Ashland State Hospital

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Ashland State Hospital
Established 1880
Construction Began 1880
Opened 1882
Closed April 2012
Current Status Closed
Building Style Single Building
Alternate Names
  • State Hospital for Injured Persons of the Anthracite Coal Region at Fountain Springs
  • Ashland Regional Medical Center
  • Ashland State General Hospital
  • Saint Catherine Medical Center Fountain Springs



NOTE: Ashland State Hospital was one of many hospitals built for coal miners in Pennsylvania, these hospitals were also referred to as state hospitals, this hospital was not a psychiatric facility.

In the mid-1870’s, coal mining was a booming industry in this area. Thousands of miners went to work daily and, unfortunately, many were injured on the job, with no provisions for their care. If they could survive the trip, injured workers were given passage on the railroad to obtain care in a large city, such as Philadelphia. Otherwise they were sent home to be treated by family and/or to die.

The need for better medical care was evident, and in 1879, state legislation was approved to form the State Hospital for Injured Persons of the Anthracite Coal Region at Fountain Springs. Construction of the new hospital began in May 1880 and was completed in 1882. The original building included several wards, an Administrative wing, operating rooms, laundry and a stable.

The first patient, John Lucas from Shenandoah, was admitted on November 14, 1883, following an injury at the Kohinoor Colliery. Originally the hospital could only accept injured miners, railroad workers and textile workers, in that priority order. No women or children, nor non-injured persons (i.e. serious illness) would be accepted as patients until the early 1900’s. Over the years, the mission of the hospital evolved to include care not only for injured workers, but also for their families and eventually for community members requiring professional medical care. Saint Catherine Medical Center continues to build on this tradition and the strong family values of the residents of Schuylkill County, while planning for the future healthcare needs of the community.

In the early 1960’s, it was clear that a new hospital needed to be built. The current building was completed in 1967 and the original building was demolished.

The state divested many of the state-owned/operated hospitals, including Ashland State General Hospital, in the 1990’s. Since then, Ashland Regional Medical Center had several owners.

The hospital's new owner purchased the property on May 1, 2006 and changed the name to Saint Catherine Medical Center Fountain Springs. It served the community as a general hospital until it's closing in April 2012.

In March 2015, Ashland Properties LLC of San Clemente, California, bought the 20.7-acre property in Butler Township for $550,000, according to the deed filed Monday in Pottsville, Pennsylvania. It is estimated that they will spend $4 million to $5 million to renovate the former medical center in which they plan to handle mental health and substance abuse treatment for people of all income levels, according to Beau M. Brown, a broker with Bennett Williams Realty Inc., York, the Realtor that facilitated the sale. Approximately 200 people eventually will work at the facility, according to Brown.


Images of Ashland State Hospital[edit]

Main Image Gallery: Ashland State Hospital