Eastern Shore State Hospital

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Eastern Shore State Hospital
Established 1912
Construction Began November 1913
Construction Ended 1915
Opened May 18, 1915
Current Status Active
Building Style Cottage Plan
Architect(s) firm of Parker, Thomas & Rice
Location Cambridge, MD
Alternate Names
  • Eastern Shore Hospital Center (Current)
  • Eastern Shore State Hospital for Insane
  • Cambridge Hospital
  • Cambridge State Hospital


The Eastern Shore State Hospital for the Insane, located at Cambridge, Md., was authorized in the bond issue bill passed bj. the General Assembly of 1912. The Board of Managers, as given, was mentioned in the bill. The board at its first meeting elected Governor Goldsborough as president, J. Hooper Bosley, as secretary and treasurer, and Dr. Charles J. Carey, formerly assistant physician at the Springfield State Hospital, as the superintendent. The first duty of the board was to select a location. A committee consisting of the Governor, Comptroller and Senator Bosley visited numerous sites which had been proposed and finally recommended to the board one of three desirable farms in the immediate vicinity of Cambridge. The entire Board of Managers with the Lunacy Commission visited these farms and finally decided upon the Kirwan estate, located about a mile from Cambridge, on the banks of the beautiful Choptank River. This farm consists of about 250 acres, a part of which is wooded, the remainder being first-class farm land.

The board at its next meeting decided to have an architectural competition for plans for the building. Mr. Marshall, of the firm of Hornblower & Marshall, of Washington, D. C, was selected as the consulting architect. The rules of the American Institute of Architects governing such a competition were adopted, and, after the necessary forms were completed, six architects were invited to take part in the competition. A jury consisting of Dr. Hugh H. Young, president of the Lunacy Commission, and Messrs. M. B. Medary, Jr., and E. A. Crane, two well-known architects of Philadelphia, were asked to serve. The drawings were submitted sealed and opened in the presence of the jury; each set of drawings having a number and, accompanying the drawings, a sealed envelope with the number on the outside and the name of the firm on the inside, so that no member of the jury would know the name of the architect in the competition. After the drawings had been carefully studied by the jury and the awards made the jury submitted a statement in writing to the Board of Managers. At a later meeting the envelopes containing the names of the contestants were opened. The name of the successful architect was found to be the firm of Parker, Thomas & Rice, to whom the award was given. This firm immediately began the preparation of the working plans for the building; contracts were awarded and ground broken in November, 1913. Dr. Carey assumed his duties in July, and on December 11, 1913, 24 patients, who were from the Eastern Shore of Maryland, were transferred from Springfield State Hospital to the Eastern Shore State Hospital.

Contracts were let for the buildings September, 1913, and building operations progressed steadily until the completion of the mess hall buildings, the laundry and the power house in March, 1915. The institution when fully completed will consist of 11 buildings, two mess hall buildings, six dormitories or cottages, a laundry building, power house, administration building and superintendent's house. The mess hall buildings are adjoining the kitchen building, with which they are connected by corridors, and contain serving rooms and three dining rooms. The kitchen, a detached building, is in the center between the two mess halls. The second stories of the mess halls contain, in addition to rooms for nurses and hospital employees, four large amusement or day rooms for patients, which in the present unfinished condition of the building are used as dormitories. The building is heated throughout by the hot-water expansion system, where the water is heated by the exhaust and live steam from the power plant through a system of converters or hot-water generators, the exhaust or waste steam being sufficient to heat the building except in very cold weather, when live steam must be added.

