1915 the hospital's capacity was 1,800. In 1917 a training school for nurses in psychiatry was begun. This school, the only one of its kind in the state system, continued with a three-year course until 1942. Click here for more...
Featured Image Of The Week
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.
The following video was created by the Florida Department of Health and documents the history of the A.G. Holley 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.
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If you have genealogical question here is an information page to help you.