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Both the Greystone and Athens Kirkbride buildings are in danger of being partially or completely demolished.
Please click on the link above for more information and to see how you can help.

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

Concord State Hospital


In 1838, a bill for the establishment of an asylum was passed and the long struggle of more than six years was over. This bill was in the form of a charter to establish a corporation known as the New Hampshire Asylum for the Insane. The corporation had power to hold real and personal property for any amount necessary for its support, provided that this income from real and personal estate should not exceed $30,000. There were 39 incorporators. The institution was placed under the management of a board of 12 trustees, three of whom should vacate their office yearly and eight of these trustees were elected by the corporation and four by a Board of Visitors. It was further provided that the sum of $15,000 should be secured to the institution by individuals before any money should come from the state. If these conditions were met 30 shares of New Hampshire bank stock, worth about $18,000, were to be given to the institution. As might have been anticipated, difficulties arose almost at once in the corporation between the subscribers to the voluntary fund and the trustees appointed by the state. It accordingly became necessary for the Legislature to act and provide that the direction, management and control of all the property and concerns of the asylum should be vested in trustees without power of interference on the part of the corporation. It was finally in 1840 deemed best to put the whole institution under the control of 12 trustees, to be appointed by the Governor and council. The Legislature also provided at the same time that all the contributions by private individuals, previously made, should be returned to them if claimed before a certain time.

The asylum was located in 1841 in the Town of Concord, because the town had given the sum of $9500 to secure the location. Private individuals also contributed in addition to this sum. The Building Committee entered upon its duties at once and n October, 1842, procured the completion of a portion of the present center building with accommodations for 96 patients. The whole amount expended for the farm of 121 acres, the erection of the hospital and outbuildings, furniture, stock, etc., was $36,277.70. Of this sum $19,000 had been paid by the state, the balance being received in contributions by the town and citizens of Concord, the Society of Shakers and other benevolent individuals. Click here for more...

Featured Image Of The Week

Florida State Hospital was originally a Federal Arsenal, built by the U.S. Army to be used as an arms depot during the second Seminole Indian War. It was used by the Freedman's Bureau from 1865 to 1868, and then served as the state's first penitentiary. Two of the original buildings still remain; the Officer's Quarters, which now serves as the Florida State Hospital Administration Building, and a Powder Magazine, which is currently being restored for eventual use as a museum and conference center.

Recent Message Board Posts

Thread Title Replies Views Last Action
What building is this? 8 35 Fri 21st 2:00 pm - WSH
Asylum Postcard Corner 7 207 Thu 20th 5:35 pm - Thomasp94
Anything New? 5 124 Thu 20th 5:22 pm - Thomasp94
Green County, Wisconsin, Poor ... 1 2 20 3840 Wed 19th 12:58 am - Salsdodge
Looking for information on a f... 1 194 Mon 17th 4:56 pm -
Update on Worcester State Hosp... 15 200 Mon 17th 4:14 pm - WSH
Montgomery County Alms House 0 30 Sun 16th 11:04 pm - Cambigdog
St John's Orphan Asylum Utica ... 1 49 Thu 13th 12:52 pm -
Former St. Elizabeth's State H... 0 43 Thu 13th 6:27 am - Squad546
my dad & his siblings were pat... 4 1202 Tue 11th 5:15 am -
Project Kirkbride 15 2284 Mon 10th 12:36 am -
Topeka State Hospital Admin. t... 9 1556 Thu 6th 11:48 pm -
Woodville State Hospital Pa 0 50 Mon 3rd 11:41 pm -
Julia Sinkey former patient 0 55 Sun 2nd 9:57 pm -
grandmother: Mary Isabelle Fla... 0 61 Fri 31st 10:11 pm - Connie1948

Featured Video

The following sixth-eight minute documentary entitled "If these walls could talk stories behind Toronto's psychiatric patient built wall" is about the Queen Street Mental Health Centre. It was created by Toronto filmmakers Naomi Berlyne and Sibyl Likely.

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Asylum News   (news you can edit!)


BERLIN, VERMONT – The nearly complete $38 million Vermont Psychiatric Care Hospital is a state-of-the-art mental health facility that feels all but institutional.

January 27, 2014 A kinder approach: Former Allentown State Hospital CEO is recognized for reducing restraint tactics

The former CEO walks on the roof of the Allentown State Hospital. He is armed with his high-definition camera and decades of memories to provide context to what he sees. Each step on the roof frames a new perspective of the hospital he helped to transform. The rooms in the former psychiatric center are empty. It has been three years since the hospital closed. For Greg Smith, it is easy to reminisce. He can fill in the blanks, but there aren't many signs of what used to happen at the 100-year-old campus.

January 27, 2014 Taunton State Hospital again faces closure

The state's plan to close the inpatient unit at Taunton State Hospital reflects a philosophical shift that emphasizes community-based services over institutional care, a mental health official said Friday. For the third straight year, the state is proposing to move all inpatient beds from Taunton State Hospital to the new Worcester Recovery Center. In each of the past two years, the state faced staunch local opposition. As a compromise struck in the Legislature, 45 beds currently remain at Taunton State, which used to have about 170.

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