The kitchen is thoroughly modern in every respect. There is also an ice plant, of a capacity of two tons of ice per day, adjoining the kitchen; also a bakery and laundry. The power house is supplied with two large Edgemoor water-tube boilers, and the engine house has large electrical generators. The water supply is obtained from an 8-inch artesian well sunk to a depth of 415 feet, which supplies 180 gallons of water per minute. The mess halls are constructed of rough brick with tooled joints and are trimmed with Indiana sandstone. The second story is finished in stucco, with old English timber effect. The roof is of slate. The windows are protected with steel guards, the panels of which conform to the sizes of the lights and the sashes and are filled with copper wire screens. All floors throughout the building are of reinforced concrete. The finished floors of the first story are of Welsh tiles; the finished floors of the second story of Georgia pine. All interior walls throughout the building are finished with soft-glazed bricks of a brownish-gray color. All partitions are built from gypsum and plaster. The floors of the bathrooms, toilet rooms and laboratories are laid with terrazzo. Fire protection is provided by one Worthington fire pump of 500 gallons capacity per minute, the water supply being taken from a creek back of the power house. At present one of the dining room wings of the mess hall is fitted up for temporary offices.

The two cottages on the property have been repaired and put in good condition. Sanitary plumbing and new heating equipment have also been installed, thus affording accommodations for the 24 patients, the superintendent and nurses. On May 18, 1915, 203 patients, whose residence was upon the Eastern Shore of Maryland, were transferred from the different state hospitals.[1]


  • Governor Phillips Lee Goldsborough 1912-1916
  • Comptroller of Treasury E. C. Harrington 1912-1916
  • State Treasurer Murray Vandiver 1912-1916
  • E. E. Goslin, of Caroline Co. 1912-1916
  • Senator W. W. Beck, of Kent Co. 1912-1916
  • Senator John F. Harper, of Queen Anne's Co. 1912-1914
  • R. S. Dodson, of Talbot Co. 1912-1914
  • Senator Jesse D. Price, of Wicomico Co. 1912-1918
  • Senator Louis W. Milbourne, of Somerset Co. 1912-1914
  • John P. Moore, of Worcester County 1912-1916
  • William T. Warburton, of Cecil County 1912-1918
  • J. Hooper Bosley, of Dorchester County 1912-1918
  • Chas. F. Rich, of Queen Anne's County 1914
  • Frank Ross, of Talbot County 1914
  • Robert Messenger, of Caroline County 1914

SUPERINTENDENT. Dr. Charles J. Carey.

ASSISTANT PHYSICIAN. Dr. Stacy T. Noland.[2]

The physical growth of hospital buildings continued for several decades and the average daily population increased steadily to 675-680 patients in 1956. By the early 1970s, the patient census had dropped to approximately 420, primarily due to a focused effort on deinstitutionalization. On July 1, 1973, the Eastern Shore State Hospital became known as the Eastern Shore Hospital Center (ESHC). ESHC has been fully accredited since May 1967. In November 1993, the hospital moved from assigning patients to their units by geography to a treatment oriented system. In the mid-1990s, the hospital’s site was considered for public economic development. In order to allow for development while continuing to provide necessary mental health services, another site of land was purchased and funding was appropriated to build a new ESHC.[3] The original 351 acre hospital and it's 38 buildings were demolished in 1999. The land that the hospital once sat on is now a golf course and Hyatt hotel resort. The new hospital is located a few miles south, just outside of Cambridge, MD on Woods Road.

Chronology of Eastern Shore Hospital Center’s Superintendents:

  • Dr. Charles T. Carey 1913-1936
  • Dr. Kenneth B. Jones 1937-1940
  • Dr. Charles V. Taylor 1940-1945
  • Dr. Robert E. Gardner 1945-1947
  • Dr. Robert B. May 1947-1950
  • Dr. Robert E. Blackwelder 1950-1952
  • Dr. George E. Currier 1953-1960
  • Dr. George H. Longley 1960-1962
  • Dr. Harold M. English 1962- 1982
  • Mr. David W. Leap 1982-1993
  • Ms. Mary K. Noren 1993-2010
  • Mr. Donald K. Simpson 2010-2012
  • Mr. Randy L. Bradford 2012-2020
  • Dr. Forrest A. Daniels 2020 - Present

Images of Eastern Shore State Hospital[edit]

Main Image Gallery: Eastern Shore State Hospital

Links & Additional Information[edit]